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Lakehead University Magazine


Remembering Lakehead

Nancy Braun, Jamie Sokalsky, Mary Gastmeier, Jim Sanders, Tania Saj, Helen Donis-Keller, Jeffrey Frazer, Livio Di Matteo, Gwen Dubois-Wing, Ken Owen, and Tara Redpath

To celebrate Lakehead’s 40th Anniversary, we thought it would be fun to contact graduates across the decades to ask them what they remember most about their University days. Who was their favourite prof? What are they doing now? How has Lakehead made a difference in their lives?

Nancy Braun

HBCommerce ‘80, Toronto, Ontario

Vice President, Credit Derivatives, at BMO Nesbitt Burns where her primary role is marketing structured credit products, mostly to bank portfolio managers, investment dealers, pension funds, and other money managers

It was particularly special for me attending Lakehead as my father, Harold Braun, was an original member of the faculty of Lakehead Technical Institute, Principal of Lakehead College of Arts, Science and Technology, and the first Dean of University Schools at Lakehead University. Both my parents, Margaret and Harold, were passionate about Lakehead. I am so proud that my father and his fellow colleagues and associates fulfilled their dream of building a thriving university serving not only the north, but also the rest of Canada along with a large, diverse group of international students. Growing up, I remember several Christmas dinners when my parents would invite a few international students to join our family for the festivities.

Defining Moment
In our first-year sociology class, we had to do a short assignment where we wrote down 10 statements about ourselves beginning with “I am.” The professor found mine funny and decided to share what I had written with the class, much to my chagrin. One line I had written was “I am going to break up with my boyfriend this weekend.” Jamie, upon hearing this, decided that this was his “green light” and so he got up the courage to ask me out, and the rest is history.

HBCommerce ‘80, Toronto, Ontario

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Barrick Gold Corporation, with responsibility for Treasury, Tax, Accounting, Financial Reporting, Risk Management, and Investor and Public Relations

Favorite Professor
Harry Elmslie – our accounting professor. He had a great manner of teaching and really seemed to care about us as students.

Defining Moment
April 23, 1977. The day that I first asked Nancy out on a date (and she said yes).

Fondest Memory
Other than meeting my wife Nancy, my fondest memories were the times that a number of our good friends in Commerce would spend part of Study Week in February in Lutsen, Minnesota, on a ski vacation at Lutsen Resort. It was a time when we could relax from a hectic school schedule while having a great deal of fun skiing and socializing together. There are so many excellent memories of those times – it really created a terrific bond between many of us in Commerce.

BA’69, Toronto, Ontario

President and CEO of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) and a Member of the Order of Canada

As a visually impaired student in an era when neither technology nor facilities were as well developed as today, I found the willingness for accommodation by professors and fellow students to be natural and so important in allowing me to fully participate.

Lakehead’s Influence
My time at Lakehead fostered my curiosity and the importance of getting the facts before coming to a conclusion. I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that attitude is the most enabling of life’s force – or greatest barrier – and always within one’s total control.

BA’95, BEd’96, HBA’97, MA’02, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Vice-Principal, Bishop E.Q. Jennings School

Defining Moment
Receiving my MA signalled the attainment of what I had first believed impossible – four degrees in seven years while being a full-time mom and teacher. There was also a sense of empowerment in that it marked the beginning of a stage of my life where anything was possible.
Fondest Memory
Rushing into Peter Raffo’s history class, wet hair flying, one shoe untied, dropping my book, plopping into a frontrow desk, dropping my purse, and spilling its contents. The woman next to me barely raised an eyebrow and said, “So, you have kids too.” That was almost 10 years ago, and Birgit Smith (MA’01) and I have remained best friends who still laugh at whatever life throws our way.

BA’95, HBA’96, Calgary, Alberta

A PhD from the University of Calgary and the recipient of two Killam Pre-Doctoral Scholarships as well as a Tomlinson Postdoctoral Fellowship from McGill University
Photo by Ken Bendiktsen
I spent most of my time in the Department of Anthropology, where I thrived on the personal interactions with my profs (some of whom I still keep in contact with) and the high quality, small class sizes. This combination allowed for more feedback on my assignments, tests, and papers, providing me with a solid footing for my graduate career.
Most Influential Experience
Working on El Molto’s skeletal collection from the Dakhleh Oasis in Egypt. For my HBA thesis, I helped Molto analyse dental samples that he had collected in Egypt in previous field seasons. Then in 1997, just after I graduated, accompanied him to Egypt as a research assistant where I spent three weeks working on archaeological burials as part of the Dakhleh Oasis Project. As a young girl, my dream had always been to be part of an archaeology project in Egypt, so I almost couldn’t believe I would actually have the opportunity. These are the types of opportunities that I don’t think I would have had anywhere else.

