International Students call Lakehead Orillia Home

Lakehead students (l to r) Ruixia Liang, LinLin Feng, and Chenhan Chu of China are preparing to complete their Business degrees at the Orillia campus.

Lakehead students (l to r) Ruixia Liang, LinLin Feng, and Chenhan Chu of China are preparing to complete their Business degrees at the Orillia campus.

Travelling across an ocean alone and leaving your family and friends behind sounds like quite an intimidating experience. For three Lakehead Orillia students, that experience was their reality, and fortunately, the big risk was worth the big reward. 

“I was very excited to come to Canada to further my education. In the beginning, I did get a little homesick, but once I got involved in the Canadian lifestyle I began to enjoy it more and more,” says Chenhan Chu, one of three international students from China who study at Lakehead’s Orillia campus.

Chenhan, along with LinLin Feng and Ruixia Liang, came to Canada in 2012 to further their education in the English language. They first attended Columbia International College in Hamilton for two years to complete their high school diploma and prepare for post-secondary education. After graduation, all three decided that Lakehead Orillia was the university for them and joined the English Language Program taught by Dr. Jeff Hawkins, International Officer at the Orillia campus.

“The English Language Program is aimed at getting students’ proficiency in English up to a level where they feel comfortable and ready to begin their undergraduate studies,” explained Hawkins. “The students spend Monday to Friday together on campus, working on a variety of reading, writing and grammatical studies.”

Hawkins is extremely committed to the program, and, according to his students, is passionate about helping his students succeed.

“I love taking Jeff’s class. He takes total care of our academic needs and always encourages us to ask questions. We all feel comfortable talking to him and learning from him, as he never says no or turns us away when we need help,” said Feng when asked about her experience.

All three students are preparing to complete their Business degrees at Lakehead. When asked why they chose to attend Lakehead, they all agreed that they would not only receive a high-quality education here, but would also have a great community of people with whom to interact and practice their English.  “Larger schools have very diverse populations, so it could be easy to fall into speaking our own language and not have as much opportunity to practice English,” said Chu.

After spending a few months here, the students have discovered some of the highlights of living in Orillia and studying at Lakehead. They all mentioned the rural environment, especially the beautiful fall scenery, as well as the cleanliness and environmentally-friendly feel of the campus. In addition to their studies, the three students have also enjoyed Lakehead’s extracurricular activities, their favourite so far being a trip to Treetop Trekking at Horseshoe Valley. And they all agreed the small size of the campus helped in creating a good community for them and has made them feel comfortable.

Chu, Feng, and Liang are all excelling in their studies, and can’t wait to start their undergraduate classes, hopefully in the New Year.

As the Orillia campus expands, the University expects the number of international students to continue to grow. In addition to Chu, Feng, and Liang of China, Lakehead Orillia is also home to students from Norway, Cayman Islands and Nigeria.

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 Stephanie Edwards is a third year Lakehead University student (HBASc/Anthropology) who works with Lakehead Orillia’s Communications office.

 

Lakehead University to host Math Competition

February 12, 2014 – Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead's Department of Mathematical Sciences is privileged to be a regional host for the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest for the second year in a row.  The contest will be held in Thunder Bay on Sunday, March 23 in the University’s Ryan Building, between 12 and 3 pm.

“The Kangaroo Contest provides students with challenging questions beyond the regular curriculum that will spark their interest in mathematics. Participating in math contests boosts their confidence and gives them the opportunity to interact with like-minded peers,” said Dr. Monica Ilie, Mathematical Sciences Associate Professor.

The International Mathematical Kangaroo Contest is an international mathematical competition that takes place in 51 countries around the world. In 2013 more than 6 million students participated. Among them there were 2,357 Canadian students.

The Thunder Bay contest is open to students from Grade 1 to 8. For more information about the Canadian Math Kangaroo Contest, including registration and fees, go to http://kangaroo.math.ca/. The deadline for registration is March 10, 2014.  

Many prizes will be available in the form of medals and certificates for top-achieving students.

For further information about this mathematics contest, please contact Dr. Maria Grazia Viola (ph: 1-807-343-8688, e: mviola@lakeheadu.ca) or Dr. Monica Ilie (ph: 1-807-766-7224, e: milie@lakeheadu.ca).

