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Campus Life - Kamloops  

Students give bees a chance

Two thirds of Beez Pleez: Brayden Hearne and Kolby Klassen

Companies like TOMS and tentree have proven that consumers will support a product which gives back. In the case of TOMS, a pair of shoes bought, equals a pair given to a child in need. Tentree plants ten trees for every purchase.

This business model has been adopted by current Master of Business Administration student Brayden Hearne, along with Bachelor of Business Administration student Kolby Klassen and Brayden’s younger brother Jaylen.

They’ve just launched Beez Pleez, a company that aims to address the current bee crisis.

Their mission is to increase bee populations and improve the local ecosystem, while providing a natural product. The trio contributes 20 bees to regional bee farms for each product purchased.

Brayden has done his research and explains why this company was started out of necessity.

“84% of crops grown for human consumption—around 400 different types of plants—need bees and other insects to pollinate them to increase their yields and quality. Annual global crop pollination by bees is estimated to be worth $170 billion USD. There has been widespread death of honeybees in the US, where 40% of colonies are still dying each year.”

In the short term, they hope to run a successful Kickstarter campaign to increase awareness and spread the message. They’re looking to manufacture more of their natural beeswax candles and are working to get into retail stores.

They have also started 1 Million Bee Project, aiming to contribute 1,000,000 honeybees to local bee farms.

Their long-term goal is to run a sustainable bee farm, as their current location in Kamloops, BC can house up to 100 bee hives and 100,000 bees.

Brayden and Klassen attribute their ability to launch this project to the skills they gained in the School of Business and Economics.

“The BBA at TRU is a great program to get an introduction to the business world. Both of us are economics majors and we agree that the thorough understanding of economics concepts has really helped. Marketing and finance have definitely contributed to the way we operate Beez Pleez, as we have drawn much of our knowledge from those classes,” said Klassen who is graduating this spring.

“The MBA program included several group projects which improved my communication and team management skills. I have absolutely benefited from project management with Nancy Southin. I’ve gained real insight into large projects and how to implement them,” said Brayden who earned his BBA at TRU and will be completing his MBA in 2018.

Brayden also earned his Leadership in Environmental Sustainability certificate at TRU which he attributes to helping him find his passion and discovering who he wanted to be as a business individual.

“We needed to create an ePortfolio to identify what we have contributed to the environment in terms of academics and real life scenarios. In doing this, I realized how much I care about environmental sustainability, and realized I wanted to pursue a career that would impact the planet in a positive way.”

The youngest Hearne plans on attending TRU in 2019, as he is currently nearing the end of grade 11. He has a passion for business and is a salesman at heart. Every summer he goes diving for golf balls in the Penticton Chanel which he sells back to golfers.

“He works so hard and I am really proud of him. I look forward to continuing a close business relationship with him in the future,” said Brayden.

“I’m excited for Jaylen to experience the TRU atmosphere. Being a writing tutor, learning innovation fellow and participating in intramural sports were highlights during my past five years here.”



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Research internship sends student abroad

Summer jobs don’t get much more interesting.

Next month Mathew Norman takes off for Germany where he’ll spend the three months fully immersed in a research project at the University of Münster, all part of a RISE-Globalink Research Internship.

Norman will spend two weeks taking intensive language courses in Berlin before heading to the university, where he’ll work under the supervision of Martina Liebich, a pharmacist in the Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medical Chemistry.

The research project, Analytical method validation for determining free and liposomal daunorubicin in plasma, which is a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, provides an amazing learning opportunity for Norman, who has just completed his second year of his Bachelor of Science degree, and who learned of the internship in his microbiology class.

“We do a lot in the labs in our second year here, so I’ve already been introduced to a lot of the same technologies that I’ll be using this summer. I’ve been in touch with my supervisor at Münster and feel pretty comfortable with the work, and I’m really looking forward to the cultural experience,” he said.

“This is a really good example of the international language of science,” he added.

Mitacs Globalinks builds a living bridge between Canada and international partners by establishing and reinforcing global links through student mobility. The RISE-Globalink Research Internship, valued at $5,200, provides an opportunity for students at Canadian universities to build an international research network and undertake research abroad. This award is offered in partnership with the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD).

As excited as he is to begin his journey, he’s admittedly nervous.

“I haven’t traveled at all. I’m from Savona (west of Kamloops), and this is definitely the farthest I’ve ever gone, but I’m really looking forward to it.”



HR rising star

The name Larissa Pepper might ring a bell and that’s likely because everything the Bachelor of Business Administration grad touches turns to gold.

Pepper is a finalist for the 2017 Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) BC & YK Rising Star Award.

