Lakehead Professor Researching Challenges, Opportunities Facing the Voluntary Sector of Northwestern Ontario

(Thunder Bay - March 12, 2004) The voluntary sector of the region of Northwestern Ontario faces challenges and opportunities that are unique and can offer insight into the nature of volunteering in rural and remote locations, says Lakehead University researcher Dr. Doug West.

Dr. West is directing the Thunder Bay Voluntary Sector Research Evaluation Project (TBVSERP), which is designed to provide leadership and guidance for research into management and evaluation of the voluntary sector in Northwestern Ontario.

"This region is subject to a number of unique economic and demographic variables which include consistent youth out-migration, economic dependency on boom and bust natural resource markets, and a significant growth among the indigenous population in the region," says Dr. West.

West, who is also the Chair of Lakehead's Political Science Department, adds that anecdotal evidence suggests that the voluntary sector in this region is under-funded and therefore under-resourced to be able to achieve the full range of activities with regard to evaluation.

"This research will provide an overview of the activities of the sector in this region. It will focus specifically on voluntary organization evaluation, networking, partnership building, and community research capacity building among the various voluntary sector organizations, both Native and non-Native, and the major research institution of the region at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. The value for TBVSERP will be in our ability to build on the knowledge that the national VSERP project has generated, and to participate in the national COI and in other national VSERP 'connecting' activities."

TBVSERP will be presenting a workshop from April 16 to April 17. The Keynote Speaker will be Paula Speevak-Sladowski, Managing Director of the Centre for Voluntary Sector Research & Development at Carleton University, who will present "Voluntary Sector Evaluation: Where Do We Go From Here?" The workshop will be at the University in ATAC, Room 5035.

The project is a partner project with Volunteer Thunder Bay and the Lakehead Social Planning Council - Community Information and Referral Centre. For more information, visit

For more information on the Project or workshop, Dr. West is available by calling 807-343-8304 or 807-768-7827.


Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Communications Officer, Lakehead University, 343-8177.

One-of-a-Kind Learning at Lakehead University Paleo-DNA Laboratory

(Thunder Bay - March 11, 2004) Lakehead University's Paleo DNA Laboratory is offering students a unique hands-on learning experience with state-of-the-art technology.

From April 26 to May 14, the Lab will host national and international participants who will be taking part in an ancient DNA internship. The Paleo-DNA Lab is the only facility in the world that offers a training program in extraction, amplification, sequencing, and analysis of degraded and ancient nucleic acids (aDNA).

During the internship, participants work in small, independently supervised groups (one instructor to four interns), and proceed gradually through the various stages of aDNA analysis. Lectures by invited lecturers, professors and senior analysts on a wide variety of aDNA topics are integrated with the laboratory sessions. After the program is complete, the participants will have the background to begin conducting research projects on both archaeological, forensic and modern DNA as well as a familiarity with the statistical methods used in the interpretation of DNA results.

"This internship provides a chance for participants to learn a large number of the techniques applicable to molecular studies on degraded or ancient material with a large interest in forensic science," says Dr. Carney Matheson, Director at the Paleo-DNA Lab. "The participants interact with researchers from all over the world and receive lectures from invited speakers that are in many cases leaders in their field. It's really the chance of a lifetime for these students to gain first-hand working knowledge in ancient DNA."

Dr. Matheson is available for media interviews by calling 343-8864. More information and application form to the program can be found at


Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Communications Officer, Lakehead University, 343-8177

Lakehead U Commissions Commemorative Stamp for ATAC Grand Opening

(Thunder Bay, ON. March 9, 2004) Organizers of the Grand Opening Celebration of the Advanced Technology and Academic Centre (ATAC), Lakehead University, today announced a competition to design a commemorative postage stamp for ATAC. The competition is open to persons of all ages throughout the NW region.

Bonnie Moore, Director of Development at Lakehead University says: "The creation and building of ATAC has been a major project that has involved thousands of volunteers, donors, and service providers, and its completion represents the culmination of a grand vision for enhanced learning and teaching in the Northwest Region. A custom-designed stamp is a fitting way to commemorate the event - and further promote ATAC."

