Lakehead professor studied 1.4 billion-year-old rocks near Dorion to determine abundance of life on Earth

 Photo of Dr. Phil Fralick

July 18, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

A Lakehead University Geology professor is part of a team of researchers who collaborated on an article exploring oxygen and life on Earth that Nature.com will release soon. 

The article describes how the researchers used gypsum east of Thunder Bay to determine if there was as much life on Earth approximately one billion, four hundred million years ago as there is now.

“The group of scientists I worked with devised a way to determine how abundant life was in the past compared to today,” Dr. Phil Fralick said.

“Oxygen is a key element in the life processes of both plants and animals. It is given off when plants photosynthesize and animals breathe it in to burn calories in their bodies.”

Oxygen occurs as three isotopes – atoms with the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons. The ratio of each of these isotopes to one another is constant on Earth, but animals and plants interacting with oxygen change the isotope ratios in the atmosphere, Dr. Fralick said.

 “The more interaction there is with life the more the ratios change. So, if we could measure the isotope ratios of oxygen at a time in the past we could compare the results to today's atmosphere and see if life on Earth was more or less abundant. In fact, we can sample the ancient atmosphere,” he said.

The mineral gypsum, the white stuff in wallboard, comes out of solution in the ocean and saline lakes when the water evaporates and gypsum has oxygen in it that had been in the atmosphere.

“There are old dried-up saline lake deposits to the east of Thunder Bay. The gypsum is in the red rocks from Dorion to past Kama Hill. We sampled this gypsum and analyzed oxygen's isotopic ratios in it. We know that these rocks are 1,400,000,000 years old, that is one third of the way back to the beginning of the Earth,” he said.

“The most advanced life form at the time were just one celled organisms like bacteria. The oxygen isotopes told us that life on Earth was far less abundant than today, but it was operating on Earth,” Dr. Fralick said.

The paper, called Triple oxygen isotope evidence for limited mid-Proterozoic primary production, is published here.

 

Contributors include:

Peter W. Crockford1,2,3*, Justin Hayles4,5, Huiming Bao5,6, Noah J. Planavsky7, Andrey Bekker8, Philip W. Fralick9, Galen P. Halverson1, Thi Hao Bui1, Yongbo Peng5, and Boswell A. Wing10

1McGill University 3450 University Street Montreal, QC H3A0E8, Canada

2¬Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel

3Princeton University, Princeton New Jersey 08544, USA

4Rice University 6100 Main St. Houston, TX 77005, USA

5Louisiana State University Howe Russel Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

6School of Earth & Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

7Yale University 210 Whitney Ave., New Haven CT 06511, USA

8University of California Riverside, 900 University Ave. Riverside CA 92521, USA

9Lakehead University. 955 Oliver Rd. Thunder Bay Ontario, P7B 5E1, Canada

10University of Colorado Boulder, UCB 399, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA

 

 

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

Canada’s brightest youth are at SHAD Lakehead for month of July for intense enrichment and entrepreneurship

Photo of Sultan Siddiqui speaking with SHAD students during their orientation.

Sultan Siddiqui spoke with SHAD students during their orientation at Lakehead University on Monday, July 2.

July 2, 2018

THUNDER BAY, ONT. – Grade 11 student Brianna Heal of Whitehorse, Yukon, is familiar with finding creative solutions to problems. She runs her own business and has had to overcome obstacles exclusive to her northern geographical location.

Heal raises her own hens, collects, distributes, and sells the eggs, all in an effort to raise money for her post-secondary education. She decided to raise her hens free-range because of the added appeal, but was faced with the challenge of housing them in northern Canada where summer nights don’t get dark enough for hens to instinctively return to their hen house on their own.

Because she needed the hens to be in their coop in the evenings, Heal decided to train them to return whenever she whistles the Harry Potter theme song. It took months for the chickens to learn, but learn they did.

Heal is one of 65 students from across Canada at Lakehead University for the award-winning program SHAD, which takes place at 16 host universities from coast to coast.

