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Lakehead University Magazine


Taking Aim

Karen Gavan and Corporate Success

J. Andrew Deman

Karen Gavan has a lot of things going for her these days. Since graduating from Lakehead University in 1982, her rise to success in the corporate sector has been meteoric. The Chief Operating Officer of both Transamerica Life Canada and Aegon Funds Management Inc., Gavan is a noteworthy example of an ambitious and talented woman making it in the world of big business.

Gavan credits the Lakehead Business Administration program with providing her the necessary grounding in business operations that still serves her to this day: "I don't think going to an Ivy League school would have changed much for me at all. Maybe it would have given me a few more business contacts, I'll give them that, but you learn more by doing."

When dealing with the financial advisors who sell her firm's products across Canada, Gavan found an unforeseen advantage to an upbringing in Northwestern Ontario. "I think that you can see the polished, shined professional image that I need when I'm dealing with people on Bay Street, but then when they talk to me and find out about carving up moose-meat in the garage, and fishing, and all the rest, it makes me a more down-to-earth person in their eyes."

Throughout her life in Thunder Bay, and into her life in Toronto, Karen Gavan's rise to success is marked by a series of accelerated accomplishments. She completed high school by the age of 17. At Lakehead, she received her Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1982. She was only 20 years old at the time. As a CA candidate, she opted to forego her study year, choosing instead to tackle the challenge of the uniform financial exams a full 12 months early.

Of her fast-track approach to education, Gavan remarks, "I was always good at studying just the right amount. I'm not a terribly patient person. If I want something, I go after it and get it."

After a series of accounting positions, Gavan got into finance. By the age of 29, she was recruited and hired by Transamerica Life as Chief Financial Officer where she has made her mark to this day.

"She is probably one of the most successful graduates of our faculty, in terms of the speed at which she has risen to the top," says Karen Gavan's brother, Lakehead University Business Administration Professor Ken Hartviksen. "Among females, given the 'glass ceiling' of those days, her success is pretty much unprecedented."

In regards to the so-called 'glass ceiling,' Gavan believes it's there. "I think there is a whole number of issues surrounding it. I know a lot of very successful women in business, but they are still few and far between at the senior executive level. The board positions aren't there."

This lack of gender equity in the boardroom leaves women with a smaller margin for error. As a result of this, Gavan explains, "There are probably a lot more men who are less deserving who manage to survive and thrive than women. Women very quickly get weeded out, and that's where I think the glass ceiling is. I think it's also that women make certain lifestyle decisions, because you do give up a lot in your personal life in order to be successful."

When it comes to sacrifice, she speaks from experience. "I've got two kids who have grown up with nannies, always knowing that Mom travels and works long hours. Sometimes you just can't be at one of the kids' events because it conflicts with a board meeting; they understand that it's just 'sorry, I've got to be at the board meeting."

Even physical injury can be added to the list of sacrifices on the path to success. Years ago, Gavan developed alopecia as a result of stress. She temporarily lost over half of her hair.

In 1999, an opportunity arose to get off of the fast-track. As Aegon acquired Transamerica, Gavan decided to leave  the company and take a position with an insurance firm for equal pay and far less responsibility. The move proved impossible.
"I felt like I had died. I couldn't do it. Seven months later, I came back here. I'm driven by the dynamic environment: always changing, always something to keep your mind going and growing. I've never looked back on that decision." As for the next generation of businesswomen, Gavan advises that "you have to be confident — project that you're confident, know your stuff, know it inside and out, be positive, and don't be afraid to also be a woman."
The journey has been marked by hard work, tough decisions, and personal sacrifice, but today Karen Gavan stands as a shining example of what a hard-working, intelligent businesswoman can accomplish within the corporate sector.

— J. Andrew Deman (HBA’01/MA’03) is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo


Opening Doors to the World

Frances Harding

With the opening of the Advanced Technology & Academic Centre (ATAC)
in 2004, Lakehead University has become a North American leader in offering advanced, user-friendly learning technology in the classroom.

Walter Epp knows first-hand how technology can create opportunities for learning.

In October, the Education professor organized a videoconference to connect his fourth-year class with a high school history and civics class in Buehl, Germany. Then in March, he arranged for His Excellency John Ralston Saul (the Ottawa-based author and husband of Canada's Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson) to have a discussion, by videoconference, with the same class in Thunder Bay and with a class of high school students in Grassy Narrows, and another in Marathon, both in Ontario.

