Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute and Lakehead University Scientist developing a new method for breast imaging

Dr. Alla Reznik with TBRRI, Hospital and Lakehead University representatives


(November 21, 2013 - Thunder Bay, ON)

Dr. Alla Reznik, an Associate Professor of Physics at Lakehead University and Senior Scientist with the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI), is developing a new cancer imaging technique with financial support from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF).

The CBCF grant provides Dr. Reznik and her research team with $450,000 over three years to develop a Portable Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) device as a new method for breast imaging.
 
The PEM will be more effective for detecting tumours in younger women who generally have denser breast tissue.
 
“Mammography remains a primary tool to significantly reduce mortality from breast cancer. It is still the most efficient way to detect breast cancer in women over 50 years of age,” said Dr. Reznik, who was recently renewed as a Canada Research Chair in the Physics of Medical Imaging. “However, there is always room for improvement, especially in cases of younger high-risk women who have to be tested very often at early ages.”

Women with a family history of breast cancer are susceptible to an increased risk of development. Breast cancer in high-risk women is known to have early onset, and those women must be screened yearly at a substantially younger age than women who are at an average risk.
 
Current mammography uses compression between two plates and low dose X-rays to image the breast, showing the dense mass of a tumor in contrast to the breast tissue. However in dense breasts, this can make the image more difficult to interpret.

PEM, on the other hand, is a molecular breast imaging method that distinguishes between cancerous cells and normal cells using a radiotracer to highlight areas of abnormality. This allows for detection of small masses, regardless of the breast density, and doesn’t require compression of the breast.
 
“The work being done by Dr. Reznik and her research team is directly advancing one of TBRRI’s main strategic goals – achieving excellence in imaging with a focus on patient care,” said Dr. Roxanne Deslauriers, CEO, TBRRI, and VP Research, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). “The financial support from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation will go a long way to ensuring that this new and innovative imaging technique becomes a reality for patients in the Region – and perhaps someday, internationally.”

Dr. Rod Hanley, Lakehead University Provost and Vice-President (Academic), offered his congratulations to Dr. Reznik and her team.
 
“Dr. Reznik is one of Lakehead University’s shining stars – she is part of the reason we were ranked #1 in Ontario and #2 in Canada in research for universities of our size. Dr. Reznik’s innovation will save the lives of young women who can be more difficult to diagnose for breast cancer, and for that we are very proud,” said Dr. Hanley.
 
Sandra Palmaro, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Ontario Region, echoed those sentiments and the benefits to patients.
 
“We are very proud to support Dr. Reznik’s innovative and promising work. We know that the sooner breast cancer is detected, the better the outcome for patients and this is especially true for young women at high risk where detection through traditional mammography can be challenging,” said Palmaro. “As the largest funder of breast cancer research in Canada, we are hopeful that by funding the best and brightest scientists across the country, like Dr. Reznik, we will create a future without breast cancer.”


* * * *

 
Photo Cutline: (from left to right): Dr. Mark Henderson, EVP, Patient Services, TBRHSC, Regional VP, Cancer Care Ontario; Dr. Roxanne Deslauriers, CEO, TBRRI, VP Research, TBRHSC; Dr. Alla Reznik, Senior Scientist, TBRRI, Associate Professor of Physics, Lakehead University, Canada Research Chair in the Physics of Medical Imaging; Dr. Rod Hanley, Provost and VP (Academic), Lakehead University, Director, TBRRI Board; Bonnie Tittaferrante, volunteer Run Director, CIBC Run for the Cure (representing the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region)
 
 
 
                                                                             -30-
 
 
 
For more information, please contact:
 
Marcello Bernardo
Communications Officer
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Tel. 807.684.6765
bernarma@tbh.net

 
Brandon Walker
Media Relations Officer
Lakehead University
Tel. 807.343.8177
bwalker3@lakeheadu.ca
 

About Lakehead University
 
Lakehead University is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. More than 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. For more information about Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca
 

About the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute
 
Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute (TBRRI) – an independent, not-for-profit corporation – is the research arm of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Our scientists work closely with clinicians, medical professionals, and academic and industry partners to improve healthcare through excellence in patient-centred research focused on three molecular imaging-based platforms. Research is advanced through discovery and development of new technologies and processes that are brought to patients through clinical trials. With successful trial validation, discoveries proceed to commercialization for the benefit of patients everywhere. For more information, visit www.tbrri.com
 
 

About the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
 
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is the leading community-driven organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer. Our investments in innovative and relevant research and education have led to progress in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Since 1986, we have been at the forefront of a nationwide movement supporting and advocating for the breast cancer community. Join us at www.cbcf.org

Lakehead signs MOU with UAlberta’s Faculty of Arts School in Italy

December 5, 2013 ­­— Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University officials have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a relationship with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts School in Cortona, Italy.

