September Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

We are pleased to announce that the September issue of our Education Exchange newsletter has been published. This newsletter brings our current and former students as well as our educational partners together to share news, successes, and innovations.

To access our Education Exchange newsletter, click the following link:

Education Exchange Newsletter (September 2019)

To see previous issues of the newsletter, visit the newsletter archives.


Master of Education Student Jackie Chan Wins 3M Fellowship Award

Master of Education student Jackie Chan was awarded the prestigious 3M National Student Leadership Fellowship – an award from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education that recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their lives, at their post-secondary institution.

Jackie is the first Lakehead University student to win this award, which recognizes his many notable leadership and mentorship initiatives relating to social justice for youth, and his passionate commitment to building relationships across culture, class, and race.

One of these initiatives was Jackie’s involvement in running a land-based, well-being camp at Kingfisher Outdoor Education Centre last March. At the camp he worked with 18 Indigenous high school students as part of his research into play-based, laughter-based community building and mental health leadership.

“Before we deal with this issue of decolonizing, we have to build relationships of trust, and that can be done through laughter and play,” he explained in a recent news article.

The Kingfisher camp was part of his work with the Tikkun Indigenous Youth Project, a SSHRC-funded project out the University of Windsor exploring how young people are contributing to social healing and change.

This summer, Jackie took one of the Indigenous youth from the Kingfisher camp to Camp Arowhon, a private summer camp in Algonquin Park where he works. He also started a penpal program between Jamaican youth and elementary students at the inner-city Ogden Community Public School in Thunder Bay, and he is co-founder and director of Zen's Outdoor Leadership Camp for Youth, an NGO where he leads groups to Jamaica and Nepal to facilitate volunteer-driven service learning programs.

Dr. Lisa Korteweg is Jackie’s MEd research supervisor.

Jackie says that receiving the 3M award is “validation and motivation for me to continue on the path I am on.”

Dr. Ann Kajander’s Mathematics Research Supported through Fields Institute Grant

Dr. Ann Kajander, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, is an Expert Panel member of the Mathematics Knowledge Network, hosted by the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences.

The Fields Institute was recently awarded a five-year grant from the Ministry of Education to host the Mathematics Knowledge Network for Ontario. Within the larger network are four Communities of Practice. Dr. Kajander's project, entitled Transitions in Grade 9 Mathematics, is contained within the Critical Transitions Community of Practice.

Dr. Kajander explains that this grant will enable her to continue her research projects in conjunction with the Mathematics Knowledge Network, with a special focus on Grade 9 transitions and locally developed math courses.

"The Locally Developed courses are not evaluated by EQAO, and hence often fall outside the funding sources for school improvement. These courses, taken by some of our very neediest students, serve 7% of Grade 9 students provincially, with a slightly higher percentage locally. It's time these students' needs become more of a focus,” she explains.

The Mathematics Knowledge Network brings together diverse mathematics education stakeholders from across Ontario to mobilize evidence from research and professional practice and facilitate the use of evidence-based practices for mathematics instruction, to support improved educational achievement.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Awarded: Advancing Sustainability in the Lake Superior Watershed

Dr. Charles Levkoe, Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, Associate Professor in Health Sciences, and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education, is leading a partnership that will receive $188,106 over the next three years.

The research project is entitled Lake Superior Living Labs Network: Enhancing Capacity for Regenerative Social-Ecological Systems. Co-investigators include Faculty of Education professors Dr. Constance Russell and Dr. David Greenwood. 

This research will explore how postsecondary institutions might play a stronger role in advancing sustainability goals (including health and social and environmental justice) in the Lake Superior Watershed by turning higher education institutions into hubs for interdisciplinary “living laboratories” that integrate teaching, research, place-based experiential learning, and community engagement.

