Lakehead University Orillia celebrates ‘Our Creative Mind’ during Research & Innovation Week 2020

February 25, 2020 – Orillia, Ont.

Lakehead University will showcase the best of student and faculty research during Research & Innovation Week 2020, March 9 to 11 at its Orillia campus.

The goal of Research & Innovation Week is to celebrate and raise awareness of the university’s world-class research expertise, and encourage collaboration among the research community, industry, government, and local partners.

Lakehead researchers are using this year’s theme, Our Creative Mind, to showcase the way they imagine, innovate, and discover through research to improve lives and better the world.

On Monday, March 9, Lakehead will host “Celebrating our Partnerships: Indigenous Community Research Panel” with a dynamic group of researchers and community partners who will speak on their community-based research projects in the fields of education, social work, science and anthropology. Facilitated by Denise Baxter, Vice-Provost of Aboriginal Initiatives at Lakehead, the panel will feature Lakehead professors including Dr. Ruth Beatty, Dr. Chris Murray and research partner Aaron Genereaux, Tribal Council Engineer for the Ogemawahj Tribal Council. This panel will be presented from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.

On Monday night at 7:00 p.m. Lakehead presents “Sense, Nonsense, and Science” with the Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, Dr. Joe Schwarcz.  In this highly visual and entertaining presentation, Dr. Schwarcz will examine some serious, as well as some frivolous, experiences in dealing with the public and emphasize the importance of fostering critical thinking. To register for this presentation, visit

Lakehead Orillia Principal, Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans will speak to what inspires creativity and innovation in the Office of the Principal in “Henry Aldrich: Oxford’s ‘Builder Dean’ and Polymath” on Tuesday, March 10 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Come and learn more about the life and times of one of the most celebrated creative minds of the English Restoration period, presented in the context of his original musical compositions. To register for this presentation, visit

Tuesday, March 10 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., will feature “A Maker Movement: Research and the Future of Healthcare” with Carmine Stumpo, President and CEO of Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. During the presentation, Stumpo will share his thoughts on research and innovation in the healthcare sector. He will focus on the key elements necessary to bring people together towards a shared purpose to challenge the status quo and create win-win opportunities with different ways of approaching common problems. To register for this presentation, visit

One highlight of the week will be the student research presentations, happening daily in the Orsi Family Learning Commons.

Events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required unless mentioned above. All events take place at the Orillia campus at 500 University Ave.

For a complete list of Research & Innovation Week activities and events, please visit


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Media contact: Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at 807-343-8372 or



Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. In 2019, Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings, once again, included Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, while Research Infosource named Lakehead 'Research University of the Year' in its category for the fifth consecutive year. Visit

The theme of this year’s Research and Innovation Week is Our Creative Mind

Lakehead University Thunder Bay is hosting its annual Research and Innovation Week from Feb. 26 to March 5, with a theme of Our Creative Mind.

The various talks and activities will interest you and your family and friends, no matter how old (or young) they are, especially Saturday, Feb. 29 when researchers will be at the Intercity Shopping Centre.

Lakehead University researchers and students will host interactive booths at the mall from 10 am to 6 pm for the Festival of Ideas. When you stop by the mall, you will learn more about drones, virtual reality, science experiments, green energy, music, doggy DNA, artificial intelligence, and you can also attend an Indigenous Fashion Show. Participate in the Passport Draw for a chance to win prizes.

Also on Saturday, visit the Brodie St. Public Library from 2 to 4 pm for a discussion called Has the internet changed the way we think about creativity?, hosted by Lakehead English Professor Scott Pound as well as other creative individuals from Lakehead University and Thunder Bay.

Then on Monday, March 2, from 2 to 3:30 pm a Research Outside the Box panel discussion will be held in the Faculty Lounge at Lakehead University, featuring Lakehead University researchers and moderated by Professor Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta.

At 7 pm on Monday, Professor Caulfield, host of “A User’s Guide to Cheating Death” on Netflix, will discuss Battling the Bunk Machines: Health in the Era of Celebrity, Social Media and Twisted Facts, in ATAC 1003.

On Tuesday, March 3, Dr. Nancy Langston will discuss Climate Change, Policy Choices, and the Future of Woodland Caribou in ATAC 1003 at 7:30 pm. Dr. Langston is Lakehead’s new Fulbright Canada Research Chair  in Interdisciplinary Sustainability Solutions and a Distinguished Professor of Environmental History at Michigan Technological University.

