Campus Life - Kamloops  

That’s a wrap. Videos and photos from spring #TRUgrad 2018

Convocation hat toss

Wow, what a celebration!

Spring #TRUgrad 2018 amounted to six ceremonies over three days and more than 1,200 graduates crossing the stage to receive their credential—anything from a certificate to a masters degree. More than 2,000 family, friends and guests attended or watched online.

What follows is a list of links to photos and speeches to help you relive the proud moments, the joy, the excitement, the pomp and ceremony, inspiring words, the enthusiastic supporters and more.


Missed being there or watching online? Want to relive the memories?

     Archived video ceremonies


Hundreds of photos were taken by TRU’s marketing and communications department.

     Photos (watch for more to be added)


The six valedictorians showed one side of leadership as they spoke with honesty and confidence. They shared reflections sprinkled with inside stories and humour and imparted words they hoped would inspire and guide everyone in front of them.

     Watch the valedictorian speeches


The six honorary degree recipients also inspired and encouraged with their vulnerability and real-life case studies drawn from their personal challenges and triumphs. They spoke of perseverance, commitment to what matters to you and finding your own way in life.

     Watch the honorary degree speeches


Outgoing chancellor Wally Oppal received Professor Emeritus designation.

     Watch Wally Oppal’s speech


Nathan Matthew was officially installed as TRU’s new Chancellor—the third in TRU’s history.

     Watch Nathan Matthewl’s speech


This was the final convocation for outgoing President and Vice-Chancellor Alan Shaver. As a show of thanks, he gave a short thank-you speech to each of the classes.

Watch Alan Shaver’s outgoing speech to School of Business and Economics grads

Love for teaching STEMs from science

STEM high school lab 1

Six newly-minted TRU science grads have the rest of June to savour their accomplishment before diving into what will be one of the most intense and educational 12 months of their lives.

Accepted into TRU’s new Bachelor of Education (Secondary) STEM degree, the six are part of the first cohort of 24 students who will learn to teach science and math in ways that bring the subjects to life. And in a large part, they’ll be using examples from technology and engineering to do it. The full-time, intensive, year-long program is worth 64 credits and starts July 3. The curriculum will include foundation courses in education, methods courses, practica, guest lectures from working professionals and worksite field trips. In the third week of July, they will assist in a five-day science camp for invited students going into Grade 8.

Cailey Watters and Kirsten Hales are among these six grads. They are thrilled to be facing this new challenge. People oriented and outgoing, both confessed to being science nerds with an enthusiasm for all things science right from their elementary school days. They feel they were born to teach.

“When you’re in high school or elementary school, you’re dealing with so many things on the side. Being secure with who you are as a person comes a lot from your teachers and the kind of environment they create and how they support you,” said Watters, who during her undergrad was a teacher’s assistant and worked for EUReKA!, TRU’s summer science camp for kids.

“I feel that I’ll be able to create an environment where people will be comfortable and be able to excel. Sciences can seem so difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You just have to be supported, wiling to try your best and go from there.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Increasingly, it has become a priority for schools and governments as they try to keep up with an ever-changing world that requires STEM knowledge and skills.

Said Hales, “If you’re passionate about science and want to teach it to other people, STEM is a great way to do that, especially at the high school level because from high school, students go on to so many other things. If you give them a good basis with critical-thinking skills, they can go on to so many things. There are a lot of misconceptions about science and I think it’s good to tell the general public how cool science is and how important it is.”

Cailey Watters interacts with high school students during their visit to TRU in April. Watters is among the Bachelor of Education (secondary) STEM degree’s first cohort.

The program received 40 applications, a solid response for the first year. Education faculty member Carol Rees, who is the co-ordinator of the program, said much of the interest is due the program’s design.

The first class is a good mix of ages, background and experience levels, which should provide opportunities for everyone to learn from each other, Rees said.

With large portions of the world shifting toward inclusion of different people and ways of thinking, so too will the STEM degree embrace multiple ways to tackle problems.

As someone with her bachelor degree and PhD in science, Rees is eager to see how the program shapes its students and how they in turn shape their students and the world.

“In engineering, maybe we’ll invent all kinds of machines we never even thought of because people are thinking of things in a completely different way. Maybe we’ll solve problems in a totally new way because people are coming into STEM professions whose mindset and voice weren’t there before. I think we can make a more diverse world and we can solve problems in more diverse ways, and that can only be a good thing.”


