Department Member Appointed to Council of the John Morton Centre for North American Studies

15 September 2014 - Thunder Bay

Dr. Ronald Harpelle has been appointed to the Council of the John Morton Centre for North American Studies at Turku University in Finland. The Council is Chaired by Ambassador of Finland to Sweden Jarmo Viinanen and it works with the board to promote North American Studies. The John Morton Centre coordinates societal, academic, and entrepreneurial engagement related to the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The academic focus is on interdisciplinary and multi-methodological research and teaching to bring together scholars and students from various disciplinary backgrounds. The Center's mission is to cater for interdisciplinary dialogue and to engender synergy among Finnish and international North American Studies scholars as well as representatives of the public sector, commerce, and media.

Department of History Enters Partnership with the Thunder Bay Public Library to Commemorate First World War

5 August 2014 - Thunder Bay

This week in history one hundred years ago, marks the beginning of the First World War. The effects of which could be felt every day in the communities of Fort William and Port Arthur between 1914 and 1918. The local newspapers printed Victory Loan advertisements, editorial reports and stories on an almost daily basis. While the impact of the First World War is felt differently today, it is no less significant than it was one hundred years ago.TBPL First World War Centennial Project Logo

The Thunder Bay Public Library is spearheading a community partnership to commemorate the centennial of the First World War. Members of the partnership, which includes the Library, the City of Thunder Bay Archives, City of Thunder Bay Heritage Advisory Committee, the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, the Thunder Bay Military Museum, Lakehead University History Department and the Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre, will contribute photographs and records to a dynamic online exhibit depicting life in Thunder Bay during the war.

The Library will host and administer the exhibit at Visit the website and click on Research / World War One for a sneak peek. New stories, photos and documents will be added throughout the next four years. The public will be invited to contribute their First World War stories, photos and documents at a launch planned for early November.

Details will be announced at a later date.

Congratulations to Dr. Samira Saramo

Portrait of Dr. Samira Saramo

The Department of History is pleased to announce that alumna Samira Saramo (MA 2007 and HBA 2006) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on 2 September. Her dissertation completed in the Department of History at York University explores the everyday life and personal experiences of Finnish North American immigrants in 1930s Soviet Karelia. She situates Karelian experiences in the contexts of Canadian and American immigrant backgrounds and the Soviet culture and structure that they became entangled within.

Dr. Saramo will be teaching for the department this fall a third year seminar on "Immigrant Experiences through Letters." More information about her research can be found by clicking here.

Prominent Role of Department Members at 2015 Congress

5 September 2014 - Thunder Bay & Orillia

Drs. Steven Jobbitt and Ronald Harpelle are the lead organizers for two different meetings of scholarly associations this upcoming spring in Ottawa.

Dr. Jobbitt is the organizer for the Hungarian Studies Association of Canada (HSAC). Established in 1985, the HSAC is a multidisciplinary scholarly organization devoted to the study of Hungary, Hungarian society, culture, and history. It sponsors annual conferences, supports publications by members, and edits and publishes the internationally noted scholarly journal Hungarian Studies Review.

Dr. Harpelle is the organizer for the The Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID). CASID is a national, bilingual, interdisciplinary and pluralistic association devoted to the promotion of new knowledge in the broad field of international development. CASID is a membership-based organization. It is the publisher of the international recognized Canadian Journal for Development Studies.

The annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is the convergence of over 70 scholarly associations, each holding their annual conference under one umbrella.  Now in its 84th year, this flagship event brings together academics, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners to share findings, refine ideas, and build partnerships that will help shape the Canada of tomorrow. 

The Department of History Launches Peer Mentorship Program

The Department of History is pleased to announce the launch of our new Peer Mentorship Program. The program provides an opportunity for fourth-year history majors and specialization students to work directly with undergraduate students in a variety of co-curricular capacities.

Focusing primarily on one-on-one peer mentoring of first-year history majors and specialization students, mentors will also be responsible for developing and delivering a series of workshops and activities throughout the year that will contribute to the following program objectives:

  • the integration of students into university life;
  • the enhancement of academic skills; and
  • the building of community awareness.

The program has been developed with input from the Student History Society and successful participation in the program either as a Mentee or Mentor will be added to your Co-Curricular Record (CCR)! Your CCR complements your academic transcript when applying for jobs or making application to a graduate or professional program.