The theme of the Grand Celebration is "Opening Doors to the World." The theme is an acknowledgment of ATAC technology as the most advanced technology in use in universities today, and its ability to link learners and teachers alike across distances.

The stamp design will be for a 49-cent stamp (but should not show the postage cost), will be in colour, and must show the theme, the acronym ATAC, and Lakehead University (not the wordmark).

The competition officially opens March 9 and closes on April 9, when all submissions must be in. Submissions are limited to one entry per person, and must be 5 x 7" in size. They must be mailed or hand-delivered in a sealed envelope, to the attention of the ATAC Grand Opening Publicity and Promotion Committee, Attention Office of Communications, Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Road, Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1, with the name and contact number of the submitting person on a separate sheet of paper. Winners will be notified the week of April 19.

Complete rules are available at this link.

Among the judges are Ann Clarke, Faculty member, Lakehead University, Visual Arts; Barry Smith, Creative Director, Generator Advertising; Larry Hebert, Chair, ATAC Volunteers; Sean Hannaford, President of LUSU; and Eleanor Abaya, Lakehead University Director of Communications.An exhibit of all design entries will be shown at the ATAC Grand Opening on May 29.

For interviews, please call Eleanor Abaya, Director of Communications, at 343-8372, or Bonnie Moore, Director of Development, at 343-8747.

Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Communications Officer, Lakehead University, 343-8177.

Lakehead University Receives Major Research Boost from the CFI

Thunder Bay March 8, 2004 -- Two Lakehead University researchers have been honoured by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Dr. Ellie Prepas, faculty member in the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment, and Dr. Roger Strasser, founding dean of the Northern Ontario Medical School, each received a CFI New Opportunities Grant to support their research efforts.

Dr. Prepas is receiving $530,687 for infrastructure for her Watershed Integrated Nutrient Study Sites in the Boreal Forest project. And Dr. Strasser is receiving $2,000,101 for the Lakehead University Virtual Centre for Advanced Research in Teaching and Training (LUVCARTT), in partnership with Laurentian University.

"Lakehead University is involved in leading-edge research, and funding from the CFI ensures that the infrastructure is in place for this research to be conducted," says Dr. Fred Gilbert, President, Lakehead University. "We are proud of our researchers and the excellent, progressive work they produce at Lakehead."

"We can say with conviction that Canada is becoming a place where world-class researchers want to be," said Dr. David Strangway, President and CEO of the CFI. "This CFI investment will further develop Canada's global reputation as a place where outstanding research and training is being conducted."

Prime Minister Martin was with Dr. Strangway in Ottawa this morning to announce a total of $585.9 million to support 126 projects at 57 Canadian universities, colleges, hospitals and other non-profit research institutions. These investments were approved by the CFI Board of Directors and are awarded through two funds: $450.7 million under the Innovation Fund, enabling institutions to strengthen their research infrastructure in all areas of research, including the social sciences and humanities; and $135.2 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund, which assists universities with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects.

A complete list of Innovation Fund projects by university can be found at

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created in 1997 by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the ability of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other non-profit institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that will benefit Canadians.


Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, Lakehead University, 807-343-8177.

Valérie Poulin, Coordinator, Media Relations, Canada Foundation for Innovation, (613) 996-3160

PMO Press, Call (613) 957-5555

Lakehead U Challenges Grade 7 & 8 Students to Think Like Engineers

(Thunder Bay, March 2, 2004) The minds of Grade 7 and 8 students will be challenged at Lakehead University during National Engineering Week (February 27 to March 7). In order to get students thinking like engineers, they will be designing and building spaghetti bridges, paper airplanes, electromagnetic fishing poles, even an egg dropper that will allow the egg to fall from a two-story high elevation without breaking.

National Engineering Week is a Canada-wide, annual celebration designed to increase awareness of the importance of engineering and technology in our daily lives, and to encourage young people to consider engineering as their career of choice. These four competitions are designed and run by the Student Chapters of the Institutes of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEE), the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE), the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE), and the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (CSME). The Engineering Student Society (ESS) is coordinating the events at Lakehead.