HBSc’75, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Professor of Biology and Art at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Massachusetts
Lakehead’s influence
At Lakehead I discovered a love for research science. The professors made it possible for me to work on a variety of research projects. Were it not for the opportunity to do research as an undergraduate, I know I would not have been admitted to graduate school at Harvard University. Lakehead provided an ideal learning environment. The school was small at that time, the professors were interested, and we had high-quality equipment and other resources. I doubt that I would have had a career in science had I not had the educational experience at Lakehead. I came to Lakehead to work as a graphic designer and I left as a science student prepared to face graduate studies and a challenging world in research.
Advice to the Class of 2005
Find something that you love and figure out how to make a living out of it. If you have no genuine passion for an endeavour, chances are that you won’t be very good at it, so take your time and find something that will keep you up at night and challenge your mind.
I have the rare opportunity to simultaneously have a career in art and in science. Teaching undergraduates who are enthusiastic and full of fresh ideas is exciting, although at times, exhausting. There is nothing more satisfying than to see that flicker of recognition when a student “gets it” in art or science. I am a professional artist and a research scientist as well. The field of biology is constantly expanding so there are exciting new discoveries on a daily basis. Likewise, art is always changing and there is always a new perspective to be gleaned from experiencing the work of other artists and to make art myself. The prime motivator for me is probably the allure of learning new things.
Greatest Accomplishment
Besides raising a wonderful daughter who now has two perfect children, I take most pride in leading the research group that developed the first human genetic linkage map. The map made possible the identification of many genes of interest to the research and clinical community, so it was an accomplishment that was very useful to others.

Defining Moment
When I figured out how the mutations in a gene caused the disease I was studying. That was truly a Eureka moment that made all the years of frustrations and blind alleys seem trivial.

BEng’78 (Chemical Engineering),Ohsweken, Ontario

President and Chief Engineer of Frazer Environmental Engineers, a company he founded in 2003 in response to the increasing demand for environmental services in Canada and particularly within First Nations communities

Overall Recollections
The sense of the frontier and adventure, the smell of the woods, the fresh, cold air, the Sleeping Giant, Lake Superior, the ruggedness of the north – all of which made every day a new experience for me. I liked that it was a challenging but fair environment – I had the feeling that if I could succeed there, it was an accomplishment that meant something. I developed a sense of self-reliance and commitment that I did not know was within me. And besides, when I got there, it was too late and too far to go back home!

Greatest Joy
Seeing and helping young people succeed – not just at work but in school, in athletics, and in whatever areas of interest that they have. Coaching and encouraging people and seeing them succeed is very rewarding to me.

Fondest Memory
I have to admit that my fondest memory of Lakehead was at graduation because it was only then that I could breathe a sigh of relief. There were many times when I wondered, “What am I doing taking engineering?” I am proud to have fulfilled the academic requirements and met the standard that Lakehead represents. The one thing about the engineering program was that they created an academic environment where you could succeed if you did the work, but they did not lower the standards. They were fair but demanding. Just the way you would want. Except for the math. That was cruel.

Advice to the Class of 2005
Don’t get behind. Oh, another thing – don’t get behind.

We are a First Nations company solving problems for our own people. I know it sounds like I am making this up but there is more to this business than money. We are dealing with issues and problems everyday that are priorities for our communities. We have only First Nations employees and we act in the best interests of our people because we can and we must.

HBA’85, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Professor of Economics and Chair of the Department of Economics at Lakehead University

Advice to the Class of 2005
Be not afraid to speak your mind for the forces of evil, injustice, and incompetence thrive in the cool, comforting shade of the forest of silence.
The need to learn, know, and understand the world around me and to share and communicate that knowledge with colleagues, students, and the broader community. Academics have a responsibility to try and use their expertise for the betterment of society by being engaged in public affairs. This is extremely important in a region like Northwestern Ontario that faces so many economic and social challenges.

Greatest Accomplishment
My most significant research accomplishment to date is the collection, census-linking, and analysis of over 7,000 Ontario probate records from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This research has shed light on the process of wealth accumulation and portfolio composition during a period that was devoid of government income support programs such as pensions. The data has also provided insight on the long-term impact of resource booms on wealth creation. A key conclusion is that resource booms lead to substantial short-term increases in wealth and income but the long-term impact is more ephemeral without a transition to broader based economic growth.

I am also proud of my continuing research contributions to health economics with a focus on the determinants and drivers of health expenditures. This line of research has policy implications given the continuing preoccupation with the sustainability of public health care.

HBScNursing’82, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Past Executive Director of the Northwestern Ontario District Health Council
Fondest Memory
One of my fondest memories of Lakehead was time that I spent with six other nursing students during “May Experience” – a clinical placement in Kenora. The month-long session exposed us to all types of nursing experiences and opportunities. We worked hard and played hard but learned so much that prepared us for our future as nurses. During that month, we also witnessed some of the unanticipated realities of an extremely hot, dry May as a number of northern communities were evacuated due to severe forest fires. We participated with the hospital community in preparations for the evacuation of a number of communities. Our professor, Marg Boone, was supportive, and facilitated us having an optimal learning experience. “May Experience” stands out as one of my most memorable learning experiences during my nursing education, and planted a seed for my love for ongoing work in the vast region of Northwestern Ontario.