 

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Media: For more information, please contact Brandon Walker, Media Relations Officer, at (807) 343-8177, or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by a new Strategic Plan (2013-2018), our University is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses, in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Home to Ontario’s first new Faculty of Law in 44 years (Fall 2013) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's West Campus, Lakehead is among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities (2014 Maclean’s University Rankings), as well as 1st in Ontario and 2nd in Canada for its innovative research (Re$earch Infosource). Our Orillia campus is the first in North America to be built entirely to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards. Share your Lakehead story as it relates to our Strategic Plan at www.lakeheadu.ca/presidents-office/nurturing-passion, and learn more about Lakehead at www.lakeheadu.ca.

New BOSS at Lakehead has entrepreneurial spirit and energy

November 13, 2014

A young entrepreneur has joined the student body at Lakehead University in Orillia, and as the newly elected president of the Business Orillia Student Society (BOSS), has great plans for the student organization.

Andrew Ault, 19-years-old, is a student in Lakehead’s Honours Bachelor of Commerce program, and hopes to bring his background and interest in business and sustainable development to the student-run BOSS.

What kind of background does a 19-year-old have in business, you wonder? According to his LinkedIn profile, Ault has quite a bit! At the age of 16 he invented a new energy-saving product called “Energy Boss;” then started his own marketing company at the age of 17; and in 2012 won the “Innovation Youth of the Year” award from the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.

After graduating from high school in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ault decided he wanted to get into politics, so he headed to Ottawa and landed a position as a parliamentary intern. While an intern, he studied Public Affairs and Policy Management at Carleton University.

“During my work in Ottawa, I quickly saw the value of understanding business to formulate practical public policy.” Ault began a search for university business programs and was attracted to Lakehead University in Orillia because of the “small college feel” and the program.

“Lakehead stood out among all of the business schools I looked at because of its interdisciplinary emphasis and cross-enterprise perspective,” said Ault. “Ideas from the liberal arts and sciences, along with a foundation of all functional areas of business is critical to solving complex problems in the 21st century,” he added.

Never expecting to run for president of BOSS in his first year at Lakehead, Ault says that he found it easy to get involved on campus. “There are so many opportunities here,” he said, “and if opportunity doesn’t knock, the school is very supportive of its students building new doors.”

Once he takes the BOSS helm in November, Ault will work with his executive and student members on a number of goals. These include building a partnership with Georgian College Orillia; developing services in business consulting and green product development; organizing career speed-dating nights; and hosting a business case competition at the University.

One of the first projects BOSS is working on is the partnership with Georgian. The group is planning a joint event where BOSS at Lakehead will be introduced to Georgian students and encouraged to form a business society at Georgian. “Together we’ll be better than the sum of our parts,” said Ault. “It will be a fusion of insights, including the practical emphasis at Georgian with the theory of our studies at Lakehead.”

With a good foundation built under the leadership of fellow Lakehead University business students, including past-president Mason Ainsworth, Ault looks forward to taking BOSS to new heights.  “By being exceptional and unconventional, I’m confident that BOSS will grow to become one of the University’s most valuable assets.”

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Andrew Ault

Andrew Ault, 19-years-old, is a student in Lakehead’s Honours Bachelor of Commerce program, and hopes to bring his background and interest in business and sustainable development to the student-run BOSS.

Filmmakers to visit Lakehead for career session and special screening

November 21, 2014 – Orillia, ON

Lakehead Orillia’s Media Studies Program is inviting all students and members of the public to a special screening of Sundance Film Festival Favorite, My Prairie Home, directed by Lakehead faculty member Chelsea McMullan.

The documentary will be shown at Lakehead’s Orillia campus in partnership with Lakehead’s Cinema Politica on November 26 at 7:00 pm.  The screening will follow a Media Studies Career session on filmmaking featuring director Chelsea McMullan, currently teaching in Lakehead’s Media Studies program, producer Lea Marin of the National Film Board, editor Avril Jacobson, and cinematographer Maya Bankovic. 

My Prairie Home takes viewers on a lyrical road trip with transgender Canadian singer/songwriter Rae Spoon, offering an intimate portrait of this extraordinary artist blended with stunning images of the Canadian Prairies and McMullan’s imaginative visual interpretations of selections from Spoon’s songbook.

