Anna Lisa

Anna Lisa Martin on the Great Wall of China

Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science, Bachelor of Education
Nobleton, ON

I had the opportunity to complete a practicum in a grade two class in Dalian, China at Maple Leaf Foreign Nationals School. Through this extraordinary experience, I have been able to apply my knowledge and skills from my teacher education at Lakehead into a culturally-unique atmosphere. There are many differences from teaching in Ontario, but what is overwhelmingly similar is the passion for learning and education in general. Within this unique environment, I have grown as a teacher, and a person through being immersed in an entirely different culture and educational system. My learning here has been unconventional to say the least, and has enabled me to explore my passion for travel.

I originally chose Lakehead University for the unique campus dynamic that exists on the Orillia Campus and for the Concurrent Education Program. I sought out an experience that was far from ordinary that provided me with space and opportunity to grow both as a person, and as a student. Lakehead seemed to just fit. Orillia was not too far from home, but far enough to push me out of my comfort zone for a truly unique academic adventure. The small campus proved to have a bright future ahead, and I was ready to be a part of it as it grew.

Being a part of a smaller, more engaging classroom experience is what I really like about Lakehead. The professors and instructors genuinely care about your learning and it is encourages you to try harder. As a result of this, the atmosphere enables me to participate more in the classroom and contribute to meaningful discussions.

The strong sense of community that exists at Lakehead is one that is felt everywhere: in the Commons, in the classroom and out in the City of Orillia. That sense of belonging to such a friendly community is what I like best about being a student at Lakehead and easily makes me proud to be a student here. Student life on campus right now is thriving with so many different student-run clubs and initiatives that continue to grow.

On my first day here, I was scared because there was so much that was unknown and I didn’t know what to expect. After a few days on campus I quickly learned that there were so many great things about this campus, and the people that I was surrounded with genuinely wanted me succeed. After getting involved, I became more excited and proud to come to campus everyday, and I started calling this place my home. After four years that have been jam-packed with pivotal learning moments, unforgettable opportunities and lifelong friendships, I am proud to call Lakehead Orillia my happy place.


"I wanted to come to Lakehead University-Orillia Campus because of the new and flexible Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science degree which allowed me to combine my love for the sciences with my interest in the arts. If you're not exactly sure what you want to take in University, this program is a great way to test the water in every field, and allows you to make an educated decision later. If you're studying to be an elementary teacher like myself, it's also great because you get a broad knowledge base in every subject. Great place to learn because of the availability of one-on-one time with peers and profs alike.
I have been the Lakehead University Orillia Campus Director for the past 2 years, and in that time I've had many opportunities to get more involved in my university than a student at any other university. Our campus is still developing and this grants everyone, including students like you the opportunity to make an impact that could last a lifetime. Come to Lakehead and watch it grow as you do."


Elaine is leaning up against a wall, looking sideways toward the camera.

Cavan, ON
HBASc Media Studies Graduate

The reasons I chose Lakehead four years ago have never wavered. I value the strong sense of community, vibrant learning environment, and the comforting atmosphere that has truly become my second home. 

I love the natural setting of the Lakehead University campus. Last year I can recall students standing in the common area, craning their necks to see out the window. There, sitting on a pile of logs in the back field, was a snowy owl. To view an endangered species in the wild is an opportunity many people never have in their lifetime. 

While Lakehead has certainly offered me an enriching education, what I value even more highly are the personal development opportunities I have been so fortunate to receive. Being at a smaller campus has enabled me to form a bond with the students in my program that transcends the typical relationship of peers. We have laughed together, inspired each other, and empowered each other. In many cases, academic conversations that began as in-class discussions have carried over to lunch, study breaks and personal gatherings. 

In a filmmaking class during my second year of university, students were given the opportunity to "pitch" the topic of their final project to the class and professor, for the purpose of receiving constructive feedback. In the real world of video production, this process is replicated on a larger scale, and thus introducing it at an early stage of the Media Studies program is valuable experience. When I heard one of my peers describe her topic, I remember a sense of immediate inspiration. While I have a strong background of technical skills in media production, I struggled with creative direction and had suddenly found a project which excited me. It was at this point that the university became a platform facilitating learning of my own chosen focus, rather than a school dictating the knowledge I receive. That was the beginning of a fabulous collaborative effort which ultimately led to a project I am still proud to show.

In my final year, I completed a thesis project under gentle supervision from one of my professors, who was dedicated to supporting me without overstepping my creative process. The topic was entirely my decision, and thus I settled on something very personal: a study of the extent to which hand gestures are signifiers of one's gender. I created a set of fourteen hand poses -- seven typically associated with masculinity, and seven more that would be associated with feminine traits. Sixteen models were photographed performing each of the poses. Later, the photographs were converted to monochrome and assembled creatively so that the results could be analyzed side-by-side. Lakehead supported my learning by allowing me to choose a path which fit my interests, providing me resources to achieve my goal, and giving me the opportunity to prove to myself that I was prepared with skills I would use in my future.


