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Lakehead University Magazine Spring/Summer 2004

Class Notes

By Marla Tomlinson


Dr. Dianne Conrad (BA'69/BusDip '75), Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick, was presented with the Charles Wedemeyer Award for Excellence in Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the 19th Annual Conference for Teaching and Learning at a Distance in August 2003.

Robert (Bud) Knauff (BusDip'74) and his wife Kathy are overjoyed to announce the birth of their second grandchild. Madeline Kathleen Wiens was born on December 24, 2003, to Genevieve (née Knauff)(HBScF'00/BEd'03) and Greg Wiens. Bud and Kathy babysat Madeline and her older brother Hunter while Genevieve finished her BEd that year. Bud is currently the Woodlands Manager for Bowater Forest Products Division in Thunder Bay.

"One of my fondest memories of Lakehead University was the rich diversity represented in the student body."
— Valerie Packota (BA'75)

Valerie Packota (BA'75) received her BSW from York University in 1999 and her MSW in 2000. She has worked for shelters for abused women and, most recently, completed a contract as a policy analyst with the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy under a partnership agreement with five government ministries and 15 Aboriginal groups and provincial/territorial organizations. She recently began a new position as a Professor in the Social Service Worker program at Seneca College in King City. She is also in private practice as a counselor and social services consultant.


Susan Sosna (BA'87/BEd'89) and her husband Kevin Dubé are pleased to announce the birth of their son, Garret Richard, on October 15, 2003, in Markham, Ontario. Susan is enjoying a two-year leave of absence from work as a high school teacher with the Durham Catholic School Board.

Allan Vinni (EngDp'84/BA'86/HBA'87) opened his own law firm in Fort McMurray, Alberta, in March 2003. "This area is truly the land of economic opportunity. One can hardly keep up with the pace of development and volume of work," he says. "Anyone who wants to be overpaid and overworked is more than welcome out here."

Jennifer Barnett (HBSW'89) has a new position as a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Nipissing University.

Ross Sherlock (MSc'89) received the 2003 William H. Gross medal, awarded by the Mineral Deposits Division of the Geological Association. The medal is given annually to an outstanding young scientist working in the broad field of mineral deposits. In 2000, he took up a position as a Research Scientist in the Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where he established working relations with the northern communities and with companies exploring in the region. He is helping to advance the knowledge base in this part of Canada and is contributing to efforts to improve the quality of life of Inuit Canadians.


Two paintings by P. Michael Kowbuz (BA'90) were accepted into "Mid-Atlantic New Painting" juried exhibition, which ran from January to March 2004, with juror Stephen Bennett Phillips, Curator, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

Brian Ktytor (HBComm'91/BA'92) has been hired as Director, Community Connections, in the Community and Development and Innovation Division of Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Brian is responsible for the development of a college-wide communications and marketing/branding strategy.

Jennifer (née Lister) Coleman (BAdmin'93) and her husband Garry are pleased to announce the birth of their twin daughters. On April 6, 2003 Jessica was born. She was followed closely by sister Sarah. Their arrival made Emily, 5, a very happy big sister.

In January 2003, Barbara Jones (née Heard)(MA'93) had her third child, Natasha Alora, who is sister to Cassidy (August 2001) and Tyler (September 1999). She returned to work as a psychologist with the Brandon School Division in November 2003.

After being Co-Literacy Coordinator at the British International School in Kiev with his wife Natasha, Brian Allan Hunt (HBA'95/BEd'96) took over full duties as Coordinator while his wife gave birth to their first child, Faith. They then moved from Kiev to begin new assignments in Prague, Czech Republic. "We are both enrolling in Distance Education courses — my wife in an Honours BEd program, and I am looking into beginning a MEd in Environmental Education."

Michael O'Brien (HBOR'96) has been married to Debra for over four years and has a two-year-old daughter named Odessa.

Jocelyn Lemmon (BA'96) was engaged in August of 2002 and married in the Dominican Republic in November 2003.

Nicole (Nikki) Monique Geoffrey (HBOR/BA'96) met Chris Kocmut at the end of August 2001 and married in November 2003. They bought a house together in January 2003. "Although I'm not currently working in my field of education, I still enjoy the outdoors as much and as often as possible. After a few years, we intend to return to Northern Ontario so I can return to outdoor recreation and the land we both love."

Brenda Prokopchuk (née Patterson) (HBSc'97) is married to Ernie Prokopchuk (HBSc'97). She received her Masters in Pathology from The University of Western Ontario in 2001 and is 'Mom' to Evan, born in July 2000.

Terri Anne Bryenton (BA'97) accepted  a position with Wairarapa District Health Board in Masterton, New Zealand, working as part of a crisis team for Adult Mental Health Services. She is enjoying exploring international mental health systems and services, as well as taking in the sites in New Zealand.

Marc Gagnon (HBOR/BA'98) and Donovan Lisa-Marie Bigus welcomed Jaxson William Cash Bigus-Gagnon to the world on January 9, 2004.

Nichol Clouthier (née Davey)(BEd'98) had her first child, a boy, on August 5, 2003.


Pam Cummings (née Carter)(HBKin'97/BEd'00) was married on July 12, 2002, to Curt Cummings of Arborfield, Saskatchewan.

While living in Thunder Bay, Paul Abell (HBA'00) and his wife Jenny, became interested in circling Lake Superior by bicycle. "It took five years for the idea to come to fruition, but this summer we finally set out on our Big Lake Tours, cycling counter-clockwise in six weeks from Thunder Bay and back. It was a wonderful experience that thoroughly exceeded our expectations."

Brandon Potter (BA'01/BEd'01) is currently enrolled as a third-year law student at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. He will be starting his legal career with
the international law firm, Macleod Dixon LLP, in May 2004.

Anne Turcotte (BAdmin'03) has retired after 30 years as assistant to the Vice President of Thunder Bay Television. Her son, 23, is attending Lakehead studying Psychology. Anne is studying adult learning and would like to teach human resources or office administration at Confederation College or Lakehead University.

Robert Perrier (BA/BEd'03) has returned to Lakehead University as Senior Recruitment Officer. In March, he won the Thunder Bay Idol competition and went on to audition before the Canadian Idol Celebrity judges in Winnipeg.

In Memoriam

Dave Christie, Assistant Director of Finance at Lakehead, passed away on December 27, 2003. Christie touched the lives of many during his 25 years of dedicated service, and will be missed by faculty, staff, and students.

Moe Ktytor (BA'68), Director of Corporate Relations at Lakehead, passed away on February 6, 2004. Ktytor served Lakehead University for 35 years and in 2003 was presented with the Lakehead University Staff Award. His extensive contributions were highlighted in a feature article "Above and Beyond" published in the fall/winter 2003 issue of the Lakehead University Magazine.

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