Dr. Shannon Wagner has accepted the position of Thompson Rivers University’s first vice-president of research, following an extensive search, effective July 1. She currently serves as TRU’s associate vice-president academic, and has been with TRU since October 2021.
TRU President Brett Fairbairn says Wagner has already proved to be a valuable member of TRU’s academic leadership team. Her demonstrated skills and accomplishments as both a scholar and a leader are well-aligned with TRU’s vision and values.
Her record of accomplishment in research will help TRU lead in community research and scholarship. The search committee positively noted the relationships Wagner has built with Indigenous communities, he noted.
“At the outset of this search process, we sought an individual who is an innovative, strategic and experienced leader — a visionary thinker with a track record and credibility as an outstanding scholar. I believe we found the perfect candidate,” Fairbairn says.
Wagner has dedicated much of her research career to the study of workplace traumatic stress, especially as it pertains to emergency responders. In addition to her research, Wagner is also a registered psychologist with expertise in occupational neuropsychological assessment.
She was the inaugural dean of the Faculty of Human and Health Science at UNBC and a long-serving professor in the School of Health Sciences. She also served UNBC in several other administration roles, including interim dean for the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences, the interim chair for the School of Education at UNBC, and the chair of the School of Health Sciences at UNBC. She served in professorial and teaching roles from 2000 to 2021.
“It is truly an honour to have the opportunity to fill this new position at TRU. Research is my passion, and I am excited by the possibilities ahead of us. We are a young, vibrant, growing institution with remarkable faculty and staff,” Wagner says. “I’ve seen the depth of people’s skills and dedication already during my short time at TRU. I look forward to working with everyone in common purpose towards our vision.”
The vice-president research provides a level of strategic leadership similar to what is found at TRU’s peer institutions within the Research Universities’ Council of BC, bringing increased attention and support to TRU’s development as a research university.