BA’94, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Former business owner, now a full-time student, and President of the Lakehead University Alumni Association

Favorite Professor
Lisle Thomson. He was the first professor to buy me a coffee and take the time to talk about the true value of my university education.

Most Influential Experience
The sense of belonging I felt amongst my peers.
Advice to the Class of 2005
The true value of your education is not in the facts you memorize but in the skills you develop in pursuit of those facts. Your future success will depend on your ability to analyse and interpret the information life presents to you. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid of the challenges that life offers you.

HBEnvironmental Science ‘04,Thunder Bay, Ontario

Environmental Impact Technician with the Ministry of Natural Resources, who was deemed the Most Valuable Player of the Nordic Ski Team that earned Lakehead U a gold medal at the 2003 Canadian University and Colleges Championships

Fondest Memory
My most enjoyable experiences at Lakehead involved ski trips with the varsity team. Whether travelling to Ontario University Championships in Sudbury, or World University Games in Italy, it was my fellow athletes and coaches that made these trips so memorable and fun. The goal of the team was always to ski our very best. We always believed that we could win the competition as a team, and we supported each other and cheered each other on right to the end.

Favorite Professor
Ken Deacon and Azim Mallik. Both of these professors really got to know me and shared many of their personal experiences with me, helping me to decide how to shape my own future.
If you have comments or stories you would like to share, send them to us before August 1, 2005, and your name will be entered into a draw for two bottles of 40th ANNIVERSARY WINE.

We’ll feature more profiles of Lakehead University graduates in the Fall/Winter 2005 issue.

Building Hope in Rwanda

Martin and Evalyn Rusanga are rebuilding their country with supporting partners in Canada and the United States

Frances Harding


Lakehead graduates working with Nu-Vision Ministry are helping to rebuild RWANDA, a country ravaged by genocide

MARTIN, EVALYN, ERIC, EVON, and ANGELA RUSANGAIt’s not often that you meet people who are living out the Bible story of the Good Samaritan, but two Canadian citizens are doing just that.

Martin and Evalyn Rusanga are the driving force behind Nu-Vision Ministry, a Christian organization supported by local and international partners, that is helping to rebuild Rwanda.

Martin was born in Rwanda but spent his formative years living as a refugee in Uganda. By the time he was 18, he had become a lay minister with the Gospel Church in Uganda and had met his future wife Evalyn, also a Rwandan living in exile.
In 1992, Martin secured a sponsorship from the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) to study at Lakehead University. Later, Evalyn joined him and enrolled in the Business Administration program.

While in Thunder Bay, Martin became involved in the activities of several local churches, including Knox United Church on Shuniah Street. Eleanor Dunn (BA’76, BEd’84) recalls how the idea of the Nu-Vision Ministry developed: “Martin had been invited to speak at our church on several occasions and had made quite an impact. It was during this time he developed the idea of acquiring a practical skill, like optometry, that could provide the funds to support an outreach ministry.”
While studying at Lakehead, Martin began to work as a volunteer with a Thunder Bay optometrist. He went on to complete an Optician Program through the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and a Refracting Optician Program at the University of Ottawa Eye Institute. This training gave him the skills he needed to establish a modern optical dispensary in Kigali – Nu-Vision Optical – when he and Evalyn returned home in 1999.

The dispensary generates enough revenue to cover the Rusangas’ living expenses and to subsidize a mobile optical unit that provides screening services and eye exams to the rural community. In the last six years, Nu-Vision Ministry has distributed over 4,000 pairs of used eyeglasses!

“During the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the world witnessed horrific killings of defenceless men, women, and children,” says Martin. “The target of extermination was the Tutsi ethnic group. The exclusively Hutu government, along with the Hutu militia, set out to wipe out the Tutsi from Rwanda. In the space of 100 days, more than 1 million ethnic Tutsi (and moderate Hutu) had been slaughtered.” Hundreds of thousands of children were left behind as orphans. Society was completely dislocated and the economy was shattered.

Nu-Vision Ministry is a non-denominational Christian organization based in Kigali with supporting partners in Canada and the United States. In addition to providing optometry and rural eye care clinics, the Ministry supports the provision of vocational training, giving young men and women practical skills like tailoring, auto mechanics, carpentry, and computer training. In conjunction with its partners, Nu-Vision is now building a vocational training school in Kabuga, on the outskirts of Kigali, which is expected to admit its first students in January 2007. To top it off, Nu-Vision administers a student sponsorship program that currently provides 90 students with the funds necessary to study at local schools at a cost of $360 per student per year.

“Our decision to enhance educational opportunities in Rwanda is motivated by a strong desire to improve the welfare of the youth,” says Martin. “Rwanda has very few schools and, as a result, there are many dropouts. Many young people leave school early in life and end up as street children, prostitutes, and drug addicts. Rwanda also has many orphans as a direct result of the 1994 conflict.”

In the summer of 2004, and again in the winter of 2005, Eleanor Dunn and her husband Ray led three separate teams of 15 volunteers on a three-week tour to Rwanda to see the country and help build the vocational school.