Brendan Hughes, one of Epp's students, was so impressed with the technology that he wrote a letter to the student newspaper, Argus, saying, "Even if you don't like computers, this was very cool for everyone involved."

"The entire videoconference took just over an hour," wrote Hughes. "During that time, German students asked questions that were of interest to them, such as the importance of socio-economic standing among Canadians, what our school system is like, and how Canadians rank different professions. What better way to make young people interested in a variety of subjects than by using such cutting-edge technology?"

New Opportunities

"ATAC has enhanced the learning environment for all our students," says Fred Gilbert, President of Lakehead University. "Every program, delivered on campus and through distance education, will make use of ATAC's remarkable facilities."
The $44-million building, funded in part by Ontario's SuperBuild Growth Fund, is the focus of Lakehead's  strategy to be a leader in technological applications to
post-secondary education. Thanks to innovative partnerships with the private and public sector, Lakehead has enhanced its connectivity to the world and will stay
on the leading edge of technology development.

The 9,520-square-metre facility has 15 smart classrooms and computer labs; robotics, software engineering, and computer science research laboratories; part-time and distance education facilities; a multimedia production studio; and geographic information systems (GIS) labs.

Each one of ATAC's 15 smart classrooms has a teaching podium equipped with fixed and wireless microphones and a touch-sensitive Crestron Controller screen. This enables the Instructor to activate a variety of teaching tools at the touch of a finger. These include: a document camera that can project images of objects as well as text; a VCR and DVD player; a computer with Internet access, CD-ROM and USB ports; and laptop connects for video, audio, power, and network use. Ten of these rooms offer videoconferencing facilities.

"To date, many schools across the country boast of having smart classrooms, but so far none are as advanced, or as user friendly, as Lakehead's classrooms."
— Bob Angell, Director, Technology Services Centre

Partners in Technology

ATAC's high-tech capabilities and leading-edge equipment have been provided by Lakehead's strategic technology partners: Anixter Canada, Bell Canada, IBM Canada Ltd., Nortel Networks, Precision Camera Inc. (PCI), SGI, Sony of Canada Inc., and Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. "We sat down with all of our partners to come up with an integrated solution to create a better teaching and learning environment on- and off-campus," says Bob Angell, Director of Lakehead's Technology Services Centre. "Lakehead collaborated with its partners to design a system that could be sold globally as a total solution for delivering smart technology to the classroom. To date, many schools across the country boast of having smart classrooms, but so far, none are as advanced, or as user friendly, as Lakehead's classrooms."

Extending Our Reach

ATAC is having a profound effect on the delivery of all courses at Lakehead, as faculty add online resources to their course curricula and begin to use a blend of technologies to facilitate learning.
Lakehead University’s Department of Part-Time & Distance Education offers five undergraduate and graduate degree programs, four certificate programs, and one professional development program in education. In 2003-04, there were 5,400 individual course registrations in 130 different courses that used technology-mediated instruction. This number will continue to increase, as will the number of opportunities for the public to make connections of their own, thanks to ATAC.

This year, Don Davidson, a consultant with the Niagara Enterprise Agency, spoke about economic development by means of a videoconference involving more than 36 people across Northwestern Ontario, including key business leaders. The event was funded by FedNor and was sponsored by Lakehead University, Fast Forward Thunder Bay, and the Northwestern Ontario Technology Centre.

In the fall, the Office for Partnerships for Advanced Skills (OPAS) 2003 Visionary Seminar, featuring Governor of the Bank of Canada David Dodge, was broadcast to Lakehead students, faculty, board members, and individuals of the business community via satellite.

Like many of the faculty, Ian Newhouse, Dean of the Faculty of Professional Schools, thinks ATAC will improve teaching and learning at Lakehead. He sums it up this way:

"A large number of faculty members have been quick to embrace technological tools that enhance the quality of their teaching and accessibility to the students. The Advanced Technology & Academic Centre will match the innovation of technology with the innovation of these instructors, and together the standard for university education will be raised.”

ATAC Future of the North

The ATAC ~ Future of the North Capital Campaign is seeking $9 million from faculty, staff, alumni, corporations, foundations, business, industry, and friends to complete this $44-million project.

“My daughter Beth is a Lakehead graduate,” says John Richardson, ATAC fundraising volunteer and donor. “I support ATAC as both a donor and a volunteer because it provides the infrastructure to create many more opportunities for students to meet their educational needs using the latest technology and advanced methods.”