The Memorandum of Understanding creates a framework to allow: 

  • Mobility of faculty and/or staff
  • Mobility of graduate and/or undergraduate students
  • Joint research activities and publications
  • Participation in seminars and academic meetings
  • Exchange of academic materials and other information
  • Special short-term academic programs

“This initiative with the University of Alberta will forge stronger connections between our institutions and the Italian community,” said Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson. “Today’s MOU signing is a collaboration that will not only bridge generations of Italians in Thunder Bay and Orillia with their Italian roots, it will also allow non-Italians to experience the rich history and culture of Italy.”

Dr. Rod Hanley, Lakehead University’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic), explained how today’s signing represents another success in Lakehead’s efforts to create partnerships with other postsecondary institutions that benefit students, faculty and staff.

“This MOU fosters relationships with our Italian communities while extending Lakehead’s reach around the globe to bring the world to our students,” Dr. Hanley said.

Currently, students from all of the University of Alberta’s faculties and disciplines travel to Cortona, Italy each year to enrol in courses that take advantage of the country’s unique Tuscan region. University of Alberta professors conduct regular classroom lectures (in English) on diverse topics like Renaissance Art, Roman Civilization, Italian language and Political Science.

Dr. Carl G. Amrhein, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta, came to Thunder Bay for the signing. “I would like to recognize the local Italian community for their generosity in supporting students to study at the University of Alberta School in Cortona, Italy,” he said. “Not only will this agreement strengthen the connection between the University of Alberta and Lakehead University, but also between the cities of Edmonton and Thunder Bay.”

Instead of reading about Italian art in a textbook, students actually travel to see Michelangelo's David.  Instead of learning the Italian language in a classroom, students will live it.  Studying at the School in Cortona is more than just attending lectures - it's about being immersed in a relevant cultural experience.

Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, Dr. Lesley Cormack, said, “The School in Cortona welcomes Lakehead University students. All our students benefit from the easy access to the cultural riches of Italy and the international and multidisciplinary perspectives that studying abroad affords. This agreement will now allow us to reach a wider audience of Canadian students to provide an experience that will resonate with them both academically and culturally.”

 

Institute of Italian Studies–Lakehead University Contributes $25,000

The Institute of Italian Studies-Lakehead University’s (IISLU) board of directors contributed $25,000 to the Cortona project through the Free Tuition scholarship program at Lakehead University. The funds will be used to send students to study in Cortona, Italy.

“To study the Italian language while being immersed in the culture of Italy is the ideal situation,” said IISLU’s President, Roy Piovesana, who believes Lakehead students will get a perspective on the study and understanding of Italian that they would never experience in Canada.

“For the Institute of Italian Studies, the encouragement of and financial support for the study of the Italian language and culture is central to the fulfillment of its mission and mandate,” Piovesana added.

Cortona Scholarship Recipients

Thanks to the IISLU’s contribution, approximately four Lakehead University students will have the opportunity to spend a month studying in Cortona, Italy.

The first Lakehead student to benefit from this collaboration between the IISLU, Lakehead University, and the University of Alberta, will be Jennifer Rankel, a third year Bachelor of Education student at Lakehead’s Orillia campus, who will spend January 2014 in Cortona.

In May 2014, Kelsey Pennanen and Paige Elizabeth Tyler, both second year students from Lakehead’s Thunder Bay campus, will also make the trip.

"I am so grateful to the Italian Society of Thunder Bay, Lakehead University, and the University of Alberta, for their generosity,” said Kelsey Pennanen, who is currently completing her Honours Bachelor of Science in Geoarchaeology. “I am so excited for the chance to study in Cortona, and how the experience and knowledge I will gain from this trip will broaden my understanding of the world and the amazing history it has to offer."

Paige Tyler is an Honours Bachelor of Science (Geography) and Bachelor of Education student who sees the opportunity to participate in the Cortona program as a dream come true. “I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of people, while learning about a new culture and language,” said Tyler. “Without this IISLU award, I would not have been able to take part in this life-changing opportunity.”

The application process for the international exchange scholarship to Cortona is the same as all Lakehead University exchange student initiatives.

 

Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson (left) and University of Alberta Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Carl G. Amrhein.

