Home » Student Award » Cindy Ross Friedman Graduate Bursary for Environmental Activism and Social Justice
Cindy Ross Friedman Graduate Bursary for Environmental Activism and Social Justice
Fund Categories: Bursary
Application Deadline: April 1st
Award amount: $1,000

Established by the family and friends of Cindy Ross Friedman, including her husband Tom Friedman, this fund is to provide financial assistance to a student with demonstrated need in a graduate, post-baccalaureate or professional program (Law, Medicine, etc.) with a focus on environmental and social justice issues.

A tireless commitment to fighting for social and environmental justice in Kamloops and region has earned science faculty member Dr. Cynthia Ross Friedman a designation of Fellow in the prestigious Royal Society for the Arts (RSA).

Photo Courtesy of Castanet

A fund in honour of Cynthia

When Cynthia Ross Friedman passed away suddenly, friends and family wanted to honour her legacy

CYNTHIA (CINDY) FRIEDMAN, PHD, FRSA August 19, 1971 – December 24, 2018
As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 04, 2019

Tragically and unexpectedly, Cindy (née Ross) died due to an aortic dissection on Christmas Eve morning while visiting her family in Penticton. She was 47 years old.

Mourning her are her husband Tom, her stepsons, Nathan and Benjamin, her mother Rose Anne Ross, her sister Kelly Ross, her brother-in-law Alex Lafreniere and her extended family in BC, Manitoba and Ontario. Cindy was predeceased by her father Paul.

Cindy was born in Winnipeg and educated at the University of Manitoba which awarded her a PhD in Biological Sciences in 2002. She taught at U. of M. and then moved to Kamloops, BC in 2004. She and Tom married in 2007.

Her distinguished academic career included awards for teaching, research and service and many publications on Arceuthobium – dwarf mistletoe – including in the prestigious Nature Communications. She twice appeared on CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald to discuss her research.

Cindy was inducted into the inaugural cohort of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in 2014, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (U.K.) in 2016 in recognition of her commitment to social and environmental justice. She appreciated the respect of her peers in the scientific community but was most proud of her role in mentoring and inspiring students.

Most recently, Cindy taught at the University of Alberta and Concordia University of Edmonton. Cindy was an early opponent of the proposed Ajax mine and was instrumental in organizing community forums and rallying opposition to the mine through her work with the Kamloops Area Preservation Association. She was an active member of the Kamloops & District Labour Council and the TRU Faculty Association and advocated tenaciously for workers’ rights.

Cindy strongly believed that scientists have a duty to effect change through public engagement, an undertaking she embraced fearlessly throughout her life. Outside of her academic and community involvement, Cindy was an accomplished keyboardist and vocalist, performing both solo and with the Latin band Caliente. Her interest in genetics early in her career led to a love of Sphynx cats and she was a strong supporter of the SPCA.

Our world is significantly diminished by her death.


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    Cindy Ross Friedman Application - Revised

    APPLICATION: Cindy Ross Friedman Graduate Bursary

    This Fund was started in memory of Cindy Ross Friedman, a Professor at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC to provide a bursary to students entering or enrolled in a graduate, professional or post-baccalaureate program at a Canadian University. The student's study must focus on environmental activism and/or social justice with the preference being to both. Examples of programs that are eligible include Environmental Science, Law, Education, Urban Planning, Political Science and Public Health.

    Please note that when completing this application, all sections that are marked with a red asterisk (star) are required information. You will not be able to submit this form if there is missing information.


    • Amount: minimum of $1,000
    • Selected by the BC Interior Community Foundation Scholarship Committee together with the fundholders
    • Awarded by the end of June.
    • The successful applicant must claim the award by December 31st of the year awarded
    You must meet all of the criteria below to qualify and apply for this award.

    • The award is available to students who originate or are studying in the area that the Foundation serves (South Cariboo and Thompson Nicola area of British Columbia).
    • The applicant must be enrolled in a graduate, professional or post baccalaureate program in an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada.
    • The recipient must not have previously received this award.
    Criteria / Requirements

    • Submit a resume, a statement of how the graduate program will contribute to the betterment of the environment and social justice.
    • Essay explaining how environmental activism contributes to social justice.
    • Provide an outline of the student's previous experience illustrating their commitment to volunteer work and undergraduate or graduate research in the areas of environment and social justice.
    • The applicant must exhibit financial need and provide a budget for their year of study.


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