To find out more about the program and to learn how to become a Mentee or Mentor, go to

For general questions about the program, feel free to contact either the Chair fo the Department of History at or the Department's Peer Mentor Coordinator, Dr. Steven Jobbitt, at

New Publication Examines the Question of Academic Relevancy in Communist Hungary

1 August 2014 - Thunder Bay

Steven Jobbitt's latest publication examines the question of academic relevancy in Communist Hungary between 1948 to 1962. "Scholarly Production in Desperate Times: Ferenc Fodor and the Question of Academic Relevancy in Communist Hungary, 1948-1962" appears in Földrajz- és földtudomány az Eötvös Collegiumban (Geography and Earth Sciences at the Eötvös Collegium) edited by Róbert Győri and published by Eötvös Collegium.

History Professor Appointed to the Multicultural History Society of Ontario’s Board of Directors

20 June 2014 - Thunder Bay

Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu, Chair and Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Programs in Northern Studies, has been appointed to the Multicultural History Society of Ontario’s Board of Directors.MHSO Logo

The Multicultural History Society of Ontario is Canada's leading not-for-profit institution for archival materials relating to the immigrant and ethnic experience. It works to ensure that Ontarians, and Canadians, have access to products of our diverse heritage and are equipped with the tools to eradicate stereotyping and prejudice from our places of work and learning.

For more information about the MHSO, go to

History Alumnus Awarded Outstanding Young Alumni Award

7 June 2014 - Orillia and Thunder Bay

Congratulations to history alumnus Eric McGoey (BA 2002) who is one of the 2014 recipients of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University’s (AALU) Outstanding Young Alumni Award. The award is presented by the AALU in recognition of a graduate from the last ten years who is 35 years of age or younger, and who has achieved significant accomplishments since graduation, either in his/her profession, sport or community service.

Portrait of Eric McGoeyAlthough Eric McGoey says that in high school he was a “stereotypical bookish nerd,” he has since transformed himself into a civic-minded leader focused on nurturing strong communities.

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Eric was glad that he had the opportunity to attend Lakehead University. He majored in History and English and graduated in 2002 with Bachelor of Arts in History and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English. Studying at Lakehead had a formative influence on his life – it was the place where he met his wife, forged enduring friendships, and won his first election as VP Finance for the Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU).

“I got a great education and was able to get extremely involved in things I care about,” Eric says. His newly-discovered love of politics also prompted him to become a student member of Lakehead’s Board of Governors.

These experiences became the foundation for Eric’s career. He spent over a decade working at Queen’s Park with the Hon. Michael Gravelle, the MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North and the Minister of Northern Development and Mines.

Eric rose to become Minister Gravelle’s chief of staff which allowed him to shape initiatives that had a real impact on Northwestern Ontario. 

“Government and public policy should fundamentally be the expression of the most noble collective values and aspirations of communities,” Eric explains. “A single person can’t build a park, or a hospital, or a library, but collectively we can do all of these things to improve our communities and our quality of life.”

Eric continues to work with people who want to make a difference. He is currently the director of government relations for Cliffs Natural Resources, an international mining and natural resources company.

Eric McGoey lives in Toronto with his wife and son who inspire his efforts to create vibrant cities and neighbourhoods. His future plans include volunteering on the elections campaigns of politicians committed to serving the public good.

Source: Alumni Association of Lakehead University

Latest issue of Histoire sociale/Social History features article by Alumna

A new article by alumna Samira Saramo (MA 2007) appears in the last issue of Histoire sociale / Social History. "The Letters, Memories, and 'Truths' of Finnish North Americans in Soviet Karelia" examines the letters of seven Finnish North American immigrants in Soviet Karelia written between 1931 and 1942, and those of two correspondents writing retrospectively about their experiences between 1972 and 1997 introduce readers to unique voices from inside Stalin's Russia.

History Student Awarded Dean's Medal

31 May 2014 - Thunder Bay

Congratulations to honours student Luana Buckle (HBA 2014) who received the Dean's Medal at convocation. This award is presented each year to the highest-ranking student in all of the Social Sciences and Humanities. Each recipient receives a Lakehead University scholar pin, a certificate of achievement, and is acknowledged as part of the convocation ceremony.

Luana also is the recipient of the Dean's Scholar Award, given to the graduating student with the highest standing in history.

This is the third-straight year that history program graduates have received some of the most prestigious awards from the faculty and the university at Convocation.