Larry Hebert (BA’69, HBComm’78) was recently named the Local Fundraising Volunteer Team Chair. He takes over from Russ York, who has been with the ATAC Fundraising Team since its inception. To date, almost 80% of the $44-million project goal has been reached.

Grand Opening celebrations for ATAC include two gatherings on May 13 to recognize donors and supporters, and an Open House on May 29, 2004. For more information on how you can support this campaign, contact Bonnie Moore, Director of Development, at 807-343-8747 or

— Sue Wright (BA’97), Prospect Researcher

Opening Doors to Innovative Learning

"Learning by means of stereo 3-D imagery is the way of the future. It's like having a model right in front of you that you can pick up and manipulate. The potential is enormous."
— Brad Wilson, Associate Professor of Geography

Imagine taking a Geography course that includes a field trip to the Grand Canyon, Alaska Ice Fields, or Death Valley. Soon, Lakehead students enrolled in Brad Wilson's course on Remote Sensing will be able to do just that.

Wilson is planning to create virtual field trips using three-dimensional modeling of landforms with the new equipment in the Advanced Technology & Academic Centre (ATAC). "It's not that expensive," he says. "All you need to make a stereo virtual landscape is a digital elevation model (DEM) and registered satellite imagery or digital air photography. For example, DEMs for all of North America are available from various governments, and imagery is available from several sources including academic colleagues and governments, or can be purchased."

Although stereo 3-D graphics have been used by the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment for many years, Wilson is the first professor on campus to use the new equipment in ATAC’s SGI Virtual Reality Centre as a teaching tool.

The SGI Virtual Reality Centre is equipped with three high-resolution DLP projectors on a 160-degree radius cylindrical screen operated by an SGI Origin 2000/Onyx 2 super computer. With this equipment, Lakehead will soon be able to run any number of high-resolution modeling programs including those illustrating surgical procedures and geomorphic processes.

There are no limits to the applications of virtual reality imaging in a teaching and learning environment, says Wilson. "Learning by means of stereo 3-D imagery is the way of the future. It's like having a model right in front of you that you can pick up and manipulate. The potential is enormous."

— Frances Harding

Opening Doors to Students

"It's clear that students value the blended approach of technology-mediated education. Learners from different geographic and professional situations are able to share their experiences and situations."
— Darlene Steven, Professor of Nursing

Cindy Walker likes the flexibility of Lakehead's Masters of Public Health (MPH) program. A Registered Nurse who works 12-hour shifts in the Hospice Unit at St. Joseph's Care Group in Thunder Bay, she is able to go online at her convenience and study part-time. Like her classmate, Paulette Lacroix, in Vancouver, Walker can listen to lectures by means of archived streaming video, participate in online discussion groups, communicate directly with her professors by email, and submit her assignments online.

"It's clear that students value the blended approach of technology-mediated education," says Darlene Steven, a Professor of Nursing and one of the Graduate Coordinators of the program. "Learners from different geographic and professional situations are able to share their experiences and situations."

In addition to using technology in an innovative way, the MPH program promotes the development of a community of learners, and it instills the concept of self-directed learning and continued professional development.

Accessing some of the great minds in public health is a feature both Walker and Lacroix appreciate. In February, they listened to a lecture by Tim Porter-O'Grady, a Senior Consultant in Nursing from Atlanta, Georgia, entitled "Quantum Leadership in Nursing Practice, Education, and Administration."

In 2003, Lakehead received Honourable Mention in the Awards Program for Excellence in Teaching with Technology, coordinated by the Council of Ontario Universities’ Office for Partnerships for Advanced Skills (OPAS). One of the objectives of the awards program is to promote and share best practices in the use of teaching technologies.

— Frances Harding

Campus News

Renaissance Man
Michael Richardson, an English professor with a passion for Shakespeare and Renaissance literature, has been selected as the Lakehead University 2003 Distinguished Instructor. In recent years, Richardson has been asking his students to design, write, and act scenes or short plays that they develop from the works being studied in class. He's not teaching his students to act; the emphasis, rather, is on understanding the text.

One group of students developed a Snakes and Ladders board game to illustrate St. Augustine's concepts of caritas (the root of all virtues) and cupiditas (the root of all sins and vices.) Another did a rap version modeled on the 16th century comedy "Gramer Gurton's Needle," setting the scene in an urban ghetto and using a syringe instead of a sewing needle.