The Rising Star Award recognizes and publicly honours a CPHR BC & YK member who is ‘lighting the HR community on fire.’ The award recognizes individuals who hold the future of the human resources profession in their hands and who are making significant impacts in their workplace and within the industry.

“Larissa is the perfect embodiment of this award. Her achievements after entering the profession have been impressive and we are pleased to have her as a part of our HR community,” said CEO and President CPHR BC & YK, Anthony Ariganello.

Pepper was first hired on as a co-op student with Arrow Transportation, a logistics company with 32 locations and over 700 employees. Earning the respect of a workforce nearly twice her age, she was able to turn her co-op position into a full-time gig. That same year she earned the BC Co-op Student of the Year Award.

In the words of Arrow’s leadership, “everything Larissa touches she improves.”

The prestigious award requires a demonstrated level of accomplishment in four areas including: education, contribution in the workplace, leadership and personal traits, and volunteerism and community involvement.

Larissa Pepper doing what she loves and talking HR strategy. Photo credit Kelly Funk CPHR BC & Yukon.

“It is an honour to be nominated and I am very grateful to Arrow for the nomination and for supporting me in my professional growth and development. This award motivates me to continue adopting HR best practices and to stay involved with the HR and business communities,” said Pepper.

With an HR department of only three, including her supervisor and a recruiter, the challenges of bringing a 100-year-old company’s processes into the modern era required a dynamic player, and Larissa, who initially impressed senior leadership as a student, has gone on to amaze.

“My passion for HR comes from my interests in business, innovation and teamwork,” she said.

“I’m driven to help employers offer the best experience possible to their employees. Feeling valued and fulfilled in your career can have a positive impact beyond the workplace. In HR we get the opportunity to not only help grow business, but also to train and develop individuals.”

Award recipients will be announced live at the CPHR BC & YK annual conference Wednesday, May 3, 2017 in Vancouver, BC.





All set to contribute to TRU’s research community

Outgoing 2016-2017 Graduate Research Mentors.

For Kevin Clyde, applying to become an Undergraduate Research Ambassador just made sense.

The fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student had already completed an Undergraduate Research Experience Award Program (UREAP) project, and worked as an Undergraduate Research Apprentice. With one more year left in his degree, it made sense to share his experiences with other students, with the hope of encouraging more to engage in research.

“In the early years of my degree the idea of doing research didn’t really occur to me, but since I started, I really haven’t stopped,” he said. Clyde has already spent a year as an Ambassador, and is one of 15 students selected for the 2017-2018 school year. As part of the peer-to-peer mentorship program, Ambassadors guide students through the UREAP application process, and provide feedback on unsuccessful applications. They provide constructive critique for the poster presentations during the Undergraduate Research and Innovation Conference, and participate in a variety of other activities designed to support undergraduate research throughout the academic year.

The training Ambassadors receive is invaluable, said Clyde.

“It not only helps us with the dissemination of our own research, but we are taught how to give constructive feedback on posters that are outside of our realm of experience. It feels like we are really contributing to the research community at TRU.”

Outgoing Graduate Research Mentor Michelle Phillips said the opportunity to work with students across disciplines has enriched her graduate school experience at TRU.

Graduate Mentors meet bi-weekly to plan a variety of events, including the annual Three Minute Thesis and the Graduate Research Symposium.

“We had more people participate and attend both of these events than we’ve ever had before, and I think it’s because of how well we worked together,” said Phillips, who expects to complete her Masters of Science in Environmental Science this summer.

“We all had very different perspectives, but also so many commonalities. It was a great opportunity to practice these skills, and to work with other people with varying backgrounds, and to do so effectively.”

Both programs are now in their third year, and were originally established to help build a unique culture of graduate and undergraduate research at TRU, and the programs have been steadily strengthened through meaningful student consultation.

“We have a great foundation, and this incoming group of students will continue to build upon it, and build additional capacity for undergraduate research and graduate studies at TRU,” said Sukh Heer Matonovich, Manager of Graduate Studies and Student Research.

2017-2018 Undergraduate Research Ambassadors

  • Alexis Wilson
  • Anna Skurikhina
  • Brandon Turner
  • Breanne McAmmond
  • Kevin Clyde
  • Emily Dundas Oke
  • Gabe Capendale
  • Lavraj Lidher
  • Megan McFadyn
  • Noor Shubear
  • Payton Comazzetto
  • Spencer Jaroszuk
  • Teagan Lauriente
  • Tyson Bodor
  • Valerie Law

2017-2018 Graduate Research Mentors

  • Dominique Hazel
  • Doug Terpsma
  • Jordann Foster
  • Jessica Baker
  • Samta Dhanjal
  • Tory Anchikoski
  • Hemali Gawde
  • Jose Rodriguez Jule
  • Olanike Imuh


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