Cindy Ross Friedman: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Cindy Ross Friedman, PhD, FRSA

August 19, 1971 – December 24, 2018

The TRU Faculty Association is saddened to report the passing of our colleague, Dr. Cindy Ross Friedman on December 24th, 2018. We offer our deepest condolences to her husband, Dr. Tom Friedman and family, and to all Cindy’s friends, colleagues and former students who are grieving her loss.

Dr. Cindy Ross Friedman’s Obituary:

Tragically and unexpectedly, Cindy 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 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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