Among them were Jackie Dojack, Chair of the Lakehead University Board of Governors, and eight Lakehead graduates: Tom Silliman (HBComm’01); Mary Anne Fossum (BA’86); Sue Simonsen (BEd’74); Mary Anderson (BA’66) (HBSW’82); Len Anderson (BA’65); Lyn Aldrich (BA’75); Nancy Phillips (BA’69, LIS’99); and Darren Ng (BSc’04, HBOR’04).

Building Hope in RwandaDarren Ng was one of the youngest members of the team. The trip had a profound effect, he says. “It grounded my faith. It made me appreciate what I have here in Thunder Bay, and it helped me to focus on my next step in applying to medical school.”

Amy Silliman, currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Health program at Lakehead, was most impressed by the optimism of the people she met. “Ten years after the genocide, they are getting on with their lives,” she says. Her trip to Rwanda was her first experience in a developing country, and she wants to go back.

As for Martin and Evalyn, they remain true to their vocation and are widening their horizons.
“In the next five years, we plan to seek more partners to support us in our programs,” says Martin. “Nu-Vision Ministry will also introduce new projects like the Trauma Recovery Program, whose aim is to help ease the suffering of the thousands of trauma victims resulting from the genocide.
“We stay motivated by the knowledge that we are helping people change their lives forever. The impact of our work can be seen, and the results are overwhelming. Many people who previously had vision problems have had their sight restored, cost free. Orphans and other poor children who have had no chance of attending school whatsoever are now in school through our sponsorship programs. They are full of hope for the future. “We also know that there are many Rwandans who still need our help. We have a calling to reach out and offer them some kind of assistance when we can.”

For more information contact Nu-Vision Ministry c/o Knox
United Church, 1 Shuniah Street, Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Telephone: (807) 345-5065. A E-mail:

Campus News

Robert Perrier, Veronica Malinoski, Jane Birkholz, Wolfie, Kim JohnsonVeronica Malinoski of Thunder Bay is the lucky Grade 12 student who won the grand prize worth $4,000 during last December’s Program Information Day. The event gives local high school students the chance to meet with professors and learn more about academic programs at Lakehead.

ORILLIA Satellite Campus
ORILLIA Satellite Campus Lakehead University and the City of Orillia announced on January 18, 2005, that an agreement in principle had been reached to develop a satellite campus in Orillia. Such a collaboration would offer, initially, academic courses and programs that could be partnered with Georgian College. It would respond to the City of Orillia’s interests in international studies, Aboriginal studies, and tourism, and it would be linked to the distributed learning capacity of Lakehead University’s Thunder Bay campus.

“The City of Orillia is an ideal community to partner with our institution,” says Lakehead President Fred Gilbert. “Over the next months we will be working with the City, Georgian College, and our own faculty and staff to develop academic and business plans for the delivery of university education in Orillia. We are very positive about the enormous potential this initiative has for the community of Orillia as well as for Lakehead University.”
The HANGAR officially OPENSThe HANGAR officially OPENS
Last March, Lakehead U celebrated the opening of a new 55,000-square-foot athletics centre called The Hangar. The $6-million facility features an indoor track and multipurpose field with artificial turf, an aerobic/yoga studio, a weight room and fitness centre, and a sports medicine clinic. A state-of-theart climbing wall is being installed. 
(Read more in the Athletics column)

A new research partnership in Thunder Bay – ICR Discoveries – will bring together the best cancer research talent of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Lakehead University, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. The implementation of a jointly managed cancer research institute will open doors to new sources of research funding, opportunities, and recruitment. “Cancer is now the number one health problem facing the residents of our region,” says Michael Power (BA’92), Vice President of Regional Cancer Services at Regional Health. “One in three residents of Northwestern Ontario will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.”

Lakehead Univeristy Annual Report OnlineANNUAL REPORT ONLINE
Read the 2003-2004 Annual Report

MARGARET MCKEE – 2004 Distinguished Instructor
MARGARET MCKEEA professor in the School of Social Work has won Lakehead’s most prestigious award for teaching.
Marg McKee (HBA’77, MA’79) is an exceptional teacher who brings leading-edge research into the classroom. She is passionate in her teaching, critically reflective in her practice, generous with her resources, and steadfast in her integrity, says one former student now working on her doctorate.

A major interest of McKee’s is the much-debated “gap” between what is taught at the university and what is required in the real world of practice. “One of my goals has been to produce a more reflective, creative practitioner who is good at on-the-spot problem solving required in real-world practice,” she says.

Dr. Fred GilbertLAKEHEAD U PRESIDENT – Term Extended
The Lakehead University Board of Governors announced last January that the current contract of Lakehead U President Fred Gilbert would be extended to May 31, 2010. “Lakehead has experienced numerous challenges over the last few years, many of which are directly attributable to inadequate funding and a declining population in the Northwestern region,” says Jackie Dojack, Chair of the Board of Governors. “Despite these challenges, Fred Gilbert has leveraged the strengths of the University faculty and researchers, staff, and alumni to embark on a vision of academic excellence and technology-assisted learning.”

