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Student Successes | Alumni Accomplishments | Faculty & Staff News

Welcome to the 2014-15 Academic Year!

It is with great pleasure that I am writing to welcome you to YOUR department! If you have just arrived in Thunder Bay, you are coming to a vibrant department whose mission is to teach students about the past and ways of learning about the past.

Our instructors not only impart historical knowledge, but, of equal importance, strive to acquaint students with the various approaches to the study of history which exist within the discipline and provide them with the research skills which will enable them to analyze any issue within its historical context. We do so with the understanding that the lives of students will be enriched, and their contributions to their communities enhanced, by an appreciation of the diversity of human experience and the complex relationships and continuities between past and present.

Your classes will be taught by a department whose faculty have been nominated and won numerous teaching awards both at Lakehead and other institutions. We pride ourselves on the fact that we offer a program with smaller class sizes than other departments of history and that you are taking them with experts in the field who are as dedicated to teaching as they are to research. Most recently, Michael Stevenson at our Orillia campus received Lakehead University's Contribution to Teaching Award.

Your department contains nationally and internationally respected scholars. Our full-time members have held over the past four years 10 federal Social Sciences and Humanities Research grants (as principal investigator or co-applicant), not to mention numerous internal grants and funding from other external agencies. We have, by far, one of the best history department per-capita rates for grants in Canada. Most recently, Pallavi Das was awarded a 2-year grant for her work on environmental history in India.

Current members of the department have published over 40 books and, literally, dozens of articles and book chapters. We also have a particular bent towards new media and film, with members creating and/or contributing to over a dozen films and new media projects. Click here to find out more about faculty books, or visit individual profile pages. Some recent activities are also highlight later in this newsletter.

Your 2014-15 Faculty and Instructors

The Departmernt is pleased to welcome back this year Dr. Steven Jobbitt who will be anchoring our European history offerings. In particular, we are able for the first time in over a decade to offer courses at the fourth year on Russian/Eastern European history. The department is also pleased to welcome a few new faces who will be teaching part-time for the department. Prof. Fadi Dawood will be teaching courses on Middle Eastern History (a first for our department). Prof. Rafaela Jobbitt will be teaching courses in African and medical history. Dr. Samira Saramo who will be teaching a course on the immigrant experience.  They are joined by the following Contract Lecturers who are returning: Dr. Ernie Epp, Dr. C. Nathan Hatton, Prof. Catherine Hudson, Prof. Sara Janes, Dr. Taisto Kaipo, Prof. Kelly Saxberg, Prof. Beverly Soloway, Prof. David Ratz, and Dr. Thorold Tronrud who are all returning.

Continuing to Build Our Community

Central to the success of any history department and integral to the student experience are those events that bind students, alumni, and faculty together. During the year the dozens of informal and formal events occur. A few upcoming events include, but are not limited to:

During residence move in weekend, feel free to stop by the history corridor in the Ryan Building. There will be coffee available and Department Chair Michel S. Beaulieu (room 3021) and other members of the department will be in their offices to meet new students and parents. Come by with questions, or just to introduce yourself! If you do not know where to go just call 343-8341. He will be also available for campus tours at times during the day.

On September 15, we will be having our first annual Chair's Barbeque! Come out to the Faculty Lounge between 4:30 and 7 p.m. for free food and to meet fellow history students, our faculty, alumni, and community partners!

On 7 October we will be having our second annual Department Awards to honour our Alumni and Community Partner Award winners. Elinor Barr (BA 1974, HBA 1989) and Mark Chochla (BA 1967, HBA 1975) will each be presented with a departmental Alumni Honour Award in recognition of their distinguished achievements. The Department will also present the City of Thunder Bay Archives and Beth Boegh with Community Partnership Awards for their important role in the establishment and continuing success of our undergraduate and graduate programs.

More information about these and other events can be found on our Facebook page and by clicking here.

New Peer Mentoring Program

The Department of History Peer Mentoring Program (HPMP) provides an opportunity for fourth-year history majors and specialization students to work directly with undergraduate history students in a variety of co-curricular capacities. One of the core purposes of the HPMP is to work closely with first-year students to help them with their transition to university life and learning. Mentors will be paired with a student (or students) at the beginning of September, and will be expected to communicate and meet with their mentee(s) throughout the year. Participation as a mentee or mentor will be included on your co-curricular record. To find out more about this exciting new program and become a mentee or mentor, click here.

