Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

Campus News

Published April 14, 2011

Accounting Students Take First Place in Asper School of Business GAAPS Competition

Accounting students (l-r): John Blanchette,
Michael Lorianni, Angela Pratola, and Jessica Tolone

Four Lakehead Accounting students won first place in the tenth Gathering of Accounting Academics, Practitioners, and Students (GAAPS) hosted by the University of Manitoba in conjunction with the Certified General Accountants (CGA) of Manitoba. Fourteen universities from across Canada sent teams of four undergraduate students to compete in the three-day conference from February 3-5, 2011, that included an accounting-based case competition, guest speakers, and networking events.

A judging panel comprising independent professional accountants selected the winners of the case competition. The first place win for the Lakehead University team comes with a trophy and $1,500 in prize money to share.

In the final round of the Intercollegiate Business Competition (ICBC) held at Queen’s University in January 2011, the accounting team of Angela Pratola and John Blanchette placed second overall, with first place going to Concordia and third place to the University of Calgary.

Faculty of Law One Step Closer

Lakehead has received curriculum approval from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, the first approval for a new law degree program in Ontario in 42 years. Chancellor Arthur V. Mauro, a vigorous proponent of a Faculty of Law for Lakehead University, said, “We are gratified by the approval of our proposal for a law school dedicated to the North; this is a dream that has been held by many people in Northwestern Ontario for so long. The approval of the curriculum takes us one step closer to the realization of this dream, and we thank the numerous organizations and private citizens who have helped move this project forward.

It is also worthy of note that a university located in the hometown of former Chief Justice Bora Laskin (1912-1984) become the most recent university in Ontario to receive approval for a new law degree program from the Federation of Law Societies of Canada.”

The curriculum approval from the Federation of Law Societies is one of the final steps in the approval process, which will culminate in submission of the proposal to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).

Accounting and Community Service Scholarship

BDO Canada has created an endowment valued at $80,000 to ensure that each year, a student with financial need enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree program and intending to pursue a Chartered Accountant designation, will receive $1,500.

“Lakehead has long been the primary recruiting source for the Thunder Bay office of BDO Canada. Of our current staff complement, almost 40% of the staff members are Lakehead alumni,” says Blair Smith, Office Managing Partner of BDO Canada.

BDO Canada is committed to creating scholarships for the most deserving and motivated accounting students, actively supporting and encouraging academic excellence, initiative, diligence, and leadership among Canada’s next generation of accounting leaders.

New Books

Kam Yu

Essays on the Theory and Practice of Index Numbers: The Making of Macroeconomic Data

by Professor Kam Yu

Economic measurement has over the years become an important subject in academic and policy research. Debates in the development of macroeconomic theory and public policy rely on accurate feedback of aggregate data. This book, published by VDM Verlag, fills the gap between the theory and practice in index numbers and is a valuable reference book for economists, policy analysts, and statisticians.

Yes to WiFi

Wireless Internet access (WiFi) is being installed at Lakehead in a sustainable and affordable way in select public spaces. The decision was taken after informal consultations and an online survey/poll sent to university stakeholder groups in the fall of 2010. Of the 10,862 people surveyed, 8,505 (78%) cast their vote, and among them 94% said yes to the question: Would you like to have wireless technology installed at Lakehead University?

President's Installation

Brian Stevenson was installed as president and vice-chancellor on November 5, 2010.

In his address he said that universities can change the world. “Lakehead University can be an active player in changing the very nature of society by providing opportunity, and by validating the aspirations of the various peoples comprising its communities,” he said.

Since taking on the role of president in August 2010, Stevenson has set his sights on leading the institution to the next level of excellence and growth among Canada's comprehensive universities, with a focus on becoming one of Canada's top 25 research-intensive universities. Read more in the November/December 2010 issue of Agora Online.

Campus Construction

At the Thunder Bay campus, a newly renovated Learning Commons has opened on the main floor of the Chancellor Paterson Library. The space now has a variety of private rooms and laptop- friendly seating arrangements that are conducive to small-group and individual research and learning.

At the Orillia campus, two new buildings are under construction − a 271-bed Residence and a Cafeteria/Bookstore complex. Both are designed to meet LEED standards and are scheduled to open in September 2011.


A new Honours Bachelor of Science in Bioinformatics program began in September 2010. This program is a unique blend of several science disciplines that provides students with the necessary technical background to understand the dynamical nature of biological systems. During the first year, students take introductory courses in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematical sciences, and physics. In the upper years, students will continue to build upon this background and take specialized courses in bioinformatics.

The field of bioinformatics is in its infancy, with techniques for acquiring information about the interactions between living systems and their environment(s) still being developed. Thus, the future prospects for a student who completes this program are endless. Bioinformatics is already having an impact on personalized medicine, with drugs now being designed to work with a person’s particular genetic makeup. Other potential areas of impact include bio-based process (e.g., biorefining) as well as more esoteric areas, such as environmental policy. For more information about the program and career prospects visit:

"Green" Cement

Lionel Catalan and Stephen Kinrade

A green cement additive that shows potential to significantly strengthen concrete and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been licensed to GreenCentre Canada. The technology, developed by Professor Lionel Catalan (Chemical Engineering) and Professor Stephen Kinrade (Chemistry), can potentially increase concrete strength by up to 40% and reduce the amount of Portland cement needed to make concrete.