It's all done in the same jovial manner that has carried Richardson throughout his career, starting in the late sixties at the University of Calgary when, as an undergraduate, he set out "to learn all kinds of things and have fun doing it."

by Lakehead Alumni and Faculty

Elle Andra-Warner
Hudson's Bay Company Adventures: Rollicking Saga of Canada's Fur Traders
Min-Sun Chen
Mythistory in Sino-Western Contacts: Jesuit Missionaries and the Pillars of Chinese Catholic Religion
Todd Dufresne
Killing Freud: Twentieth Century Culture and the Death of Psychoanalysis
Ann Kajander
Big Ideas for Small Mathematicians
David D. Kemp
The Environment Dictionary
Jean Morrison
Lake Superior to Rainy Lake: Three Centuries of Fur Trade History
Lee and Michael Stones
Sex May be Wasted on the Young: For Boomers and Beyond, 2nd Edition
G. Bruce Strang
On the Fiery March: Mussolini Prepares for War

Strengthening Our Visual Identity
Lakehead University's image is being overhauled. For the past year, Lakehead has been working with McLellan Group of Toronto to strengthen its visual identity. This means a new look for the Lakehead University Magazine as well as advertisements, the website, and other publications.

"The message, 'We See You,' communicates Lakehead's personal approach to recognizing each student as an individual, rather than seeing and treating students merely as numbers," says Director of Communications Eleanor Abaya. "It supports our brand promise of helping students realize their individual potential."

As part of an integrated campaign, Lakehead placed ads last fall in over 1,500 buses and subway cars throughout the Greater Toronto Area. And in the spring, a 30-second TV commercial was broadcast on TSN-Varsity Sports.

Print ads also ran in the Maclean's annual ranking issue and the 2004 Guide to Canadian Universities, which high school students and parents use as reference in choosing a university.

The redesign of Lakehead's visual identity is a first step in creating a stronger and more cohesive image and is key to building awareness of the institution.

Distinguised Researcher
Civil Engineering Professor Umed Panu has been presented with the Lakehead University 2003 Distinguished Researcher Award. Since joining Lakehead in 1986, Panu has made important advances in the field of hydrological and water resources engineering. His research areas include pattern analysis and synthesis, infilling of missing data, river ice dynamics, inflow into drains, and the hydrology of Northwestern Ontario.

I enjoy each issue of the Lakehead University Magazine, and usually recall someone from my days at Lakehead. I particularly enjoyed the fall/winter 2003 issue as I could recall three people (John Burton, Moe Ktytor and Ramin Dowlati – a fellow Kenora-Houser). The articles on John and Moe were well written, and it was nice to learn what they've been up to since I left Thunder Bay. I'm forever appreciative of the help that Moe provided me (and I'm sure countless other students) in obtaining my first "real" job with Price Waterhouse in Toronto.
Keep up the great work!

— Jane Corbeil, CMA, BAdmin'85, HBComm'86

Alumni Matters

Rec'er Reunion

Alumni from Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism classes of 1999 to 2004
had a great time at their reunion held December 21, 2003, in Toronto at The 360 on Queen St. West. Some people had not seen their fellow graduates in over five years. The venue was a perfect setting for all to mingle and reunite with friends. People traveled from all across the world to join us — from Australia and Costa Rica to the Yukon and Thunder Bay. Later in the evening, the crowd listened to an alumni band — Barefoot — that had traveled all the way from Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Heathore Kelday, Paul Cressman, and Ronnie Sparks played enthusiastically for their fans. (To order your own copy of their first CD, contact Heathore at They were followed by another Thunder Bay favorite — Luther Wright & the Wrongs. Alas, the end of the evening came all too quickly and, as the doors closed, big smiles and hugs were exchanged by all. See you next time!
— Jenn Keystone, HBOR'03

Email for Life

Did you know that as a graduate of Lakehead University you are entitled to a Lakehead email address for life? Much like a hotmail account, the Lakehead University Email4Life account is web-based and is accessed through the Lakehead University Web Advisor on the homepage. Alumni are entitled to 30 MB of email storage, the ability to send and receive up to two MB of attachments, and easy forwarding to another email account. Grads from 2002 and earlier have only to contact the Alumni Relations Office to sign up for the free service. For more information or to set up a new account, visit

Curling Fundspiel

The 21st Annual Fundspiel was held on March 19, 2004, at the Port Arthur Curling Club with 16 teams raising approximately $3,000 in support of scholarships and bursaries. We thank our major sponsors — Meloche Monnex, Industrial Alliance Pacific Life, and The Chronicle-Journal, as well as our sheet sponsors and prize donors.