Then on Wednesday from 7:30 to 9 am, attend a free Northern Ignite breakfast to discover pathways between industry and Lakehead University researchers, students and faculty. This breakfast is by registration only and while spaces are available.

Visit to register for Northern Ignite and for more information about all R and I Week events.






Opening Ceremonies for Research & Innovation Week with the Governor General of Canada

The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation cordially invites you to join us for our Opening Ceremonies to celebrate Lakehead University's 15th annual Research & Innovation Week.

We are delighted to announce Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada will be the keynote speaker for the event. Before becoming Governor General, Julie was an astronaut, engineer, scientific broadcaster and corporate director. From 1992 to 2013, she worked as an astronaut and flew two missions in space. Julie also served many years as CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) at NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston, Texas, and was Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency. 

Opening Ceremonies will take place on Wednesday February 26, 2020 on the Lakehead University campus in the Faculty Lounge from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.  Faculty Lounge doors will open at 10:00 am and light refreshments will be available after the presentation. Registration for this event is required; please visit the following Eventbrite site to register and see full event details here.

If you have any questions feel free to email

We look forward to seeing you during our 15th annual Research & Innovation Week. 

Andrew P. Dean, Ph.D.

Vice-President, Research and Innovation
Office of the Vice-President
(Research and Innovation)

Lakehead Connect Networking and Mentorship Platform

The External Relations Team and the Alumni Association of Lakehead University are excited to invite you to the Lakehead Connect professional development platform powered by Ten Thousand Coffees and sponsored by RBC Future Launch!

Each month, students, faculty, staff and alumni will be introduced to one another based on their goals and interests to ask questions, practice soft skills, and expand their network. 

Not a Lakehead Alum? No problem! The Lakehead Connect platform is available to everyone within the Lakehead University community, regardless of your previous education or working history. Your experience is a valuable resource to those seeking new opportunities, not just within higher education but also community involvement, living and working in Canada, volunteerism and so much more!

For more information visit our Alumni web page ( or to sign up please visit:

Lakehead University researchers receiving more than $140k from CFI


Dr. Maryam Ebrahimi and Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, celebrated this announcement in the CASES building at Lakehead University.

February 20, 2020 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

Two Lakehead researchers are receiving grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) valued at more than $140,000 in total.

Dr. Maryam Ebrahimi, a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Low-dimensional Nanomaterials, is receiving $125,000 to purchase a scanning tunneling microscope, which allows the imaging of molecules and their reactions at nanoscale resolution, for making low-dimensional nanomaterials. 

Dr. Ebrahimi’s research project, called On-surface design and synthesis of molecular-based 1D and 2D nanomaterials, lies at the border of chemistry and physics, focusing on the fundamentals of low-dimensional nanomaterials whose properties are determined by their size and structure.

“The unique properties of graphene, the only two-dimensional material in nature, have inspired scientists to explore multidisciplinary approaches to obtain emerging classes of low-dimensional nanomaterials,” Dr. Ebrahimi said.

“For example, 2D polymers for organic electronic devices used in displays, smartphones, sensors, and solar cells; porous nanopolymers for adsorbing greenhouse gases; biocompatible surfaces for nanomedicine applications, among others. All of which would contribute to the advancement of several technologies and industries in Canada,” she said.

Dr. Ebrahimi and her team will use this grant to acquire a state-of-the-art scanning tunneling microscope, which allows for the imaging of molecules and their reactions at nanoscale – with dimensions even smaller than one-billionth of a metre.

Recording the chemical reactions at such a high resolution will provide Dr. Ebrahimi and her team with the opportunity to design and fabricate nanoarchitectures, through a Molecular Lego Game, whose properties are unique to their ‘small’ nanosize dimensions.

Dr. Michel Bedard, Director of Lakehead’s Centre for Research on Safe Driving, received $15,707 to contribute to reducing traffic-related injuries by conducting basic and applied research on processes that support safe driving, and developing interventions that promote road safety.

Dr. Bedard and his team will put this grant toward the purchase of a new driving simulator, which will cost approximately $35,000 and will replace their current simulator that they purchased in 2004.