During the career session, the film’s creators will share the triumphs and tribulations of carving out a niche for themselves in the Canadian film industry.  They will discuss their interpersonal relationships having worked together for the past ten years, and the importance of maintaining the creative relationships made in university.   This talk is presented in collaboration with Lakehead’s Department of Student Affairs.

The career session and film screening are open to all students and to members of the public. Admission is free. The career session takes place from 3:30 – 5:30 pm in room 1025, and the film will be shown at 7 pm in room 1033, both located in Simcoe Hall, at the University Avenue campus location.

For further information, view the film’s trailer at www.nfb.ca or email sjeppese@lakeheadu.ca.

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

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by its Strategic Plan (2013-2018), Lakehead is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2015 University Rankings places Lakehead University 2nd in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and 1st among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2014, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead 2nd in Ontario and 3rd among Canada’s undergraduate universities.

Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead Students Take Top Spot at Chemical Engineering Competition

Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014 – Thunder Bay, ON

A team of Lakehead University chemical engineering students placed first in the SNC-Lavalin Undergraduate Plant Design Competition held in Niagara Falls from Oct. 19-22.

Comprised of Nathan Blundon, Eric Czaczkowski, Travis Roske and Matt Smith, the Lakehead team came first in the finals against teams from the University of Waterloo and the University of Ottawa.

The Lakehead team designed a hydrogen plant that used a new process to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 28 percent compared to existing plants.

“I felt very prepared and confident,” said Matt Smith, who graduated from Lakehead in May and now works as a Process Engineer-in-Training in Shell Canada’s Oil Sands Upgrader in Alberta.

“We were all in different locations before the conference and we rehearsed by conference call, but then we practiced together several times in Niagara Falls and things went very well,” Smith said.

Travis Roske, who also graduated in May and is now a Field Engineer for Baker Hughes in its fracturing operations in Alberta, said this was the most important competition he has ever participated in. He’s excited about coming in first. 

“It felt pretty awesome. It was amazing to see the work the four of us did being rewarded,” Roske said. “It was a true team effort and we would not have been as successful without the help of everyone involved, including Dr. Lionel Catalan and Dr. Siamak Elyasi, who were mentors to the team.”

The winning team receives $1,000 and a one-year CSChE undergraduate membership.

“Everyone in our department is very proud of our winning plant design team,” said Dr. Lionel Catalan, Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering. “These students have worked very hard and they are an inspiration for future generations of Lakehead engineering students who will continue to excel in design competitions at a national level.”

Dr. Moira McPherson, Provost and Vice-President (Academic), said she was very impressed by the team’s achievement. “This remarkable achievement in such a high level competition attests to the top quality chemical engineering education offered at Lakehead University,” Dr. McPherson said.

The annual competition is hosted by the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE). Each year, chemical engineering departments from across Canada are invited to submit their top capstone design project reports to the competition. A panel of judges from industry, government and academia evaluates all entries. In the first round of the competition, the judges select the top three entries.

In the second round, the top three teams present their projects at the annual CSChE conference, and the judges make their final decision.

 From left to right are Matthew Smith, Travis Roske, Nathan Blundon and Eric Czaczkowski, members of the Lakehead University team that came first in the SNC-Lavalin Undergraduate Plant Design Competition.

  From left to right are Matthew Smith, Travis Roske, Nathan Blundon and Eric Czaczkowski, members of the Lakehead University team that came first in the SNC-Lavalin Undergraduate Plant Design Competition.

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Media: For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media Relations Officer, at (807) 343-8177, or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by its Strategic Plan (2013-2018), Lakehead is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2015 University Rankings places Lakehead University 2nd in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and 1st among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2014, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead 2nd in Ontario and 3rd among Canada’s undergraduate universities.

Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead athletes receive recognition

December 17, 2014 – Orillia, ON

Three Lakehead University athletes who demonstrated exemplary leadership, sportsmanship and athletic performance were recently recognized with the Orillia campus Plastics Protect & Holliswealth Athletic Achievement Award.

The award recognizes a different athlete each month, from October to March, based on nominations from team coaches. In addition to honouring the efforts of individual athletes, the award provides $500 to support the athlete’s team or club activities.

Fourth year Interdisciplinary Studies student Jocelyn Nicholls from Whitby, Ont. won the award for October. As president of the Dance Team, Nicholls has shown outstanding dedication to the club over the past four years. “Her incredible organizational abilities have helped build a great team,” says her coach. 

