The City of Kamloops and TRU announced Friday they have appointed a researcher-in-residence for the Tournament Capital.
According to a press release from the City of Kamloops, this appointment marks the start of a joint pilot project that will see the city and university working together to develop research-based solutions for community needs.
Dr. Cheryl Gladu, who has been teaching at TRU since 2019, will step into this role.
Gladu holds an interdisciplinary PhD in design and management from Concordia University.
In an interview with Castanet Kamloops, Gladu said she is excited to take on the role.
“This is unusual for an academic to have this kind of opportunity. It’s a very interesting approach,” she said.
According to Gladu, the job will be full-time, and she will split her time between working in city hall and at the Xchange, a collaborative space located in The Station building on Tranquille.
“So 50 per cent of the time, I’m working for and with the city, and 50 per cent of my time, I’m working for and with the community.”
The pilot program is funded jointly by the city and Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that connects academics with industries needing research-driven business solutions.
Gladu will be supported by five research interns, and will work to identify projects that have a direct impact and relevance to the community, according to the city.
“Anticipated areas of research and policy development could include economic recovery from COVID-19, response to vulnerable population needs in the community, and future planning for the cultural sector,” the city said in a statement.
Gladu said her research goal is to make the community a more liveable place, and to personally get to know the city better.
She said those in the community can reach out to her for help with “anything that’s looking at engaging people in city processes.”
“If there are community groups that have ideas about projects, please don’t hesitate to contact us,” Gladu said.
“My door is open.”
With files from Tim Petruk.