Founded in 1980 to help youth reach their full potential, students in grades 10 to 12 are immersed in a one month enrichment program focused on STEAM: science, technology, engineering, arts and math.  The students interact with renowned university faculty and visionary corporate leaders.  In a unique element of the program, the students are challenged to come up with an original solution to a societal problem they learn about in the first week.  It teaches them about entrepreneurship and innovation and leaves the students seeing how they can make an immediate impact.

“These exceptional students from all parts of Canada spend the month of July together with their peers and mentors. We hope they end the month not only dreaming big, but empowered with the tools and passion they need to take risks, roll up their sleeves and get going,” said SHAD President and CEO Tim Jackson.

Dr. Sultan Siddiqui is a Mechanical Engineering professor and the director of SHAD Lakehead. He has witnessed the growth of hundreds of young people who participated in the program.

“SHAD encourages young people to get outside of their comfort zone,” Dr. Siddiqui said. “These exceptional individuals have been advising Canada’s prime minister on youth issues and are Canada’s future prime ministers, future scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and other change makers.”

Heal is interested in treating those who have experienced brain trauma or have degenerative diseases, something she believes SHAD will help her accomplish.

“SHAD will help me reach my goal by giving me the opportunity to meet people who share the same interests as me,” she said. “I feel very honoured to meet and work alongside all of these amazing people.”

This sentiment was echoed by grade 12 student Tyler Hiscock of Trouty, Newfoundland, who is also at Lakehead University for the month of July. He is the first ever to attend SHAD from his small K-12 school of just over 100 students.

“I cannot wait to make my own SHAD family so that I can feel this sense of unity,” Hiscock said. “I am very excited to be representing my school and community.”

Hiscock is one of Canada’s top young public speakers, having won the Skills Canada Provincial Competition two years in a row and placing third in the national competition after only his second time competing in the event.

Hiscock has made a significant contribution in his school, re-establishing a student council to increase school spirit that had previously been discontinued. He was also awarded a grant as part of the RBC 150 initiative to make a difference in his community, where he organized a literacy event for children.

“I would like to change the world through helping as many people as I can,” Hiscock said. “These small changes can be through volunteering, or helping others, or simply through speaking one’s mind. Change can be established by anyone. Anywhere. Anyhow.”

SHAD 2018 runs from July 1 and wraps up on July 27, after which both Heal and Hiscock will join other change makers and top innovators in an impressive network of nearly 17,000 SHAD Fellows, including an NHL hockey executive, a serial entrepreneur on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, a NASA researcher, and a best-selling author.

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ABOUT SHAD:

SHAD produces leaders for Canada through its award-winning, life-changing, pan-Canadian enrichment platform for high school students. Every year, SHAD helps 900 young Canadians tap into their full potential through an innovative month-long program at one of 16 partner university campuses. There, students apply STEAM (science-tech-engineering-arts-math) disciplines to real-life public policy and entrepreneurial challenges, forging insights and valuable relationships for life. Among its thriving global network of close to 17,000 SHAD Fellows and innovators are 32 Rhodes Scholars, 88 Loran Scholars, and 55 Schulich Leaders.  For more information, visit www.shad.ca.

 

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact:

Teddy Katz, Vice President, Media Relations | SHAD

teddy@shad.ca or call 647 505 8095

 

Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

BioBlitz added to Lakehead University’s Ontario Master Naturalist Program coming up in Thunder Bay

June 22, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University and the Thunder Bay Field Naturalist Club have collaborated to offer a new element of programming to participants of the Ontario Master Naturalist Program (OMNP) being offered in Thunder Bay this July.

Participants in this summer’s OMNP session will have the unique opportunity to walk along the Nipigon River Recreation Trail in what is known as a “bioblitz”. The one-day bioblitz will send naturalists out on a quest to identify and document as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi and other organisms in the given area.

“A bioblitz is meant to understand the diversity of life in a particular area,” explained Bob Bowles, award-winning Orillia-based naturalist and program coordinator. “Using the experience and knowledge gained from the other fieldwork and in-class instruction, our naturalists will reconnect with the natural world in a uniquely experiential and intimate way to gather real, tangible data about the biodiversity of the area.”