Lakehead U has retained its spot as Canada’s number one university for “Value Added” in Maclean’s annual university ranking issue 2004. This is the third year Lakehead has been number one in “Value Added,” and the seventh year it has been in the top three. “Value Added” measures the entering average of students and achievement through the retention rate, the proportion who graduate, and the number of students receiving national awards.

Tallships AdventureThe Tallships Adventure Learning Centre is a unique indoor challenge course facility operated by the Faculty of Education’s Department of Lifelong Learning in partnership with Fort William Historical Park. The Centre is designed for groups of all ages to learn about capacity building, team building, problem solving, communications, and trust building in a safe, indoor, fun-filled environment.

Class Notes

Chedo Ndur


Brenda Chapman’s (BA’77) first novel entitled "Running Scared" has been published by Napoleon Publishing in Toronto. The book is a young adult mystery for ages nine and up. The sequel has been scheduled for publication in 2006.

Michael McLaughlin (HBScF‘77) from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, has been appointed President of the Canadian Institute of Forestry (CIF). He is the first president to hail from Saskatchewan and has been involved with the organization since his student days at Lakehead.

Don Boswell (BA’79) obtained a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Winnipeg in 1982 and a MA in Politics from Brock University in 1986. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with his wife Anne Marie and child Gabriel. Don works as a Claims Analyst in the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.


Sue E. Elder (HBPHE’80, BEd’81) and Peter Veillette (HBComm’79) have gone their separate ways. Sue is teaching online at the Virtual School in Kamloops, B.C., and loves spending time with her two kids, dog, cat, and rabbit. Friends can contact her by email:

After graduating, Christopher Higgs (DipFor’84) obtained a BA and MA in Natural Resource Management from the University of Manitoba. He is married with two children, lives in Winnipeg, and works as a self-employed biologist and organic gardener.

Mark Smyk (HBSc‘84) has been awarded the Samuel Goldich Medal by the Institute of Lake Superior for noteworthy and meritorious contributions to the improvement of the understanding of Lake Superior and its mineral deposits. The Medal will be presented at the Institute of Lake Superior Geology conference in May 2005.

Martin (HBComm’87) and Kim Teft (BAdmin’87) along with their sons, Keating and Barret, live in Virginia Beach, VA. As a Commander in the Canadian Navy, Martin is working at NATO headquarters in Norfolk, VA. The family is enjoying the warmer temperatures and the sandy beaches.

A.J. Silvinski (HBComm’87) and Mary Jo have recently moved to sunny Cyprus on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. A.J. is employed as managing director with a gambling software company while Mary Jo keeps busy setting up home and learning about their new surroundings.

Now living in Owen Sound, Ontario, and working as a small engine mechanic, David C. Peckham (HBScF’88) writes, “I married in May 2002 and we are expecting our first child in January 2005.” David admits to being slow at emails but invites all former classmates and friends to drop him a line at:

William Ascroft (BSc’88) and his wife Cheri are pleased to announce the birth of their second child James Tristan on November 3, 2004, in Mississauga, Ontario. Tristan's big sister Holly is delighted with the new addition to the family. William works as the Manager of Quality for the Bacardi Rum Company.
Since graduation, Michele (Amy) Scott-Holt (BA’88) has lived in sunny Los Angeles, California, and beautiful Boca Raton, Florida. She is a homemaker who now lives in The Woodlands, Texas, with her spouse Alex and seven-year-old son Ben.


Jeffrey Fiaschetti (BEng’91) is a Civil Engineer and lives in Calgary, Alberta He was a friend and classmate of the late Dan Witol (BEng’91) who passed away suddenly late last year.

Geert van der Veen (HBSW’94) is an active member of the Narrative therapy community in Toronto. He has taught Narrative practices in a number of settings, ranging from the University of Toronto and Ryerson University to the Toronto District School Board.

After being laid off from Hewlett-Packard for 10 months, Andrew Bird (BAdmin’95) accepted a joboffer from Zantaz. He continues to lead the Executive Committee of the Ottawa Special Olympics as Executive Chairperson, and he is also head coach of the basketball program for the Special Olympics.

After receiving her diploma in Early Childhood Education from Confederation College in 1997, Jennifer Helkie (BA’95) obtained her teaching degree from the University of Canberra in Australia Jennifer is in her fourth year of teaching at Eagle Nest Elementary School in Longlac, Ontario.

Walter Mann (HBOR’95) has just moved to Salem, MA, with his fiancé, and hopes to work with Project Adventure in the near future.

Karen Bruce (BA’96) is an Account Executive with Daimler Chrysler Service Contracts and lives in Denver, Colorado, with Rick (her husband of nearly two years) and their dog Mojo.

Kylie Clarke (née Gardiner) (BA’96) married Jason Clarke of Oakville, Ontario, on September 24, 2004. She lives in the Glenn Abbey area. Last year, Kylie opened a consulting practice in corporate training and she continues to educate adults across southern Ontario. She would love to hear from anyone in her past by email:

Aimee Newman (née Hermiston) (HBOR/BA’98) was married on September 20, 2003, and gave birth to Marshall in December 2004.

