On the Map | Fall 2021

On the Map

Image of a contour map

Ready to Grow Together


Aerial View of Orillia Campus

The Lakehead Orillia campus was established in 2006 with a vision for regional growth and prosperity. Fifteen years later, Lakehead Orillia is providing access to education in new ways, and we are only getting started.

The Orillia campus continues to be a leader in community-driven initiatives – from continuing education and lifelong learning to community-based research. Recent highlights include partnering with Georgian College on the Executive Leadership Program, the launch of the Industry 4.0: Automation Accelerator Pilot Program with the County of Simcoe, and the expansion of our Master Naturalist Program to Simcoe County District School Board high school students.

"We recognize the important role postsecondary education plays in creating thriving, healthy communities," said Orillia Campus Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, expressing that his hope is to grow the Orillia campus's economic impact from $190 million to $400 million over the next 10 years.

"Through teaching, community engagement, and research, we are committed to the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the communities in which we live and serve."

In 2020-2021, there were 1,662 students enrolled at the Orillia campus, including 756 from the County of Simcoe and 69 international students from 17 countries, up 15 per cent over the previous year. We are also pleased to see an increase of 53 per cent in the number of graduate students and to have had the first graduates of the Lakehead-Georgian Partnership receive their diplomas and degrees at convocation this past spring.

"We are committed to the establishment of a high performing, diverse, and innovative academic community through the strengthening of the Lakehead-Georgian Partnership, engaging with Indigenous education systems, and outreach to nontraditional learners," said Dr. Jobin-Bevans.

This is important because 95 per cent of domestic students at Lakehead Orillia still face barriers to accessing university education. These barriers reaffirm our resolve to work hand in hand with our partners to meet the evolving societal and economic needs of the region.

"Over the next 10 years, our focus will be to effectively double our current enrolment on the Orillia campus in part through the addition of new programs of study, and a greater emphasis on the internationalization of our campus community," said Dr. Jobin-Bevans.

To assist with the delivery of this bold objective, Lakehead Orillia will add a variety of flexible learning options specializing in innovation and technology skills training. In partnership with the regional community, including members of the Orillia-based President's Advisory Committee on Economic Development (PACED), we are in a strong position to meet – and exceed – our plans to grow and develop our Lakehead Orillia campus over this 10-year horizon," said Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead University's President and Vice-Chancellor.

We invite our communities to stay tuned for further progress reports and updates from our Lakehead University Orillia campus, where exciting times lie ahead!


Experienced New VP Takes the Helm

Lakehead welcomed Michael den Haan on May 5 as the new Vice- President, External Relations.

"I'm excited to join this close-knit community as we continue to respond in the face of shifting regional and global realities," he said. "Lakehead University is a special place because its students, alumni, faculty, and staff have demonstrated an enduring commitment to the mission of Lakehead for society. Our strategic plan includes a number of transformative initiatives, and I can't wait to get started."

New Lakehead External Relations VP Miichael den Haan

Michael den Haan, Vice-President, External Relations

Mr. den Haan brings 25 years of experience in fundraising, donor, alumni and volunteer engagement, communications, governance, and external relations. He most recently served as Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement at Simon Fraser University, and he's had leadership roles with the MS Society of Canada and the University of Waterloo. He also led the launch of the University of Toronto's Temerty Faculty of Medicine's recent $500-million capital campaign, and he's eager to bring his exceptional fundraising and relationship-building skills to Lakehead.


Babes in the Woods Case

The search for clues in one of Vancouver's oldest unsolved murders – the Babes in the Woods case – is continuing with the help of Lakehead's Paleo-DNA Laboratory. The Paleo-DNA Lab has successfully extracted DNA from the bones of two boys, aged seven and eight, who were killed in the late 1940s. The Lab is working with Redgrave Research Forensics Services and the Vancouver Police Department to identify the boys, and maybe even determine who killed them. The children lay undiscovered beneath thick brush in Stanley Park until a groundskeeper found their remains in 1953. Their bodies had been covered by a woman's fur coat, along with a picnic basket filled with petrified food and the hatchet that had been used to kill them.

To report a tip, call the Vancouver Police Department's Homicide Tip Line at (604) 717-2500.


Award-winning Let's Talk Science Team

The Lakehead Orillia campus Let's Talk Science outreach team received the 2021 Indigenous Outreach Project Award for its partnership with the Beausoleil First Nation Education Department. Let's Talk Science is a national organization that prepares Canadian youth for STEM careers and their responsibilities as citizens. It works with over 50 universities, colleges, and research institutes and over 3,500 volunteers to bring science outreach to young people across Canada. The Lakehead Orillia team was chosen for the Indigenous Outreach Project because its partnership allowed Lakehead Bachelor of Education program teacher candidates/Let's Talk Science volunteers to engage students at Beausoleil's Christian Island Elementary School in STEM focused-learning opportunities.


