Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

Campus News

Published October 21, 2011

Mariposa ArtsU

Mariposa ArtsU logo

Over the past four years, Lakehead University has partnered with the Mariposa Folk Foundation to present its innovative ArtsU program

ArtsU is a series of creative workshops presented in cooperation with Lakehead University Orillia during the week preceding the Mariposa Folk Festival. The program has become more popular each year with over a dozen courses, ranging from printmaking and performance art to puppetry and home recording.

"ArtsU is a great way for the University to open its doors and allow people to see what the University has to offer," says Linda Rodenburg, a faculty member at the Orillia campus and a founding member of the ArtsU committee. "One of the goals of the Mariposa Folk Foundation is to offer educational experiences to the community – especially in a hands-on, workshop format. At Lakehead, we offer access to education that uses an inquiry-based learning approach that promotes active participation," explains Rodenburg. "ArtsU is a great partnership for us."

This year, ArtsU workshops continued during the Festival and included professors Thamara Laredo and Chris Murray in "Mix It Up!" a demonstration about the science of art. The Orillia campus was also part of the Festival's "Community Village," where visitors could find information about community services.

Read more about the Mariposa Folk Festival in our 'A Man on a Mission' article.

Festival images

(photo-left) Lakehead University Orillia Campus Dean Kim Fedderson introduces an afternoon workshop featuring Murray McLauchlan and Ron Hynes

(photo-right) The information booth became a gathering place for the Lakehead community: (l to r) Lakehead University Orilllia Advisory Committee member Dennis Smith, Professor Herman van den Berg, Professor Thamara Laredo, and student Emma MacDonald, along with Derek Blanchet

Festival images

(photo-left) Professor Thamara Laredo (centre), with ArtsU committee members Tom Johnstone and Susan Braedley

(photo-bottom) Chris Tomasini, Orillia campus librarian and active transportation advocate, plays a tune while volunteering at the bicycle lock-up area

(photo-right) Wolfie delighted kids and adults alike as he wandered through the Festival

Getting Fit at the "Y"

Frank Cappadocia

Lakehead University Orillia students now have access to a wide range of athletic facilities and services, thanks to an innovative partnership between the University and the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.

"Lakehead approached the YMCA because of its mandate to offer a service to the community and to make people better citizens."

Frank Cappadocia, Assistant Dean of Student Afairs, Lakehead University Orillia

Effective September 2011, all full-time students have membership privileges at YMCA facilities throughout Simcoe/Muskoka as part of their existing Athletic fees. The Student Athletic Fee was instituted last year at the Orillia campus to support recreation activities, intramurals, competitive sports, and special events. While many students took advantage of the programs offered, some students were interested in additional opportunities. "The number one comment from students concerning athletics was the need for access to a gym facility," said Liz Ross, athletics and recreation facilitator.

Without its own athletics facility, or plans to develop one in the near future, it made sense for the Orillia campus to partner with an existing facility in the community. The YMCA became an obvious choice because of its locations throughout Simcoe County and Muskoka. "This is particularly important because many of our students are commuters who travel to Orillia from throughout Central Ontario," says Ross.

Provost Appointed

Rod Hanley standing in front of a tree in autumn
Rod Hanley, Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Since starting his new position as provost and vice-president (academic) on August 1, 2011, Rod Hanley has been actively working with the Lakehead University community to articulate a sustainable future for Lakehead. One of his first actions was the creation of the Deputy Provost position (filled by Professor Moira McPherson) because, he says, "Splitting some of these duties between two people allows more time for creative activities and for helping to establish the strategic direction of the University."

Hanley's breadth of administrative experience as the University of Winnipeg's dean of science and as the chair of the Department of Earth System Science and Policy at the University of North Dakota makes him well-equipped to handle his new role. During his time at Winnipeg, Hanley moved forward the development of the $80-million Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex. He brought an entrepreneurial spirit to his faculty and built coalitions between academia, industry, and government.

Intense curiosity and a passion for science are hallmarks of Hanley's career. He received a BSc and an MS in Environmental Science from Eastern Illinois University before completing his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. He is a respected researcher and professor in the areas of biology, environmental science, and entomology. Of his next steps as the new provost and vice-president (academic), Hanley says, "Formulating the story of Lakehead University and getting it out to students is critical. We need to let them know that we are an excellent place for them to get their postsecondary education."

Couchiching Institute

all captioned members sitting on lawn chairs on a lawn in a yard
(l-r): Kaylen Leonienco, Professor Doug West, and Tim Michano relax by Lake Couchiching

Lakehead students Tim Michano and Kaylen Leonienco attended The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs' 80th annual conference as part of a new learning partnership between the Institute and the University. The Institute, which describes itself as Canada's oldest and most influential non-partisan forum on public affairs, hosted the August 4-7 conference "From the Ground Up: Civic Engagement in Our Time" at Geneva Park on Lake Couchiching, near Orillia. Doug West, professor of interdisciplinary studies and political science at the Orillia campus, helped develop the new partnership which will also incorporate a community service learning component and a series of public "Couchiching Round Tables" taking place throughout the year and featuring special guest speakers.

For more information about The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs and the annual conference, visit

Live & Learn Campaign Hits the Big Screen

Lakehead took a fresh approach to its recruiting campaign with a short film dramatizing the adventures awaiting prospective Lakehead students. The 30-second video, shot and edited in the style of a movie trailer by Thunder Bay's Imaginarium Studio Inc., is being screened from September 23 to December 15, 2011 at every Cineplex screen in Barrie, Newmarket, Orillia, and Thunder Bay. The video is one component of a broader Live & Learn campaign targeted to high school students in Central and Northern Ontario.

Living and Learning at New Orillia Facilities

artist drawing sketch of building
Artist rendering of the cafeteria/bookstore

It's coming together! Lakehead University Orillia now offers a more complete student experience. Construction of the 271-bed residence and cafeteria/bookstore next to the Academic Building was completed this fall. The new buildings meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standards, similar to the Academic Building that opened last year. These facilities will enable the Orillia campus to attract more students from beyond commuting distance. Currently, a large proportion of the student population lives in Orillia and its immediate vicinity.

Faculty of Law to Open in 2013

The planning and approval process for the Faculty of Law took a giant leap forward on July 5, 2011 when Ontario's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) announced that it would fully fund Lakehead's newest graduate program. The MTCU is also supporting the Faculty of Law by investing $1.5 million in capital funds to refurbish the former Port Arthur Collegiate Institute building in Thunder Bay, the future home of the Faculty.

The Faculty of Law is slated to open its doors in September 2013.

Cross Border Research

people standing together having a discussion
UMD Chancellor Lynn Black (centre) enjoys a lively exchange of views with cross border researchers at the conference's networking dinner

The research partnership between Lakehead University and the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) continues to grow two years after its 2009 inception. This joint venture was launched so that researchers at both universities could leverage their knowledge and resources in common research areas to pursue training and funding opportunities as well as the commercialization of their ideas.

When Lakehead/UMD Research Collaboration members gathered for their annual meeting in Thunder Bay this past June, they were energized by the announcement of an International Research Collaboration Grant that will help Lakehead researchers attract funding for international research.

In addition to attending a networking dinner to share ideas and news of their progress, researchers participated in workshops on a variety of topics including environmental cleanup, sustainable engineering, biomass research, ecosystem management, large lakes research, and a proposal for a collaborative MBA program. The cross border research collaborative has four active projects under its aegis including the product development of Thermowood Technology, a drying process that makes wood resistant to fungus and rot.

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