40th Anniversary

Mark your calendars for Lakehead's 40th Anniversary Celebration planned for September 2005. Details to follow.

Winnipeg Alumna Wins Thunderwolves Jersey

Thank you to everyone who submitted information in response to our 'Lost' Graduates article featured in the fall/winter 2003 issue. The winner of the draw was Heli Dedi (HBScN'83) of Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Coffee is on Us

The Alumni Association hosted coffee breaks for alumni working at BDO Dunwoody, as well as those working in the Woodgate Office Centre (Clarica, BMO Nesbitt Burns, and Contact North) in Thunder Bay. During the breaks, the Alumni Association shared news, including the opening of the Advanced Technology & Academic Centre and the launch of the Masters of Management and Masters of Science in Management programs offered through the Faculty of Business Administration. Alumni were able to update their addresses and employment information while being treated to coffee and fresh baked treats, courtesy of the Association.
If you are interested in having an Alumni coffee break at your place of employment, contact the Office of Alumni Relations.

Alumni Open — Register Soon!

The Association's 21st Annual Alumni Open in support of scholarships and bursaries is scheduled for Friday, August 27, 2004.
Golfers: Watch for details on the website and register soon.

Alumni Theatre Night

Again this year, the Alumni Association partnered with Cambrian Players for the staging of a play. This time it was Steve Martin's play “Lapin at the Agile”, which generated over $500 for the Lakehead U Student Food Bank.

ROB ZUBACK, PHONE 807 • 343 • 8155
TOLL FREE 1• 800 • 832 • 8076
FAX 807 • 343 • 8999
Do you have an idea for an alumni event or activity? If so, please contact the Office
of Alumni Relations.

Alumni Awards

ROBERT MACE, 2004 Alumni Honour Award

Position: President and CEO
Education: BAdmin’83 – Lakehead University
MBA 2002 – Laurentian University

Achievements: Began his career with Thunder Bay Hydro in 1991 and was appointed President in 2003. Currently responsible for 135 employees and a budget of $84 million, and pursuing a partnership with Lakehead University to provide more efficient energy use for several major power users in the city.

TODD MOORE, 2004 Young Alumni Award

Position: President, Moore Resource Management Inc.
Education: HBScF’98 – Lakehead University

Achievements: Established his own business in 2001 offering leading edge global position system (GPS)-driven fieldwork in Thunder Bay, to clients such as Abitibi Consolidated, Bowater, Kimberly-Clark, and the City of Thunder Bay. Employs four full-time Lakehead forestry graduates who supervise up to a dozen seasonal employees.


The Alumni Honour Award is presented to alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in public service, business, humanities, research, science and technology, scholarship, and/or the arts. The recipient is a graduate whose reputation or potential will bring honour and prestige to Lakehead University and its Alumni Association. One award is granted each year, along with a gift of $1,000 to be designated to a Lakehead University department or area of choice.

If you know graduates from the last 10 years, who are 35 years of age or younger, and have made significant achievements, why not nominate them for the Young Alumni Award? One award is granted each year, along with a $500-gift to be designated, again, to a Lakehed University department or area of choice. Nomination forms for both awards are available on the website or by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations.


People & Programs


Tracey Henriksson

Lakehead University's Department of Visual Arts commemorated its 23rd anniversary with the Lakehead University Alumni Art Exhibition.
The show was held at Thunder Bay's Definitely Superior Art Gallery this
past fall. David Karasiewicz, Definitely Superior's Director and a Visual Arts alumnus, came up with the idea for the show and approached the Lakehead University Alumni Association as a partner.

Alumni ArtThe Alumni Association took up the challenge of helping to organize the exhibition and tracking down artists' current addresses. Alison Kendall, a Lakehead U Visual Arts drawing and printmaking instructor, was one of the Alumni committee members and Visual Arts graduates involved in the show. Kendall found that "the real challenge was finding people." Her efforts, however, were rewarded by the chance "to see how graduates' work had evolved and matured." Judy Martin, an accomplished textile artist who has exhibited extensively in Canada, also took part in the show. Now living on Manitoulin Island, she did her degree as a distance education student in Kenora. Martin valued the flexibility this gave her and calls her time at Lakehead, "a wonderful experience that galvanized me to stand up for textile art."

