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Lakehead University Magazine Fall/Winter 2006

Grad Student Profiles


Les PraisleyLes Praisley has long been fascinated with Asia. While working on his undergraduate degree in English and History at Lakehead, he spent a summer in Japan.  After graduating he spent a year in Korea teaching English. Now he is back working on his Master’s degree in History with Professor Carl Young; his topic − Kabuki Theatre and its relationship to urbanization in Japan between 1600 and 1868. As President of the Lakehead Graduate Student Association last year, Praisley helped to organize regular social events for graduate students. “The potential at Lakehead is unbelievable,” he says. “We have excellent researchers and faculty who are drawing students from around the world. As an undergraduate student you don’t really see that…. I am proud of having a degree from Lakehead and confident that I can compete for any position in any PhD program in History.


Esther TernerEsther Terner is tackling a subject everyday that most of us spend our whole lives pondering: what exactly is a “good death”?  For her Master’s project, Terner will be working with a sample of elderly patients who (while not actively dying) are chronically ill. In a series of 30- to 45-minute interviews, she’ll be asking them just what it is they perceive constitutes a good death. Her results will be compared to the American study, “Steinhauser et al.’s (2000), “In Search of a Good Death: Observations of Patients, Families, and Providers.” While there is plenty of literature regarding palliative care, she says, very little of it is told empirically from the point of view of elderly people. Her supervisor is Professor Mary Lou Kelley.


Imad AbdallahWhen the Internet first came out, everyday it seemed like there was a new idea that was going to revolutionize our world. One of those ideas might finally see the light of day. Imad Abdallah, a Master’s student in Computer Science, is working with Professor Jinan Fiaidhi on a project involving the “Semantic Web” with a focus on developing a Secured Environment for e-learning. The Semantic Web is a worldwide network that links computers together, much like the “regular” web. The difference is that while the regular web is meant to be viewed by humans, the Semantic Web is designed to be viewed by computers. This means that computers across the globe, regardless of their user’s language, would be able to communicate. Abdallah’s research lies in developing a secured environment that would allow educators to take advantage of this new tool.


Nicole CorbettNicole Corbett was a teenager when a French radio station was established in her community. It was, in part, a fascination with the power of media that led her to a Master's study on the effect of media on French-speaking individuals within Northern Ontario communities.  In today's age of technology, she wonders if other media, particularly the Internet, impact linguistic communities. Corbett is sending out surveys to individuals who understand the French language and who reside in Northwestern Ontario. The survey covers a wide range of media usages, including radio, television, Internet, and cellular phones. Working with her supervisor, Professor Chris Southcott, she hopes to gain insight on the role that media plays in community vitality − an issue that is vital to small communities around the world.


Bjarne AlmqvistPaleomagnetism was not the field of study that Bjarne Almqvist had in mind when he first started undergraduate work. But the field presented itself as a challenge when Almqvist decided to move on to graduate studies and work with a renowned expert in the field, Professor Graham Borradaile. Paleomagnetism is exactly what its name implies: the study of Earth’s past magnetic field in rocks and sediments. For his Master’s thesis, Almqvist has been studying sediments from Northwestern Ontario in order to get a recording of the region’s magnetic history over the previous 10,000 years. Down the road, these data may help us better understand the nature of the Earth’s magnetic field.
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