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Lakehead University Magazine


More Memories of Lakehead

Richard Buset, Kathleen Buset, Barry Roberts, Helen Cromarty, Terry Robinson, Lillian Thomas, Roy Piovesana, Carol-Lynne Oldale, Edith Abruquah, Harry Jaako, Agnes Apusigah, Delfina Trevisan

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 favorite prof? What are they doing now? How has Lakehead made a difference in their lives?


Richard Buset

BA’73, Thunder Bay, Ontario

A successful lawyer, long-time donor, fundraiser, and volunteer involved with Lakehead University’s ATAC ~ Future of the North Capital Campaign. The William H. Buset Centre for Music and Visual Arts on campus is named in honor of his uncle.

How did your time at Lakehead prepare you for your life’s work?
My three years at Lakehead introduced me to problemsolving techniques. A large part of my present work involves finding solutions to problems or issues facing my clients, and my undergraduate work at Lakehead provided me with the initial skills to take on this task.

Overall Recollection
It was a time of new-found freedom – a time to become an adult – a time to forge new life-long friendships.

Fondest Memory
Studying for final exams by Lake Tamblyn on a sunny April afternoon.

Favorite Professor
Richard Anderson (Economics) was a great mentor to me. He encouraged me in my research projects and provided valuable advice concerning my post-graduate education.

Greatest Accomplishment
I am most proud of my marriage of 27 years to Liz McWeeny, a wonderful person, and of our children who have grown up to become interesting and dynamic young adults. I also take pride in my work and the success of my legal practice.

Defining Moment
One day in one of my Business Law classes at Lakehead, I had to prepare and present a case as if I was a lawyer. I found the experience and the intricacy of the law exhilarating, and I knew from that point that I wanted to be a lawyer.


Kathleen Buset

EngTech‘01, BEng’03 (Chemical Engineering) Ottawa, Ontario

An Air Quality Science Officer with Environment Canada working in the Science Assessment and Integration Branch (SAIB), which contributes to the development of effective policies by providing policy makers with sound scientific assessments of environmental issues including climate change, smog, stratospheric ozone depletion and acid rain

Lakehead's Influence
The quality of my educational experience at Lakehead definitely prepared me well for graduate studies at the University of Toronto. I have been more than able to compete with “the best” at the University of Toronto, and the excellent learning experience that I had at Lakehead has contributed to that.

I had many great opportunities at Lakehead. One of the best was to work as an undergraduate research assistant with Lionel Catalan (Chemical Engineering) for two summers. At a larger university it would have been very unlikely that I would have had such great access to exciting, hands-on research activities as I had at Lakehead.

Poor air quality is an important issue as it is associated with serious detrimental effects to human health and the economy. In Ontario alone, air pollution is thought to contribute to approximately 5,800 premature deaths this year (Ontario Medical Association, June 2005, Illness Costs of Air Pollution (ICAP), smogmain.htm). Because of the health issues associated with air pollution, there are significant economic impacts due to health care costs and loss of productivity.


Barry Roberts

BEd’87, Chamonix, France

Principal Consultant and Director of Corporate Interventions Ltd., a company based in Chamonix, France, and the United Kingdom that works to develop business leaders and teams by engaging them in challenging, novel, and stimulating learning situations. Co-owner of Wilderness Medical Training and All Terrain Ski

All the work I do is about developing people and their performance in some respect. I get a great deal of satisfaction in helping someone excel beyond their own preconceived limits so that they become more confident, skilful, and most importantly, more independent in what they do – whether this is leading a business team, managing a medical emergency in the jungle, or skiing the back country.

Greatest Accomplishment
It would be too easy to say that climbing Mount Everest has been my greatest achievement but it really is more of a symbol of how I’ve chosen to lead my life. I’ve worked hard to break a few moulds with the work I do, to be respected in my field, to be my own boss, and to engineer the freedom to follow a lifestyle where it is my priority to do exciting things in addition to work. Nobody on their deathbed ever wished they had worked more in their life.


Helen Cromarty

HBScNursing’91, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Health Policy Analyst at Nishnawbe-Aski Nation

Overall Recollections
I first became involved at Lakehead during the development and ensuing implementation of the Native Nurses Entry Program (NNEP) in 1987. Then, after 21 years of nursing and raising a family of five children, I finally could go for a degree in Nursing. I can say that I really enjoyed myself, worked hard, and had the indubitable pleasure and support of having my sister Bernice Matthews (HBScN’91) as a classmate. My lasting impression is that Lakehead University is truly an international educational institution.