The competitions take place in the Agora and the hallway on the main floor of the Centennial Building. The schedule is:

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Spaghetti Bridge and Paper Airplane Competitions
12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Electromagnet and Egg Drop Competitions.

Members of the media are welcome to speak with students and event organizers.

Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, Lakehead University, 807-343-8177.
Seimer Tsang, Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 807-343-8761

Lakehead U’s Steel Bridge Team Takes Second

(Thunder Bay, Ontario - March 4, 2004) The Lakehead University Civil Engineering team received a second-place standing at the American Institute of Steel Construction/American Society for Civil Engineering Mid-West Regional Student Steel Bridge Competition this past weekend at the University of Minnesota.

The goal of the competition is to design a 1/10 scale model replacement bridge that meets a set of specifications. The specifications for the bridges changes from year to year, constantly challenging the engineering skills of Civil Engineering Students from Universities all over the United States and Canada. Not only does the event test the students' structural design capabilities, it also challenges them to actually fabricate and construct their design. The bridges are judged based on lightness, construction speed, stiffness (deflection), aesthetics, efficiency and economy.

The Lakehead team, the only Canadian team in the competition, comprises: Gail Cryer, Tyler Madigan, James Neufeld, Neil Penner, Erick Fisk, and Lori Foti. Their 26-foot long bridge weighed 109lbs and was assembled in 7 minutes and 13 seconds.

The bridge is designed and fabricated at the University by the students, and it is constructed into pieces of a specific size that are to be assembled in competition. Spectators watch as the team assembles the bridge as quickly as possible. Once assembled, the bridge is weighed and then loaded with 2500lbs of weight to test the deflection. The challenge of this year's competition was the placement of the load along the bridge. The placement of two of the loads was determined by the roll of a dice. The teams had to design their bridges by examining thirty-six possible load cases.

"Our team works well together, and I'm very pleased with their accomplishments at the competition," says Dr. Timo Tikka, the team's faculty advisory and professor in the Faculty of Civil Engineering at Lakehead.

The bridge took second prize for aesthetics, seventh for assembly time, and second for structural efficiency - placing second overall. This ranking qualifies Lakehead for the U.S. National Steel Bridge Competition to be held in Denver, Colorado on May 28-29. Lakehead's teams have done consistently well at the national level, placing second in 2002 and fifth in 2003.

The team is looking for sponsors for their upcoming competition.

Dr. Tikka is available for interviews by calling him directly at 343-8560.


Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, Lakehead University, 807-343-8177.

New Local Volunteer Team Chair for ATAC Announced

(Thunder Bay - March 5, 2004) Larry Hebert is Lakehead University's new Advanced Technology and Academic Centre (ATAC) Local Volunteer Team Chair. He takes over from Russ York, who has been with the ATAC Campaign since the Spring of 2003.

Lakehead University's fundraising volunteers have been successful in raising just over $4.5 million dollars to date.

"Volunteering is a noble act. It requires one to not only be selfless but to be informed and dedicated to the cause," says Dr. Fred Gilbert, President, Lakehead University. "Our fundraising volunteers engaged because they saw the importance of ATAC not only to Lakehead University but to the community of Thunder Bay as a whole."

"It is my pleasure to join a Team so dedicated, so involved with their cause," says Mr. Hebert. "I hope to take this Team down the home stretch of the campaign, and to bring in new volunteers to assist us in reaching our goal."

Lakehead University is at 77% of the project goal of $44 million dollars for the Centre. For more information, please call Bonnie Moore, Director of Development, Lakehead University, at 807-343-8747.


Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, Lakehead University, 807-343-8177.

Lakehead U Increases Values of Entrance Scholarships

(Thunder Bay - February 25, 2004) Lakehead University is pleased to announce that the values of entrance scholarships for high school students entering the 2004-2005 school year has been increased.