Turning Youth Naturalists into Leaders

 Youth Naturalists on Field TripThe Ontario Youth Naturalist Program is introducing Simcoe County high school students to the world of conservation and environmental sustainability. The program is an initiative of Lakehead’s Office of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning, run in partnership with Parks Canada and the Simcoe County District School Board.

Students in the program are eligible for a $500 Lakehead bursary.

The program is open to high school students in the Specialist High Skills Major (Environment) stream. Since its launch in February 2021, over 200 students from Elmvale District Secondary School, Innisdale Secondary School, Nantyr Shores Secondary School, and Stayner Collegiate Institute have taken part. The programming will be expanded this fall with the assistance of Parks Canada and Bass Lake Farms, and with the support of the Invasive Species Centre ($1,000) and TD Friends of the  Environment Foundation ($8,300).


More Choices for Education Students

Starting this fall, the Faculty of Education’s two-year consecutive Intermediate/Senior (I/S) professional program will be offered at the Orillia campus. Thirty-five students will be part of the first class. These education students will be qualified to teach children in Grades 7-12 and will have the option to major in history, geography, social sciences, or English. They will also be able to teach at the Primary/ Junior level. Lakehead Orillia has been training students specializing at the Primary/Junior level for over 10 years and they are pleased to be able to offer this expanded program focused on the Intermediate/Senior level. Lakehead’s education degrees prepare students for careers as teachers, principals, school counsellors, curriculum developers, and writers. The Orillia campus plans to increase the number of spaces available in the I/S program over the next few years.


In Memoriam – Linda Phillips

Former Lakehead employee Linda Phillips passed away on March 10 at the age of 78. Linda was a witness to key moments in the University’s history. When Lakehead became a university in 1965, Linda became secretary to our first president, Dr. Bill Tamblyn. Her career spanned almost 41 years and she served one principal, one acting president, and five presidents. She retired from Lakehead in 2001 during Dr. Fred Gilbert’s tenure.

You can celebrate Linda’s memory by donating to the Linda Phillips Memorial Bursary, which supports students enrolled in the English program. Please visit donate.lakeheadu.ca or mail your gift to:

External Relations
Lakehead University
955 Oliver Rd
Thunder Bay ON
P7B 5E1


Fighting for Firefighters

The research project, "Protecting those who protect us: Supporting development of a mental health management strategy for Thunder Bay Fire Rescue" is helping firefighters stay resilient. According to kinesiology professor and researcher Dr. Kathryn Sinden, "Our focus on firefighter mental health has opened discussions in the fire stations, which has aided in reducing the long-standing stigma associated with mental health in the fire service."

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Researchers receive an award

Celebrating firefighter research (L-R): Dennis Brescacin, Regan Bolduc, Chief Greg Hankkio, Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Dr. Kathryn Sinden, and Deputy Chief Dave Paxton

The team of Lakehead University and Thunder Bay Fire Rescue researchers received a 2021 Community-Engaged Research Award in a virtual ceremony held in March during Lakehead's Research and Innovation Week. On July 15, the team was happy to have the opportunity to gather in person to celebrate their award.


First Lakehead-Georgian Students Graduate

The Lakehead-Georgian Partnership, a collaboration between Lakehead University and Georgian College, celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of 10 students this past June.

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) degree and Electrical Engineering Technology advanced diploma program as well as students enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science (Environmental Sustainability) Specialization in Ecosystem Management degree and Environmental Technician diploma program, earned their degree diplomas.

Stephen Bond

Stephen Bond of Barrie, Ontario, was one of the first electrical engineering students to set foot on Georgian’s Barrie campus back in September 2017. “It’s definitely a bittersweet moment for me,” he said. “I’m happy to be graduating and moving on to the next chapter of my life, but it’s hard to believe that my days at Lakehead-Georgian are behind me!"







Indigenous Law and Justice Institute

View of Law School with flowers in foreground

Lakehead’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is receiving up to $437,139 from the Government of Canada's Justice Partnership and Innovation Program. The funding is being used to launch the Indigenous Law and Justice Institute, Maamawi Bimosewag – They Walk Together, and to expand Lakehead’s law program.

This will allow Lakehead to meet the Truth & Reconciliation Commission's Call to Action #50, which urges the creation of Indigenous law institutes. “The Institute is an expression of the commitment of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law to be a partner in the revitalization of Indigenous laws,” said Law Dean Jula Hughes.

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