Kristina Pucci-Asselstine (BA/BEd’99) married Aaron Asselstine (BSc’97) in 2002, and started her career as a Grade 3 teacher in the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board. “We are both enjoying our professions and our lives in Thunder Bay,” she says.

Keri Kristin MacInnes (BA/BEd’99) has been married for two years to Tom MacInnes and is the proud owner of a handsome little tabby cat named Ringo. Keri is an elementary school teacher in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and a member of the fundraising committee of the Shelter of Hope Animal Shelter in Port Hope, Ontario. She is the lead literacy teacher at her school and coordinator of the Friendship Club, which organizes book drives, food drives, and other charitable activities.

Shane Kyle Anderson (BEng’99) graduated from the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas, in December 2003, and is currently practicing law at an office that he opened in 2004 (Anderson and Heisch, LLP). Shane is married to Ruth Anderson (née Hood).


Brandi Larochelle (BAdmin’02) is working at her former high school as an office manager. She is enjoying living in Eastern Ontario and taking advantage of the nice weather and beautiful lakes.

After graduation, Elise Yutzy (née Chowaniec) (HBComm’04) wrote the entrance exam for the CMA accounting designation program, and a week later was married to Derek Yutzy.

Amanda Leigh (née Hathorn) (HBOR’02, BA’04) finished three months of education classes and began her 10-month teaching practicum in Victoria, B.C., in September 2004. Evenings and weekends are filled with human resources recruitment for Princess Cruises in Vancouver. Amanda plans to do her Master’s degree in Outdoor Recreation/Experience Education in Australia next year. "Lakehead rocks, and I miss it a lot."

Camillo Lento (HBComm’04) has been employed as a small business consultant in the Thunder Bay area while completing graduate studies in the Master of Science in Management program at Lakehead.

Sinead Atkin (BEd’04) earned her French additional qualifications and then landed a position at the David H. Church School in Orillia.
Justin Hatt (HBSc/BEd’04) of Back Bay, New Brunswick, started a PhD program in Mathematics at Brunel University in London, U.K. He writes: "How often is it that someone with only an HBSc gets accepted into a PhD program? I am so excited."

Andrew Tait (HBOR/BA’04) and Maureen Tait (née McGuire) (HBScFor’94) are pleased to announce the newest additions to their family: Madison Marilyn Janet Tait and Joseph John Lawrence Tait. The twins were born at 12:16 a.m. and 12:17 a.m., respectively, and are happy and healthy. The Taits live in Fort St. James, B.C., and work for the Ministry of Forests.

Stacy Tallon (HBOR/BEd’04) is teaching in St. Catharines, Ontario, in the District School Board of Niagara.She is engaged and the wedding is set for the summer of 2005.

Christina Gallagher (BEng‘04) works with Industry Canada as a Junior Engineer.

In Memoriam

Larry Earl (BA’68)

Margaret Beagle (HBA’70)

Marguerite (Marg) Daychakowski (BScN’70)

Jose Manuel Pereira (HBA’72)

Dr. William Cedric (Ced)

McComb (BA’76)

Robert (Bob) Norman Pickard (HBScF’79)

Elizabeth Menuz (BusDp’70, BAdmin’81)

Daniel Gary Witol (BEng’91)

Paula Lynn Ashby (OR, BA’99)


Lakehead U AthleticsThe skyline around the C. J. Sanders Fieldhouse has changed dramatically over the past six months as The Hangar has risen up from the ground. This exciting new athletics centre includes an indoor track, indoor multipurpose field with artificial turf for sports such as soccer, a yoga and aerobics studio, a fitness centre, a sports medicine clinic, and a student lounge.

The Hangar came about as Administration, Director of Athletics Tom Warden, and LUSU saw there was a need for some new facilities for use by the student body and by varsity teams – especially during the long winter months.

Lakehead President Fred Gilbert believes The Hangar will bring many benefits for Lakehead’s students. “This new building provides important additional space and capabilities for our student body (and bodies!),” he says. “The track and indoor playing field are examples of new dimensions to student recreation at Lakehead while the other facilities are enhancements or expansions to existing opportunities. It is important to recognize that it all would not have happened without the commitment of the students themselves to fund the structure.”

The Hangar OpeningConstruction began on the approximately 55,000-square-foot facility in early August 2004 and was completed in early February 2005 at a cost of $6 million. Funding for the new building will come from student fees that were agreed upon by a student referendum in 2004.

The multipurpose field provides the best indoor venue in Northwestern Ontario for soccer and serves as a practice facility for Lakehead’s club and varsity teams. The indoor track provides a winter walking and running venue for students as well as a practice and meet venue for varsity teams. The facilities are open to the public for a small fee.

To enquire about Alumni rates, contact the Department of Athletics or visit their website

Alumni Matters

The campus kick-off event to mark Lakehead University’s 40th Anniversary took place in the Agora on January 12, 2005, when balloons were released from the balcony and coffee and cake were served to students, staff, and faculty.