The exhibition was a huge success and the opening reception was jam-packed. Forty-six artists working in a variety of media, including drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, and painting, were featured in the show. Submissions came from across Canada and even as far away as South Korea. Karasiewicz is now organizing the 25th anniversary show for the fall of 2005. He intends to make it an arts and culture exposition incorporating other Lakehead U departments, such as the Department of Music, and to have more Visual Arts graduates represented in the show. So make plans to attend another exciting event celebrating Lakehead's contributions to arts.

— Tracey Henriksson (HBA'89) is Curator
    of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery

A New Look

Welcome to the newly designed Lakehead University Magazine. The changes you see in this issue are part of a larger campaign aimed at strengthening Lakehead's visual identity. That means, among other things, a new look to our advertisements, website, and publications.
Your opinion matters to us. Tell us what you think of our new design – what you like and don't like – by logging on to

Everyone who contacts us before September 1, 2004, will have his or her name entered into a draw for a Lakehead University sweatshirt.

Other Voices

Visions to Reality

Lisa Beckwick

“My years of studying business at Lakehead University prepared me well for the teamwork and partnership that are involved in intensive, broad-based projects such as this.”

I LOVE Thunder Bay.

Over the years, I have had the option of relocating for work, and so have had to consider whether or not I really wanted to leave Thunder Bay. Why have I made a conscious decision to stay? Because I revel in the fact that I can spend hot summer days at my cottage (or, as we say, camp), be part of the excitement of the Blues Festival and Dragonboat Races, and attend professional performances at Magnus Theatre or concerts at the Auditorium. My boys can receive the highest standard of education from JK to post-graduate degrees, and yet go skiing at Loch Lomond and Mount Baldy, within minutes from our home.

There are no limitations to living the life you want in Thunder Bay.

As Thunder Bay’s Fast Forward Coordinator, I am helping to ensure this message is heard and that our community fulfills its potential. Fast Forward is a community development plan created through an extensive consultation process. Our long-term vision is being implemented by over 70 community partners, of which Lakehead University is one.

On the extraordinary shores of Lake Superior, Thunder Bay, rich in people and resources, connects to the region of Northwestern Ontario and to the world. Affordable and accessible quality of life, respect for diversity, safe neighbourhoods, and economic opportunities make Thunder Bay a healthy community in which to live, work, and play together. Fast Forward strategically focuses on three directions: Quality of Life, Diversified Economy, and Regional Networks.

Last year, over 20 Fast Forward partners invested in the development of a multimedia promotional tool to showcase Thunder Bay’s attributes. It was time to reinvest in our community, and to promote ourselves more aggressively to new markets.

The multimedia package includes a 14-minute video, CD-ROM, and Ambassador's package designed to showcase the real opportunities we have to offer newcomers. As one colleague remarked after watching the video, "I'm from Thunder Bay and I want to move here!" The purpose of this marketing program is to encourage businesses to invest here, tourists to visit, students to come and study, and people to locate here.

My years of studying business at Lakehead University prepared me well for the teamwork and partnership that are involved in intensive, broad-based projects such as this.
The multimedia project required an intense degree of consultation across
a wide spectrum of expertise and interests, particularly as we were trying to represent the community equitably. Diplomacy, tact, and the ability to accept the greater good for all are key in a community development initiative. These types of undertakings involve a lengthy consultative process and are generally visionary, long-term, and process-oriented. But, by garnering broader support and endorsement, as in this case, the end result is a far superior product.

Where do we go from here?

I have a passion for our community and believe in all of its possibilities.
I want to ensure that my children have options. I want them to have
the opportunity to not only receive their post-secondary education in our community, but to secure jobs in their field of expertise upon graduation. I want them to be able to be minutes from their cottage and to raise their families. I want to see our education/biotech cluster grow, our environment protected, and our health care system be internationally renowned. I want to see new businesses flourish and jobs created. I want Thunder Bay to be as vibrant and successful as I know it can be.

It is a superior place to live, to work, and to play.

Lisa Beckwick (BAdmin'83) was nominated for the Northern Ontario’s Influential Women Award for 2002, and received the 2003 President’s Award for the Thunder Bay Business Women’s Network. For more information on the multimedia promotional tool, call the City’s Tourism and Economic Development Division at 1-800-668-9360

Class Notes

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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Lakehead University Magazine
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