Liz Breton

Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science, Bachelor of Education
Midhurst, ON

I have always wanted to be a teacher. I always assumed I'd go to the school my mom attended, as she is an amazing teacher. But through tours I realized that I had no interest in attending a larger institution. I told my parents I wanted to be a big fish in a small pond. I knew I needed to go somewhere that would allow and encourage me to grow and change. I thought the best way to do that would be choosing to attend a school with a smaller environment. I applied to 4 schools and was accepted to and offered scholarships to all. After taking tours I was able to narrow down my four schools to two, one of which being Lakehead.

Ultimately, when I applied to Lakehead it was a sign out front; a building site more than a university. But I liked the idea of Lakehead. The possibilities it could create for me seemed too good to pass on. The warm and welcoming people and overall environment fulfilled everything I could have hoped for in a school. In my four years here I have seen such growth, on a personal level and a literal one. Lakehead fosters kindness the same way it fosters a sense of community and of home. It encourages growth and development. That's why I chose Lakehead. That's why I love Lakehead.

As cheesy as it sounds, I can't say anything bad about Lakehead. What I like about academic and student life at Lakehead is academic and student life at Lakehead. The Interdisciplinary Studies program allows students to explore their interests. As a somewhat indecisive person, I've had the opportunity to dabble. To find areas I'm interested in that I was previously unaware of entirely.

Lakehead has expanded my thinking in a multitude of ways. Not only have I been taught to look at things from an academic standpoint with a critical eye but also my horizons have been broadened on the whole. I like to think that I approach problems and situations from a more global standpoint than I once did and am able to make more complex inferences and connections in daily life. But more than that, I am able to communicate in a more intelligent fashion than I was previously able. I've met more people and have become associated with various communities and subpockets of the Lakehead world and the world of Simcoe County. These experiences have expanded my thinking and my mindset hugely on the whole. I've worked with the Student Union, the Alumni Association, and Recruitment and as an Orientation Leader among other things. Each of these experiences has taught me a great deal about myself.

My Lakehead experience has far exceeded anything I could have hoped for in a university experience. My time at Lakehead has prepared me for what's next. I often look back on my decision to come here as one of the better decisions I've ever made. Both academically and personally, Lakehead encourages students to push themselves. I am confident that the exceptional experience Lakehead has provided me with will allow me to succeed in my future as a teacher

When people accept their offer to Lakehead, I always say "Welcome to the Family" and I mean it. It's not just something I say. Lakehead fosters kindness in its students the same way that it fosters a sense of community and of home. You aren't confined to friends in your program or year level, you can and will meet everyone.

If I had to describe my time at Lakehead in two words I think they'd be growth and home. My time as an Orientation Leader taught me to expand my comfort zone, to go after opportunities and to interact with as many people as possible, because everyone has such cool and unique stories. These lessons made way for my time as a Tour Guide. Being a Tour Guide has allowed me to better my communication skills while interacting with thousands of prospective students. The people I have been able to meet as a result have entirely enriched my life.

Lakehead, in itself, has for me been an exceptional experience. My professors have been amazing and involved and invested in my education. My roles in student life have been entirely life changing. When they first rolled out the new branding "Exceptional, Unconventional" I remember wondering why they chose the word Unconventional. But now, I understand. Not every student can speak as highly of his or her school as I can of Lakehead. Not every student knows his or her Profs personally. Lakehead provides students with an Exceptional and Unconventional experience that is truly second to none and I am lucky to be able to say I've had this experience.


Sami Pritchard

Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science, Bachelor of Education
Cambridge, ON

Aside from the small school, I chose to attend Lakehead for all of the opportunities of growth, and involvement. It was not the outline of the programs, or the possible scholarships and bursaries that confirmed my decision, but the hospitality and community feeling on the campus.

In regards to academics - I love that the professors take the time to get to know YOU as a student. The usual claim "you're not just a number" certainly speaks true at LU. The simple element of being a name rather than a number is what gave me the confidence to become involved on campus. The professors are constantly seeking new innovative ways to teach us, and in turn I find I am succeeding more than I would at any other institution.

My Lakehead experience has been full of adventure, involvement, and a strong and true feeling of. At LU I have felt at home since day one, and because of this have felt comfortable enough to seek new opportunities on and off campus.

One of the most incredible opportunities I have been given through Lakehead was the opportunity to attend the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership in Kelowna British Columbia as a representative of the university. The opportunity to meet with students from all around the nation was an incredible privilege, and this past year I was able to return to the conference as a presenter with one other Lakehead student and experience the conference in a different way. This is just one example of the opportunities that Lakehead provides students, and it is opportunities such as these that make me feel so much more confident and ready to graduate and pursue my goals and dreams for the future.



Sidney Howlett

Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science, Bachelor of Education
Barrie, ON

I chose Lakehead University Orillia because of the small class sizes, the unique interdisciplinary program they offer, and because it allowed me to stay close to home.