The November athlete is a member of the men’s basketball team – Akeem Are of Richmond Hill, a first year Criminology student. In his position as shooting guard, he has led the team in scoring in every game played throughout the season, and is described by his coach as someone who has “jump out of the gym” athleticism.

December’s athlete is soccer player Kaitlyn Mulholland of Collingwood, a third-year Criminology student. She is described as an athlete who contributes 100 per cent and has led her team by example, always looking to improve performance.

“We are extremely fortunate to have partners who recognize the unique opportunities for students at the Orillia campus and who want to support and help shape our growing athletics program,” said Kim Fedderson, Orillia Campus Dean and Vice-Provost.

The award was established under the direction of former Olympic and Canadian championship athlete, Michelle Cowell, who represents the award donor, Plastics Protect & HollisWealth – Benson Kearley IFG.

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Three Lakehead Orillia athletes were the recent recipients of the Plastics Protect & Holliswealth Athletic Achievement Award: (l to r) Jocelyn Nicholls, dance; Akeem Are, basketball; and Kaitlyn Mulholland, women’s soccer.

Three Lakehead Orillia athletes were the recent recipients of the Plastics Protect & Holliswealth Athletic Achievement Award: (l to r) Jocelyn Nicholls, dance; Akeem Are, basketball; and Kaitlyn Mulholland, women’s soccer.

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

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by its Strategic Plan (2013-2018), Lakehead is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2015 University Rankings places Lakehead University 2nd in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and 1st among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2014, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead 2nd in Ontario and 3rd among Canada’s undergraduate universities.

Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University Orillia Welcomes Prospective Students to Fall Preview Day

October 17, 2014 – Orillia, ON

Hundreds of prospective students and their families are expected to visit Lakehead University’s Orillia campus next weekend, as the University opens its doors for its annual Fall Preview Day. The event takes place on Saturday, October 25 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm at 500 University Avenue.

Preview Day gives prospective students the opportunity to explore the campus, meet their future professors, and learn from current students about what it’s like to be a student at Lakehead. Information sessions will help students gain valuable information about Lakehead’s programs, courses, and student life. A highlight will be the draw for a Freshman Prize Pack valued at $2,000 that contains “everything you’ll need to make first-year epic!”  

“This annual event showcases all of the unique programs and activities that Lakehead University Orillia has to offer,” says Lakehead Orillia’s Dean & Vice-Provost, Dr. Kim Fedderson. “We know that choosing a university is a difficult decision and attending Fall Preview Day is the perfect opportunity for students to see, first-hand, all of the exceptional options and opportunities that are available for them at Lakehead.”

For more information about Preview Day and to register to attend (although not required), visit: www.mylakehead.ca.

EVENT

Lakehead Orillia Fall Preview Day

   

When

Saturday, October 25, 2014

12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Where

Lakehead University, Orillia Campus

500 University Avenue

Orillia, ON

Prospective university students get a chance to meet professors and current students at Lakehead Orillia’s Fall Preview Day on Saturday, October 25.

Prospective university students get a chance to meet professors and current students at Lakehead Orillia’s Fall Preview Day on Saturday, October 25.

 Prospective students from across the province are expected to visit Lakehead Orillia for its Fall Preview Day on Saturday, October 25.

Prospective students from across the province are expected to visit Lakehead Orillia for its Fall Preview Day on Saturday, October 25.

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

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by a new Strategic Plan (2013-2018), our University is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses, in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s first new Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and Faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health and Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Science and Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education and Graduate Studies. Lakehead is among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities (2014 Maclean’s University Rankings), as well as 1st in Ontario and 2nd in Canada for its innovative research (Re$earch Infosource). Visit http://www.lakeheadu.ca.

Humanities 101 fundraiser celebrates community passion

November 25, 2014 – Orillia, ON

Last night (Monday, November 24) members of the community filled Brewery Bay in downtown Orillia for two dinner seatings to celebrate and raise funds for Lakehead University’s Humanities 101 program.

The fundraiser was organized in memory of Yuksel Gulmen, who was one of the founding community volunteers to help set up the program at the Orillia campus two years ago.

“Without the support and commitment from our community, we would not be able to continue to realize Yuksel’s goal of helping local residents access university opportunities,” said Yuksel’s husband, Tony Gulmen. “Humanities 101 meant a lot to her – she wanted to give students back some self-esteem and give them a chance to pursue their dreams.”

