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Cindy Ross Friedman Graduate Bursary

for Environmental Activism and Social Justice Fund

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 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 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. A celebration of Cindy’s life will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Kamloops United Church, 421 St. Paul Street, Kamloops.

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 04, 2019

Photo Courtesy of Kamloops This Week.
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.
Cynthia’s Husband Tom Friedman & Cynthia.
Photo Courtesy of the BC New Democratic Party.
Photo Courtesy of Thompson Rivers University.
Application Deadline: April 1st
Cindy Ross Friedman Graduate Bursary for Environmental Activism and Social Justice

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.


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).

Initially there will be one bursary awarded annually of at least $1,000.00. In the future the number
of bursaries offered may be increased.


  1. The applicant must be enrolled in a graduate, professional or post baccalaureate program in
    an accredited post-secondary institution in Canada.
  2. The applicant will be required to submit, along with the completed application, a resume, a
    statement of how the graduate program will contribute to the betterment of the environment and social justice.
  3. The applicant must submit an essay “explaining how environmental activism contributes to social justice”.
  4. The applicant must 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.
  5. The applicant must exhibit financial need and provide a budget for their year of study with
    the application.
  6. The award must be claimed in the calendar year it is awarded.
  7. A recipient of the award can only receive it once.


  1. Complete the attached application form.
  2. With the application all the required documents outlined under the ‘Award Criteria’ above.
  3. The application and accompanying documents should be sent to the BC Interior Community
    Foundation office at #2 - 219 Victoria St., Kamloops, BC V2C 2A1 by March 1st.
  4. The applications will be reviewed by a committee of the B.C Interior Community Foundation.

Please Note: Once the award recipient has provided the BC Interior Community Foundation with proof
of registration at a Canadian Educational institution the award will be credited to the recipient’s account
at that institution. The recipient must claim the award within the calendar year it is awarded.

Submit the completed application form and documents requested by March 1st



The application requires that you include items 2, 3, 4, & 5 as listed in the Award Criteria. A budget for the year of studies must be included.
All applications must be received in the BC Interior Community Foundation office by March 1st. The applications will be reviewed and the award winner announced by the end of June.

Questions? Call the Office 250-434-6995. Submit by email or mail to:

By Email:
To: scholarships@bcicf.ca
Subject: Cindy Ross Friedman Graduate Bursary Award Application

By Mail:
BC Interior Community Foundation
#2 – 219 Victoria Street
Kamloops, BC V2C 2A1


Once the award recipient has provided the BC Interior Community Foundation with proof of registration at an accredited Canadian post secondary institution the award will be credited to
the recipient’s account at that institution.


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