Lakehead University & UAlberta MOU Signing

Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson (left) and University of Alberta Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Carl G. Amrhein. 

Back row (left to right):  Cortona Scholarship Recipient, Kelsey Pennanen; IISLU President, Roy Piovesana; Lakehead University Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Rod Hanley; Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson; IISLU Vice-President, John Bonofiglio; IISLU Secretary and Treasurer, Richard Buset; Cortona Scholarship Recipient, Paige Tyler. Front row (left to right):  Stelle Dancers, Jessica Falcioni and Jamie Pauluzzo-Thom

Cortona Scholarship Recipients & Officials

Back row (left to right):  Cortona Scholarship Recipient, Kelsey Pennanen; IISLU President, Roy Piovesana; Lakehead University Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Rod Hanley; Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson; IISLU Vice-President, John Bonofiglio; IISLU Secretary and Treasurer, Richard Buset; Cortona Scholarship Recipient, Paige Tyler.

Front row (left to right):  Stelle Dancers, Jessica Falcioni and Jamie Pauluzzo-Thom

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Lakehead University Media Contact:

Brandon Walker, Media Relations Officer

mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca, or (807) 343-8177

University of Alberta Media Contacts:

Jamie Hanlon, Communication and Media Associate

jamie.hanlon@ualberta.ca, or (780) 492-9214

Andrea Graham, Senior Officer (Communications), Faculty of Arts

andrea.graham@ualberta.ca, or (780) 492-9136


Lakehead University is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. More than 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards
. For more information about Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is one of Canada’s top teaching and research universities, with an international reputation for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering, and health sciences. Home to more than 39,000 students and 15,000 faculty and staff, the university has an annual budget of $1.7 billion and attracts nearly $450 million in sponsored research revenue. The U of A offers close to 400 rigorous undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in 18 faculties on five campuses—including one rural and one francophone campus. The university has almost 250,000 alumni worldwide. The university and its people remain dedicated to the promise made in 1908 by founding president Henry Marshall Tory that knowledge shall be used for “uplifting the whole people.”

 

Leadership retreat expands horizons for Lakehead student

October 23, 2013

A group of Lakehead University students recently spent a weekend learning about themselves and their leadership potential at Youth Leadership Camps Canada (YLCC), located on Lake Simcoe near Orillia.

The 3-day leadership retreat was the first time that an off-site leadership training program has been offered at the Orillia campus and is an extension of the existing leadership workshop series that takes place on campus. The retreat was open to all students on a first-come, first-served basis and was supported by the Student Affairs budget, keeping the cost to students minimal. Under the direction of Brenda Melick and the Lakehead Orillia Student Affairs team, the weekend’s activities and workshops were facilitated by YLCC staff.  

Here is an account of the weekend’s activities from the perspective of one of the student participants, James McCalmont (19) of Keswick, who is a first year student in the Honours Bachelor of Commerce program.

-----------

James McCalmontThe reason I decided to sign up for the leadership retreat at YLCC was simply for the opportunity to enhance my own personal and cooperative skills, and most importantly, my leadership skills overall. I came into the weekend not knowing what to expect since I had done little to no research on the event’s agenda. This was intentional  – I thought that by knowing little about what was to occur over the weekend would help me make the most of the opportunity. Similar to going to a movie without even watching the preview, I like to live spontaneously from time to time.

The retreat has now become a significant event in my mind. It has provided me with a drive to want to help and give my time towards molding the future of the Lakehead experience, for myself and for my fellow students.

As students at a young school, we have a huge advantage; we are able to put on construction hard hats and really lay out the foundations and shape what university life will look like here at Lakehead. I think this is what the weekend has really taught me  – that the student body really does have a fair amount of control over what goes on at the school.

I was especially inspired by some of the retreat leaders who were senior students and Lakehead alumni. Even listening to fellow students who were older was motivating; it was cool to see these students still engaged and participating with first-year students.

One of the most valuable experiences at the retreat was being able to listen to other people, and watch how they slowly opened up more and more as the weekend progressed. Throughout the activities, the focus seemed to alternate from strengthening the internal leader within yourself, and being a leader for those that are around you. The process was a natural confidence builder. I saw people who were seemingly shy and nervous on the Friday become outgoing and engaging on the Sunday when we left.

A highlight for me was a workshop that focused on learning about character traits and I felt that this helped me learn a lot about myself. It was almost like I had these things hiding inside myself, and when I really pushed myself, I saw myself succeeding – not only succeeding on my own – but with the others around me.