A few of my favorite things about Lakehead Orillia is the personal contact with professors, the friendly, welcoming environment, and the abundant opportunities to get involved in various aspects of student life.

My experience at Lakehead has been incredible so far. I love walking through campus, seeing so many friendly people and familiar faces always puts me in a good mood. The small class sizes as perfect, as they allow me to participate and be constantly engaged in lectures. My professors are all amazing, and since they all know me personally it's easy to see that they genuinely care about your growth and success as a student. I've also had the opportunity to be involved on the women's soccer team, participate in intramurals, be a leader at orientation, be a member of several clubs and committees, and attend many conferences on behalf of the school and the student union. Looking back I know that Lakehead was the best choice for me and I couldn't have asked for a better university experience.

One project that has really, in my mind, made Lakehead an exceptional school is the Audacity Movement that has recently originated on campus. It not only demonstrates the inclusive and cooperative nature of Lakehead, but it also recognizes and promotes the positive environment that makes Lakehead such a great school to attend.


Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science, Concurrent Education 
Mississauga, Ontario

"I chose Lakehead University because I felt that it would be the best school for me to earn my teaching degree. I also felt that the Honours Bascehlor of Arts and Science and Concurrent Education program offered is awesome because it allows me to get all my degrees in five years.

I was primarily attracted to Lakehead because of its small class sizes. I love coming to school and knowing everyone, being on a first name basis with my professors and not just being a number to them. Lakehead allows students to really get a great understanding of what it means to be a part of a school community – we are able to openly discuss our ideas without fear of judgement, speak with our teachers regarding a variety of issues and we are able to foster great relationships with our peers. There are many amazing professors at Lakehead University. My Anthropology professor made the biggest impact on me. He reaffirmed my love for the subject of Anthropology.

I am a Director of Lakehead Student Alumni and a Student Ambassador to Lakehead. The experiences I have had are unforgettable.  Being at Lakehead has given me great inter-personal skills, taught me excellent time management and allowed me to meet some of the kindest, most genuine people who have truly touched my life."


Stephanie Lamb

Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science in Media Studies
Orillia, ON

I chose to attend LU because being in a smaller school setting is something that really appealed to me. I like being able to recognize a lot of faces wherever I go because it makes my school experience feel more personal. By going to Lakehead, I am able to live at home (seriously, staying at home isn't all bad!), save a LOT of money, and enjoy my parents' hospitality!

Getting to interact with your profs is SO beneficial, I honestly can't imagine how other students in larger schools do it! It's great to be able to have smaller class-sizes which are centered on critical discussion and debate, and it's nice to feel like there are people behind you who actively strive to see you succeed.

Academics are definitely important, but the relationships you form and the memories you make are just as important! I can't say enough about the group of friends I have made in my Media program. They are the most genuine and generally awesome people I have ever met, and I'm pretty sure I'd be nowhere without them. We all have a lot in common, and I believe we are vital to each other's success and maybe each other's sanity when life gets super hectic! They have really helped shape my academic and student life at LU :)

Attending a new school allows me to be a part of many firsts for the school and I get to help create history. For example, I'm the co-chair of Communications for the new LU Student Centre project, and being an active member of that committee has thrown me into student life in a whole new way, where I hone my media skills and help create a building focused entirely on us students!


Taylor Yeoman

Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science (Interdisciplinary Studies), Bachelor of Education
Aurora, ON

In 2009, I made the life changing decision to complete my Concurrent Education Degree at Lakehead University. I chose Lakehead University, and more specifically the Orillia Campus, because of its small campus community. Low student-to-teacher ratio created a student-centered environment, allowed me to excel as a student and to grow both personally and professionally. 

When choosing a program, it is important to consider your interest and strengths. A university program helps build skills that are transferable to many different occupations. The Concurrent Education Program gave me the opportunity to experience an undergraduate degree, while providing me with a small taste of teaching throughout each academic year before entering my year of teachers college. I enjoyed Lakehead’s Interdisciplinary Program as it allowed me to explore and gain knowledge about a wide variety of topics through hands-on learning. With Lakehead University’s new facility, they have fine-tuned hands-on learning. Lakehead not only includes a range of interesting and transferable programs, but the university encompasses an abundance of professors who offer astonishing knowledge, personal insight, support, and guidance. 

The best way to receive an unforgettable experience is to meet others and make a difference. It is great to get involved in the campus community. I participated in intramural sports and, more specifically, I was involved in intramural soccer. Participating in the campus community allowed me to stay active and meet students who shared similar interests.

After graduating from Lakehead University’s Concurrent Education Program, I obtained a position with the York Region District School Board as an Occasional Teacher. Lakehead University laid the foundation for becoming a lifelong learner. Following graduation, I continued to expand my professional development by taking additional courses through Lakehead University. In the future, I also plan to continue my studies through a Masters in Education. 

Our Students

What do students in Interdisciplinary Studies programs think of their Lakehead experience?  They're happy to tell you!