Lakehead will be hosting special events all through 2005, including Celebration Weekend, September 29 to October 2.
To learn more visit A
ALUMNI Coffee Break
About 30 alumni working for the City of Thunder Bay gathered last January in the Council Chambers of City Hall for a coffee break sponsored by the Alumni Association. Councillor Mark Bentz, speaking on behalf of Mayor Lynn Peterson, his fellow councillors, and the employees of the City, congratulated Lakehead on its 40 years of success, saying, “Not only does the University have a tremendous economic impact on our City, it also plays a major role in boosting Thunder Bay’s overall quality of life.” Fred Gilbert, President of Lakehead, then spoke about new developments including the plans for establishing a satellite campus in Orillia and building a new research facility on campus.

The Alumni Coffee Break was presented in conjunction with the City of Thunder Bay as part of the University’s 40th Anniversary celebrations. If you are interested in having an Alumni Coffee Break at your organization, contact Trish Nagorski at (807) 343-8190 .
HOCKEY Fans Make an Impression
The Southern Ontario chapter of the AALU hosted an event last January at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, where The University of Western Ontario’s Mustangs were playing a hockey game against the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Alumni, as well as some of the players' family and friends, packed the hospitality suite to watch Lakehead’s T-wolves crush the UWO Mustangs in an 8-4 victory. That win came after another solid 6-4 victory over Western the night before. The Alumni Association’s participation at the game helped Western break an all-time OUA attendance record. Support for the T-wolves was so boisterous that even Paul Davenport, Western’s President, and a group of Western’s executives came over to see what all the fuss was about.

The event was hosted by Brian Stroud (HBSc'02), Linda Shale (BScN‘70),
Eric McGoey (HBA'02), and Amanda Koivuranta (HBA'02) of the Southern
Ontario AALU Committee. Contact the group by email: A
An inaugural Toronto Alumni Golf Tournament is planned for Sunday, August 21, 2005, at the Castlemore Golf & Country Club, 3255 Countryside Drive, Brampton, Ontario, L6T 3S1. For information contact the Office of Alumni Relations.

It all started out innocently enough. Around noon on January 26, 2005, members of the Alumni Association started handing out pizza to students in the Agora. However, in a matter of minutes the boxes of pizza were empty, and before you could yell “Alumni” the pizza was gone!

“Free Pizza Day” is a new initiative designed to connect the AALU with students. The event was a great success as many students stopped by to pick up free pens, and stickers, and to learn about services provided by the Office of Alumni Services. (Most students were surprised to find out that, after completing five full courses, one is considered an alumnus/a of Lakehead.) Participants were given the chance to enter their names into a draw to win a special 40th Anniversary T-shirt. In addition, many donated to the Tsunami Victims Relief Fund, and those contributions will be matched by the Alumni Association.

If you are interested in making future connections with alumni, helping out at an event, or becoming involved with the Alumni Association, contact Heather Ives at (807) 346-7784.

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.

2 0 0 5 Alumni Honour Award


President of The Stephen Low Company


Filmmaker and company founder and president, Stephen Low has been creating award-winning productions for 25 years, including two decades of leading-edge work for the giant screen marketplace.

The work of his company includes: Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, Fighter Pilot, Titanica, Beavers, and Super Speedway, as well as three ground-breaking IMAX 3D productions, among others.
2 0 0 5 Young Alumni Award


Vice President, Portfolio Manager,
Bissett Investment Management


Chris Fernyc has been working in Calgary, Alberta, since graduating from Lakehead, where he earned the President’s Award for contributions to the advancement of the University and the Dean Braun’s Gold Medal for being the highest ranking student in the Commerce program. He keeps in touch with his Alma Mater by sponsoring an annual competition for third-year finance students that involves analyzing companies and making investment recommendations – not unlike his own work with Bissett Investment Management.
Photo: Chad Stiles

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 gift of $500 to be designated, again, to a Lakehead U department or area of choice. Nomination forms for both awards are available on the website or by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations.

Student Profile


Brendan Davis - SnowboarderBrendan Davis delivered an outstanding performance to win a gold medal for Canada in the men's halfpipe snowboarding competition at the 2005 Winter Universiade in Innsbruck, Austria, last January.
The third-year Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Education/Geography student won the snowboarding event with a near flawless performance. "It wasn't perfect, but it was close," said the twotime Ontario halfpipe champion who finished fourth in the event at the 2004 nationals. "I'm happy to win, it's a great feeling."

The gold medal performance by Brendan Davis is Canada's first in snowboarding at the Winter Universiade. The country's only other medal in the sport was in 1999 when Mitch Baker won silver in the giant slalom.

Other Voices



Low enrolment in undergraduate FORESTRY programs at Canadian universities is causing concern to all who care about sustainable forest management.

Reino PulkkiAfter a strong increase in forestry undergraduate enrolment across Canada during the 1990s, the number of graduates from Canada’s university forestry programs has decreased by almost 30% over the past five years, and overall enrolment has decreased even more. All forestry schools have initiated active recruitment programs, and preliminary application numbers seem to indicate that we are beginning to see a renewed interest in forestry education.