“It’s a fun and exciting opportunity to come together as a community of naturalists and share our knowledge and hopefully learn a little more from each other along the way,” said Susan Bryan, Nature Reserves Chair with the Thunder Bay Field Naturalist Club.

Open to the public, the seven-day session, which runs from July 15 to 21 in Thunder Bay, involves seven modules that combine fieldwork and in-class instruction, with the optional bioblitz component on July 22. Participants will receive a certificate after successfully completing the Master Naturalist program.

Aimed at naturalists and those dedicated to environmental stewardship, the Master Naturalist Program, which launched in 2015 at Lakehead Orillia, is designed to broaden participants’ knowledge and expertise of the natural world through formal training and guidance. Plants, insects, reptiles, birds, geology and wetlands are just a few of the topics that participants will delve into during the program.

There are still a few spots remaining in the program. Details, including registration information, can be found online at lakeheadu.ca/masternaturalist or by contacting masternaturalist@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University professor receiving research grant to restore the ecology of the Great Lakes

Photo of Dr. Rennie at ELA.Photo by Dr. Kerri Finlay, University of Regina.

Dr. Michael Rennie demonstrated the proper use of a Van Dorn bottle, which collects water samples at known depths. Students were participating in the 2015 Experimental Limnology and Aquatic Ecology course that Dr. Rennie teaches at ELA, from Lakehead University and other Ontario institutions through the Ontario University Field Program in Biology.

June 12, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University’s Dr. Michael Rennie recently received an Early Researcher Award of $100,000 through the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Science.

With an additional $50,000 from Lakehead University, the five-year grant supports Dr. Rennie’s research to restore the ecology of lakes negatively impacted by industry.

“This award gives our research group a lot of exciting opportunities for student-led investigations into ecosystem restoration projects both at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area and on Lake Superior,” said Dr. Rennie, an assistant professor in Biology and Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries. “It’s such an honour to receive the award and we’re very excited about the science it will generate.”

Thousands of Ontario lakes and many more around the world have been negatively impacted by industry. The restoration of lakes impacted by the release of nutrients and mining/smelting activities has been happening for decades, but biological recovery in many of these ecosystems has been slow and difficult to gauge due to a lack of pre-impact information, Dr. Rennie said.

At the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area, Dr. Rennie and his team of two PhD students, two Masters of Science students and three undergraduate summer students will develop methods to determine the presence of keystone species in ecosystems with help from Lakehead’s Paleo-DNA lab. They will use that information to develop methods for enhancing lake ecosystem recovery through an experimental reintroduction of native biological species.

Insights gained from studying fish behaviour on the Great Lakes will help improve the restoration of over-fished populations.

“Congratulations to Dr. Rennie and his team for receiving this provincial grant,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “I look forward to seeing the results of this important research, which will provide excellent hands-on experience for Lakehead students.”

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University Orillia Convocation celebrates graduating students

2018 Civitas Award winner Bruce Waite is pictured with Lakehead Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson, Chancellor Lyn McLeod, and Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans

2018 Civitas Award winner Bruce Waite (right) is pictured with Lakehead University Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson, Chancellor Lyn McLeod, and Lakehead Orillia Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans (standing).

Honorary degree recipient Deborah Martin-Downs is pictured with Chancellor Lyn McLeod and Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson

Honorary Degree recipient, Deborah Martin-Downs (left), is pictured with Lakehead University’s Chancellor Lyn McLeod and Interim President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson before addressing graduates at Lakehead Orillia’s convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 10.

June 9, 2018 – Orillia, ON

This year, 430 students graduated from Lakehead University Orillia, with over 240 proudly walking across the stage in front of family, friends and faculty during the campus’s Convocation ceremonies on June 9 at Rotary Place. 

"Today is about celebrating and acknowledging the efforts of those who have completed one incredible journey and are about to begin another," said Dr. Moira McPherson, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor.

"We hope our graduates look on their time spent in this beautiful community in the heart of the County of Simcoe as a positive experience, learning and living with the amazing students, friends, faculty and staff who have done their best to make this day possible,” she added.

