Turning Points | Fall 2021

Turning Points

Back view of Lakehead grads walking onto the stage at a convocation ceremony


Joseph N. Agostino (HBA'75/MA'80) has written several articles that have been published in the journal ETC: A Review of General Semantics. These articles about closure, distal shift, and inductive reasoning are based on research Joseph conducted for his HBA and MA degrees in psychology. In addition to journal publications, he has written articles for magazines including Active Senior's Digest, Autumn View, and Muskoka Seniors Magazine focused on family relationships, institutionalization, health, religion, and their relevance in the lives of our seniors. Joseph and his wife, Donna, moved to Bracebridge, Ontario, in September 2015. They maintain an active lifestyle and continue to enjoy various academic, leisure, and recreational activities.



Marianne Jones (BA'88/BEd'89) was excited to announce the publication of her novel, Maud and Me by Crossfield Publishing in May. Set between Marathon and Thunder Bay in the 1970s, Maud and Me is about the unlikely friendship between an artist and the deceased Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables. Marianne is an award-winning poet and author of seven books, but Maud and Me is her first literary novel.



Scott Peterson (BSc'99/EngDip'03) is the new president of TBT Engineering Limited (TBTE), Northwestern Ontario's largest independently owned engineering consulting firm. Previously, Scott served as TBT Engineering's vice-president. In his new role, he is responsible for providing technical and project management services for many TBTE divisions. Scott is also TBTE's manager of geological and pavement engineering. He specializes in geotechnical and geological investigations and design studies, environmental and hydrogeological investigations and assessments, pavement structure evaluation and rehabilitation investigations and design reports, aggregate and quarry source studies, and wastewater management solutions.

Beth Potter (BA'90, English) was announced as the president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) in March 2021. Beth has a long and distinguished career in Canada's tourism sector, including most recently serving as the president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. She is a recognized leader with more than 30 years of experience in the not-for-profit and tourism industries and has worked with a variety of boards and committees, including her recent contributions to the World Travel & Tourism Council's tourism recovery efforts. In a TIAC media release, Beth said, "These are undoubtedly challenging and difficult times, but the tourism industry is an innovative and resilient sector."

Valerie Stortini (HBSW'94) became the chair of Lakehead University's Ogimaawin Indigenous Education Council (OIEC) in February 2021. OIEC is an important advisory body that meets several times a year as a council and with Lakehead's president and vice-chancellor, to discuss and advise on issues related to Indigenous postsecondary education opportunities. "The OIEC is an engaged group of people from the University community, as well as the community at large," said Valerie, who joined the Council in 2017 and is the employment counsellor for the Apatisiwin Program at the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre.



Rita Fenton (HBSW'01) was profiled in the Anishinabek News on January 13, 2021, for a virtual presentation she made as part of the Dibaajimowin Anishinaabe Storytelling series. Rita, an Elder from the Fort William First Nation, went back to school as a mature learner to earn an Honours Bachelor of Social Work degree from Lakehead in 2001. She also earned a Master of Social Work degree from Wilfrid Laurier University when she was 69 years old. In the Anishinabek News article, Rita said, "I work all over the north. I registered with Matawa (First Nations Management) and Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and whenever there was a crisis, they would call me."

Nathan Lawrence (HBCom'07), a managing partner with Royal LePage Lannon Realty and a licensed mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence, was appointed the new board chair of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce in May 2021. Nathan earned an Honours Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Human Resource Management, from Lakehead University in 2007. He served two terms on the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, including as the 2018/19 board chair. He is the past president of the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce.

Dr. Lana Ray (MPH'07) has been appointed Lakehead University's Indigenous Research Chair in Decolonial Futures. This position is the first of its kind at Lakehead and is part of the University's commitment to strengthen research grounded in Indigenous knowledge and culturally appropriate methodologies. Lana is an Anishinaabe scholar from Opwaaganasiniing (Red Rock Indian Band) who has been a strong voice for the advancement of Indigenous education in Ontario. She is also an assistant professor of Indigenous Learning and the recipient of the 2021 Emerging Voices in Indigenous Scholarship/Researcher Award, presented by the Indigenous Inquiries Circle Awards Committee.

Adrienne Roberts (BEd'09/MEd'16) was the NDP candidate for the riding of Brantford-Brant in the 2021 federal election. Raised in Ancaster, Ontario, Adrienne moved to Brantford in 2011 and has immersed herself in the community. A lover of learning, she has graduated from postsecondary programs at McMaster University, Lakehead University, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. As a third-generation union member, she is an active member of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) and sits on the local executive as secretary. She is also the vice-president of the Brantford-Brant NDP riding association.



Matt Pascuzzo (BA'17, Political Science) left a position as the senior communications and issues management adviser for federal Minister of Health Patty Hajdu in 2020 to return to his alma mater and enrol at Lakehead's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. Matt first began working for Minister Hajdu during her 2015 election campaign while he was still a political science student. During his time in Ottawa, he also worked as a press secretary with the Prime Minister's Office. Matt is now starting his second year of studies at the law school.



Ashley Faulkner (HBSc'20), a current Master of Science in Biology student, won first place in the Three-Minute Thesis competition at Lakehead's 2021 Research and Innovation Week, which was focused on the theme of "Our Changing World." Ashley joined other Lakehead researchers highlighting the positive impact their research is having regionally and further afield. Ashley's thesis is being supervised by Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe, a Lakehead research chair who studies human papillomavirus (HPV) and cancer prevention.


In Memoriam

Peter Sadler Kerr (EngDip'85/ BEng'87) passed away on April 8, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. Peter, who was born on August 29, 1960, was known for his deep appreciation of the outdoors, his integrity, and his work ethic. He was also incredibly determined, which served Peter well when he returned to high school as an adult learner and then completed a civil engineering degree at Lakehead. He was a respected engineer who had a great impact on his places of employment: Lakehead University, the Town of Atikokan, and Ontario Power Generation. He is survived by his wife Leslie and his children Lindsay, Mitchell, and Mellisa. Should you wish, donations to the Atikokan General Hospital Foundation or TBHRSF Northern Cancer Fund in Peter's memory would be appreciated.



Back to Fall 2021