Drop In (Virtually) to the Library's Spring / Summer Research Workshops!

Are you enrolled in spring / summer classes, and need an introduction, or a refresher, on how to find books, articles and other resources for your assignments?

If so, please join us on Thursday May 21, at 3:00 p.m. for a tour of the Lakehead Library website and an overview of the research tools available to you during your studies at Lakehead.

Look for announcements about subsequent workshops coming soon!

Register in advance for the May 21 workshop at https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMude6vpz8vGdFI2FP9uTXGrKk_m....

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Contact Chris Tomasini at ctomasin@lakeheadu.ca if you have any questions.

The Lakehead University Department of Health Sciences Presents the Covid-19 Conversation Series via Zoom

Join the Lakehead University Department of Health Sciences’ Covid-19 Conversations.

This summer conversation series will provide a forum to share our collective knowledge, experiences and reflections about research, teaching and practice surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Each conversation will begin with short presentations followed by an interactive discussion on responses, big picture thinking and social determinants of health related to a timely and relevant topic.

To participate, advance registration is required for each event separately by clicking on the link indicated below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Friday, May 29, 10:00-11:00 am -- COVID-19 Impacts on Students: Courses, Research and Practicums
Presenters: Lynn Martin, Helle Møller, Karen Throupe, Rebecca Schiff
Register in advance by clicking here: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvfu6vpj4qGd0KbSG4kdKPSqvRv...

Friday, June 19, 10:00-11:00 am -- COVID-19 Impacts on Vulnerable Populations
Presenters: Lynn Martin, Elaine Wiersma, Rebecca Schiff
Register in advance by clicking here: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMtdemppzwuHdz1d0O_nBFnstcnS...

Friday, July 24, 10:00-11:00 am -- COVID-19 Impacts on Social and Ecological Health
Presenters: Lindsay Galway, Charles Levkoe, Helle Møller
Register in advance by clicking here: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwqdO2oqT8rHteJ1VC2X7UHlCJDv...

Friday, August 21, 10:00-11:00 am -- COVID-19 Impacts on Work and Health Care Institutions
Presenters: Joshua Armstrong, Vicki Kristman, Anna Koné Péfoyo, Peter Brink
Register in advance by clicking here: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAvc-iuqzwqGdRvp4Kbk8vQmgiIm...

Mitacs Research Training Awards - Summer 2020

mitacs logo

Lakehead is collaborating with Mitacs to offer a new program for research internships to take place this summer.

The purpose of the program is to give Lakehead students the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience and learn new skills under the supervision of a Lakehead faculty member. Students propose research projects of 12-16 weeks in length; projects can begin as soon as approval is received from Mitacs, but must begin no later than August 31, 2020.

Eligibility: Full-time undergraduate and graduate students (including international students) are eligible, as long as they are currently registered (previous winter semester for undergrads, and spring/summer for grad students) and intend to return in the fall. Recent graduates who are committed to beginning a graduate program at Lakehead in the fall are also eligible. Students need to find a Lakehead faculty member who is willing to supervise the project.

Details of eligibility, program requirements and application information are available at: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/research-and-innovation/research-services/fundi...

Students create cards for seniors

photo of Kaitlyn accepting cards at Glacier Ridge.

Kaitlyn Hynnes, Lifestyle and Programs Manager at Glacier Ridge, accepted the cards in April.

By Brandon Walker

Lakehead University International (LUI) collected more than 70 greeting cards from students, staff, and faculty for seniors at Glacier Ridge.

The cards were emailed to Lakehead International from the end of March until April 19. An LUI staff member brought them to Glacier Ridge on Wednesday, April 22.

“We understand that most of our seniors in these homes are unable to have family and friends visit during this time,” said Sara Melvin, International Student Services Coordinator.

“Having to isolate with minimal contact from anyone can be very lonely. They know they are vulnerable and that must be incredibly scary.”

International students created many of the cards, Melvin said.

The project was coordinated by a Lakehead student employee, International assistant Lahama Naeem.

“Our students have so much respect for elders and felt that by providing these caring cards they were able to extend small gestures of kindness to brighten their day and bring a smile to many seniors’ faces,” Melvin said.

Precautions were taken to make sure the cards were safe to be delivered to Glacier Ridge.

“This was a big consideration for us as we did not want to do a kind gesture that would put any seniors at risk,” Melvin said.

“So, I placed the cards in a folder, which sat for two days before delivery, and I also disinfected the folder before giving it to Kaitlyn at Glacier Ridge,” Melvin said.

“Additionally, Kaitlyn planned to let the folder sit for several days before handing them out. She confirmed this was a safe process and they had no concerns.”

Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead’s President and Vice-Chancellor, also created a card for the seniors.

If any retirement homes would like to participate, please contact Melvin at sscoordinator.intl@lakeheadu.ca.

Press play to watch the video created by LUI and several international students.