Chancellor Lyn McLeod used her closing remarks to graduates to remind them to maintain an enthusiasm for learning that was forged during their time at Lakehead.

"The world of our graduates is not the world I have lived and worked in — it is a world that they will help to shape," said McLeod. "I am confident that they will be open to new ideas and new approaches, and that they will become aware and engaged participants in their new environments."

Bachelor of Education graduate Sabrina Cuzzupoli also addressed the graduating class as the Voice of Convocation.

“All of us graduating this morning have taken divergent paths to get here,” she told the graduates in her address. “We all graduate today from different faculties, different passions, and different perspectives, though we all leave here as accomplished individuals who have a mission to continue to better a world that is faced with many challenges.”

During Saturday’s ceremony, Lakehead University also bestowed honorary awards on two outstanding individuals for their contribution to the university and community. Deborah Martin-Downs, a respected ecologist and conservationist, received an Honorary Doctor of Science. Lawyer and respected community leader Bruce Waite was presented with the Civitas Award for his incredible support of the Orillia campus.

The university also presented three awards to students during the ceremony.

  • Lloyd Dennis Award for Outstanding Citizenship (Orillia): Kevin Passafiume
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Science and Environmental Studies (Sustainability Studies): April Ellen Scholz
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Social Sciences and Humanities (Interdisciplinary Studies): Tammy Lyn Jane Rock 

This year, Lakehead University graduated 2,164 students from its Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses.  

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Media contact: Jaclyn BucikMarketing and Communications AssociateLakehead Universityjbucik@lakeheadu.ca or 705-330-4008, ext. 2014.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University celebrating exceptional people at this year’s convocation

May 22, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University will recognize six exceptional people at this year’s convocation ceremonies on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2 at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium.

Canadian Sports Broadcaster Ron MacLean, Porter Airlines’ President & CEO Robert Deluce, and former Ryerson University President and Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Dr. Sheldon Levy will each receive an honorary degree for their remarkable achievements.

“These individuals are being recognized for their exceptional accomplishments along with the achievements of our students who will graduate this year,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor.

Lakehead will also honor the dedication of Beverly Sabourin, Jim Symington, and Pentti Paularinne by naming them Fellows of the University.

David Tamblyn, Chair of Lakehead’s Board of Governors, said Fellows are chosen due to their contributions to the growth and development of Lakehead University.

“For many years, Lakehead students have benefitted from their support and for that we are very grateful,” Tamblyn said.

More than 1,700 students will graduate during the three Thunder Bay ceremonies and more than 400 will graduate from the Orillia convocation ceremony that will be held on Saturday, June 9.

 

Convocation schedule

Friday, June 1 – 2 pm 

Beverly Sabourin

Photo of Beverly Sabourin

Over professional and volunteer careers spanning five decades, Beverly Sabourin has made outstanding contributions to the cultural and educational advancement of Indigenous people and to the communities where she has lived. 

From the Ojibwe community of Pic Mobert, Beverly has a BA in Sociology from Lakehead University and a BSW and MSW from McGill University. 

Her distinguished career began in the 1970s as an Indigenous student counsellor at the Lakehead School Board and then at Confederation College. In the 1980s, she became the first Indigenous Coordinator/Counsellor for Indigenous Support Services at Lakehead University. She also served at the University of Calgary as an Indigenous counsellor and as Director of the Indigenous Access Program at Red River College in Winnipeg.

Beverly has left an indelible mark on each academic institution. She was appointed the first Vice-Provost of Aboriginal Initiatives at Lakehead University in 2007, a position she held until her retirement in 2012. 

She has made exceptional contributions to Lakehead by substantially increasing social and academic awareness of the Indigenous reality both on campus and in the community. She helped initiate and develop the University’s Gichi Kendaasiwin Centre, a hub for Lakehead's Indigenous students and wider community that the Province recently announced it intended to invest $10 million into over three years.

Beverly expanded Indigenous outreach, recruitment and retention initiatives. She was a strong advocate for Indigenous content in curriculum. She significantly enhanced and expanded Indigenous cultural support services and created a $5,000 scholarship for Indigenous women. 

