Thanking an Exceptional President
Dr. Moira McPherson has decided not to stand for a further term as Lakehead's President and Vice-Chancellor when her current term ends in June 2023. "Throughout my 35-year tenure at Lakehead, it has been an absolute privilege to serve you all in various academic and administrative roles, with my most recent 12 years in senior leadership positions," Dr. McPherson said in her announcement.
"While there is still so much to be accomplished, Lakehead stands strong and proud as a vibrant Ontario and Canadian university — one that is, according to Times Higher Education's Impact Rankings, included among the world's top 100 universities as a result of our success in addressing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals."
Lakehead Board of Governors Chair Angie Maltese expressed her gratitude for Dr. McPherson's achievements, saying: "During this time, the Board fully supports Dr. McPherson and knows we can all continue to rely on her outstanding leadership until a successor is in place. We also anticipate that Dr. McPherson will play a significant role in transitioning to the next president."
Trinity School of Medicine Partnership
Lakehead is partnering with the Trinity School of Medicine – a highly accredited, international medical school located on the beautiful island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean – to give our students a clear and defined path to becoming practicing MDs. Lakehead students will also gain an important competitive advantage. Along with a waived application fee and scholarships exclusively available to Lakehead students, Trinity will provide a streamlined admissions process, granting conditional acceptance to applicants that meet Trinity's academic acceptance requirements. "What many people don't realize is that most medical schools don't allow students to even touch a patient until their third or fourth year," said Warren Ison, Trinity's Canadian Regional Director of Admissions. "But Trinity recognizes the value in hands-on experience, which is why students begin working directly with patients beginning their very first term. Our partnership with Lakehead means we will be able to produce more experienced doctors who can practice in Canada and contribute to the correction of the ongoing physician shortage."
In Memoriam: David Tamblyn
The Lakehead University family was very saddened to learn of the passing of David Tamblyn – our former Board of Governors Chair (2016-2018) and long-time friend of Lakehead. We offer our deepest condolences to the Tamblyn family who’ve been assured that the work we began with them to honour David’s legacy will continue. David’s family has been a part of Lakehead since its first days when his father, William Tamblyn, was named our first President and Vice-Chancellor in 1965. David’s commitment to Lakehead extended beyond his work as a Board member to include enhancing services and supports for students and future students. His championing of Lakehead’s Achievement Program – an initiative that helps potential future students overcome socio-economic barriers to postsecondary education – is just one example of the legacy he leaves. In honour of David’s life and contributions to Lakehead University, the flags at both our campuses were lowered on Saturday, April 9, 2022.
You can read more about David in his family's obituary tribute to him.
Taking Engineering to the Next Level
Lakehead-Georgian Partnership's electrical engineering degree program has received the maximum possible accreditation from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).
"It is a testament to the high-quality curriculum, the exceptional student learning experience, and the strength of our partnerships with employers," said Lakehead Engineering Dean Dr. Janusz Kozinski. The CEAB is responsible for accrediting all Canadian undergraduate engineering programs. To be accredited, a program must meet or exceed educational standards acceptable for professional engineering registration in Canada. It's a powerful endorsement of the Lakehead-Georgian Partnership's unique Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree. "The accreditation of our partnership program, coupled with the unique degree-diploma option and co-op/internship opportunities, will continue to make this program very attractive for students considering a career in engineering," said Dr. Bill Angelakos, Georgian College Dean of Technology and Visual Arts. "It is also positive news for our community and industry partners." Visit www.engineerscanada.ca for more information.
Why are we so heroic? And so spiteful?
Individuals can go to extraordinary lengths to help or harm others, and this made Dr. DB Krupp curious. Dr. Krupp, a Lakehead Orillia interdisciplinary studies professor, and his collaborator, Dr. Wes Maciejewski from San José State University, turned their attention to figuring out why this happens. In their recent theoretical breakthrough article, "The evolution of extraordinary self-sacrifice" published in Scientific Reports they argue that individuals can evolve to hurt themselves more than they help or harm other people. And these extreme responses aren't limited to humans. Plants, insects, animals, and even amoeba, will sometimes lay everything on the line for others.
Dr. Krupp's research has the potential to help us understand the evolution of multicellular organisms, complex social behaviours, and the weaponry of many species. Ants and termites, for example, will give up their ability to reproduce to find food for the colony and even blow themselves up to spray predators with dangerous sticky compounds. "It turns out individuals do this to help their genetic relatives, because they bear copies of the same genes," Dr. Krupp said.
$1.2 million to Investigate Cancer Prevention
Dr. Lana Ray and her research team, in partnership with Indigenous knowledge keepers and Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe'iyewigamig Health Access Centre (WNHAC), are receiving $1.2 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to explore the efficacy of using traditional healing to prevent cancer. Dr. Ray, who is Lakehead's Indigenous Research Chair in Decolonial Futures, will work with WNHAC, traditional knowledge holders, and researchers from Lakehead, Nipissing University, and the University of Toronto. According to Dr. Ray, we need to start thinking about prevalent risk factors for cancer as symptoms of colonialism because this "allows for expanded approaches to primary and secondary cancer prevention." Lakehead's Vice-President of Research and Innovation Dr. Andrew P. Dean added, "Cancer treatments need to be done hand in hand with screening and also with understanding causes. This project identifies common risk factors for cancer among the Indigenous population as directly related to the impact of colonialism."
