Lakehead University’s Research Awards Celebrate Excellence

March 6, 2014 – Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University’s Research and Innovation Awards Reception was held on Thursday, March 6 to celebrate the dedication and hard work of researchers and students.

“Because of this passion, Lakehead University was recently ranked number one in Ontario and number two in Canada for research by Re$earch Infosource,” said Dr. Rod Hanley, Acting Vice-President (Research, Economic Development and Innovation) and Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

Dr. Han Chen, a professor in the Faculty of Natural Resource Management, is the recipient of Lakehead University’s Distinguished Researcher Award in the NSERC category.

Dr. Chen has made amazing progress by establishing a vigorous, externally funded research program in forest ecology, attracting $2.5 million in funding since joining Lakehead University in 2003.

He has established a strong research team consisting of MSc and PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. In the last 10 years, seven PhD and nine MSc students have successfully graduated under Dr. Chen’s supervision, all continuing with their research careers.

“Dr. Chen has been acknowledged as a leader in forest ecology and was invited to be a keynote speaker more than 20 times at conferences and university departmental research seminars during his time at Lakehead,” Dr. Hanley said.

Also recognized on Thursday was Dr. Pauline Sameshima, who was presented with a framed letter from Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulating her for being Lakehead University’s newest Canada Research Chair.

Last year Dr. Sameshima, an Associate Professor in Lakehead’s Faculty of Education, was awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies.

Dr. Sameshima was also awarded more than $25,000 by the Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund to develop an Arts Integrated Research Lab at Lakehead University.

Her current work at Lakehead focuses on arts integrated studies in methamphetamine addiction, cervical cancer, dementia and pre-service teacher preparation.

Dr. Sameshima came to Lakehead from Washington State University where she taught Arts Integrated Research in the Teacher Education Program and the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education Graduate Program.

She has published three books and various articles, exhibited research artwork, won an early career award from the American Educational Research Association and was recognized with a civic engagement award from the University of Washington State.

“A special thank you and congratulations to all of our recipients,” added Dr. Hanley.

Other recipients include:

High Output and Publication Excellence Award

  • Zaid Altaany, PhD Biotechnology
  • Cassandra Ostrom, MSc Chemistry

Best of the Best Awards

Oral Presentation

  • Robert Jackson - PhD Biotechnology

Poster Presentation

  • Nadiya Dragneva, PhD Biotechnology

Postdoctoral Fellows Poster Awards

  • First Place: Maduraiveeran Govindhan
  • Second Place: Wen Tao Sui
  • Third Place: Lana Ozen

Innovation Award

  • Sapanbir S. Thind, PhD Chemistry and Materials Science

Building Research Capacity Award

  • Dr. Chander Shahi, Faculty of Natural Resource Management

Contributions to Research Award

Dr. Christopher Parkes, Department of English


– 30 –



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



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, and learn more about Lakehead at