“Our research with the current simulator has demonstrated the validity of driving behaviour in a standardised, affordable, time-efficient, and safe manner, while maintaining a good level of correspondence with on-road driving,” Dr. Bedard said.

Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation, thanked CFI for supporting this important research.

“We are extremely pleased to have received this contribution from the Ontario Government towards the funding of these two research infrastructure projects,” Dr. Dean said. “High quality research equipment allows Lakehead University's researchers to continue to be at the forefront of discovery and to train the highly skilled workforce needed for Ontario's future economy.”

Lakehead’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law students win moot competition against other Ontario law schools

February 19, 2020 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

For the second year in a row, a team from Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law placed first at the Arnup Cup moot, a mock trial where the team argued a fictitious case. 

Justin Blanco and Justis Danto-Clancy won the Arnup Cup on February 8 in Toronto after successfully defending their fictional client, bar owner Carl Benoit, charged with causing an indignity to a body and first-degree murder. Benoit pleaded guilty to the first charge and not guilty to the second.

Police charged Benoit after a masquerade party at his bar on May 17, 2019. That is when a fight between patrons resulted in a large hole in the wall and then a dead body, wrapped in plastic, fell out. 

“It was the body of Carlos Lucca, a mob hitman,” Danto-Clancy said. 

The body had been hidden in the wall for 11 months. The Crown's theory was that Lucca was pursuing Benoit on behalf of a criminal organization for the repayment of a loan that Benoit had used to purchase the bar. 

“Our defence team had an alternative explanation,” Blanco said. 

“The accused maintained that it was the prosecution’s own witnesses who had murdered the hitman. They had dumped the body in his bar. (Benoit) had no confidence that he would be believed, so he hid the body in the wall,” he said. 

As it turned out, there was actually some substance to Benoit’s claim. The prosecution’s witnesses had been wiretapped by the police. 

“They were recorded saying some suspicious things that suggested they wanted to set the accused up to take the fall,” Blanco said. 

To complicate the case, the murder weapon had two sets of fingerprints – one belonged to the accused; the other belonged to one of the prosecution’s witnesses. 

“We argued that – at the very least – the Crown had not met their burden of proof and shown that Mr. Benoit was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Our argument was relentless and focused,” Danto-Clancy said. 

Both Danto-Clancy and Blanco agreed that they would not have won without their Lakehead University legal training and the help of their coaches. 

“We're so proud to cement our reputation as formidable advocates who deserve attention on the national stage,” Danto-Clancy said. “I feel so proud of all my classmates and professors who set the high standards that we seek to meet everyday in law school.” 

The pair began preparing in mid-December, combing through witness statements, police and forensic reports, and other documents relating to the mock case. They read the materials over Christmas and met with their coaches in early January. 

“From then on, we conducted full-length practice trials one to two times a week,” Blanco said. “This year, we were lucky to have two teams: one for the defence, Justis and myself, and one for the prosecution, Tamaira Davidson and Ashlee Hudie, as well as an alternate, Kim Young.”

It made sense to have both teams compete against each other at their practices. 

“Doing so allowed us to expose one another to the weaknesses of our respective cases and refine them accordingly,” Blanco said. “That said, the practice trials were only half of the battle. In between practice sessions, Justis and I spent a great deal of time developing the content of our arguments and the strategies that would guide our witness examinations.”

Both teams also worked closely with coaches Marco Frangione and Amanda Gallo, who was part of the winning team from last year.

Blanco said it felt surreal when organizers announced that the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law team had won. 

“We came prepared, but it was shocking nonetheless to find out we had outranked all of the other great law schools in Ontario. It was truly an unforgettable experience,” he said. 

Gallo said she could not be prouder of both teams. 

“They worked incredibly hard over the past month, preparing for their trials and honing their skills,” she said. “Our students displayed exemplary passion, civility, teamwork, and of course skillful advocacy.

“It's both incredibly exciting and rewarding to watch the next generation of the legal profession develop and grow into such talented young advocates,” Gallo said. “We're very excited and honoured to be representing Ontario next month at the Sopinka Cup national trial advocacy competition in Ottawa.” 

Frangione agreed. “Both teams were phenomenal,” he said. “They made their communities and families very proud. It was a privilege to see them execute so well. I could not be prouder as a coach.”