She advocated tirelessly for increased Indigenous staff and faculty and established positions in strategic areas to support students and faculty. 

Beverly has augmented her career in education by serving in a volunteer capacity with numerous Indigenous organizations across Canada. 

She will be named Fellow of the University during the convocation ceremony held on Friday, June 1 at 2 pm.      

 

Saturday, June 2 – 9:30 am

Ron MacLean
Photo of Ron MacLean

Ron MacLean brings more than 30 years of award-winning experience to his role as host of Hockey Night in Canada, including Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry, and Rogers Hometown Hockey. 

Ron began his broadcasting career in 1978 at CKRD Radio in Red Deer, Alberta, and in 1984 became host of the Calgary Flames television broadcasts on CFAC in Calgary. He joined CBC in 1986 as host of the Toronto Maple Leaf broadcasts on Hockey Night in Canada. In 1987, Ron became national host of Hockey Night in Canada, which included hosting the legendary Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry.

During his career with CBC, Ron also hosted 11 Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, IAAF World Championships, World Cup Hockey, the Calgary Stampede and Queen's Plate. 

In 2015, Ron and Don Cherry were inducted to Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Ron has been recognized with a Canadian Screen Award for Best Host in a Sports Program or Series, adding to his 10 Gemini Awards and George Gross Award, among others. 

He has published two books: “Hockey Towns: Untold Stories from the Heart of Canada” and Canadian bestseller, "Cornered", both co-authored by Kirstie McLellan Day.     

Ron is a former Level 5 referee for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and lives with his wife, Cari, in Oakville, ON. 

He will be granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in absentia on Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 am.  

 

Robert J. Deluce

Photo of Robert Deluce

Robert J. Deluce is a member of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, and recognized as one of the country’s most knowledgeable and respected airline owners and operators. He is part of a decades-long Canadian aviation legacy that began when his parents started White River Air Services Limited in 1951.

Robert’s involvement in the aviation industry includes White River Air Services, norOntair, Austin Airways, Air Creebec, Air Ontario, Air Manitoba, Air Alliance and Canada 3000 Airlines.

As Porter’s founding president and CEO, Robert is responsible for overseeing the airline’s strategy, finances, commercial objectives and operational performance. His leadership has been recognized through a number of awards, including the E&Y Ontario Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, the Canadian Marketing Association Marketer of the Year, and the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Entrepreneur of the Year).

Robert is a Bachelor of Science graduate from McGill University. He has also been granted honorary doctorates from Laurentian University, McGill University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. 

In 2012, he was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution and achievement to Canadians.

He will be granted an honorary Doctor of Commerce on Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 am.

 

 Jim Symington

Photo of Jim Symington

Jim Symington was born in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), Ont. and spent his elementary school days in Hurkett, where his parents ran the local general store. 

Jim completed his high school education and was a member of the first graduating class of Lakeview High School (now St. Ignatius). He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University, then trained as a Chartered Accountant with a major Accounting firm in Toronto. 

This led to a rewarding career in Accounting and Finance, including as Controller of a major investment dealer in Toronto, proprietor of his own public accounting firm, and Secretary-Treasurer of a regional trucking and real estate company upon his return to Thunder Bay.

Jim’s connections with Lakehead University go back many years. His first two years of high school were completed at Port Arthur Collegiate Institute, which now houses Lakehead’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. 

He took one year towards his Commerce degree at Lakehead College of Arts, Sciences and Technology in the early stages of its conversion to Lakehead University. Later, he spent a year as a lecturer of Accounting and Finance at Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration in its fledgling years.

Since his retirement, Jim and his wife, Shirley have travelled to many parts of the world. They have also given back to the community. As well as supporting Lakehead, Jim and Shirley have supported other local organizations, including The Thunder Bay Community Foundation, The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation and The Thunder Bay Field Naturalists.

He will be named Fellow of the University on Saturday, June 2 at 9:30 am. 