May is Leave a Legacy Month in Canada

Approximately 50% of Canadians don't have a will. Preparing a will protects you, your assets and your family. A gift in your will to Lakehead University can turn a student into a teacher, an engineer, a nurse or wherever their dreams may lead them. Need more information? Contact Lee-Anne Camlin at 807-346-7792 or rlcamlin@lakeheadu.ca. All inquiries remain confidential with no obligation.  

Commuter Challenge Cancelled for 2020

One of our favourite annual campaigns, Commuter Challange, is cancelled this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The campaign's decision is in the health and safety interests of all of us.

The Office of Sustainability would like to thank all our past commuters who have made this campaign such a success. We were the top institution (Thunder Bay) with over 500 employees in 2018 and 2019. This success is due to your enthusiasm! We look forward to continuing this program in the future.

For now, here is a reminder of some of last year's successes.


Local high school students get creative in online workshop with Lakehead prof

April 30, 2020 - Orillia, Ont.

Grade 11 students in Jeff Cole's environmental science class at Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School are continuing to get hands-on Let's Talk Science programming through a unique partnership with Lakehead University professor Chris Murray, associate professor in the departments of sustainability sciences and physics.

In partnership with Cole, Murray has developed a way to keep high school students engaged while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using materials they find at home students carry out a weekly experiment, following a lesson given through a Zoom session by Murray and his student assistants from Lakehead.

Here is the entire OrilliaMatters story.

Nine local high school students take part in a Zoom Let's Talk Science lesson

Lakehead University professor creating prototype to sterilize masks

Photo of Dr. Elyasi with his prototype.

Dr. Siamak Elyasi with his prototype.

April 27, 2020 – Thunder Bay, Ont.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Lakehead University professor is working on a unique way to sterilize N95 masks using UV lights.

This device could help in areas where they have run out of masks, said Dr. Siamak Elyasi, Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering, adding that it would be better to use new masks if they are available.

“In hospitals they use UV radiation to disinfect the surface of everything in the surgery room,” Dr. Elyasi said. “It’s a normal practice. UV radiation is also used to disinfect water and wastewater. UV can inactivate microorganisms including viruses. UV was used for SARS and flu.”

Dr. Elyasi believes his UV device could disinfect any type of mask in around 20 minutes. He is in the process of seeking research collaborators who can test it to determine the correct dosage to kill COVID-19.

He is building it using a 3D printer and readily available materials and supplies.

“Right now, it’s a simple prototype used to disinfect the surface of the mask inside and out for two masks at a time,” he said, adding that he hopes to create a larger one that can clean five to 10 masks at the same time.

The device will include a timer for the UV lights, meaning the user will not be exposed to the bulbs.

He received a $10,000 internal research grant from Lakehead University to help fund the cost of building the prototype.

“I saw in some cases that health care personnel have had to use the same masks for one week,” he said. “Instead of wearing a mask for that long, every six hours they could put their masks in this device for disinfection.

“It’s much safer than not doing anything. It’s just for emergency cases, not for replacing new masks if they are available.”

One area where Dr. Elyasi believes this prototype could be a real benefit is in nursing homes.

“If they have problems with masks or don’t have enough, they could easily use this equipment,” he said.



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Media: For more information or interviews, please contact Brandon Walker, Media, Communications and Marketing Associate, at mediarelations@lakeheadu.ca.


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 www.lakeheadu.ca.

Lakehead alumna experiences a good deed during the pandemic

Lakehead alumna Jaclyn Boyd (BEd ‘18) had been back in Canada for 17 days after returning from teaching a grade 2 class in London, England.

After coming out of self-isolation in early April, she set up her Canadian credit card on Apple Pay and went to Walmart for groceries early in the morning, leaving her purse at home to help prevent the spread of germs and to have one less thing to carry. Little did she know that Walmart does not have tap.

“I’m just used to the UK, where you can bring your phone and pay for anything you want with Apple Pay,” she said.

After finding the items she was looking for, Boyd arrived at the front of the self-checkout line with a stuffed-to-the-brim Walmart re-usable bag looped over one shoulder and her arms filled with groceries.

“I said to the woman working there, ‘you accept tap on the machine, right?’ The look of pure horror on her face when telling me they don’t have tap pretty much said it all.”

Boyd felt as if she was going to cry. She had just waited in line to get into Walmart, found everything she needed, waited in line to pay, and now she wouldn’t be able to purchase her groceries.

Then a woman – one of four customers using the self-checkout machines ahead of her who Boyd called “the best person in the world” – turned and said, “Let me pay.”

Boyd was so shocked by this kind act that she was again near tears, this time from happiness.

 “The reason I was surprised is because we are in a pandemic and people are trying to stay away from each other and save as much money as they can,” she said. “She offered to pay before I even rang in my groceries; she didn’t really care about the cost. It just goes to show you how generous and kind she really is.”

After the woman helped her, Boyd immediately used her cell phone to transfer the $127 cost of the groceries to the woman, plus a little more as a thank you.

This is not the first time Boyd has been involved in an act of kindness. She’s the type who will pay for the person behind her while purchasing food at a drive-thru.

“You never really know what people are going through,” she said. “It’s all about karma. You put something good out and hopefully get something good back. And I definitely got something good back.”