Business News

Lakehead graduate managing Hamilton’s COVID-19 hotline
Prior to COVID-19 arriving in Canada, Michael Bush was in charge of inventory management, storage and handling practices, and data management for the... full story
Research in Action: Uncovering the importance of human capital
Before he became a university professor and author, Dr. Kunle Akingbola had a successful career as a Human Resources (HR) professional.
Lakehead University’s Business Administration team placed 2nd in ACHIEVE competition
Four students from Lakehead University Thunder Bay earned second place in a competition held during the ACHIEVE conference in Toronto on Friday, Jan... full story
Congratulations to Dr. Camillo Lento
Congratulations to Dr. Camillo Lento, who received a Distinguished Instructor Award at the Lakehead University Senate meeting held in November.

Faculty of Business welcomes Guest Speakers in Project Management

Project Management Speakers

It was an eventful day for the Faculty of Business' MBA students December 2, 2019. We welcomed a variety of guest speakers to engage our Project Management students on different ideas with respect to the subject. Ms. Emily Shandruk, Director of Events & Community Involvement, Destination and Member Relations Coordinator, Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, has also been teaching the MBA students this past Fall 2019, discussed Planning for the unexpected, a topic which grabbed everyone's attention.

Our second speaker, Mr. Youlian Peng, Founder of Peng You Taiji Quan Association and Councillor, City of Thunder Bay, discussed Tai-chi Perspective, Culture and Approach in Project Communications. A riveting topic, Mr. Peng has been very passionate to advocate Tai-chi culture and philosophy at both local communities and international events. To name a few, the International Wushu Federation has awarded the 2024 World Taijiquan (Tai Chi) Championships to the City of Thunder Bay, and the city will also host next year's International Wushu Festival and National Championships at the Lakehead University. He shared his personal experiences in the city election and the initiatives and planning of those events. He applied Taiji philosophy and approach to leverage various resources and to enhance the communications and collaborations in succeeding those projects and events.

Mr. Jeff Palmer, Community Planner, Urban Systems Ltd. and Director, Canadian Institute of Planners, gave our students some insights into the Victoriaville Centre Options, and some ideas that the City of Thunder Bay has and what their plans are for the shopping centre.

We would like to thank each of our speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to speak with our students, and look forward to future collaborations with these, and other speakers to come.

Lakehead students help Resolute solve HR challenges

Lakehead HR Students

By: PhebeAnn Wolframe-Smith

Students often learn best by doing. Dr. Kathy Sanderson’s fourth year Human Resources Planning Class at Lakehead University offers just such an opportunity. Through a partnership with Resolute Forest Products, students in the class get to work on real-world challenges.

“The partnership with Resolute allows students to learn more about Northwestern Ontario and the specific challenges of recruitment of target populations, such as women, people from the local area, or newcomers to Canada,” said Sanderson, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration.

“The students learn not only how to do the research, but to present what they have learned in a professional manner,” she said.

In 2017, Sanderson partnered with Resolute to allow her class to help address human resource challenges identified by the company. The class has tackled issues like recruitment, retention, training, and worker diversity.

In groups of four or five, students work on a specific aspect of the project. For example, one group may look at an HR challenge in the Thunder Bay context, while another considers the same issue in Atikokan. Students may ask follow-up questions of Resolute’s HR team, who are available throughout the project.

As a whole, the class works together to conduct an environmental scan – gathering information about the organization’s internal and external environments – and then designs a survey around the research questions to be distributed to front line workers.

When the survey is complete, all students work together to organize the data, and then each team analyzes and interprets the portion of the data that applies to their specific research question. At the end of the class, each group presents a report of their findings along with recommendations to the human resources team at Resolute.

Following the first year of the partnership, staff at Resolute were impressed with the recommendations the students presented at the end of the project – in fact, they were so impressed that they hired a Lakehead Business graduate. That student was Jillian Labossiere, a Human Resources Advisor for Resolute Forest Products, Ontario Woodlands. Labossiere is now involved with Sanderson’s class as a Resolute employee rather than as a student.

Sanderson’s partnership with Resolute Forest Products is now in its fourth year, and the class is popular among business students because of the opportunity it presents.

Jamie Manitowabi, a Lakehead alumna from Wiikwemkoong, Manitoulin Island, took part in the class last year, and graduated with her Honours Bachelor of Commerce in the spring of 2019. “It was a great learning experience where we got a chance to act as consultants,” she said. The group Manitowabi was part of worked with the Atikokan sawmill to develop a strategy to promote the community of Atikokan as a place to live.

“We learned what people in Atikokan liked about living there – the sense of community, abundance of outdoor activities – and what they didn’t like: fewer events and places to shop than in larger centres,” Manitowabi said.

“Understanding real-world human resource problems, having research skills, and being able to show that I can complete a project on a tight deadline will all be helpful in entering the human resources job market,” she added.

One of the recommendations that came out of Manitowabi’s class project last year was to create a recruitment video for the Atikokan Sawmill to challenge stereotypes that the industry is male-dominated, to promote a diverse workforce, and to highlight the sense of community at the Atikokan mill.

“Our video is one example of a great idea that was implemented. The class brings fresh new perspectives and current theories to the company, and students have the opportunity to learn about industry issues taking place in their communities,” Labossiere said.

Sanderson’s Human Resources Planning class is once again working with Resolute in the 2019/2020 academic year. You can see some of the Resolute recruitment videos developed as a result of their consultation with previous classes at their YouTube channel, including the project featuring the Atikokan sawmill, which is available at

...And new Chapter. Welcome Dean Dr. David Richards


The faculty and staff at Lakehead University’s Faculty of Business Administration are pleased to congratulate Dr. David Richards on his appointment as the new Dean beginning Monday, July 1, 2019.

Dr. Richards joined Lakehead University in 2008 as a faculty member, and was later appointed as Assistant Dean in 2012, and additionally as the Graduate Studies Coordinator in 2016. He also played an instrumental role in the development of student programs such as the RBC Work Integrated Learning Program and Partners in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Please feel free to drop by in his new office in RB 1014 to offer your best wishes and support to Dr. Richards, or when you see him in the hallways, or anywhere you might find him on campus.

The End of an Era

The faculty and staff in the Faculty of Business Administration at Lakehead University gathered together today to say farewell to Dr. Bahram Dadgostar. After 24 dedicated years as Dean, Dr. Dadgostar has said farewell. 

Dr. Dadgostar joined Lakehead University as a faculty member in 1983, and appointed Dean in 1995. As Dean, he has many accomplishments, which include establishing the MBA and MSc in Management degrees, accreditation with both AACSB and CPA, and a partnership with RBC in experiential learning.

A lasting impact on the Faculty of Business Administration, and Lakehead University, we are grateful for the time that Dr. Dadgostar gave to us. He will be greatly missed and we wish him well in his future endeavors.