Research sends TRU grad student to Australia

Syeda Sonia Parvin arrived at TRU from Bangladesh to complete her Master of Science in Environmental Economics and Management (MScEEM), and now, thanks to a Mitacs Globalink Research Award, she’s once again on her way, this time to Australia.

Syeda will spend three months working under the supervision of Dr. Mamta Chowdhury at Western Sydney University, studying the relationship between capital structure and financial performance of microfinance institutions before she returns to TRU to complete her thesis.

“I found the topic very interesting, not only for academic reasons, but also for moral factors,” said Syeda, who has two graduate degrees to her credit, including a Master of Science in Physics, and an MBA in Finance.

Microfinance institutions, including credit unions, rural banks and NGOs, provide financial services — loans, savings, insurance, for example — to low income populations in developing countries, and are an effective tool for reducing poverty.

Microfinance institutions receive their funding through a variety of sources, such as donations, charities, savings, equity and debt, and Syeda’s research explores whether an institution’s capital structure impacts its self-sufficiency and efficiency.

“Foreign donations are declining, and these types of institutions are trying to manage their funds through subsidized loans or from other sources. My study will try to identify the specific type of capital structure or source of funds that makes these types of organizations more successful,” she explained.

It is Syeda’s hope that her research will help policy makers and institution directors to formulate and manage their organizations more effectively.

“This is a great opportunity for me to enhance my research capability and also to enhance collaborations between TRU and Western Sydney University. I’m excited to visit new people and a new place, and to continue my research abroad,” she said.

Mitacs Globalink Research Awards provide $6,000 for senior undergraduate and graduate students in Canada to conduct 12-24-week research projects at universities overseas.


TRU abuzz with bee-friendly initiatives

TRU was the place to ‘bee’ on Thursday, May 31, when the campus was visited by Shelley Candel, the director of Bee City Canada, on her tour of Kamloops.

Kamloops is one of 15 Bee Cities across the country and became the first Bee City in British Columbia in 2017, which means it has pledged to plant bee-friendly flowers that encourage pollination, increase green spaces and other initiatives throughout the city.

Candel was excited with what she saw on the TRU campus when visiting the beehives and even mentioned the potential of TRU becoming the first “Bee Campus” in Canada.

“When we can learn to take care of the bees we learn to take care of ourselves, for our future for our children and generations to come,” said Candel.

TRU is contributing to the city’s bee-friendly efforts by hosting the Kamloops Bee Club’s beehives on campus as well as the TRU Eco Club’s plans for a bee-friendly garden (near the Ken Lepin building) which is being funded by the TRU Sustainability Grant Fund. Alongside these projects, last summer, TRU student Aneka Battel studied bees with funding from the Undergraduate Research Award Program (UREAP).

“Studying bees is important because they are responsible for the food we eat, and the native bees here are a critical ecosystem service,” Battel said. “If there are many different types of pollinators, that is an indication that there are many different types of plants which provide food and homes for other organisms. It’s all connected.”

Battel studies ecology and environmental biology. For her research, she joined a project run by the Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners Association in Kamloops to research and compare the variances in pollinator abundance in natural and cultivated areas throughout the city. She presented her research findings at the Undergraduate Research Conference this past March and is writing her thesis on the subject.

bee garden benches

The freshly planted beginnings of the bee-friendly garden located outside the Ken Lepin building.

On the fence about doing research?

Battel’s advice for students considering doing the UREAP program is to “just do it,” as it is an amazing opportunity to do research at the undergraduate level. She also mentioned that to be eligible for the program you do not need a perfect grade point average, so it is an accessible program for many.

Her last piece of advice is picking a faculty advisor you are comfortable with, as they are the person you go to for questions and support during your research.

One of Battel’s favourite parts of her UREAP experience was spending her summer outdoors collaborating with gardeners from the community, and her faculty mentor Lyn Baldwin of the biological sciences department at TRU. She also had opportunities to tell people about her research and why bees are important, not only in the science community, but to everyone.

UREAP deadline for fall 2018

The next deadline for UREAP applications is October 12, 2018, and more information can be found on the Undergraduate Research Experience Reward Program page.

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