Getting Simcoe County Grads Job Ready
The Ontario government is investing $2.56 million in the Lakehead University- Georgian College partnership in Simcoe County. Nearly 3,000 postsecondary students currently benefit from this program, which allows them to earn both a university degree and a college diploma in four years. This partnership is focused on meeting the changing needs of the local economy and preparing graduates with a mix of degree-level education and technical skills.
"Collaborations like Lakehead-Georgian provide students with localopportunities to build the knowledge and skills they need to find meaningful jobs," explained Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop.
Lakehead and Georgian will each receive $1.28 million in 2022-23 to increase access to higher education and help students get good jobs.
"Since 2017, Lakehead University and Georgian College's formal partnership has provided students from Simcoe County and beyond with the opportunity to graduate from STEM fields of study with the best degree-diploma learning experiences available," said Lakehead President Moira McPherson.
Welcoming Interim Orillia Campus Principal
Dr. Linda Rodenburg stepped into the role of interim Principal of the Orillia Campus on July 1, 2022. Dr. Rodenburg has over 15 years of teaching and service experience at Lakehead Orillia and in the external community. Most recently, she's had a positive impact as the Director of Community Engagement and Lifelong Learning. She's also an alumna with two Lakehead degrees.
According to President Moira McPherson, "The ongoing expansion of our Orillia Campus, including the objectives outlined in the Orillia Outlook plan, as well as the growth of our Lakehead-Georgian Partnership, will continue to be top of mind during this transition."
Dr. Rodenburg is taking over from Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, who completed his term as Principal of the Orillia Campus at the end of June 2022 and is returning to his scholarly research and to the classroom.
"My sincerest congratulations to Dean for his significant achievements as principal," Dr. McPherson said.
New Confederation College Partnership
In April, Lakehead University and Confederation College signed a joint admission agreement for 33 diploma-to-degree programs. This will allowstudents earning a college diploma to seamlessly transfer to undergraduate
studies at Lakehead. By eliminating red tape, time, and costs, the agreement will overcome barriers to higher education and encourage students to continue their postsecondary education after they complete their diploma program.
"If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that access to postsecondary education and the ability for individuals and families to plan long term cannot be taken for granted," said Lakehead Provost and Vice-President (Academic) David Barnett.
This agreement expands existing diploma-to-degree programs already offered by Lakehead and the College.
Keeping Workers Safe
The Ontario government is working for workers by investing $5.5 million in groundbreaking workplace health and safety research led by the Enhancing Prevention of Injury and Disability @ Work (EPID@Work) Research Institute at Lakehead University.
As part of this five-year project, EPID@Work will help Northern Ontario employers reduce mental health stigma in their workplaces, improve support for workers, and ensure that managers have the tools for the early identification of mental health symptoms.
"Every worker in Northern Ontario should feel safe and supported on the job, and they deserve to come home safe to their loved ones after a hard day's work," said Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton.
The funding will also assist ongoing research to understand Indigenous workers' experiences in Northern Ontario workplaces to prevent injuries and provide them with better mental health support.
Helping Hungry Students
The Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) food bank on the Thunder Bay campus had its grand opening in June 2022. Now called the Food Resource Centre, it offers emergency food support to all Lakehead students.
"Food prices are rising, and we've seen an increase in students accessing our services," said LUSU Executive Director Farhan Yousaf. "Our previous space, though, was dark, depressing, and unwelcoming. Things needed to change."
The new food bank also has a kitchen and a lounge area for students. "It's a very unique space—I think it's the first of its kind on a Canadian campus," Yousaf added.
France's Rennes School of Business
A partnership with the Rennes School of Business in France will allow both Lakehead and Rennes students to enrol in the new International Dual Degree Program and earn two degrees in four years. Lakehead students will go on a year-long exchange in their third year before returning to Lakehead to complete their studies.
"Our collaboration with Rennes will allow us to strengthen our international partnerships and support our goal of developing cultural competencies and global skills necessary for the future," said Lakehead Vice-Provost, International James Aldridge.