The spider web challenge (an outdoor bungee cord obstacle that participants had to maneuver through without touching the web) activity was a great example of how we learned about teamwork. You begin with a challenge you feel is so overwhelming that you feel you won’t have the slightest chance at overcoming it, and then at the end of the exercise you are feeling so proud of yourself and your team for completing the task successfully. For me, this symbolized what the leadership retreat was all about.

In my future at Lakehead, I hope to become more involved in athletics, in order to improve myself personally, and to contribute to marketing team events and activities.

The weekend at YLCC has really motivated me to become open-minded, and to try things that I maybe wouldn’t normally try; speak to people I maybe don’t know; and try to expand my horizons by being involved in what this school has to offer. I also want to motivate my friends to get involved, and make it known that taking a leadership role is probably the most rewarding thing you can do while you’re here at Lakehead.

The “spider web challenge” taught students how to work together as a team to accomplish a task.

The “spider web challenge” taught students how to work together as a team to accomplish a task.

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Students prepare for teaching careers by building digital self-portraits

December 2013 - Article for Huronia Business Times

What is your digital self-portrait, and why is it important?

This is what some of Lakehead’s Education students are learning in a unique course called Digital Teaching and Learning. The course was originally created to provide Concurrent Education students with awareness of educational technology in elementary school environments. The course design now includes a focus on digital citizenship and online safety, and also encourages students to think about who they are in digital environments – as a student, and as an aspiring teacher.

I recently spoke to the course instructor, Helen DeWaard, to learn more about this interesting program.

What is a digital self-portrait and why is it part of your course?

In this course, the self-portrait is the culmination of everything the students have done in class and their final assignment. The result is an online resource in the form of a blog that includes links, images, audios, video and other Web 2.0 activities.

At the end of the course, the students will be able to walk away with something that will take them into a work environment. This is something that many others – students, teachers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and large corporations – are learning how to do in digital spaces.

What the students end up with is a showcase of their skills and interests in an authentic, collaborative and networked community. It describes who they are as a learner and who they will become as a teacher; it’s a way for the students to represent their skills, interests and passions. 

What do the students learn from the course?

Students come into the course with a variety of experiences gained from using digital technologies in their personal life – such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest – and at school with online resources and basic software programs. By the end of the course, the door to Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 resources is pushed wide open and the potential found in the digital world is exposed. Each week the students explore new web-based tools for collaboration, creation, curation, and communication.

Students learn that technology doesn’t limit or create learning. They learn that teaching comes from learning and trying things, making mistakes and fixing things. They learn that this happens in collaborative, collective spaces – face-to-face, or online. Asking big questions, finding their way around web technologies, constructing and creating messages for unknown audiences and being comfortable with uncertainty, are all elements that students learn in this course.

Why is this course important for Education students?

Teaching is about telling stories and making those stories memorable. Teachers need to tell their own story – just like a small business that needs to tell its story and make it compelling so others will become engaged and become customers. Teachers are sharing their enthusiasm for learning by becoming visible champions of their products – be it math, literacy, history, or physical education. Where better to do this than in digital spaces where others can be motivated by their message – anytime, anywhere.

Every teacher needs to be involved with, and understand, digital spaces because their students, the students’ parents, and others, are actively participating in these environments. In order to become aware and comfortable in a digital ‘skin’, students who aspire to become teachers need to practice their digital skills in a safe space and be able to make mistakes that won’t have a negative impact on their professional online presence.

What is the response from students to the course?

At the end of the course, students are asked to reflect on the process of creating their digital self-portrait. Many of the students entered the course feeling somewhat intimidated by new technologies, but it didn’t take them long to feel comfortable and have fun exploring. One student commented that it was a lot more fun to create your own blog than write another essay.

 

What students take from this course are not just the digital skills they have explored, but the ‘soft skills’ that any business looks for in a potential employee – communication, collaboration and initiative. Students have said they especially enjoyed the collaboration aspects of the course, both in the classroom and online. They are all looking forward to using their new digital skills in their future careers, whether in the classroom, or elsewhere.

 

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Helen DeWaard, instructor of Digital Teaching and Learning, a unique, new course offered to Education students at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus.
 

Helen DeWaard, instructor of Digital Teaching and Learning, a unique, new course offered to Education students at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus.

Lakehead University shares a remarkable year with its 2012-13 Annual Report

November 13, 2013 – Orillia and Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University is celebrating its success stories in Northwestern Ontario and Central Ontario through the release of the 2012-13 Annual Report.