My work at Nishnawbe-Aski Nation entails working with First Nations people at the community level and with governments. Many years ago when I went into nursing, I thought of working with the Anishnawbe on two paths. One path is to teach about health and wellness. The other path is for my own inner growth and education – going back to learn about my people and my home, and learning to read and speak my first language. As a policy analyst, I create awareness of health issues and voice the First Nations concerns on different health policies developed and used by governments.


Terry Robinson

HBKinesiology’97, Toronto, Ontario

Human Resources Officer (OIP Intern) with the Ministry of Community & Social Services/Ministry of Children & Youth Services and a member of the Board of Directors of HAGI Community Service for Independence, and Easter Seals

How did Lakehead prepare you for your life’s work?
Besides acquiring a formal education, Lakehead gave me many other direct and indirect skills and abilities needed for employment – interpersonal skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, formal writing skills, and computer skills. I learned more about life overall from going to Lakehead. Without this experience, I would not have met some of my closest friends and would not have become the person I am today.

Fondest Memory
Too many to choose, however I’m glad I was able to serve as President of LUSU in 1994-95.
Favorite Professor
Jane Taylor. Without her help, the Kinesiology program would have been that much harder.

Greatest Accomplishment
Being hired for the Ontario Internship Program (OIP). I got one of 73 positions available last year and there were over 5,000 applicants.
Most Difficult Challenge
Life in general.
Greatest Joy
Being surrounded and supported by family and good friends.


Lillian Thomas

BA’73,Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg City Councillor for the Elmwood/East Kildonan Ward, former Deputy Mayor, and currently a member of Cabinet holding the position of Secretary for Urban Aboriginal Opportunities
Lakehead's Influence
I majored in sociology. One course was on urban planning where we analyzed everything from road configuration to sewage and water treatment facilities. Another course was criminology and focused on gang behaviour, including peer pressure, mentoring, and developing positive alternatives. This course has been useful in the development of recreational programs for “at risk” youth. I minored in cultural anthropology, and studies on group interaction and group dynamics have also been useful.

Overall Recollections
Generally I loved everything – the campus, the professors, the other students, and the activities. I got involved in the school newspaper, The Argus, and though they never published any of my poetry, I learned about organizing thoughts, asking probing questions, and daring to approach “big” people and inviting them to come and speak because they just might do it! We got Allen Ginsberg, the famous American beat poet, to come and talk to us, as well as Tom Hayden, the leader of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who married (and later divorced) actor Jane Fonda.

Fondest Memory
I loved playing Bridge in the student lounge. There was always a pick-up game happening, and if you hovered for five minutes you knew that someone would be leaving for a class and say, “Lil, take over for me.” I think that is where I had some of my most profound discussions with people that I hardly knew. We all talked about creating a better society, and I hope that I am living that dream.
Most Influential Experience
Is there anyone who can single out one thing? Perhaps the sit-in that was organized to protest the dismissal of one of our professors.

I love helping people, connecting them to the resources that they need, and motivating them to explore their dreams. I believe that we can make this world a better place if we listen to each other and help each other to achieve our goals.

Greatest Accomplishment
I could point to many things – bridges, parks, bicycle paths – but the most important thing to me has been having the confidence of my constituents these past 15 years.
Most Difficult Challenge
Trying to utilize the finite dollars of the City of Winnipeg in the most effective way. It always hurts when there is a good idea that you must say no to because there is not enough money.
Greatest Joy
The birth of my son was my greatest joy. The miracle of birth still amazes me.


Roy Piovesana

HBA’65, MA’70, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Archivist/Historian with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay. Retired teacher and former head of history at Hammarskjold High School, Lakehead Board of Education

Overall Recollections
Those of us who studied at Lakehead during the 1960s had a unique experience. We were students in a "newly emergent" Ontario university. The degree programs in arts and science, although patterned after those at well established universities such as Queen's, Western, and the University of Toronto, were nevertheless experimental and in a state of flux depending on the style and areas of specialization of a small faculty. Full-time students at Lakehead, however, were fortunate in that classes were small. If the professor was both a scholar and an outstanding teacher (and in several instances they were), the learning experience was unforgettable.

What stands out in my mind now about Lakehead during the early to mid-1960s, was that it was a stimulating place for the exchange of ideas between students and faculty. Outside of lectures and seminars, we frequently sat together over coffee discussing a wide range of issues in the common room (situated in the Braun Building) and later in the Student Union cafeteria.