Upon graduation, students will receive both an Honours Bachelormof Commerce from Lakehead and a Bachelor in Management from the Rennes School of Business. Learn more at: www.lakeheadu.ca/internationaldualdegree.
Making the World a Better Place
Lakehead was declared the highest-ranked university in the world with under 10,000 students in the annual Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. These rankings measure the societal impact of universities by evaluating t heirsuccess in advancing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). According to the United Nations, the SDGs are "a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity."
"Over the last three years, we have strengthened our commitment to social justice and to Indigenous, social, and environmental sustainability," Lakehead President Moira McPherson said. "This ranking is so very exciting and reflects Lakehead's role in fostering a greater understanding of local and global societal issues and inspiring positive change."
In addition, for the third year in a row, Lakehead was one of the Impact Rankings' top 100 universities of all sizes—ranking 64th out of 1,406 universities from around the world.
Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin Institute Opens
May 30, 2022 marked the launch of the Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin Institute (AKI) at Lakehead University. "Anishinaabe Kendaasiwin"—which loosely translates to "Anishnaabe knowledge systems"—seeks to privilege Anishinaabe ways of knowing. This encompasses championing research excellence defined by Anishinaabe peoples and principles, expanding Indigenous-governed and driven research, and supporting community building and mobilization between Indigenous peoples.
"AKI was founded on the premise that if research is done right, it can play an important role in advancing the visions and needs of Indigenous peoples and lands," said AKI Director Lana Ray.
AKI began its work by hosting "Telling Our Stories: Indigenous Self-Determination in Data and Research," a Native American and Indigenous Studies Association regional conference that took place in May 2022.
Fostering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Dr. Sandra Jeppesen is leading an international team of scholars and community organizations that will strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) practices. Dr. Jeppesen—an Orillia campus media, film, and communications professor—has received $448,376 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada through their new Race, Gender, and Diversity Initiative launched this year.
"Institutional policies surrounding EDI have become commonplace, but have proven quite inadequate in improving inequality," Dr. Jeppesen said. "We aim to develop more effective practices throughout organizations."
Results from their research will spur the development of toolkits and workshops that will assist organizations across Canada through a proof-of-concept trial run.
A Bridge to Victory
Lakehead's engineering team won first place overall in the Student Steel Bridge Regional Competition organized by the American Institute of Steel Construction and the American Society of Civil Engineers in April 2022. This annual competition challenges student teams to create a 20-footlong steel bridge that's judged on construction speed, lightness, stiffness, construction economy, structural efficiency, overall performance, cost estimation, and aesthetics.
Fourth-year civil engineering students Damien Grayda, Paul Graham, Philip Duke, Felix Lasalle, and Matthew Scott travelled to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to compete. Their victory in the regionals allowed them to advance to the finals at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where they placed 11th overall and brought back two awards: second in lightness and second in cost estimation. Lakehead also placed first among the Canadian teams in overall ranking, ahead of the University of British Columbia, which placed 14th.
$1 million for University-City Partnerships
Improving the health of Thunder Bay and Ottawa residents is the goal of a partnership of academic researchers, universities, and municipalities that was awarded a $1-million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Lakehead University, NOSM University, and the City of Thunder Bay are collaborating with the University of Ottawa and the City of Ottawa to address health and safety priorities. Thunder Bay will receive $370K over four years to implement the project. The funding will also evaluate the reciprocal relationship between cities and academic institutions and their ability to improve population health outcomes. Thunder Bay and Ottawa share many challenges linked to the social determinants of health in the areas of poverty, education, housing, racism, childhood experiences, and access to health services.
Collaborating with Writers, Artists, and Filmmakers
English and Interdisciplinary Studies Professor Dr. Cheryl Lousley and her research team received a $319,473 Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. They're studying how three literary aesthetic modes—the poetic, the documentary, and the speculative—are used by Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian-diasporic writers, filmmakers, and artists to grapple with, and change, debilitating political ecologies.
"We will examine how cultural production, political economy, settler colonialism, and environmentality intersected in four periods of the Canadian nation-building project," Dr. Lousley said.
This research will fill a large gap since there is limited social sciences and humanities research focused on racialization and ecology in Canada.