W. ROBERT WOOD – PROVOST
Bob Wood, Ph.D. is a theoretical physicist. He earned his B.Sc. (Hons) in Physics and M.Sc. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Saskatchewan in 1982 and 1986, respectively, and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics (1992) from the University of Regina. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Lethbridge (1985-86). He is the author/co-author of more than 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. Bob joined the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences at Trinity Western University immediately upon completion of his Ph.D. During his first ten years at TWU, he was the Coordinator of Physics and served on multiple committees/councils including the Undergraduate Academic Council, the Tenure and Promotion Committee, and the Faculty Affairs Committee. In the last ten years, he has held various academic administrative positions including Assistant Academic Dean, Associate Academic Vice President, and Vice Provost. Robert and his wife Marlene have four children and one grandson.
PHILIP G. LAIRD – VICE PROVOST, TWU GLOBAL
Philip G. Laird, Ph.D. earned his BA in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1990, his MA in Social/Developmental Psychology from Simon Fraser University in 2003, and his Ph.D. in Psychology with a special designation in Psychology and the Law in 1997 from Simon Fraser University. Phil joined the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Trinity Western University in 1995 and served as a faculty member in Psychology conducting research on moral reasoning, moral attributions, and jury decision-making. During his first seven years at TWU, he served on multiple committees/councils including the Faculty Affairs Executive, Academic Technology Committee, Mediated Learning Taskforce and TWEST Council. He transitioned to University Administration in 2001 as the Director of the Global Mediated Learning Center and has subsequently held various academic administrative positions including Dean of Global Learning Connections and Associate Provost. Leading many new initiatives at TWU, Phil currently provides leadership to non-traditional learning programs and students including online and mediated learning programs, summer sessions, adult professional programs, and global education programs.
Phil also holds the title of Vice President of Innovation, Global and Academic Partnerships and is a member of the Trinity Western University Executive Leadership Team.
SONYA GRYPMA – Vice Provost, Graduate Studies
Sonya Grypma, Ph.D. is the Vice Provost, Graduate Studies at Trinity Western University. Sonya joined TWU in 2007 as a faculty member in the School of Nursing, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2012. She served as Dean of Nursing from 2013-2019, and Dean of GLOBAL from 2019-21. She also served as TWU Senior Health Advisor for COVID-19 from 2020-21.
Both a nurse and historian, Sonya has been a research fellow at UBC, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Virginia. Her program of research for the past 20 years has focused on transnational nursing history, particularly the intersection of Canadian, American and Chinese nursing networks developed through philanthropic, missionary and nursing organizations prior to 1948. She has been an invited keynote speaker on four continents, and has published three scholarly books on missionary history: Healing Henan (UBC Press, 2008); China Interrupted (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012), and Nursing Shifts in Sichuan (UBC Press, 2021).
Sonya is the former President of the Canadian Association for Schools of Nursing--Association canadienne des écoles de sciences. She is currently a member of the Trinity Western University Executive Leadership Team.
LAURIE MATTHIAS – ASSOCIATE PROVOST, TEACHING + LEARNING
Building on a bachelor’s degree in English education and over two decades teaching English in secondary schools, Laurie Matthias, Ed.D. earned both a Master of Education degree and a doctorate in higher education with an emphasis in teaching from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She served twelve years as a faculty member in education at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois where she also directed the graduate programs in education and founded the Center for Integrative Faculty Development for the entire university faculty. She was the only faculty member awarded the President’s Prize for Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching twice within a five-year period. In her role as Associate Provost, Teaching and Learning, she brings expertise in and passion for the integration of faith and learning, the alignment of student learning outcomes with instruction and assessment, and a desire to honor and celebrate diversity in the university community.
richard chandra – Associate Provost, Research
Richard Chandra, Ph.D. joined TWU in 2019 as the Director of Research Services in the Office of Research, and was appointed as the Associate Provost, Research in 2021.
Richard worked previously at the University of British Columbia as a Researcher in the UBC Bioenergy Research Group and the Department of Chemistry and also as a Research Scientist working on the development of renewable nano-materials for the Government of Alberta (Innotech Alberta). Richard’s 25 year multi-disciplinary research career has focused on the development of renewable and sustainable fuels, chemicals and materials from the abundant woody and plant materials that we have here in Canada. His research has resulted in 75 peer reviewed journal publications including a publication in Science magazine entitled: “Lignin valorization: improving lignin processing in the biorefinery” and >100 conference presentations, including several keynotes at international conferences. Richard has been awarded the Wallenberg Young Researchers Award and the American Chemical Society Graduate Student award in Cellulose and Renewable Materials. He completed his PhD. (organic chemistry/biochemistry applied to renewable materials) at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology (now the Renewable Bio-products Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology) and his MSc.(Wood Science) and BSc (Microbiology) at the University of British Columbia.
Richard is extremely passionate about growing research culture and research resources at TWU and working with TWU Faculty to continue to develop their research programs.
Patricia Victor – University Siya:m
Patti is Sto:lo, living on the traditional ancestral unceded territory of Cheam First Nation where she enjoys her children and grandchildren. She and her late husband Gary are the founding pastors of a thriving First Nations Church in Chilliwack. She is an ordained minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.
Patti earned her B.A. in Pastoral Theology at Summit Pacific and her M.A. in Leadership at Trinity Western University. She is the chair of Indigenous Partnership Council and director of Institute of Indigenous Issues and Perspectives. In her role of TWU Siya:m, Patti teaches Indigenous perspectives across disciplines; coaches and mentors Indigenous students; builds relationships with Aboriginal communities; and provides opportunities for TWU community to understand Indigenous perspectives in education, spirituality, community, history and reconciliation.
Patti's passion is to build bridges with Aboriginal community through education: through professional development workshops for educators, Aboriginal Awareness workshops for churches or facilitating events where greater understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing and being are developed and the journey of reconciliation can flourish.