During the 1960s, three historians had a profound influence on my thinking as a student and later as a teacher of history. Tom Miller taught me the importance of striving for excellence and demanding only the best from myself and from my students. For those of us aspiring to be teachers, Elizabeth Arthur was an exemplary role model. Her consistent capacity for hard work, scholarship, logical and precise thinking, and her genuine enthusiasm and love of Canadian history were reflected in her lectures, seminars, and publications. Kenneth Dodd taught many of us, particularly in the historiography seminar, the historical method and in particular, the central place of documents in the study and teaching of history. This trio in the Department of History established the foundations of Lakehead’s honours history and graduate programs.


Carol-Lynne Oldale

BA’73, BEd’82, Thunder Bay

Director of Education, Thunder Bay District Catholic School Board

Favorite Professors
There were many professors who fulfilled my expectations and added a spark to my academic studies. I would like to specifically thank Alain Nabarra (Languages) and Penny Petrone (Education). Both exhibited a genuine love for teaching and sincere concern for their students, something I appreciated and now look for when hiring staff.
One of my favorite professors was Ron Duhamel. He taught an education course during my diploma year, designed to prepare us to teach French as a Second Language. His style, his joie de vivre, and his love of French were passed on to each of us privileged to be in his classes, and he challenged me to do the same when I was teaching French to my students.

As the CEO of a Catholic school system, I strive to promote the qualities, skills, and distinctiveness of our Catholic School Board as well as Catholic education in general.


Edith Abruquah

HBA’96, Master of Forestry’96, Ghana

Regional Forestry Manager, Forest Services Division, Forestry Commission, Ghana

Overall Recollections
I was enrolled in the Master of Forestry degree program. A unique thing about the program was the setting up of teams to discuss issues in class. This developed my ability to collaborate well in teams at my job place. As a result, I am able to gather ideas from other people, incorporate them and ultimately come out with workable decisions.

Fondest Memory
I found Lakehead University to be a pleasant place with an ideal environment for learning. One thing I will never forget about Lakehead, and for that matter Canada, is the very cold winters where one had to dress warmly and wait patiently at the Agora to catch a bus after lectures.

I am currently working as a regional manager of the Forest Services Division in one of the 10 regions in Ghana. The job is challenging but with the training from Lakehead I am able to cope. Forestry in Ghana is primarily a male-dominated field, and I am one of the few women in a fairly senior position. This indicates the intensity of the challenge to perform my job duties.


Harry Jaako

EngTech’71, BEng’74 (Civil Engineering) Vancouver, British Columbia

Chairman, Co-CEO, and Director of Discovery Capital Corporation

After engineering, IBM, and management consulting, I have found that nothing makes me happier than helping entrepreneurs build successful technology companies.
Fondest Memory of Lakehead
Cystic Fibrosis fundraising campaigns, Winter Carnival, and Engineering Week.
Favorite Professors
A three-way tie – George Fleming, Roy Murray, Bob Rosehart.
Greatest Accomplishment
Being part of a small group of people that reshaped Canada’s stock exchanges and capital markets (former Director of Vancouver and CDNX Stock Exchanges, current Board member, TSX Group).
Most Difficult Challenge
Launching a brand-new technology venture capital firm with zero experience.

Greatest Joy
My wife Barb and our two kids – Kevin, in fourth-year of a Computer Science program at Simon Fraser University, and Leah, after a year at International College in Cannes, France, now at Concordia University in Montreal.

Defining Moment
Striking out for Vancouver and Whistler after Convocation in May 1974 in my ’68 MGB.


Agnes Apusigah

MEd’99, Ghana

Coordinator of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme, Lecturer in the Department of African & General Studies, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana

How did Lakehead prepare you for your life’s work?
The emphasis on independent research and self-directed learning prepared me for my doctoral work. Indeed, when I got to Queen's University, I was well equipped with the requisite analytical and cognitive skills for my research work. As a result, I was able to complete my doctoral studies in record time – three-and-a-half years.

The realization that my contribution makes a huge difference in the lives of the largely poor and deprived communities with which I work. The opportunity to give back to my people, the poorest of the poor in Ghana.
Greatest Accomplishment
Securing support for mainstreaming gender issues into my University's development activities (on- and off-campus). This has resulted in the creation of the Gender Mainstreaming Programme office, which I coordinate.

Fondest Memory
Camping out with Dennis McPherson (Indigenous Learning) in the Agora Circle in the cold in support of his protest against racism.
Favorite Spot
The International Student Centre gave me opportunities to meet with other International students, catch up on international and home news, get support on unique issues, and above all relax and gossip about ongoing events.