When we talk to high school students, teachers, and the public, we find that most people have little or no knowledge about forestry or what a career in forestry entails. Those who have some knowledge about forestry stereotypically equate it with low technology and low-brow work; they think of it as a “sunset” career dealing only with the cutting and planting of trees. Another misconception is that forestry is for males, when actually over 30% of our students are female, and the share is continually increasing.
Forestry is the science, art, and business of sustainably managing our forests for all of the multiple uses and values required by society for its social, biophysical, and economic well-being. Such a broad mandate requires professional foresters to be responsible for the health of our forest environment, while meeting economic and other societal needs. This role will be greatly expanded as demands increase for clean water and air, sustainable ecosystems, and controlling atmospheric carbon dioxide.

We need to sell careers in forestry as "smart" careers for the future – careers that are innovative, progressive, and high-tech. It is a career to pursue if you have a love for the outdoors and the environment, and a desire to do something interesting that also does good for society. Forestry students graduate with a science-based degree that is practical and has a sound foundation in problem solving, management, and business. A forestry education leads to a career and a profession while also providing the opportunity for excellent summer and co-op jobs to help offset education costs. The breadth and practical aspect of the programs open many doors, not only those associated with “traditional” forestry. Graduates can also elect to continue their studies at the graduate level in forestry or other science-based fields, or in professional programs such as education, business, and law.’s FORESTRY
graduates are truly global citizens


We also need to promote the case that forestry graduates enjoy excellent employment opportunities (; in fact, a recent National Employer Demand Survey (CCFM Deputies Committee, 2004) indicates there will be a shortage of forestry graduates in the future. Whether forestry graduates provide expertise in the more traditional fields associated with forestry such as environmental planning and forest management, or whether they become scientists, conservationists, entrepreneurs, policy makers, or educators, today’s forestry graduates are truly global citizens for change. They are innovators, creating real-world solutions in many diverse disciplines.

To promote careers in forestry and forestry education, the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment at Lakehead has embarked on a major marketing and recruitment program with the assistance of the Canadian Forest Service (CFS), the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM), the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the forest industry, and the Ontario Professional Foresters Association (OPFA). The theme of our program is "Clearcut? No! Today’s forestry issues are far more complex than they used to be."

Lakehead U ForestryOur marketing package includes a CD-ROM that can be presented and distributed to multiple audiences at multiple venues. The CD-ROM contains basic information about today’s forestry and the diverse careers it can lead to, and has direct links to Lakehead’s redesigned website. The marketing package was designed to provide material for presentation and distribution by alumni, professional foresters, and student ambassadors when talking to students about forestry and the opportunities available. If you are interested in helping us promote forestry, or would like to receive a copy of our CDROM, please contact me. If you know anyone thinking about forestry, please direct them to our website at ( to discover today's forestry.

Lakehead University and forestry professionals need to communicate what forestry is really about, and to raise awareness of the diverse careers open to professional foresters. Only then will we shed the old stereotypical impressions associated with forestry, and attract the students we need to ensure sustainable forest management in the future.
Reino Pulkki is Dean of the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment at Lakehead University and a graduate of the Forestry program. He can be reached by telephone at (807) 343-8564 and by  email:

A Gift to Last

Penny PetronePenny Petrone, Professor Emerita of Education, has donated her collection ofpapers to the Chancellor Paterson Library. This substantial collection includes material relating to Petrone’s three books on Aboriginal literature in Canada, the prose and poetry of Canadian poet Isabella Valancy Crawford (1850-1887), and research material relating to education in Canada.

To learn more about ways of giving, contact the Office of Development (807) 343-8300. Email:

New Books


Elle Andra-WarnerElle Andra-Warner (BA’97) has published four books including: Robert Service: A Great Canadian Poet's Romance with the North; The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald; Hudson’s Bay Company: The Rollicking Saga of Canada’s Fur Traders; and The Mounties, Tales of Adventure and Danger from the Early Days.
"Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always wanted to be an author with published books," she says.
"Ten years ago I started my way toward that goal and last year, the childhood dream became a reality when my first national book was published. There’s an adrenaline high when you walk into bookstores across Canada and see your book on the shelves. And I feel like I’m just getting started."

Andra-Warner is working on her fifth book for Altitude Publishing on the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, and a book on Sir John Sparrow Thompson (1845-1894), for Jackfruit Press, in a new children's book series on the Prime Ministers of Canada.

Margie TaylorMargie Taylor’s latest novel, Displaced Persons, is based on the true story of an unsolved murder/suicide that took place on the shores of Lake Superior in the late '70s. Suspenseful and intelligent, the book captures the essence of people who are constantly searching for the truth and a sense of belonging.

Margie Taylor (HBA’72) is the former host of CBC's Wild Rose Country, The Eyeopener, and The Homestretch in Alberta, as well as the producer and host of numerous CBC radio shows in Vancouver. The book is published by NeWest Press in Alberta.

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