The new entrance scholarships are valued at:

Marks Value, Duration
95% and above $14,000 over 4 years
90.0% to 94.9%$10,000 over 4 years
85.0% to 89.9%$ 5,200 over 4 years
82.5% to 84.9%$ 4,000 over 4 years
80.0% to 82.4%$ 3,000 over 4 years

For 2003-2004 Entrance Scholarship Table values were:

95.0% and above $10,000over 4 years
90.0% - 94.9% $7,000 over 4 years
85.0% - 89.9% $5,000 over 4 years
80.0% - 84.9% $1,200 over 4 years

The scholarships are renewable provided an 80% average is maintained in each subsequent year.

"Lakehead University is committed to the success of its students, and academic excellence should be rewarded," says Dr. Fred Gilbert, President at Lakehead. "Offering entrance scholarships to high school students who have worked diligently to obtain top marks is just one way Lakehead demonstrates its support for students."

Entrance scholarships are automatically offered to high-ranking students based on high school average of Grade 12 U and/or M courses or equivalent at the time of the acceptance offer to Lakehead University. Last year, there were 550 entrance scholarships offered to incoming first-year students by Lakehead University. For more information on scholarships and awards, visit Lakehead University's Financial Aid Office at: or call 343-8206.

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA: Interviews can be scheduled with Dr. Gilbert by calling Marla Tomlinson at 343-8177.


Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Communications Officer, Lakehead University, 807-343-8177

Lakehead University Strengthening its Image

(Thunder Bay - February 9, 2004) Lakehead University is looking to the future and plans on being a household name in all of Ontario when talking about post-secondary education.

"As part of our overall growth strategy for the future, the University recently launched its Visual Identity Program (VIP), which will distinguish the Lakehead brand in the marketplace and strengthen the University's identity," says Eleanor Abaya, Lakehead University's Director of Communications.

Lakehead's brand promise is: 'We recognize and help realize individual potential." This positions Lakehead in the marketplace as a university that truly focuses on the student. This was reflected in the University's "We See You" Awareness Campaign that was launched in the Greater Toronto Area this past November, and continued until the end of January.

"By emphasizing our belief in the potential of every incoming student and our ability to help them realize that potential, the brand promise highlights Lakehead's commitment to offering a special educational experience," says Dr. Fred Gilbert, President of Lakehead University.

Brand recognition is important in building a strong identity because it creates trust and instils confidence. As part of the VIP, an internal Guidebook has been created so that all materials produced by and for Lakehead University are readily identified as Lakehead's, and represent what the University stands for.

"The visual identity of any institution embodies its beliefs, aspirations, and objectives," Abaya says. "It is the cornerstone of communication and must reflect a clear and consistent message. A consistent approach maintains a stable image across all applications, from stationery to advertising, video productions, websites, and signage."

An integral part of the VIP is the development of a new, fresher overall design for the website, with greater functionality. It is expected the entire website will have changed over to the new design by December, 2004.

Dr. Frederick Gilbert and Eleanor Abaya are available for media interviews. Please contact Marla Tomlinson, Communications Officer, 807-343-8177, to arrange for interviews.


Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, 807-343-8177

Managing Used Nuclear Fuel Topic of New Lakehead University Speaker Series

The president of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) will be on campus to make a presentation entitled "Managing Used Nuclear Fuel."
What: Elizabeth Dowdeswell, President, Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), public lecture, "Managing Used Nuclear Fuel"
When: Thursday, February 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Lakehead University, ATAC, Room 1001.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is the organization tasked with recommending a management approach for the long-term care of Canada's used nuclear fuel to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada by November 2005. From the beginning, the NWMO study has involved Canadians, listening to how they want to be involved, and considering and integrating their views in the process. Public involvement is critical as this issue affects all Canadians and generations into the future.

Protecting humanity and the environment from the threat of exposed nuclear wastes over long time frames and changing conditions could be considered one of our biggest scientific, ethical, and technical challenges.

Members of the media are welcome to attend this event. Ms. Dowdeswell will be available for interview prior to the lecture at 6 p.m. However, if media are unable to attend at 6 p.m., interviews may be conducted after the lecture.

This presentation is hosted by Lakehead University, in cooperation with the Chronicle Journal and Travelodge Hotel Airlane.
Contact: Marla Tomlinson, Office of Communications, 807-343-8177