The project brings together four universities to serve as hubs (Lakehead University, University of Minnesota Duluth, Algoma University, Lake Superior College - Duluth) and numerous community organizations and First Nations as partners through the new Lake Superior Living Labs Network. More information is available at

Pictured below: Dr. Charles Levkoe, Dr. Constance Russell, and Dr. David Greenwood.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant Award: Research on Self-Regulation and Literacy Development

Congratulations to Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, Associate Professor (Orillia) and co-investigator Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston (Assistant Professor, Orillia), who are receiving $196,268 to spend three years using research methods that have been selected in consultation with a partner organization (Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre) and Indigenous community members.

Their research is entitled Supporting the Development of Young Children's Self-Regulation Capacities and Literacy Skills in Ontario's Northern Communities: Engaging Families and Educators.

Self-regulation is crucial to healthy child development including mental health, learning, resilience, and caring relationships in families, schools and communities. When self-regulation is compromised, so is literacy development.

Literacy rates in the north are lower than provincial averages and there are a rising number of students dealing with mental health challenges that impact academic achievement. This project will investigate whether promoting self-regulation through culturally appropriate techniques such as storytelling will help to improve well-being, literacy outcomes and overall school success. The research study adopts a holistic approach, engaging teachers, children and community members.

Pictured below: Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo and Dr. Meridith Lovell-Johnston

Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler, named Outstanding Indigenous Educator

Congratulations to Tesa Fiddler (MEd, 2012), a teacher with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board, who was recently named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation.  

Tesa is a member of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake First Nation) with family connections to Onigaming and Muskrat Dam First Nations. She has worked as an Indigenous Education Resource Teacher for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board since 2011.

From 2011 to 2016, Tesa was a co-instructor with Dr. Lisa Korteweg in the course “Indigenizing Perspectives and Practices in Education,” at Lakehead University, among other classes.

She also taught at Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win Education Institute, and York University.     

Pictured below: Tesa Fiddler, right, received a certificate from CTF President Shelley Morse after being named the 2019 Outstanding Indigenous Educator by the Canadian Teacher's Federation.


Master of Education Student Robin Faye’s Artwork Featured in Public Show

Robin Faye, a visual artist and Master of Education student with a focus on Environmental and Sustainability Education, has created an art piece (see below) currently on display at the “Breaking Ground” exhibition at the Baggage Building Arts Centre in Thunder Bay.

The artwork is an interactive piece about pedagogical learning spaces. Robin created it as part of an arts-integrated research project conducted by Dr. Pauline Sameshima, her thesis supervisor. The artwork invites viewers to gently move inside it and sit on a meditation cushion to contemplate.

Robin explains that Dr. Sameshima worked with yoga teachers in her research, inviting the participants to write about their training process and respond to art she had created. Robin then read what the participants had written, and responded with the creation of her own piece, which deliberately remains untitled.

“My artwork is my impression of the yoga teachers’ experiences,” she explains. “Viewers will have their own interpretations of it, but some themes include contemplation, personal growth, and internal experiences. It references a snake skin, as one of the participants described her experience of growing as a yoga teacher to be like shedding her skin, like a snake.”

Robin adds that arts-integrated research is a dialogic process between artist and participant, with a goal of authentic expression. It’s a fluid process that can change according to context – much like one’s impressions of art.

Robin’s artwork was selected as the cover art for the show, which is a spring exhibition of multidisciplinary works by 20 artists. It is on view until June 29th at the Baggage Building Arts Centre in Thunder Bay.

Her work is also exhibited online at Lakehead University's Arts Integrated Studies Virtual Gallery, which is curated by a jury coordinated by Dr. Sameshima. 

PhD Student Holly Prince Awarded Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship

Holly Prince is one of only 20 doctoral students from across Canada and the globe who has received a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards in Canada in the social sciences and humanities fields.

Prince is an Indigenous scholar and Anishinaabekwe from the Red Rock Indian Band, Lake Helen Reserve, and currently a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education (Thunder Bay campus), supervised by Dr. Lisa Korteweg, in the Joint PhD in Education program.