The Annual Report describes the outstanding teaching and research occurring at both of Lakehead University’s campuses, and includes performance indicators and financial statements for 2012-13.

“What we’ve achieved over the past year proves that we are on the right track in our mission to be recognized as an innovative comprehensive university,” said Lakehead President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson.

A major milestone was the approval of the 2013-18 Strategic Plan.

“The Strategic Plan is based on five directions – nurturing scholarship, learner-centred student experience, growth and capacity development, community engagement, and economic development,” said Board of Governors Chair Cameron Clark. “By focusing on these directions, we are endeavouring to realize our vision of providing a transformative university experience that is far from ordinary.”

“Our Report to the Community is something I look forward to every year,” Dr. Stevenson added. “This Report and these events are essential to our mission to be recognized as an innovative comprehensive university that provides an education that is about how to think, not what to think."

Annual Report’s Top 10 Stories of 2012-2013:

  1. Former career diplomat, entrepreneur, and political strategist, Derek Hudson Burney, is installed as Lakehead’s eighth Chancellor;
  2. Simcoe County’s $1 million gift to Lakehead Orillia brings their total donation to $2.5 million;
  3. $1 million gift from The Paterson Foundation puts the Faculty of Law on the right path;
  4. Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration (CESME) launched;
  5. Inaugural academic appointments to the Faculty of Law;
  6. Lakehead approves Strategic Plan for 2013-2018 and undertakes major re-branding initiative;
  7. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux hired as Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives);
  8. Georgian College and Lakehead University announce a new partnership focused on innovative student learning;
  9. Lakehead faculty and students garner $2.9 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and $1.44 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for ground-breaking research work;
  10. Orillia campus reaches out to elementary students with Hands-on Science program.

Lakehead’s 2012-2013 Annual Report was presented to Central Ontario stakeholders at a Report to the Community luncheon, November 13. The Northwestern Ontario community will have its own Report to the Community breakfast on November 15.

Read the 2012-2013 Annual Report online at report.lakeheadu.ca and discover why Lakehead University is far from ordinary.

 Lakehead University released its 2012-2013 Annual Report at a luncheon on November 13 at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. Shown above (l to r) are Lakehead student Christina Petsinis, who was recognized as a Presidential Scholarship winner; Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson; Orillia Campus Acting Dean Dr. Herman van den Berg; and Lakehead student Sami Pritchard, who shared her Lakehead experience with guests.

Harry Hughes, Deputy Warden, County of Simcoe, addresses guests at Lakehead University's Report to Community luncheon, November 13 at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club.

Lakehead University released its 2012-2013 Annual Report at a luncheon on November 13 at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. Shown above (l to r) are Lakehead student Christina Petsinis, who was recognized as a Presidential Scholarship winner; Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson; Orillia Campus Acting Dean Dr. Herman van den Berg; and Lakehead student Sami Pritchard, who shared her Lakehead experience with guests.

Lakehead University released its 2012-2013 Annual Report at a luncheon on November 13 at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. Shown above (l to r) are Lakehead student Christina Petsinis, who was recognized as a Presidential Scholarship winner; Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson; Orillia Campus Acting Dean Dr. Herman van den Berg; and Lakehead student Sami Pritchard, who shared her Lakehead experience with guests.

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Media: For more information, please contact Communications Officer, Kathy Hunt, at 705-330-4008 ext. 2014 or kjhunt3@lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. More than 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. For more information about Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead Media Studies class inspires students to make a difference

Lakehead University Packet & Times column – December 12, 2013

Lakehead Media Studies class inspires students to make a difference

by Julie-Line Puckering

Hello! My name is Julie-Line Puckering (but everyone just calls me Julie), and I hail from Toronto. I’m a third year student in the Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science (HBASc) program, majoring in Media Studies for Social Change.

Last month, the Media Art & Activism class, taught by Lakehead’s Dr. Sandra Jeppesen, put together what is called a “protestival.” This is essentially a protest-festival, where we include an element of fun and interaction. A more worldly example of a protestival would be the Toronto Pride Parade – protesting in an inclusive, non-violent way. Our cause?  – to bring composting to the Lakehead Orillia campus.

Our class spent considerable time planning and creating the protestival event, which consisted of an information and activity centre on campus where we involved students in displays, giant bake sale, photo booth, and questions and answers.