Thanks for the MEMORIES

Editor's Note
This two-part series, Remembering Lakehead, has generated a tremendous amount of positive feedback from our readers. In the last issue we encouraged you to send in your memories by email for a chance to win two bottles of 40th Anniversary wine. Thanks for your feedback and congratulations to our winner, Delfina Trevisan (BA’90, HBSW’91).

“What impressed me was the mixture of people that were present and the vast knowledge and experiences that they were able to contribute to the classes. In general, I found Lakehead very accepting of individuals.

I can remember the cold winter mornings when I had to attend classes at 8:30 a.m. which now, in retrospect, does not seem such a big deal... I loved playing rugby on the women's team which Des Lynch (BA’91, HBSW’93) and I co-founded.

Congratulations, Lakehead University, on your 40th Anniversary.”
– Delfina Trevisan

Super-Sized Success

A Profile on IMAX filmmaker Stephen Low

Andrew J. Deman
Stephen LowFor an unparalleled career in bringing big ideas to the biggest screens in the world, this year’s recipient of the Lakehead University Alumni Honour Award is pioneering IMAX film director, Stephen Low (BA’74).

The job of directing an IMAX film is extremely demanding. Projected onto screens the size of an eight-story building, IMAX pictures use state-of-the-art cameras that consume a roll of film the length of an ocean liner in just three minutes at a cost of approximately $3,500 per roll. The end result is a unique visual experience of lush colors and intricately detailed images. “For most people,” says Stephen Low, “their first IMAX film is their favorite. It’s a bit like losing your virginity.”

Low spent four years at Lakehead in the early 1970s, earning his BA in Political Science. He looks back fondly on his time at Lakehead, saying, “The day I arrived in Thunder Bay, it really did huge things for my sense of well-being and confidence. It changed my life.”

Born in Ottawa, Low was primarily raised in Montreal, and spent his summers in southern Alberta. His father, Colin Low, is a multiple Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker with a strong background in the history of the IMAX format. Colin worked on the very first IMAX film, Tiger Child. Coincidentally, the second ever IMAX film was shot in Northwestern Ontario right about the time that Lakehead University first opened its doors. Colin also helped to develop the newer 3D IMAX technology while directing the first three-dimensional IMAX film in 1986.

Initially, however, Low did not anticipate following in his father’s footsteps. “I wasn’t interested in the film industry until I became interested in the world.” This interest came about during Low’s summer job working on the Canadian Pacific Railway in Thunder Bay and other parts of the region in order to pay for his tuition at Lakehead. Traveling about the North-West provided the young man with a new sense of perspective, vision, and ultimately, a philosophy of filmmaking.

“The minutia of filmmaking is boring, so it’s not an interest in cameras or of orchestrating the perfect shot that drives me. What is exciting is the true reward of filmmaking – communication, saying something to an audience.

I’ve known a lot of filmmakers who failed because they were too interested in the craft. Without an interest in the subject at hand, you’re screwed. What’s most important is to be curious and passionate about the world.”

Upon graduating from Lakehead in 1974, Low continued his travels, first working for a housing company constructing pre-fab homes throughout Northwestern Ontario and parts of Manitoba, then to Newfoundland where he found work making commercials. Here he also had a memorable early film experience working as the personal driver of Bo Derek on location shooting.

This began Low’s association with the mainstream movie industry, which led him to Alberta once again where he was hired to shoot production stills for the movie Days of Heaven, starring Richard Gere and Sam Shepard. Low quickly tired of the artificiality of Hollywood movies.

His desire to tell real stories with real subjects drove him in a different direction. “Hollywood plays with toys,” he says, “they never get close to the real thing.”

Stephen LowThe first real thing that Low approached was a documentary called Challenger: An Industrial Romance. With the help of the National Film Board, Low produced his first award-winning documentary. This led to a sequence of documentary film projects – all in the IMAX format – featuring a broad range of subject material such as the Titanic, Mark Twain, F1 Racing, Deep Sea Volcanoes, and even that most prominent of Canadian symbols: the beaver.

The film in question here is simply titled Beavers. To date, it is the most successful Canadian film ever made, and by a wide margin. Beavers cost a million dollars to create, and to date has earned over $80 million in return. Low recalls how the idea for this project “came out of the rivers of Thunder Bay.” It follows the everyday activities of beavers, with a tenacity that puts any television reality series to shame, tracing their every movement from below the ice to within the lodge.

Low’s most recent project is the 2004 release Fighter Pilot: The Battle of Red Flag, an in-depth and insightful look at United States’ Air Force jet pilot training, featuring spectacular air-to-air photography of the most advanced flying machines the world has ever known.

