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Student Successes | Alumni Accomplishments | Faculty Profile | Faculty & Staff News

Here it comes... Let it snow!

Aside from some disgruntlement about not being able to have my morning coffee on the backyard deck, I am an unapologetic fan of the winter. How could anyone not be?  The first wisps of snow falling is also a sign that the end of the first term will shortly be upon us all. As this edition of the department's e-newsletter reveals, it has certainly been an active and exciting couple of months. Featured in this edition are some answers to  questions that I have been asked by students and alumni over the past four months. In what seems to be becoming standard features, there is also some information about recent student successes, alumni accomplishments, and faculty news highlights. This edition also features the first in a series of short articles highlighting current research by faculty members. 

Firstly, I would like to begin by announcing that the Lakehead University History Society (LUHS) has now been (re)launched.  It is a student club run by history majors and minors for all students who have an interest in history. The LUHS has been organized to act as a resource for those who want to meet other like-minded students and for those who want to ask an upper year student questions about the history programs and courses offered at Lakehead. This past weekend they organized and held LU's first "ArchiveCrawl," visiting and having behind the scenes tours of the City of Thunder Bay Archives, Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, and the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society. To find out more about LUHS and its upcoming activities, check out its Facebook page.

Alternatively, just as a new cohort of students are finding out what it means to be historians and becoming more engaged, many of you have begun to think about what to do next following the completion of your undergraduate degree(s).Your degree in history has prepared you well for a host of careers. I encourage all of you to talk to your professors, come see me, or take advantage of the services offered by the Student Success Centre. For those thinking about pursuing graduate school, the department will be holding an information session on 26 November. Did you know that students who are accepted to the history graduate program are eligible for a Graduate Assistantship worth over $9000, in addition to scholarships and awards? Come to the information session to find out more!

Our graduates have excelled in all of their chosen fields (see the side bar and below for some examples). In particular, since 1965 the department has also been a catalyst for the proliferation of research and writing about the history of the region. As a reflection of this continuing tradition, five alumni have been nominated for a number of the Thunder Bay Historical Museum Society's 2013 publications awards. These bi-annual awards are intended to help publicize such works, to recognize the excellence of local writers, and to encourage new authors to write about our regional history. Chosen by independent panels of judges, the awards are given out in four categories. This year the works of Michel S. Beaulieu (HBA 2001; MA 2003), Jean Morrison (MA 1974), Roy Piovesana (HBA 1965; MA 1969), John Potestio (HBA 1970; MA 1981), and Steve Ross (HBA 2008; MA 2009) have been nominated.

Even before I was a student at Lakehead in the late 1990s, a common question has always been "do history students at LU have the same on-campus opportunities as those at other universities?" The simple answer is: yes! However, the department has redoubled its efforts to ensure students and the community at large have the opportunity to hear and interact with leading speakers. Partnering once again with the Thunder Bay Branch of the Canadian International Council (CIC), excellent presentations by Jamie Swift, Yves Engler, and Peter Globensky have occurred this term. In addition, a joint initiative between the department, CIC, Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, and the HMCS Griffon resulted in a one-day symposium on Military Operations and Humanitarian Goals that was attended by well over 100 people. The last presentation of the term will occur on 10 December.  Madelaine Drohan will be speaking to the CIC's most recent research report The 9 Habits of Highly Effective Resource Economies: Lessons for Canada. I encourage you all to take advantage of these free presentations.

Ever wonder where your scholarship and grant money comes from? One way has been through the generous donations of current and former faculty members, alumni, and community supporters of the history program. Some of the In-Course Scholarships and Awards specifically for history majors need no application (and those who are receiving them will find out shortly). Others, though, do require an application. Available this January are a number of awards ranging in value from $100 to $1000. Information about each award and how to apply can be found by clicking here.

Ever wonder what faculty members actually do? A university professor is expected to do three main things as part of their job: teaching, research, and service. Teaching, while pretty self-explanatory, involves in-class instruction, preparation, revising courses, and participating in teaching-related conferences, seminars and workshops both at Lakehead and across the world. This term, for example, the annual Teaching and Learning week occurred that featured a presentation by John Gardner who talked about the First Year Experience. All faculty are also required to undertake research and publish in peer-reviewed works. Historians do this through journal articles, book chapters, and,  what is the benchmark in history, books. Click here for more about the over 30 books published by members of the department. Finally, but definitely not the least, professors are expected to be actively involved in university committees, and sit on a multitude of regional, national, and international boards of directors, associations, and societies.