This was the first year that the Media Art & Activism class was offered at Lakehead, so no one really knew what to expect. The class was open to any student in third or fourth year, so as Media Studies students, we were introduced to students with different media and artistic backgrounds. The course was an option for students with an interest in creativity or social justice, such as Julia Warner, an Education student, who said she was drawn to the course because of the unique blend of arts and activism.

We learned about the four main types of media (print, audio/visual, internet and street) and how activist groups take advantage of these different methods in order to get their message out to the world. There were many guest speakers from different activist causes that came to talk to us in class about their experiences in the real world.

The guest speakers were helpful in aiding us in our first task – learning how to make decisions and come to a consensus without a designated group leader. Being a class of 20-plus students, it was nearly impossible to have everyone agree on everything. However, since we were learning to take a horizontal stance on decision-making, we needed to learn to listen to the ideas of others and learn to let go of our own stubbornness in order to keep moving forward in the planning process.

After coming to an agreement on a topic for our protestival, we needed to come up with our mandate and demands. It took several weeks, and many lively discussions, and in the end, we were able to agree on our mandate: “To mobilize, influence, and motivate the student population and Lakehead community to utilize and promote green initiatives.”  We also identified three specific demands: the implementation of an on-campus composting program, the creation of a community garden, and the active use of the campus rainwater retention system. Based on these demands, we were able to start using different forms of media in order to promote our campaign and get our message out.

Posters and decorative compost bins were placed around the school in order to get the attention of students, staff and faculty. Some of the posters were filled with information about our demands, while others were simply hand-drawn illustrations depicting a rotting banana, with the words “Compost NOW.”  We also set up a Facebook page where visitors could find information about the status of Lakehead’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification, and were invited to join and support our cause. During the actual protestival, a group of students rocked out on a guitar and drummed on a compost bin to create music. And, of course, we occupied a fair amount of space in the Learning Commons, which attracted people passing by and brought attention to our cause.

The course required only one individual paper [assignment]; aside from that, it was primarily a group-centered class that involved everyone in some way. As my classmate Hailey Mulhall said, "This is the first time that I have gotten to know everyone in my class... it's pretty awesome.” Julia Warner added, "The experience has made me want to get more involved... before I took this course, I tended to stay in the background."

Overall, this course was pretty amazing. Sure, there were a lot of stressful moments, and yes, there were times when we wanted to give up. However, we never did. We kept pushing and going forward. This class really brought out the strength that students have and made us delve deeper into real issues. This class made us take another look at the world, and how we can help fix it. This class was a lot of fun – we were able to speak our minds, argue with each other, and have the opportunity to make a difference.

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Lakehead students Hailey Mulhall and Julie Puckering present a "zine" that was created (using one sheet of paper) to provide information about the University's environmental practices for a unique class project that resulted in a “protestival.”

Lakehead students Hailey Mulhall and Julie Puckering present a "zine" that was created (using one sheet of paper) to provide information about the University's environmental practices for a unique class project that resulted in a “protestival.”

County of Simcoe and Lakehead University further solidify partnership with $1M contribution and naming of building

Midhurst/November 26, 2013 – Lakehead University Orillia was presented a $1 million cheque by the County of Simcoe during County Council this morning in Midhurst, Ontario. This brings the total amount of contributions to Lakehead by the County of Simcoe to $3.5 million since 2009.

In recognition of the County’s ongoing, tremendous support, Lakehead University President & Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson, also made a major announcement by proudly proclaiming that the University’s Academic Building would be named Simcoe Hall. An official ceremony will be held at the Orillia Campus in spring 2014.

“The County of Simcoe has been enormously supportive of our University community and our Orillia campus since its inception,” said Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Brian Stevenson, who thanked the County on behalf of the University community and Lakehead’s Board of Governors. “Without the County, Lakehead University would not be in Orillia, today.”

“County Council recognizes the important impact that our partnership and support for both Lakehead University Orillia and Georgian College has in shaping the future of Simcoe County,” said Warden Cal Patterson. “Council is committed to implementing our 10-year economic development and tourism strategic plan and investing in our communities for the greater good of our residents. Thank you for naming your building Simcoe Hall — it is a great honour and we look forward to the official ceremony next spring.”

Dr. Stevenson stated that the County’s generous gift would go towards the funding of this world-class campus and enhancing every student’s academic experience. 

The County of Simcoe makes $1 million contribution to Lakehead University Orillia during County Council. Left to right: Warden Cal Patterson; Dr. Brian Stevenson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Lakehead University; Dr. Kim Fedderson, Dean and Vice Provost, Orillia Campus; and Mr. Bruce Waite, Member of the Lakehead University Board of Governors.