The production of Portland cement involves heating calcium carbonate and clay at extremely high temperatures. This process is responsible for an estimated 7% of all greenhouse gases produced annually. Globally, approximately 1.35-billion tons of Portland cement are produced each year, releasing an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide into the air.

Professors Catalan and Kinrade are currently working on a new generation of concrete additives that will further decrease the requirement for Portland cement and is targeted to specific applications such as precast products.

Two New Start-up Companies

Two new start-up companies were launched during Research and Innovation Week last February. The first company is commercializing a psychological test known as the Strength Assessment Inventory (SAI), which is already being used by the McKellar Park Central Public School and the Sister Margaret Smith Centre in Thunder Bay.

The second company, Bitcold Technology Inc., is the outcome of a successful research partnership among the Department of Software Engineering, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Researchers and doctors have been working together on developing a new and intelligent shared-patient documentation system for caregivers and hospitial administrators.

Both companies have been assisted by Lakehead’s Innovation Management Office.

Grad Student Receives National Award

Jessica McAnulty

Social Work student Jessica McAnulty won a national award from the Canadian Institute of Health Research Institute on Aging and the Quebec Network for Research on Aging for her research poster, “An Assessment of Organizational Infrastructure Gaps, Barriers and Enablers to Developing Formal Palliative Care Programs: A Comparative Case Study of Two Long-Term Care Homes in Northern Ontario.” The award was announced last December at the Canadian Association of Gerontology conference in Montreal.

Muhammad Aqeel

Muhammad Aqeel

There is an advantage to choosing Lakehead’s graduate degree program in computer science. It’s called the co-op option and Muhammad Aqeel has made good use of it.

Last January, the 29-year-old international student from Pakistan began a sixteen-month work term with Research in Motion (RIM), working as a radio software developer.
Aqeel was attracted to Lakehead because of its research program and its “quiet environment.”  He received two scholarships from the University and says he thoroughly enjoyed his first year of study at the Thunder Bay campus, before moving to Southern Ontario to work for RIM.

Aqeel is one of 157 exchange, visiting students, and fee-paying international students at Lakehead, a figure that should increase in the coming years through the efforts of Lakehead’s newly appointed Special Advisor on International Affairs and Recruitment, Tony Willams.
“The most important thing a university can do to attract international students is to help them finance their education through scholarships and bursaries,” says Aqeel. “The other is to offer a variety of research areas within the graduate program.”

For more information visit

Branding Lakehead

Again this year Lakehead is showcasing alumni in its “I think for myself” awareness campaign aimed at the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario.  The campaign features Nicole Maillette Seller, an engineer, Dr. Neety Panu, a radiologist, and Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist.

“The student experience as well as success after graduation speak best to the institutional brand,” says Lakehead’s Director of Communications, Eleanor Abaya.

The creative strategy revolves around the Lakehead strength of encouraging independent critical thinking in the context of a smaller institution where there is greater interaction between student and professor.
The ads are intended to appeal to independent-type university-bound students and their parents.

People, Place, and Planet

David Greenwood, Canada Research Chair
in Environmental Education

Education professor David Greenwood has been named a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Environmental Education, bringing the total number of CRCs at Lakehead to nine.

Greenwood’s research investigates the types of environmental education we must consider, given our impact as a species and as diverse cultures on one another, on other species, on ecosystems, and even on larger systems such as the global climate. His research program asks how educators should respond to the growing complexities between people, place, and planet.

“Learners of all ages have opportunities to experience the cultural, ecological, and educational significance of the places in which they live and of their own life stories across multiple geographies,” says David Greenwood. “Such experiences can be nurtured by working with history teachers to integrate family and community history into the curriculum, inviting high school students to contribute to a local urban renewal project, or convening a university geography class in a local farmers’ market and/or organic garden.”

Greenwood is leading an interdisciplinary initiative to establish a new Centre for Environmental, Sustainability, and Place Studies, which will be housed in a new Environmental Education Research Lab at Lakehead’s Thunder Bay campus. The proposed Centre will create and support interdisciplinary environmental research, education, and outreach. Among its many activities will be developing programs and lines of inquiry aimed at “greening” schools and universities, and establishing an international research group to coordinate philosophical and empirical research on “place” at multiple sites.

Thunderwolves - Lakehead Claims OUA Wilson Cup

Jamie Searle hoists the Wilson Cup in Halifax, N.S.
Photo by Mike Bennett

What a great year for men’s basketball! After besting the #1 nationally ranked Carleton Ravens to win the first Ontario championship in team history, the Thunderwolves went on to compete in the CIS Final 8 tournament in Halifax, where they ended the 2010-2011 season in fifth place nationally, after narrowly beating Dalhousie University with a score of 84-80.

Andrea Lee a National Champ

Andrea Lee competing in Canmore, Alta.
Photo by Amanda Holdsworth

Nordic Skier Andrea Lee came away from the 2011 Canadian College University National Championships as the overall aggregate winner.  Lee, also a member of the National Development Centre, was golden in two of the three races and picked up a silver and bronze in the others. “Andrea is the prime example of the elite student athlete,” says her coach, Amanda Holdsworth. “She works hard in everything she does and her hard work has really paid off. She has brought Lakehead a national championship title and she should be proud of that!”

The women’s team came up short in their bid for their eight consecutive national title, narrowly losing out to a strong team from Laval University.  However, the Lady Thunderwolves skied well throughout the week and ended their 2010-2011 season with an OUA title and a second place overall finish on the national stage.

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