 

Saturday, June 2 – 2 pm

Sheldon Levy 

Photo of Dr. Sheldon Levy

Dr. Sheldon Levy is CEO of NEXT Canada, which helps promising young Canadian innovators start and scale their own ventures. A long-time champion of innovation and builder of start-up ecosystems, Sheldon also serves on the Advisory Board of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and on the Leadership Council of Scale Up Ventures, Inc. 

From 2015–2017, Sheldon served as Deputy Minister of Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, where he helped drive innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Ontario’s postsecondary education and training system. 

Over the years, Sheldon has been a true friend of Lakehead University. With a deep appreciation for our University’s focus on research, student engagement and accessibility, he has generously made himself available to offer his wisdom and experience to our senior administrators and Board of Governors.

From 2005 to 2015, as President & Vice-Chancellor of Ryerson University, Sheldon initiated Ryerson’s many initiatives to foster student innovation. Under his direction, Ryerson created the Digital Media Zone (DMZ), an early-stage incubator for student entrepreneurs which has since become an international success. Sheldon is also a founder and advisor to Ryerson Futures Inc., an accelerator that has exported the DMZ concept to such locations as Calgary and Mumbai.

Sheldon’s prior positions have included President, Sheridan College; Vice-President Finance and Strategy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Vice-President Governmental and Institutional Relations, University of Toronto; and Vice-President Institutional Affairs, York University.

He will be granted an honorary Doctor of Education at 2 pm on Saturday, June 2.

 

 Pentti Paularinne

Photo of Pentti Paularinne

Pentti Paularinne graduated from Lakehead University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1968 and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in 1969. 

Pentti began his career at Lakehead as Admissions Officer in May 1969, moving up to Assistant Registrar Admissions in June 1975, Director of Continuing Education in May 1978 and Registrar in June 1979. He retired in August 2003 as University Registrar and Secretary of Senate. Among his most gratifying tasks was organizing Convocation ceremonies for 24 years. 

Throughout his career, Pentti was motivated by his unwavering belief in the mission of Lakehead University and deep commitment to serving the needs of students. He influenced their lives, either directly, through one-on-one consultations, or indirectly, through the policies and procedures he instituted.

In 2002 Pentti was the first recipient of the Lakehead University Staff Award for Outstanding Performance. He marked the occasion by establishing the Paularinne Bursary. 

Pentti’s record of community service is extensive, much of it linked to the well-being of Lakehead. He has served as a Director of the Canadian Suomi Foundation for 38 years (currently as President), which has raised over $500,000 to support the Chair in Finnish Studies at Lakehead and funds several student awards. 

In 1996 the City of Thunder Bay presented Pentti with a Citizen of Exceptional Achievement Award. 

During his career, Pentti served as President of the Ontario Registrars Association and Chair of the Ontario Universities Application Centre Advisory Group.

Pentti and his wife Marion reside in Thunder Bay. They have three children and five grandchildren. He will be named Fellow of the University on Saturday, June 2 at 2 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

 

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University Orillia and Media Action Research Group present lecture on anarchism and liberation

May 30, 2018 – Orillia, ON

Dr. Thomas Swann, a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Loughborough University (UK), will present a history of anarchism from the 19th century to today in his lecture, “Anarchism, history and liberation,” at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5. His talk is part of Lakehead University’s Research Centre for Sustainable Communities lecture series, co-presented with the Media Action Research Group.

Swann will discuss how systems of domination such as capitalism, the state, colonialism, and patriarchy have generated opposition, and how anarchist alternatives to those systems might work.

The public lecture will be held at Mark IV Brothers café, 187 Nottawasaga St, Orillia, ON.

This session is free and open to the public. For further information and to RSVP, please contact Dr. Sandra Jeppesen at sjeppese@lakeheadu.ca.

Media are invited to attend.

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Media contact: Jaclyn Bucik, Marketing and Communications Associate, Lakehead University, jbucik@lakeheadu.ca or 705-330-4008, ext. 2014.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University Orillia announces honorary degree and Civitas Award recipients

May 29, 2018 – Orillia, ON

Deborah Martin-Downs, ecologist and conservationist, will be the recipient of an honorary degree, and Bruce Waite, lawyer, philanthropist and accomplished community leader, will receive the Civitas Award as Lakehead University Orillia celebrates its convocation in June.