The County of Simcoe makes $1 million contribution to Lakehead University Orillia during County Council. Left to right: Warden Cal Patterson; Dr. Brian Stevenson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Lakehead University; Dr. Kim Fedderson, Dean and Vice Provost, Orillia Campus; and Mr. Bruce Waite, Member of the Lakehead University Board of Governors.   

Artist's rendering depicting Lakehead Orillia's Academic Building as the University's new Simcoe Hall.


Artist's rendering depicting Lakehead Orillia's Academic Building as the University's new Simcoe Hall

The County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca

Lakehead University is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. More than 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. For more information about Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

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County of Simcoe:

Allan Greenwood
Director, Corporate Communications

705-726-9300 ext. 1230

Allan.Greenwood@simcoe.ca

Lakehead University

Kathy Hunt

Communications Officer

705-330-4008 ext. 2014

kjhunt3@lakeheadu.ca

Local student wins Lakehead’s coveted Presidential Scholarship

Driven by a desire to make a difference, Christina Petsinis did just that at her high school, tentatively dipping her toe into student politics in Grade 9 before diving into new leadership positions, making a splash not only at her school, but also at the school board and provincial levels.

“I love politics and I love to make a positive difference,” said Petsinis, who started to blossom when she began Grade 9 at Innisdale Secondary School in Barrie.

“I remember my mom telling me, heading into Grade 9, that it was a fresh start,” said Petsinis. “She encouraged me to get involved.”

The exuberant student took the advice to heart, running for, and winning, a seat on student council that first year. She served throughout her four years at Innisdale, capping her political run by being elected council president in her final year.

Petsinis’s final year would also see her elected as a student trustee, earning her a seat on the Simcoe County District School Board and a member of the Ontario Student Trustees Association.

While maintaining a 94% average, Petsinis used her new position to be a voice for students, playing a leadership role in the province-wide Stick it to Fast Food movement and Students Against Bill 115 campaign.

At the same time, as part of her leadership class that year, she was elected as the project manager for Sportapalooza, an event hosted by Innisdale for 200 elementary school students with special needs.

“That was a highlight for sure,” said Petsinis. “We organized the entire day, handled media interviews… It was a great experience.”

The range of experiences shaped Petsinis, who decided a future in politics or media could be in the cards. She’d chosen to pursue those studies at the University of Guelph until a recruiter from Lakehead University showed up at Innisdale.

“It was just me and one other student and we were able to talk to him for over an hour,” said Petsinis. “He just really sold the school: the idea of a small, new campus, of small classes… It was exactly what I was looking for.”

That prompted a campus visit and, soon after, a change in plans. She decided Lakehead was for her. She also learned of the Presidential Scholarship offered at Lakehead and applied for it. The award is given out to a maximum of two students per year who have demonstrated leadership qualities and made significant contributions to their high school and their community.

This year, Petsinis became just the second student from the Orillia campus to win the coveted scholarship.

“I remember when I got the call… I was so excited,” said Petsinis. “I never did any of the things I did at high school in order to be recognized or to win a scholarship. But at the same time, it was kind of a vindication of all that hard work. Not only did it make me who I am, but it led me to that point.”

The passionate student has continued at Lakehead what she started in high school. The first-year student in the Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science program, with specializations in Media Studies and Political Science, is already heavily involved in campus life.

Petsinis was chosen as a floor rep for the student residence, voted president of the Residence Council, and is heading up the food and residence improvement committee.  She is also volunteering for the university’s student newspaper and has already had bylines in the paper.

“I love the atmosphere here. The campus is beautiful, the faculty have been great… It’s just what I hoped it would be,” said Petsinis, who chose to live on campus so she could be involved in campus life.

And while she is busy concentrating on her academics and volunteer roles, she has one eye on the future. She foresees a career path that likely starts in media and is followed by politics. She could see herself being an elected trustee one day, or serve a higher office.

“I am pretty driven and have high expectations of myself,” said Petsinis, who demonstrates a maturity beyond her 17 years.

So, Prime Minister Petsinis some day?

“I don’t know about that,” she says with a laugh. “But, you never know.”

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Lakehead Orillia student Christina Petsinis of Barrie

Lakehead Orillia student Christina Petsinis of Barrie, won the University’s Presidential Scholarship, representing just the second student from the Orillia campus to win the coveted award. She will be officially recognized for her achievement by the University’s Senate on October 21.

