Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

Class Notes

Class Notes 1980s

  • Danielle Kovanchak (BEd '89) has published her first children’s book which teaches children how to tell time. It’s About Time, published by AuthorHouse, is targeted for children ages 4-7.
  • Phillip Hollis (BEd '89) was named the "Principal of the Year" in May 2011 by the Association of California School Administrators, Region 16, which covers the Los Angeles area. His new school recently received a portion of a $4.1 million grant from his school board to increase the use of technology. "I hope to prove that with the right tools," Phillip says, "even those schools that have socioeconomically disadvantaged students can and will improve their test scores and be college and career ready."
  • Brunina Morrow (nĂ©e Ariganello) (BA '89, BEd '89) teaches with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board and has been married to Michael Morrow for almost 21 years. Her son Jonathan just graduated from high school and will be entering Lakehead University's Civil Engineering program in September 2013. Micaela, her 11-year-old, finished Grade 6 this year.
  • Daniel Topatigh (HBCom '89) was announced as Tbaytel's new president and CEO in October 2013. Daniel originally joined Tbaytel - the largest independently owned telecommunications provider in Canada - in 2007 as chief financial officer where he oversaw the finance, accounting, purchasing, and regulatory departments. Prior to joining Tbaytel, Daniel was the pulp and paper controller at Bowater's Thunder Bay mill. He was also the controller and continuous improvement manager for Abitibi Consolidated's Thunder Bay paper mill and worked for KPMG Thunder Bay as a senior manager. He has been involved in his community as a member of the board of directors of the Thunder Bay Boys and Girls Club for the past 10 years.
  • Rob Zuback (HBCom '88) started off 2015 with a new job as director of development and alumni relations at St. Lawrence College, which offers online and continuing education at three campuses in eastern Ontario. Prior to joining St. Lawrence, Rob worked at the Canadian Red Cross Society. Earlier in his career, Rob played an integral role at his alma mater – he was Lakehead University's manager, alumni relations for 14 years.
  • Jacqueline McMahon (HBFA '87) is the co-owner/director of the Slightly Off Broadway studio in Thunder Bay. Jacqueline teaches voice and musical theatre as well as co-teaches the women's dance programs and pop ensembles. In addition, she writes all of the original scripts used in Slightly off Broadway’s musical theatre and drama presentations. She is a published author with Writer’s Digest Market Books, Red Rose Publishing (adult suspense novels), and numerous other magazines, e-zines, and websites.
  • Jacqueline McMahon (HBFA '87) is an author whose first suspense novel, "When Love Won't Die," is available online at Amazon and has been released in paperback by Splice Publishing. Jacqueline is also the co-owner/director of the Slightly Off Broadway studio in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where she teaches voice and musical theatre.
  • Julie Pauletig (BEd '86) was elected the 70th president of the Ontario Teachers Federation (OTF) in August 2013. Julie was a daily occasional teacher with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board before becoming an elementary school teacher with the York Catholic District School Board in 1986. As a first year teacher, Julie took on the role of teacher advocate and became involved with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) local level as a collective bargaining team member. In her new role as OTF president, Julie explains, "Maintaining a strong fully funded pension plan for retirees and contributing plan members is OTF's main priority."
  • Bing Yoenathan (BSc '85) is living in Surabaya, Indonesia, with his wife Astrid and their two sons, Eric and Juan. Bing is working in soy manufacturing.
  • Kevin M. Tomlinson (HBSc '84) After living in Australia for 21 years, Kevin M. Tomlinson (HBSc'84) is now the Managing Director with Westwind Partners in London, England, where he lives with his wife Jeanette Drew and their two daughters.
  • Irmo Marini (HBA '84) Professor and PhD Coordinator, Department of Rehabilitation University of Texas-Pan American, was awarded the Distinguished Career Award from the National Council on the Rehabilitation Education. In addition, he was awarded a faculty research award for 2009 and published a co-edited textbook in December 2008.
  • Allan G. Vinni (DipEngTech '84, BA '86) The Stanford Who’s Who, a publication that recognizes successful individuals in multiple industries, has listed Allan G. Vinni (DipEngTech’84, BA’86, HBA’87, MA’89) among the ranks of premier professionals. The Allan Vinni Law Office is a general law practice operating in Fort McMurray, Alta. Allan is a certified financial planner and a member of the Canadian Bar Association. He is also treasurer of the Provincial Board for the Alberta Family Mediation Society, a board member of the local YMCA, and chair of a Habitat for Humanity affiliate. Chuang Peck Ming wrote an article about Tay Liam Wee (BAdmin’83) that appeared in the December 20, 2010 issue of AsiaOne’s The Business Times. In it, he says Tay Liam Wee “took a small family-owned watch and pen shop, started by his father Tay Boo Jiang in 1954, and within two decades, transformed it into Singapore’s largest watch retail chain.”
  • Kathleen (Kath) Swayze ( '83, BPHE ') recently accepted the position of Director of Student Affairs for the new Niagara Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University, where she is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor. She continues to be Medical Director at Ridley College, and practices family and sports medicine in St. Catharines, ON.
  • Tim Twomey (HBSc '83) Tim Twomey (HBSc'83) has joined Premier Gold Mines Ltd. as its Exploration Manager. A professional geologist, Tim has over 25 years of exploration, production, and management experience in Saskatchewan and Ontario, including the Thunder Bay and Kirkland Lake regions. More recently, he was Senior Exploration Geologist with Goldcorp's regional exploration team in the Red Lake Area.