From the Lakehead University History Society

The Lakehead University History Society would like to welcome all new and returning students! We hope that you all have had a good summer. We are really excited for this upcoming year as we have lots of exciting events planned.

On September 15th, there will be a BBQ that all students, faculty and alumni are invited to. At the BBQ, we will be starting the sale of the History Swag such as jackets, sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc. There will be sizing kits available.

We will be coming around to the first year classrooms at the beginning of September to introduce ourselves as well as to pick some first year representatives to be a part of the executive of the society. If you think that this would interest you, contact Ashley English or Catelyn Kittmer at LUHS@lusu.ca

Don't forget to check out the Lakehead University History Society Facebook page for more information on upcoming events! 

Co-Presidents: Ashley English and Catelyn Kittmer
Vice President: Laurin Haak
Secretary: Morgan Black
Treasurer: Joel Kennedy
4th Year Rep: Jillian Berry
3rd Year Rep: Brett Starrs
2nd Year Rep: Jordan Tait

Speakers, Conferences, and Events

In addition to what the LUHS will be organizing, the Department is working with a number of organizations to schedule presentations at least once a month (and often more) that will be of interest to history students. We have reaffirmed our partnership with the Thunder Bay Branch of the Canadian International Council and will be partnering with them, the HMCS Griffon, and the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment for a one-day free symposium on the First World War featuring leading regional and national experts. Information about this year's and past symposiums can be found by clicking here.

We also sponsor the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society's lecture series. Free public talks on a wide range of topics will be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Thunder Bay Museum from September to April (see the Upcoming Events section to the right for details).

Check both the Department website and Facebook page for updates and information about these and other events.

Graduate Program

The past year was a particularly successful year for our MA program and a number of students will be graduating in November. We salute them for their hard work and perseverance in working their way through the rigours of advance research and writing.

These students are being replaced with an equally dynamic cohort of MA students. In addition to the students who have come through our undergraduate program, we have an international student joining us as well as others from across Canada. They bring a range of experiences and perspectives to the classroom, the Department, and the program. This is a solid group of individuals and we look forward to having them make a significant contribution to the culture of our department.  A series of events are planned in throughout the year to welcome these students to the program and they will also be playing a role in all of our departmental functions throughout the year.

Course Calender 101

Did you know that the second digit in our course numbers at the undergraduate level identifies the geographic focus of the course? Below is a list of what the numbers mean.

1 = Europe
2 = Classical Period (i.e. Ancient Greece and Rome)
3 = Canada
4 = United Kingdom/British
5 = United States and Latin America
6 = Asia and Africa
7 = International or Thematic
8 = Theory, Methodolgical, or Applied

New Options for Students

All students should look at maximizing their electives and completing a minor and/or a certificate. We have made our various programs flexible to allow you to choose from the many options available. Explore the course calendar, or get in touch with the Chair of the department.

This year two new options have become available for history students. The Department of Anthropology is offering a brand new Minor in Archaeology. It is a program that compliments your history degree very well. Many who complete history degrees eventually end up in the world of business and information technology. History students at Lakehead can now also take advantage of completing a Certificate of Business Information Technology.

Keeping Up-to-date or Just Saying Hello

The Department has two main ways to stay updated on events and departmental news. Our website is the main portal for information, and I encourage you to check it frequently. The second, and most dynamic, is our Facebook page.

The doors of everyone in the Department are always open. If you have any questions, want to discuss some history, or just say hello please do not hesitate to stop by the third floor of the Ryan Building.

Michel S. Beaulieu, Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor

Student Successes:

Students in our programs are very active and distinguish themselves within the university and in the community at large. Below are just a few highlights from the past year. Make sure and check out our News Archive for over a decade of news items.

History Student Awarded Dean's Medal at 2014 Convocation - Congratulations to 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.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.

International graduate student Wexin Li provided those attending the November 2013 Docs on Bay screening with a musical performance on the Erhu, a traditional Chinese instrument. To see footage of his performance, check out the Department’s Facebook page.

An Ambassador of Freedom - During her first year at Lakehead, HBA student Hannah Pilon was not satisfied with merely reading about the Canadian contributions during the Second World War. She began her summer by participating in the Liberation Cycle Tour. Selected as one of 50 students - both Dutch and Canadian - to participate in this experience, she spent late April and early May touring some of the most important Second World War locations. Click here to read more about Hannah's experience.