 

Kathy Hunt is the Communications Officer at Lakehead’s Orillia Campus and can be reached at kjhunt3@lakeheadu.ca.

Anishinaabe guest speaker presents Aboriginal perspective of local history

(October 29, 2013 – Orillia, ON)

The final event of Lakehead’s fall Aboriginal Speaker Series takes place on Thursday evening, November 7, and will feature special guest Dr. Darrell Manitowabi, who will present a lecture and discussion about the Coldwater-Narrows Experiment.

The Coldwater-Narrows Experiment (1830-1836) sought to convince Indigenous peoples to relocate to a narrow tract of land between the Coldwater River and the Narrows of Lakes Couchiching and Simcoe to farm, and convert to Christianity. The Experiment ultimately failed. In his presentation, Dr. Manitowabi will examine the events of this failed Experiment and its impact, including the eventual opening of Casino Rama.

Dr. Manitowabi is an assistant professor and director of the School of Native Human Services at Laurentian University in Sudbury. He is Anishinaabe from the Wikwemikong Unceded Reserve on Manitoulin Island and currently resides on the Whitefish River First Nation. He has a PhD in social/cultural anthropology from the University of Toronto and has published articles on Aboriginal gaming, Ojibwa/Anishinaabe ethnohistory, urban Aboriginal issues, Aboriginal diabetes, and traditional medicine. He recently completed research on the impacts of state socioeconomic interventions on Anishinaabe wellbeing and is currently involved in the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network, a nation-wide project focused on the enhancing research on the Urban Aboriginal experience.

 “This final event of the series will be thought-provoking and will offer a unique opportunity for people to learn about the fascinating history of the area,” says David Snake, Lakehead Orillia’s Aboriginal Liaison Advisor and series organizer.

The event takes place on Thursday, November 7 from 6 to 9 pm at Lakehead Orillia’s University Avenue campus (Room OA 2015). All events in the Series are open to the public and free of charge. For further details, please contact David Snake at dsnake@lakeheadu.ca

 David Snake, Lakehead Orillia’s Aboriginal Liaison Advisor and organizer of the University’s Aboriginal Speaker Series, is shown at the Narrows in Orillia.

David Snake, Lakehead Orillia’s Aboriginal Liaison Advisor and organizer of the University’s Aboriginal Speaker Series, is shown at the Narrows in Orillia. The upcoming November 7 event features guest speaker Dr. Darrell Manitowabi, who will discuss the fascinating history of the area.

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Media:  For more information, please contact Lakehead University’s Communications Officer, Kathy Hunt, at 705-330-4008 ext. 2014 orkjhunt3@lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. Over 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standardsFor more information about Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead Orillia Centre offers unique ways to get creative this summer

July 17, 2013 – Orillia, ON

For those interested in learning more about a favourite creative passion this summer, Lakehead University Orillia’s new “Gathering Place for Arts, Culture and Community,” may have just the right opportunity. 

Based on community interest, a series of short, fun workshops have been planned that offer creative instruction in acting, writing, stage directing, audio recording, filmmaking, stone sculpting, and painting.  

Coming up are one-day workshops that focus on Shakespeare’s most alluring characters (July 20, August 3 or 10); a three-day hands-on stage direction program (July 29 – 31); special Leacock Summer Festival packages, including a “Freeing the Writer Within” workshop by writer Lauren Carter (July 27); family painting workshop with artist Jeff Miller (July 30); a two-day workshop on how to make films with your smart phone (August 6, 7); stone sculpting with Karen Brodie (August 12); and an introduction to music recording at Unity Market Recording Studio in Barrie (August 13).

Details for all programs, including registration forms, can be found online at the Lakehead Orillia website. Some programs can also be combined with an overnight stay in the beautiful, new Lakehead Orillia residence, for a summer getaway experience.

To learn more about the Centre, visit www.lakeheadorilliacentre.ca or contact Program Director Kathryn Manners at 705-330-4008 ext. 2010, or kmanners@lakeheadu.ca

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Media:  For more information, please contact Lakehead University’s Communications Officer, Kathy Hunt, at 705-330-4008 ext. 2014 orkjhunt3@lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University is a comprehensive university with a reputation for a multidisciplinary teaching approach that emphasizes collaborative learning and independent critical thinking. Over 8,700 students and 1,850 faculty and staff learn and work at campuses located in Orillia, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, which is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Lakehead University promotes innovative research that supports local and regional socio-economic needs. In Orillia, development continues on building a campus that meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standardsFor more information about Lakehead University, visitwww.lakeheadu.ca

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