Finally, I have enjoyed meeting many of you over the past couple of months at events. If you are around the third floor of the Ryan Building, stop by if you have any questions or if you just want to say hello. I hope you have enjoyed this edition of  the department's e-newsletter. If you have suggestions please feel free to contact myself or the Department of History's Administrative Assistant Gail Fikis (gail.fikis@lakeheadu.ca).

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

Student Successes:
Lakehead History Majors Active in International Exchanges - History majors Bradley Robinson and Robert Dunham were recently featured in the Derry Journal (19 October 2012) speaking about their experience at the University of Ulster, Ireland. Click here to read more.

Alumni Accomplishments:
New Book by John Potestio (HBA/MA) - Drawing on Giovanni Veltri's Memoirs as the basis for his narrative, John Potestio's latest book recounts the origin and development of the R. F. Welch (Veltri) Company, a railway construction firm that was founded by two immigrants from Calabria, Italy in the 1880's. Click here to read more about this book on the Institute of Italian Studies-Lakehead University's website.

Alumni (Historic) Notes - John McPhail (HBA 1996, MA 2000) is a past recipient of the Governor General's Award (GGA) For Excellence in Teaching Canadian History. Sponsored by Canada's National History Society, the GGA annually salutes history teachers in the classrooms of our nation who have inspired and challenged students to explore Canada's past. Click here to read more about his 2007 award.

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

Faculty Research Profile
Dr. Pallavi Das' research examines to what extent and how the establishment of botanical gardens in colonies such as India represented an intersection of two distinct but inter-connected motifs: the scientific agenda and the imperial agenda (of transformation of the colonial economy, especially, commercialization of the colony’s agriculture, for Britain’s benefit). Click here to read more about her current research.

Faculty & Staff News:
New Publications by Drs. Pallavi Das and Valerie Hébert - Recently published works by Drs. Pallavi Das and Valerie Hébert shed like on the the history of forests in colonial India and the Nuremberg Military Trials. Click here to read more.

New Research Grants Award by SSHRC - Ronald Harpelle and Michel S. Beaulieu awarded over $200,000 in Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Research Grants. Click here to read more.

New Book Explores Early Film in Thunder Bay - Michel S. Beaulieu's latest book, Celluloid Dreams: An Illustrated History of Early Film at the Lakehead, 1900-31, challenges the traditional interpretation of the early years of film production in the country and reveals that, for many, film was the natural medium to promote their communities. Click here to read more.

History Professor's Film Tours Finland - Ronald Harpelle’s recent film, Under the Red Star, which is a docu-drama directed by Kelly Saxberg about Finnish immigration and radicalism in Thunder Bay prior to the Second World War, has had a successful tour of Finland. Click here to read more.


Some Important Dates:

Fall Exams - 6 to 17 December
Start of Winter Term - 7 January
Study Week - 18 to 22 February
Winter Exams - 12 to 24 April

Student Corner:

"Lakehead University is very unique in the sense that students are known by name and can have very personable relationships with their professors. The people in Thunder Bay are very friendly, and the atmosphere at Lakehead is always enjoyable."
~ Kara Carkner,HBA/BEd
Click here to read Kara's full story.

"I would not be the person I am today without the support and guidance of Lakehead’s faculty and staff.."
~  Ulysses Patola. HBA/MA
Click here to read Ulysses' full story.

Lecture Series / Events of Interest:

10 November - ArchiveCrawl
25 November - TBHMS Victorian Tea

26 November - Graduate School Information Session
10 December - "The 9 Habits of Highly Effective Resource Economies: Lessons for Canada" (Madelaine Drohan)
6 January -
TBHMS Publication Awards
22 January - TBHMS Lecture: "Solving Historical Mysteries Through DNA" (Arlene Lahti)

Check http://history.lakeheadu.ca for more information about department events. Check out http://www.thunderbaymuseum.com for information about there events.

Useful Departmental Links:

Undergraduate Program Information
Graduate Program Information
Faculty Information
History Essay Guide

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 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 3013. His email address is michel.beaulieu@lakeheadu.ca He can also be reached by phone at (807) 343-8341.

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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