  • Garry J. Clark (HBSc '83) is a Professional Geologist and an independent geological consultant. Over the past 26 years, he has been involved in mineral exploration overseas and throughout Canada with a number of exploration companies including Falconbridge, Falconbridge Copper, Noranda, and Gulf Minerals. Garry also serves on various committees and boards that support the mineral explorers of Ontario including the Ontario Minister of Mines Mining Act Advisory Committee and the Ontario Geological Survey Advisory Board.
  • Dolores Wawia (MEd '83, BEd '85) became a member of the Order of Ontario in February 2015 for her pioneering work as an Aboriginal educator, storyteller, and role model for First Nations students. The Order of Ontario is the province's highest honour and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field benefiting the people of Ontario or anywhere in the world.
  • John Crocco (BA '82, BEd '83) has been appointed Director of Education and Secretary/Treasurer of the Niagara Catholic District School Board (NCDSB), one of the largest boards in Ontario. John currently holds the position of Superintendent of Education for the NCDSB.
  • David Berko ( '82, ForTechDip '82)
  • Cindy Ann Ward (HBScN '82)
  • Tim Commisso (HBComm '82) was appointed City Manager for the City of Thunder Bay, effective September 29, 2008. Tim holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a professional accounting designation. He returned home to Thunder Bay from the City of Burlington where he held a number of senior positions including General Manager of Community Services. Prior to that, he was General Manager of Development and Infrastructure, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Manager of Financial Planning Services and Deputy Treasurer. In Burlington, he had lead responsibility for a number of major projects including the waterfront project from 2003 to 2007 as well as downtown revitalization strategies and corporate strategic plans. He and his wife Mary have two daughters, Kathleen and Jennifer.
  • Marguerite Kuiack (BA '82, HBOR '82) is a developmental therapist with The Child Development Centre in Kwanlin Dun, Yukon. After Marguerite graduated from Lakehead she began a long history of exploring and practicing different aspects of environmental education. Currently, she is demonstrating her commitment to the environment by participating in the Shell Canada and Canadian Geographic EnergyDiet Challenge with her family. From September 12 to December 8, 2011 the Kitchen-Kuiack household is competing against five other Canadian families to see who can reduce their energy consumption the most. Please go to the EnergyDiet web site to learn more about the challenge and to vote for Marguerite and her family. You can also "like" them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
  • Ralph Kermer (ForDip '81) a recent empty nester, decided that after 13 years fighting fires in British Columbia and 13 years fighting fires in the Northwest Territories that he would give Alberta a try. So he accepted a job at the Hinton Training Centre as a Wildfire Training Specialist. He hopes this will be his last stop before retirement.
  • Debra Rose Wilson (nĂ©e Kuper) (BA '81, HBScN '81) is a tenured professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and an adjunct faculty member at Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has won several awards: the 2012 Distinguished Educator in Distance Learning Award from MTSU, the MTSU Outstanding Public Service Award 2012-2013, the 2013 Walden University Faculty Excellence Award (for the College of Behavioral Sciences), and the 2013 Walden University Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence. Debra is also the managing editor of the International Journal of Childbirth Education and a nominee for a 2014-15 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship.
  • Nancy Angus (BA '81) was honoured with a 2015 Influential Women of Northern Ontario Trailblazer Award. Nancy is the City of Thunder Bay's community program developer for older adults. She is dedicated to promoting health and well-being for seniors by organizing recreational activities and has been instrumental in raising awareness of the needs of older adults. Nancy explained that she follows the advice of her 97-year-old mother who told her, "You can either hang back and complain, or you can just get involved and celebrate your community."
  • Hartley Multamaki (HBSF '80) has been appointed Vice President, Major Projects and Business Development, for True Grit Consulting Ltd.
  • Jamie Sokalsky (HBCom '80) has been appointed president and CEO of Barrick Gold Corporation, as of June 6, 2012. He joined Barrick as treasurer in 1993, and became CFO in 1999, a position he held before this appointment. Previously, he was an executive at George Weston Limited for 10 years.
  • Dr. Mary Bluechardt (BPHE '80, MSc Theory of Coaching '82) was dean of health sciences at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), and moved to Corner Brook, Newfoundland, in June 2011 to take on a more senior leadership role as vice president (Grenfell Campus) Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Josephine Boucher (BA '80) who retired in 1994 after 36 years as a primary school teacher, has received an Ontario Volunteer Service Award celebrating 20 years of volunteering. Josephine is involved with her church in several capacities and belongs to the Catholic Women's League. She is also part of the St. Joseph's Care Group Auxiliary executive in Thunder Bay and is the proud grandmother of Dylan and Theresa.
  • Sheila Southon (BA '80) is a guidance counsellor with the Pierrefonds Comprehensive High School in Beaconsfield, Quebec, where she has worked for more than 20 years. After majoring in Psychology at Lakehead, Sheila went on to complete an M.Ed in Counselling Psychology at McGill University and is certified to teach for the Chopra Center. She remembers Lakehead fondly and offers best thoughts to all current students and grads.

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