For more than a decade, Prince has been working as a researcher and project manager at the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH), focused on improving the end-of-life care in Indigenous communities with the active collaboration of community members.

Her current PhD work is situated in Indigenous community-based educational research, interdisciplinary in its focus on accessible, culturally relevant, well-being and education services, determined with and controlled by Indigenous people.

Prince has been awarded $180,000 over three years to advance her research into First Nations community-based palliative care education and programs, including funds to promote travel for research and scholarly networking and knowledge dissemination.

“I am extremely excited to have been awarded this honour and to become part of the new doctoral cohort in the Trudeau Foundation scholarly community,” said Prince.

“I feel both humbled and extremely responsible in my role as an Indigenous scholar, to see my own doctoral work as improving the conditions for academic research with Indigenous communities or bringing research back to life or positive repute in communities.”

“The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (PETF) encourages research that strives to make societal change through academia,” Prince said.

“Being part of such an accomplished and influential academic community will offer great opportunities to move Canadian institutions, like healthcare and education, forward in prioritizing Indigenous peoples, communities and our knowledge systems in research. I look forward to inquiring with fellow PETF scholars and mentors as to how academia can respectfully recognize the importance of Indigenous perspectives in the pursuit of knowledge and ideas.”

Even though Prince’s research is specifically situated in palliative care education in Indigenous communities, she said this kind of work is relevant for all research in Canada, given the “longstanding broken relationships between Indigenous communities and universities and an ongoing inadequate acknowledgement of the value of Indigenous knowledge systems and community-based control.”

The Trudeau Foundation receives nominations from top PhD candidates in the Social Sciences and Humanities fields from universities across Canada and internationally. About 300 exceptional PhD students are nominated by their home universities, but only 20 in total are chosen after a grueling application process, including flying to Montreal for personal and group interviews.

This is the first time Lakehead University has nominated a graduate student for the PETF scholarship.  

“For Holly to be awarded the renowned Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a phenomenal achievement and a testament to the outstanding quality of her scholarship,” said Dr. Korteweg, Prince’s supervisor.

“It is also a tribute to the pressing need for more Indigenous research by Indigenous scholars and with Indigenous communities. I couldn’t be prouder of Holly and for the national recognition of her Indigenous scholarship,” Dr. Korteweg added.

“For Holly to receive the prestigious Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship is a wonderful personal achievement and a tribute to her scholarship,” said Dr. Wayne Melville, Acting Dean of Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education.

“As a Faculty we wish her all the best as she pursues her vital research into First Nations community-based palliative care education programs. The award is also a testament to the quality of the Joint PhD in Educational Studies Program here at Lakehead, and the commitment of our faculty members to nurturing the next generation of researchers,” he added.

For more information:

Dr. Rita Shelton Launches New Book: American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom

Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell, Contract Lecturer in the Faculty of Education (Orillia), will launch her new book, American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom.

Date: Saturday, June 1

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Location: Orillia Public Library (36 Mississaga St W, Orillia)

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Dr. Shelton Deverell, a Texas-born Canadian, drew on some of her own history in writing the book. The book is published by the University of Regina Press and described as follows:

“When it became clear that Donald Trump would become the new US president on election night in 2016, the website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada crashed. It was overwhelmed by Americans afraid that the United States would once again enter a period of intolerance and military aggression. In American Refugees, Rita Shelton Deverell shows that from the Revolutionary War to the Underground Railroad through to McCarthyism and Vietnam, Americans have fled to Canada in times of crisis. Many still flee. All have sought better lives, while helping to shape Canada into the country it is today.”

May Issue of Education Exchange Newsletter Published

We are pleased to announce that the May issue of our Education Exchange newsletter has been published. This newsletter brings our current and former students as well as our educational partners together to share news, successes, and innovations.

To access our Education Exchange newsletter, click the following link:

Education Exchange Newsletter (May 2019)

To see previous issues of the newsletter, visit the newsletter archives.