On Stage at Carnegie Hall
Music students Evelyn Davenport and Jessica Hayes finished first and second place in the 2022 Crescendo International Music Competition. Evelyn won first in the piano category and Jessica won second in the voice category. Following the competition, both students were invited to perform at New York City's Carnegie Hall this past February, although Evelyn was unable to attend due to the pandemic. Jessica sang Si, mi chiamano Mimi from Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème and came first in the competition. Although Evelyn was disappointed about not being able to travel to Carnegie Hall, she was able to perform Brahms's Ballade op. 118 no. 3 in an online concert as part of the winners' recital on February 14, allowing family and friends to enjoy the concert. Before this performance, Evelyn overcame a serious overuse injury in her back and left shoulder. She will be playing at Carnegie Hall in 2023 after winning first place in the American Protege competition in October 2021.
Listen to Jessica sing Si, mi chiamano Mimi.
Listen to Evelyn perform Brahms's Ballade op. 118 no. 3.
Unconventional Mathematics Researcher
Dr. Ruth Beatty was recognized by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) in September 2021 for her high level of achievement at an early stage of her career. The RSC inducted Dr. Beatty into their College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. College members represent an emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leaders who will advance our understanding of the world through the interaction of diverse intellectual, cultural, and social perspectives. Dr. Beatty is a mathematics education researcher at Lakehead Orillia who collaborates with Anishnaabe, Cree, and Métis communities to decolonize education. She was chosen by the RSC because of her community-based research exploring the connections between Western mathematics taught in the Ontario curriculum and Indigenous mathematics demonstrated in practices such as beadwork and weaving. "I am honoured to receive this award for our work," Dr. Beatty said, "which is primarily about building reciprocal relationships with Indigenous knowledge keepers, leaders, artists, and educators as we investigate the mathematics inherent in cultural practices."
Helping Youth in Foster Care
Lakehead has introduced a new tuition waiver to help young people in foster care. "Youth who have experienced the child welfare system are uniquely vulnerable and require specifically tailored support mechanisms to realize success within structures of higher learning," said Ingrid Palmer, the president of the Child Welfare Political Action Committee. As of September 2022, Lakehead's Youth in Care Tuition Waiver covers the full cost of tuition and related program fees for youth working towards their first undergraduate degree. The program accepts applications from current and incoming high school graduates and mature students who are currently, or were formerly, in Simcoe County or Northwestern Ontario's foster care system for at least one year. The bursary is renewable for up to four years. You can find more information about the Youth in Care Tuition Waiver at www.lakeheadu.ca/studentcentral/financing-budgeting/yic_waiver.
Developing Curriculum in Commonwealth Countries
Dr. Gary Pluim's research project "Youth Work Programme and Course Development (Workshop & Curriculum Writing)" received a Partnership Development Grant worth over $155,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. This project is a collaboration between Lakehead researchers, the Commonwealth of Learning, and numerous universities, colleges, and institutes across the Global South. Dr. Pluim, a Lakehead Orillia education professor, and his team are studying the processes for sharing curriculum among Commonwealth countries. Specifically, small countries in the Global South. "Similarities between these countries – in many cases small island developing states – may make it conducive to share these curriculums," Dr. Pluim said. The shared curriculum is geared to training youth workers because throughout this part of the Commonwealth, young people make up the largest segment of the population and are the ones most strongly affected by issues such as climate change, health and wellness, educational success, and chronic underemployment.
Thunderwolves Hockey Celebrates 20 Years
When the Thunderwolves hockey program was launched in the 2001-02 season, it was a chance to build on the proud legacy of Lakehead's Nor'Westers hockey team. But even before the Thunderwolves hit the ice, they garnered overwhelming support. Generous corporate sponsors, the community, and the fans all worked together to bring exciting varsity-level hockey back to Thunder Bay after a long hiatus.
They created one of Canada's first private-public partnerships for the delivery of varsity sports, and they fully financially supported the Thunderwolves for 18 years. This unique partnership also included a television broadcasting agreement with Thunder Bay's Dougall Media that allowed Thunderwolves games to be shown on two local TV stations, as well as nationally on the Star Choice and Bell Express Vu satellite services.
No one could have been happier about the situation than Lakehead's president, Dr. Fred Gilbert, who was a huge hockey fan and keen to increase the national awareness of Lakehead. The strategy paid off. The Thunderwolves set some of the best attendance records among university teams, whether they were playing to packed houses at the Fort William Gardens or at away games.
Of course, a big factor in the Thunderwolves' success has been their superior level of play – they immediately became an annual championship contender in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference. Over the years, there have been many hockey highlights such as being crowned OUA champions in 2006, scoring the most regular season wins in 2007-08 (23-4-1 Record), and hosting the OUA tournament in 2009.
The next 20 years will bring more exciting milestones and victories.
Get the Thunderwolves hockey schedule, buy tickets, and watch games at www.thunderwolveshockey.com