Lakehead Orillia’s convocation ceremony will take place in Orillia at Rotary Place on Saturday, June 9.

“Convocation is not only a time when we celebrate the achievements of our graduates, it is an opportunity to honour exceptional members of our university and region’s communities,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead’s Interim President and Vice-Chancellor.

Lakehead University confers honorary degrees in celebration and recognition of individuals who make significant contributions in their areas of experience and support the values of advanced learning and pursuit of knowledge.

The Civitas Award recognizes significant contributions to the university and the community by members of the County of Simcoe. 

Deborah Martin-Downs
Honorary Degree – Doctor of Science

Honorary degree recipient Deborah Martin-DownsMartin-Downs has worked in ecology and conservation for over 30 years. She is currently the Chief Administrative Officer of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority, as well as the founder of the executive training program, Conservation Authorities University.

Over the course of her career, Martin-Downs developed her expertise within a variety of public and private sector positions. She has held progressive roles managing multidisciplinary teams of technical specialists in the fields of geoenvironmental, watershed planning, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, flood risk and infrastructure, water resources engineering, source water protection, and environmental monitoring.

In these roles she has participated in the research and development of new policies, practices and guidance based on research and monitoring.  Such endeavours included headwater tributaries, low impact development, natural heritage systems and compensation, watershed plans, and green infrastructure.

In addition to her work, Martin-Downs spent 12 years as a volunteer with the Don Watershed Regeneration Council. Currently, she is a volunteer director with the Muskoka Lakes Association, and a founding member and chair of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition. Martin-Downs is also a provincially appointed director for the Walkerton Clean Water Centre and the Greenbelt Council.

She has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Science in Zoology and Environmental Studies from the University of Toronto.

Bruce Waite, Q.C.
2018 Civitas Award

2018 Civitas Award winner Bruce Waite, Q.C.Since 2008, Waite has been the éminence grise of Lakehead University Orillia, working tirelessly to help Lakehead University achieve status as a student and community-centred institution.

An enthusiastic supporter of Lakehead University, he has gone above and beyond with his generous contribution of time, expertise and passion. A former member of the Board of Governors, Waite championed the interests of Lakehead Orillia and the citizens of the County of Simcoe for over nine years. His involvement on the Capital Fundraising Campaign Team and the Lakehead Orillia Campus Advisory Committee was pivotal in achieving the development of the Orillia campus on University Avenue. 

Through his leadership and advisory roles with Lakehead University, Waite has helped to ensure effective partnerships between the community and the University, resulting in the best outcomes for both our students and the County of Simcoe. His outstanding contribution to Lakehead University continues to this day albeit in an unofficial capacity.

An active Kiwanian, past vice-chair of Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Foundation, past chair and member of the Orillia & Area Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, and past president of the Orillia Law Society, Waite lives his commitment to volunteerism within the Orillia community. In 2006, he and his wife Susan were the recipients of the Ontario Medical Association Community Service Award.  

Waite has lived and practiced law in Orillia for more than 50 years and is currently an active member of the law firm HGR Graham Partners LLP.

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Media contact:  Jaclyn Bucik, Marketing & Communications Associate, 705-795-5311, or jbucik@lakeheadu.ca

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Pictured is Deborah Martin-Downs, recipient of Lakehead Orillia honorary degree

Lakehead University nursing student wins provincial award for program assisting new mothers

Photo of Brianna Decontie and Karen Poole.Brianna Decontie, right, and Lakehead’s Director of the School of Nursing, Karen Poole, travelled to Toronto for the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing Awards in April.

May 8, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Brianna Decontie spent from early January to mid February adapting a five-week mothers’ support group for Kitigan Zibi Health and Social Services in Maniwaki, QC.

The program, offered to new mothers, focuses on oral health care and embraces Indigenous teachings such as the Medicine Wheel and Sacred Medicines.