Alumni Accomplishments:

For over 50 years, our alumni have distinguished themselves within their chosen careers and in their communities. Below are just a few highlights. To find out more about our alumni, click here to go to our alumni page.

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

Research into Books - In addition to literally dozens of articles, graduates of our programs have published dozens of books (many resulting from their research as students. Click to see a selection of the books by our alumni.

Alumni of the Month  - David Battistel (BA 1996) is a history teacher, curriculum chair and football coach at St. Patrick High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He is also the co-president of the recently formed Silver Mountain and Area Historical Society, an organization committed to preserving the history of the railway among other things. More information about David can be found at http://www.padwrr.ca/about.html

Alumni Spotlight - For more about the activities of the Alumni Association of Lakehead University, click here.

Faculty & Staff News:

Department of History Enters Partnership with the Thunder Bay Public Library to Commemorate First World War - The Thunder Bay Public Library is spearheading a community partnership to commemorate the centennial of the First World War. Members of the partnership will contribute photographs and records to a dynamic online exhibit depicting life in Thunder Bay during the war. Click here to read more about this partnership and for links to the website.

Faculty Member Awarded Contribution to Teaching Award - Dr. Michael Stevenson has been awarded a Contribution to Teaching Award. The award is student nominated and recognizes instructors who have demonstrated high levels of teaching performance at Lakehead University.

Prominent Role of Department Members at 2015 Congress - 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 and Dr. Harpelle is the organizer for the The Canadian Association for the Study of International Development. 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.

New Publication Examines the Question of Academic Relevancy in Communist Hungary - Dr. Steven Jobbitt's latest publication explores 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.

Department Member Appointed to MHSO Board - Dr. Michel S. Beaulieu has been appointed to the Multicultural History Society of Ontario’s Board of Directors. The MHSO 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. Click here to learn more about the MHSO.



5 September - Orientation

15 September - Department of History BBQ

18 September - Presentation: "Post-Communist Hungary: Liberal Democracy in Question."

23 September - TBHMS Lecture: Understanding Wendell Beckwith's Astronomical Observations"

27 September - Film Presentation of "Port Arthur and Fort William: Canada's Keys to the Great Lakes (1913)

TBA October - History Society Archive Crawl

2 October - Presentation: "'We will treat you as we did the Armenians': Cemal Pasha, Zionism, and the Evacuation of Jaffa, April 1917"

7 October -
Department Awards Reception

21 October - Presentation: “Petroleum and the World’s Hot Spots: Is There a Connection?"

8 November - Symposium on the First World War

We are constantly adding new events and activities. Check http://history.lakeheadu.ca or our Facebook page for updates!


8 September -
First Day of Fall and Fall/Winter Classes

19 September -
Final Date to Register Fall and Fall-Winter Term Courses (Add)

13 October -
Thanksgiving Day (No Classes/University Closed)

4 November -
Final Date to Withdraw Fall Term Courses (Drop)

1 December -
Last Day of Fall Term Classes

4 to 17 December -
Fall Examinations

18 December - Examination Contingency Date


"In first year I struggled with the transition to university... I decided that I should talk with some of my professors at Lakehead. At first I was nervous, I was scared they would be unapproachable, but I quickly found out the opposite. They really helped me come up with a plan of action for that year."
~ Carlee Crowe, HBA/BEd
Click here to read Carlee's full story.

"The professors are extremely supportive, dedicated, open, and are always willing to help and do an excellent job of encouraging student to seek assistance when needed."
~ Jonathan Ho, HBA/BEd
Click here to read Jonathan's full story.


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The Student Success Centre

The Student Success Centre combines the former services of academic advising, orientation, academic support and career and co-operative services into one central location. Click here to find our more.

Your Graduate Coodinator... why you should speak with him..

The Graduate Coordinator is the first point of contact for current and prospective graduate students.

Dr. Ronald Harpelle can be reached at harpelle@lakeheadu.ca

Your Chair... and why you should speak with him..

One of the main roles of the Chair of the Department is to help you with questions regarding courses, the program, and the university. He is also here to address any concerns you may have.

Dr. Beaulieu's office is located in Ryan Building 3021.

His email address is michel.beaulieu@lakeheadu.ca 
Department of History
955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1

p: (807) 346-7725
e: gail.fikis@lakeheadu.ca
Lakehead University Orillia Thunder Bay

The Department of History welcomes any comments, feedback, suggestions, and contributions.
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