Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

Campus News

Published February 04, 2014
Kim Fedderson, Brian Stevenson and Bruce Waite holding enlarged cheque
Orillia Campus Dean and Vice-Provost Kim Fedderson, President Brian Stevenson, and Board of Governors member Bruce Waite

Another Amazing $1M Gift

The County of Simcoe presented Lakehead University Orillia with a $1 million cheque during a County Council meeting on November 26. During the presentation, Lakehead President Brian Stevenson announced that the Academic Building would be renamed Simcoe Hall to honour the County's generous and ongoing support. Since 2009, the County of Simcoe has donated $3.5 million to the Lakehead Orillia campus. An official naming ceremony will be held in the spring of 2014.

Lakehead Makes Waves

Lakehead's reputation for academic and research excellence is growing. In October 2013, Lakehead was declared Ontario's number one research university in the undergraduate category in the annual ranking of Canada's Top 50 Research Universities. This comes as no surprise to Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Rod Hanley. "We have exceptional faculty, students, and community partners who are passionate about changing the world." This was followed by more good news in November – Lakehead placed second among Ontario's primarily undergraduate universities in Maclean Magazine's annual university rankings.

group photo of leadership students
Leadership students enjoy fresh air and fall scenery

Student Leadership Retreat

Twenty-seven Lakehead students boarded a bus on October 4 to attend a weekend retreat at the highly respected Youth Leadership Camps Canada on Lake Simcoe. It was the first time an off-site leadership training program was offered at the Orillia campus and was a value-added opportunity to enhance the successful Excel Leadership Program workshops available on campus for all students. One aspiring leader summed up her experience with, "I loved it. Not only did I feel like a better leader at the end of the weekend, but I felt like a stronger person." The final retreat session was organized by Orillia students Anna Lisa Martin and Sami Pritchard.

Cancer Imaging Innovation

Alla Reznik hopes to save lives with a new cancer imaging technique for women with a higher risk of breast cancer. Reznik is a Lakehead physics professor and senior scientist with the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute. She's received a $450,000 grant from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to develop a Portable Positron Emission Mammography (PEM) device. The PEM will be more effective at detecting tumours in younger women than traditional mammography. This molecular imaging method will distinguish between cancerous and normal cells using a radiotracer, allowing small masses to be detected.

Couchiching Partnership

In August, Lakehead University formalized a learning partnership with the prestigious Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs, Canada's oldest and most recognized public affairs forum. Lakehead President Brian Stevenson and Couchiching President Rima Berns-McGown signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the Institute's annual summer conference at Geneva Park in Orillia.

group photo in front of the law school entrance
A highlight of the historic day was the ribbon cutting at PACI with Lakehead President Brian Stevenson, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Faculty of Law Dean Lee Stuesser, and many Lakehead supporters

Faculty of Law Grand Opening

The grand opening of Ontario's first Faculty of Law in 44 years was celebrated with "Welcome to the Profession" ceremonies for Lakehead's charter class of 60 students. The ceremonies were held at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Thunder Bay and the PACI Gymnasium. "This is a great day for Lakehead University, for Thunder Bay, and indeed for Northern Ontario," Dean Stuesser said.

New Engineering Program

On October 30, Lakehead University and Georgian College announced exciting plans to develop a four-year degree in electrical engineering. The program will begin in September 2015, pending all approvals, and will be the first engineering degree of its kind offered in Central Ontario. Officials from Lakehead University and Georgian College gathered at the Georgian campus to mark the occasion along with Orillia Mayor Angelo Orsi, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, County of Simcoe Warden Cal Patterson, Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop, and PowerStream Senior Engineering Services VP Shelly Cunningham.

President Brian Stevenson and Christina standing in front of a Lakehead vertical banner
Award winner Christina Petsinis with President Stevenson

Future Woman Award

First-year student Christina Petsinis from Barrie is a force to be reckoned with. She started the academic year by earning a Lakehead University Presidential Scholarship – an honour given to two students annually for demonstrating leadership qualities and making significant contributions to their high schools and their communities. In October, this Honours Arts & Science student specializing in media studies and political science won the "Future Woman Award" at the 7th annual Women in Business Awards event sponsored by the Barrie Examiner. She was also voted Lakehead Residence Council President by her peers and is a volunteer journalist with the University's student newspaper. Congratulations Christina!

Postdoc Fellow Joins Team

Julia Downes, a United Kingdom post-doctoral fellow, joined Orillia's Interdisciplinary Studies department in January. Downes will be working with Sandra Jeppesen, an interdisciplinary studies professor and media studies for social change coordinator, on her Indymedia 2.0: New Media Activism in the Global Digital Economy project. Jeppesen received a $497,482 Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the project. Other research team members include project co-applicant Professor Adrienne Hurley of McGill University and research assistants Joanna Adamiak, Sharmeen Khan, and Holly Nazar.

In Memoriam

Patricia Vervoort

Patricia Vervoort, professor emerita of visual arts, passed away on May 8, 2013. She was Lakehead University's art historian from 1975 until retiring in 2006 and served as chair of the Visual Arts department from 1990 to 1996.

"Patty Vervoort was a founding faculty member and a formative force in the Department of Visual Arts," says Visual Arts Professor Mark Nisenholt. "Through her scholarship, friendship and collegiality, her teaching, and deep devotion to the cultural well-being of her city, she helped build the foundations of the lively and vibrant arts community in Thunder Bay which we all enjoy today."

Professor Vervoort contributed to her field through research papers published in academic journals and presented at conferences in Europe and North America. She also edited and contributed chapters to books, such as Visual Arts in the North, a 2011 collection of essays. Professor Vervoort's daughter, Amy, has said of her mother: "She learned as much as she could, travelled as far as she could, loved passionately, fought for what she believed in, and challenged herself every step of the way."

Borislav Pantic

Borislav Pantic, professor emeritus of electrical engineering, passed away on August 29, 2013. He is lovingly remembered by his wife, his two children, and their families. Professor Pantic was born in Bosnia in 1933 and immigrated to Canada in 1981 where he joined Lakehead's Faculty of Engineering. He taught until his retirement in 1988. Krishnamoorthy Natarajan, chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, recalls that Professor Pantic was held in high esteem. "He did wonderful work for this department. He established our Power and Machines Laboratory for undergraduate students in the Centennial Building and it's still going strong."

In remembrance of Professor Pantic, donations may be made to Lakehead University at:

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