On Wednesday, April 25 Decontie, a fourth-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student at Lakehead University, was honoured by the Council of Ontario University Programs in Nursing with the Excellence in Professional Nursing Practice award.

“I was excited when my professor and the director of Nursing contacted me to say they had nominated me and then I was even more excited to learn I was the recipient of this award,” she said.

Decontie was a summer student at Kitigan Zibi Health and Social Services in 2016 and 2017.

“The maternal child health nurse and I created the weekly mothers support group that happens every Tuesday as part of our programming.

“Since then the mothers’ support group has really grown and I was able to share my traditional Anishinabe health teachings and crafts with the mothers on my placement from January to February,” Decontie said.

The program was based on the Give Your Child A Health Happy Smile Ontario Ministry of Health initiative, providing oral health-care guidelines. The five-week plan demonstrates Decontie’s capacity to translate oral health care guidelines for new moms, which she nested in Medicine Wheel Teachings including the making of Sacred Bundles and Moccasins.

Decontie’s program was selected from 14 submissions.

She will graduate at convocation on June 2 and she has already started as a nurse in Sioux Lookout.

“It is truly a gift to have a student like Brianna guide us to a better understanding of the best ways to blend Indigenous and western knowledge for better health outcomes,” said Karen Poole, Lakehead’s Director of the School of Nursing.

“I see this as a strong recognition of the impact that a young Indigenous nursing leader like Brianna will have on guiding nursing practice towards improving the health of our Indigenous people. Congratulations to Brianna on her fantastic work,” Poole said.

National Nursing Week runs from May 7 to 13.

 

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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Communications and Marketing Associate, at (807) 343-8177 or mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead University Professor Pauline Sameshima renewed as Canada Research Chair

Photo of Dr. Pauline Sameshima

May 3, 2018 – Thunder Bay, ON

Lakehead University’s Dr. Pauline Sameshima has been renewed as a Canada Research Chair in Arts Integrated Studies.

“Research helps build the life we want now and for future societies,” said Dr. Sameshima, a professor in the Faculty of Education. “Imagination allows researchers to construct narratives, stories, and mythologies of the kind of world we wish to occupy. As we think and imagine, we construct a new society.

“The knowledge economy has been replaced by the creative economy, bringing to the forefront worldwide studies that link weak creativity development at work and school to unhealthy economic and societal well-being,” she said. “Advances in Canada’s creativity will depend on broader audiences being able to participate in active learning and making at all levels. Creativity is not relegated to artists.”

The Canada Research Chairs program, which attracts world-class researchers to universities, has positioned Canada as an international leader and destination of choice in research and development.

In total, the Government of Canada will provide $158.7 million in support to 186 newly awarded and renewed Canada Research Chairs. The research has potential benefits for Canadians and their families, businesses, practitioners and policy-makers. 

The Canada Research Chairs program invests approximately $265 million per year toward research in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

Dr. John O’Meara, Dean of Lakehead’s Faculty of Education, said Dr. Sameshima will continue working with partners and faculty in Thunder Bay, other parts of Canada, and internationally to develop creative ways of exploring and expressing research.

“We are proud to have Dr. Sameshima renewed as a CRC and look forward to seeing her research reach broad audiences through the arts,” Dr. O’Meara said.

Dr. Sameshima curates Galleries@Lakeheadu and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies. Her latest award-winning book is a co-edited collection titled Poetic Inquiry: Enchantment of Place published by Vernon Press.

“During Pauline’s first term as a Canada Research Chair she has brought inspiring work in the creative arts and helped us appreciate innovative research through different lenses,” said Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.  “I look forward to her research contributions in the second term.”

Dr. Sameshima's research projects include the implementation of creativity propulsion theories, community-engaged research, prenatal education access, dementia studies, and designing teaching and learning models.

A 3-minute research video she created with her team on prenatal education demonstrates how the arts can facilitate research dissemination to the broader public. More on Dr. Sameshima's research can be found at solspire.com.

Dr. Sameshima’s Chair, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, has been renewed for five years.

 

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

 

Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead 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 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit www.lakeheadu.ca.

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