Two graduates of the Humanities 101 program, who are now full-time Lakehead University students, spoke about the opportunities Humanities 101 opened up for them. “I was inspired, especially by two of my Humanities 101 professors,” said Madeline Clarke. “They gave me the encouragement and confidence to return to school.” Erika Brown’s experience was similar. After taking time off after high school, it was the Humanities 101 program that made her want to take the step to university. ““We got to hear a little bit about the kinds of programs Lakehead offered and meet some of its great professors.” Both students are enrolled in the University’s Interdisciplinary Studies degree program.

Humanities 101 is a community-based outreach program that provides access to a university education experience to adult learners, despite financial and other barriers. Dozens of participants have successfully completed the program since it was launched at the Orillia campus in 2012, and several have gone on to explore post-secondary opportunities and make various important life changes.  The next 12-week session begins in January 2015.

To see photos from the event, visit Lakehead Orillia’s Facebook page here.

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 Humanities 101 graduates and current Lakehead students Madeline Clarke and Erika Brown spoke about their experience at the fundraising event for the Lakehead’s outreach program.

Humanities 101 graduates and current Lakehead students Madeline Clarke and Erika Brown spoke about their experience at the fundraising event for the Lakehead’s outreach program.

 Dr. Linda Rodenburg, director of Lakehead Orillia’s Humanities 101 program, with Steve Clarke of Brewery Bay, and Tony Gulmen, who helped organized the fundraising event.

Dr. Linda Rodenburg, director of Lakehead Orillia’s Humanities 101 program, with Steve Clarke of Brewery Bay, and Tony Gulmen, who helped organized the fundraising event.

 

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

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by its Strategic Plan (2013-2018), Lakehead is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2015 University Rankings places Lakehead University 2nd in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and 1st among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2014, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead 2nd in Ontario and 3rd among Canada’s undergraduate universities.

Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University shares exceptional year with its 2013-14 Annual Report

November 11, 2014 – Orillia, ON

Lakehead University’s commitment to a sustainable future took centre stage this afternoon.

People from communities across Simcoe County gathered at Hawk Ridge Golf Club to celebrate the release of the 2013-14 Annual Report, which focuses on Lakehead’s achievements in the spheres of economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

The close relationship between Lakehead University and the community was revealed by the $40 million impact of Lakehead’s operating expenditures on the City of Orillia and surrounding communities in 2013-14.

“As the president of a university committed to sustainability, I’m proud of the progress we’ve made over the last year and how we are transforming the world we live in,” said Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University President & Vice-Chancellor

At the lunch event, President Stevenson interviewed, as “host” in a talk show format, Lakehead faculty, students, and supporters who are contributing to healthier communities and ecosystems. Stephen Van Wart of TD Canada Trust spoke about TD’s commitment to student success through its new TD Impact Award. Lakehead faculty members, Dr. Katherine Becker and Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo shared news about a new research journal they established focused on early learning and development. And students Kayla Snyder and Brooke Marion talked about how the research opportunities they experienced at Lakehead allowed them to pursue their passion for environmental sustainability.

The event also highlighted some of the other 2013-14 accomplishments including the founding of the Research Centre for Sustainable Communities.

A Report to the Community launch will be held on the University’s Thunder Bay campus on November 13.

Read more about the exceptional work being done by Lakehead’s researchers, students, and alumni by going to report.lakeheadu.ca.

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Lakehead University’s annual Report to the Community luncheon featured a new talk show format with President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson hosting guest students, professors and community supporters. The event was held at the Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club on November 11.

Lakehead University’s annual Report to the Community luncheon featured a new talk show format with President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson hosting guest students, professors and community supporters. The event was held at the Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club on November 11.

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

In 2015, Lakehead University will celebrate 50 years of exceptional education. Guided by its Strategic Plan (2013-2018), Lakehead is known for providing an education focused on independent thinking, unconventional scholarship, and a close sense of community. About 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff learn and work in ten faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies.

Maclean’s 2015 University Rankings places Lakehead University 2nd in Ontario and among Canada’s Top 10 undergraduate universities, and 1st among Ontario’s undergraduate universities for Total Research Dollars, Social Sciences & Humanities Grants, and Library Expenses. In 2014, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead 2nd in Ontario and 3rd among Canada’s undergraduate universities.

Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead provides guidance and inspiration for Lakehead student veteran

November 14, 2014

For one student at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus, this week’s Remembrance Day services were especially meaningful, representing deep feelings of both sadness and hope.

Josh Briand, 34, is a fourth year Honours Bachelor of Social Work (HBSW) student who has spent over six years on a journey of recovery following a tour in Afghanistan in 2007 and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Briand decided to enter the armed forces shortly after high school during his first year of college. He realized that college wasn’t the best place for him at the time. “I wasn’t really ready for college and I saw my life going in the wrong direction.  I needed some discipline in my life, so I joined the military.”

After heading to Manitoba for training, then to Petawawa to join the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, Briand felt he was where he belonged. “I liked the military, even with its ups and downs; it helped to turn me into more of a man than the teenager I was. The military was bringing me up to where I wanted to be.”

Briand was part of a military disaster response team in Sri Lanka following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, and then, in 2007, was sent on an eight-month active combat tour to Afghanistan. This is where the situation changed for Briand and created the challenges he has struggled to overcome ever since.

“When I got back from Afghanistan, my life started going downhill.  In Afghanistan, I saw a lot of bad situations and had to do some things that went against my morals. When I got back, this experience translated in PTSD and when I realized I had hit rock bottom, I asked for help.”

Briand began a long series of treatment and referrals within the military, all the while being labeled and treated as a drug addict. Eventually, he was referred to a world-renowned treatment centre in British Columbia, where things started to look up for Briand.

“The Edgewood Centre in BC was where I met a psychiatrist, Dr. Vincent, who was the first one to diagnose me with PTSD,” said Briand. “I just got lucky to get Dr. Vincent; he saw something in me and told me that I was not an addict.”

Armed with a full report and explanation of his PTSD diagnosis, Briand was encouraged.  But to his disappointment, the information in Dr. Vincent’s report was not recognized by the military and Briand was sent back to counseling services to treat drug addiction. Discouraged, Briand slipped back into self-medication.

Another two years passed, and numerous visits with military counsellors and social workers, before Briand came to the realization that something was wrong with the treatment he and his fellow veterans, also suffering from PTSD, were receiving.

“I knew that to survive, something had to change,” said Briand. “I decided that I needed to be part of the change and this determination gave me the ability to handle my PTSD.”

A friend and fellow veteran encouraged Briand to leave the military and go back to school. Briand compared his situation at the time to trying to climb over a wall. “It felt like the military was hanging on to me, making it difficult to get over the wall.”

After nine years in the military, Briand was released and he enrolled in the Social Services Worker program at Sir Sandford Fleming College.

“College was a stepping stone for me,” said Briand. With a goal of wanting to raise awareness of PTSD, help mitigate the stigma associated with the disorder, and advocate for more relevant treatment, Briand learned that he would need more than a college diploma to meet his goals.

“College got me ready for university,” said Briand.  In 2011 Briand was accepted into the Honours Bachelor of Social Work program at Lakehead University. Now in his final year, he says the program has been both challenging and inspiring.

“The program at Lakehead has helped me know more about where I want to go and how to be successful,” explained Briand. “The most important thing I’ve learned is understanding my passion about where I want to be.”  

After graduating, Briand hopes to work in a treatment centre setting working with addictions and trauma. He also plans to pursue a Master of Social Work degree, something he knows he’ll need to achieve his goals.

His long-term plan is to open his own treatment centre to treat military personnel. “I would love to have my own holistic treatment centre and have the contract for military personnel.”

“Josh is a wonderful example of the dedication and drive of our students,” said  Lakehead Orillia Dean & Vice-Provost Kim Fedderson. “He will be taking the skills and knowledge he has gained at Lakehead and contributing to the improvement of our society.”

With the many challenges Briand has overcome, he will no doubt meet his career goals and make a difference, especially to those suffering from PTSD.

In fact, Briand says that Veterans Affairs already uses his journey of challenges and achievements as a success story. “I do feel fortunate when I look at where I was and where I am today.”

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 Josh Briand, a Social Work student at Lakehead and a Canadian Forces veteran, hopes to apply his training and education to providing holistic treatment to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Josh Briand, a Social Work student at Lakehead and a Canadian Forces veteran, hopes to apply his training and education to providing holistic treatment to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

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

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