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TRU Williams Lake welcomes new academic director

Kylie Thomas started the job on Aug. 14
Kylie Thomas is the new academic director at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Thompson Rivers University has a new academic director at the Williams Lake campus who has roots in the region.

Kylie Thomas said her grandparents lived in Clinton and her grandfather Sid Elliott was mayor of the town at one point.

Although she was raised mostly in Alberta, she spent many vacations at Green Lake where her family had property. In 2017, her partner purchased a property in Lac La Hache where they are living.

“I’m living in our retirement home before retirement,” she said, chuckling.

Thomas comes to the position with experience working most recently at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Before that she worked in various roles at Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) in Merritt.

“I’m happy to back in B.C.,” she said. “I have family in Merritt all the way to Quesnel, spread throughout the Cariboo region.”

As the academic director, which is a new role at the campus, she will be in charge of basic operations and oversight of the campus to ensure they are delivering the TRU vision for the Williams Lake campus and regions.

Her educational background includes taking a journalism program at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, a legal assistant program at TRU and presently she is completing her doctorate in higher educational leadership at Western University in London, Ont.

Thomas has two daughters and her partner has three sons.

“We blended our family and my daughter is our youngest,” Thomas said. “She just graduated from high school and is going to university this year. I am going to be an empty-nester for the first time.”

Wednesday, Aug. 16, was her third day on the job and already Thomas was excited about the university’s legacy and the fact it’s been in Williams Lake since 1971.

The size of the campus attracted her too.

“I really enjoy the time I spent at NVIT. My heart is in access to post secondary education. I was from a small community in Alberta and it was quite a cultural shock to go off to SAIT right out of high school.”

Excited about the programs offered at TRU, she said a Women in Trades program just started on Monday, Aug. 14.

“It’s a group of dynamic women from our region having the opportunity to take an introduction to the trades to see where their interests might be.”

Outside of work Thomas loves live music and looks forward to seeing some cultural events in Williams Lake.

During the week of Sept. 5 the Williams Lake campus will welcome new students for orientation and some new faculty members.

A new librarian recently joined the university and has plans to extend the library hours as well, she said.

This year’s gala - A Night under the Stars - takes place Saturday, Oct. 14.

Each year the gala raised funds toward scholarships and bursaries for students.

READ MORE: TRU Williams Lake provides more options for women to try trades

READ MORE: TRU Williams Lake professor recognized for efforts to promote campus programs

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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