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 Orillia Students “Do Something” to Save Environment
 Going for Green
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 Distinguished Instructor - Phil Fralick
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Lakehead University Magazine Spring/Summer 2008

Class Notes


Professor Richard Bladek (Ryerson Engineering and Architecture - First Year, 1963) worked in Korea for two years and has spent the last five years in China. He is currently working in the International Exchanges department of Beijing University of Technology.

Valedictorian of Lakehead’s first graduating class Doug Brown (BA’65) is retired from a career in Psychology and living with his wife Bobbie (Ainsworth) at Lurgan Beach, Lake Huron, south of Kincardine, ON. Brown completed a Master’s degree from the University of Waterloo in 1967 and spent 34 years working in Psychological Services for the Waterloo County Board of Education. He has two children — Ian, a doctor of naturopathic medicine practicing in Collingwood, and Keely, a lawyer who works for the Edmonton Oilers.


In 1993, Jane Somerton (BA’72, HBA’74, BEd’77) retired from teaching for the Lakehead Board of Education where she served as an elementary/special education teacher, and a public school principal. Jane was widowed three times. She married Bert Somerton in May 2007 and together they are enjoying their five daughters and families. She writes, “What opportunities we were offered and accepted. Thanks Lakehead!”

Ottawa poet and writer Cyril Dabydeen (HBA‘73) was recently awarded the Guyana Prize for Literature for his novel Drums of My Flesh. Dabydeen read from the book in the Netherlands and in New York City at the Guyana Folk Festival during 2007. The novel was nominated for the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the city of Ottawa Book Awards in 2006.

Lorraine Milton
(BA’79) is the author of Step by Step to Grace: A Spiritual Walk through the Bible and the Twelve Steps, published by Novalis Press 2002. She is now writing a second book, Cameos of Courage: The Spiritual Challenge of Living with Chronic Illnesses and Disabilities. Milton has a Master of Arts degree in Theology from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities at New Brighton, Minnesota. For eight years she worked as a chaplain consultant in the Spiritual Care Department at the Hazelden Foundation, an alcohol and chemical addiction rehabilitation centre in Minnesota.


Rich Lavoy (HBScF’81) is an education coordinator with Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid, Florida, and is working on a BA in environmental education.

Gary Armstrong (BAdmin‘84) is Chief Financial Officer of Family Memorials Inc., a company in the business of consolidating retail businesses selling granite monuments for placement on individual cemetery lots. Armstrong is a Certified Management Accountant who has held senior executive positions, including CFO for TBayTel and Manager of Finance and Administration for the City of Vancouver Police Department.

Duncan Weller (BA’89) is the winner of the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award – Children’s Literature (Illustration) for The Boy from the Sun, a book described by the jury as a “charming, fresh, and joyful book” that perfectly melds story and image. Born in Montreal, Weller studied fine arts at Lakehead and now is back in Thunder Bay working on an honours degree in English. His two other published books are Space Snake and Night Wall. Weller is collaborating with younger brother Eric, a local film producer, on a high-definition video version of the latter book. Weller also paints, and writes poetry and short stories.


Tracy Mullins (HBOR/BA’90) received his AICP accreditation from the American Institute of Certified Planners. To become a certified planner entitled to use the AICP designation, members of the institute must meet stringent educational and experience requirements and pass a written exam. Tracy is the Director of Planning and Design at MJA Consulting, a regional planning and urban design company in Lakeland, Florida, that specializes in conservation development and green designs. Mullins received a full scholarship for his Masters of Science degree in Geography from Eastern Michigan University. Tracy worked as an adjunct lecturer in the Behavioral Science Department of the University of Michigan before moving to Florida and marrying his wife Marcia Morse Mullins. Tracy plans to release a book on Traditional Indigenous Planning in the fall of 2008.

Pasi Pinta (BSc’91) accepted the position of Director of Technology at Northern Ontario School of Medicine in October 2006. In addition to graduating from the Computer Science program at Lakehead, he worked in the University’s Computer Services/CRTC department from 1991 to 1995. From 1995 to 2006, he was based out of Dryden, ON., and worked in the forest products industry with Avenor, Bowater, Weyerhaeuser, and EDS prior to coming back to Thunder Bay. Pasi obtained his MBA specializing in Information Technology Management from the University of Athabasca in 2003 in addition to becoming a certified Project Management Professional in 2005 from the Project Management Institute. He married his wife Kerri-Ann in 1997 and they have a son, Kasey, 9, and a daughter, Brooke, 7. The family enjoys the outdoors together through all the seasons.

Vic Dhillon (BAdmin‘92), Ontario MPP for Brampton West, is Vice-Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour. He is married to Shaminder and they have two sons, Robin and Sajjan, and a daughter named Taj. Before being elected in 2003, he ran a family-owned business and worked as Executive Assistant to MP Colleen Beaumier. Vic has taken on leading roles in many non-profit fundraising campaigns, including a local group that collected much-needed supplies for the devastating ice storm in eastern Ontario, tsunami in Asia, and earthquake in Pakistan.

Lecturer in Sociology Kevin D. Willison (MA’93) has had a book chapter on the subject of interprofessional education (IPE) and chronic disease management accepted for publication in New Perspectives on Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices in Health, a book soon to be published by Nova Science Publishers. Willison was born and raised in Orillia and is now teaching courses in Sociology at Lakehead’s Orillia Campus. His research interests include the sociology of health and illness, gerontology, health promotion, and public health. He is pursuing the completion of his PhD with the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto. Type: ”WILLISON” to link to sample peer-reviewed publications by K. Willison: http://works.bepress.com/authors.html

Gregory Duras (BAdmin‘94) has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of Beartooth Platinum Corporation of Toronto, ON.

Andrew Bird (BAdmin’95) works as an Implementation Manager for Zantaz, an autonomy company based in Ottawa. He married Ann in July 2006 and they spent their honeymoon in Tahiti. To celebrate their first anniversary, they moved into a new house in one of Ottawa’s premier golf course communities.

In 2007, John MacPhail (HBA‘96, MA’00) received a Governor General’s Award (GGA) For Excellence in Teaching Canadian History and is currently teaching grades 7-8 at St. Dominic Catholic School in Oakville, ON. John coordinates an annual project for his class focusing on a six-week mock trial of William Lyon Mackenzie as a way to develop his students’ skills in critical thought, debate, and questioning assumptions. The GGA panel found that John “successfully bridges the gap between the Rebellions of 1837 and modern issues such as media bias, power structures, and the justice system. His lesson plans are comprehensive and the scaffolding he provides ensures student success.”

Scott Crawford (BA’97) is Director of Operations at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Marys, ON. He and his wife Samantha have two sons — Toby, 3, and Noah, born in September, 2007.

Carrie McGown (BA’99, HBOR‘99), a doctoral student in education at the University of New Hampshire, was deemed Outstanding Experiential Teacher of the Year by the Association of Experiential Education in November 2007.


Kevin Kelner (HBComm’04) is a senior analyst with Johnson & Johnson in Markham, ON, and has been a Project Management Professional since February 2007.

Robert Carlson (BA’05) is the owner/operator of RJC Window Cleaning, providing services to residential and commercial clients in Thunder Bay.

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