“The Arnup is unusual among moot competitions as it requires trial advocacy skills, a perfect testing ground for practice readiness,” said Dean Jula Hughes. “The success of the Bora Laskin team for a second year shows off the strength of our Integrated Practice Curriculum.”




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


Lakehead University is a fully comprehensive university with approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and over 2,000 faculty and staff at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead has 10 faculties, including Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Law, Natural Resources Management, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Science & Environmental Studies, and Social Sciences & Humanities. In 2019, Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings, once again, included Lakehead University among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, while Research Infosource named Lakehead 'Research University of the Year' in its category for the fifth consecutive year. Visit


Justis Danto-Clancy, second from left, and Justin Blanco, third from left, were presented with the Arnup Cup by the Hon. Justice Clayton Conlan, left, and the Advocates’ Society’s President Scott Maidment.

Recycle Your Office Supplies

Are you recycling your office supplies? Now you can!

Save your used office supplies and recycle them on designated days.

On March 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., students, faculty and staff can drop off their ink and toner cartridges/drum units/writing supplies/batteries at the designated station in the Agora. Writing supplies include pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, and so on.

Ink and toner cartridges can take 450 to 1,000 years to decompose. Similar to the other office supplies listed, when cartridges are sent to the landfill they leach into soil and nearby waterways. Many of the materials found in cartridges and other office supplies can be recycled.

These materials will be recycled into new products courtesy of Staples and Terra Cycle. The collected items are "mechanically and/or manually separated into metals, fibers, and plastics. Metals are melted so they may be recycled. The fibers (such as paper or wood-based products) are recycled or composted. The plastics undergo extrusion and pelletization to be molded into new recycled plastic products."

While recycling is an important way to divert waste, always consider where you can reduce your purchase and use of these items first.

Electronic waste is not accepted at this event. If you have electronics you need to recycle, please submit a work order to have them picked up.

Questions can be emailed to

Open Call for Student Nominations to Lakehead's Sustainability Stewardship Council

Are you interested in strengthening sustainability at Lakehead?

Lakehead University is looking for one student from Thunder Bay and one student from Orillia to act as a representative to the Lakehead University Sustainability Stewardship Council (LUSSC). The term is for the remainder of the year and the LUSSC meets quarterly. Terms are renewable.

This notice serves as an open call for interest from students to fulfill the role as a student representative to the LUSSC for the 2020 Winter and Spring terms. Self-nominations are welcome.

Please email your interest to serve by including a 250 word statement describing your interest in sustainability and participation on the LUSSC to Ledah McKellar, Sustainability Coordinator, at by Friday, Feb. 14.

Details: Sustainability is a diverse, global movement in society, economics, environment, and in higher education. At Lakehead University, sustainability is considered in a pluralistic and inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice and equity, Indigenous rights, secure livelihoods, workplace well-being, and leadership for vibrant and resilient communities. Lakehead University aspires to make sustainability a shared priority in all sectors of university life.

The Sustainability Stewardship Council will provide a forum for students, faculty, administration, and community members to create Lakehead University’s unique sustainability profile by examining key sustainability issues and developing and implementing a sustainability action plan impacting all sectors of the University at its Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses.

Thank you very much for your interest in participating in the Sustainability Stewardship Council.

Volunteer Opportunity with NOSM CampMed

NOSM CampMed is accepting applications from students currently in progress with their undergraduate degree for the volunteer positions of Team Lead and Camp and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Lead.

NOSM CampMed is a week-long, hands-on medical and health sciences summer camp intended for high school students going into grade 10 and 11 in the fall of 2019. The camp is held on both of NOSM’s host university campuses in July 2020: at Laurentian University on July 6 - 10, 2020 and at Lakehead University on July 13 - 17, 2020.

For more information on this volunteer opportunity, please visit

For more information on the camp itself, please visit

To apply as a volunteer, please complete and submit the Electronic Volunteer Application Form. The application form is available in English and French and can be found at under Application Requirements.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Mar. 4.

Nominate a Student Today!


If you know a student who makes the Lakehead community stronger through Innovation, Academic Excellence, Sustainability Efforts, Diversity & Inclusion or Community Engagement, then visit to fill out the nomination form today!