Looking toward the future, Low has a number of projects on the go, including a potential IMAX documentary on the Great Lakes which could once again bring IMAX filming to the region it first explored three decades ago. Beyond that, Low is considering pictures on thoroughbred racehorses, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and, potentially, a sequel to Fighter Pilot.
The Alumni Honour Award is awarded each year to a graduate who has helped to further the honor and prestige of Lakehead University and its Alumni Association. In receiving this award, Low simply wants everyone to know that he loves Thunder Bay, the culture of the town, the quality of the people, and the beauty of the land. “I think it’s a great honor,” says Low. “It’s fantastic to go back to a place where I had such great years.”

Although Low’s history and credentials are thoroughly chronicled on his website (, perhaps the best representation of the merit behind this year’s Alumni Honour Award winner is best seen where so much of his life and work has been encapsulated – at a theatre near you.

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

Campus News

Northern Ontario School of MedicineNORTHERN ONTARIO SCHOOL of MEDICINE OPENS its DOORS

Canada’s first new medical school in a generation was declared officially open in high-tech fashion by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty following a telemedicine roll call to more than 10 far-flung communities in Northern Ontario.

“This is the beginning of a great adventure,” said His Excellency John Ralston Saul, speaking on behalf of his wife Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, from Laurentian University in Sudbury. “It is built upon a four-centuries-old Canadian idea and reality of a triangular foundation of First Nations, francophone, and the whole variety of anglophones…. Your accomplishment today, at Lakehead and Laurentian, is a harbinger of a North to come and of a Canada which must come.”

The Grand Opening of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM) consisted of a two-campus videconference on September 13, 2005, that featured many distinguished guests in Thunder Bay including Aboriginal leaders Elijah Harper, Louis Waswa, and Goyce Kakegamic, and Canada’s Minister of Public Health Dr. Caroline Bennett. Ontario Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman and Canada’s Commissioner of Official Languages Dyane Adam joined the proceedings by videolink from Toronto and Ottawa, respectively.

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine is the culmination of over three decades of visioning, lobbying, planning, and practical hard work from various stakeholder groups of committed individuals, institutions, and governments.

“NOSM will pioneer the marriage of technology, education, research, and health care delivery,” said the Dean, Dr. Roger Strasser. The School’s first 56 undergraduate class members have already begun their studies which will be undertaken in a wide variety of community and health science settings across Northern Ontario.


The Department of Languages got a boost this year with the opening of a new Computer-Assisted Language Laboratory in Room 2001 of the Braun Building. The new lab is interactive and easy-to-use, offering high-quality audio, video, and multimedia components.


Starting this fall, Lakehead is offering a new doctoral program in Forestry. It is a research based program focusing on the development of researchers with expertise in the Boreal and Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Forest Regions.

Visit the website for more information:

Dr. Rui Wang


Lakehead’s new Vice-President (Research), Rui Wang has an ambitious goal. He wants Lakehead to be among the top 25 research intensive universities in Canada in the next five to ten years. “Research activity has increased significantly over the past decade,” says Wang. “We just need to accelerate the pace by encouraging every researcher on campus to embrace that challenge.”

In 2004-2005, Lakehead was awarded $18.1 million in research funding. As well, Lakehead has been allocated a SSHRC Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) – Lakehead’s eighth CRC since the program began in 2000.


The Office of Continuing Education and Distributed Learning was awarded a Commitment to Quality Award by the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. The award was given in April 2005 in recognition of the Office’s strong commitment to service, continuous improvement, and innovative approaches, especially related to the effective and efficient applications of technologies to support teaching and learning.

Dr. Lesley Lovett-Doust


The Faculty of Science and Environmental Studies has a new Dean. Lesley Lovett-Doust is an ecologist who sees research as just another aspect of teaching. “While some people take the view that research is something to be done alone, a more realistic and stimulating scenario is to build a community of researchers – from first-year undergraduates to graduate students and faculty, all at different levels, all working together.”


Lakehead earned three awards in the 2005 Prix d’Excellence of the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education: a silver award for the Lakehead website; a bronze award for the 2003-2004 Annual Report; and a bronze award for the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment CD-ROM entitled “Clearcut?”.

To view the Forestry CD-ROM, go to

Alumni Matters

Message from the President

Vonnie Cheng
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success"
Henry Ford

Vonnie ChengNew beginnings, progress, and successes are the hallmarks of every project undertaken by the Alumni Association of Lakehead University this year. A number of new initiatives including the Alumni Coffee Breaks and Student Pizza Day were launched to promote communication, friendship, partnership, and a sense of community among our 37,000 alumni, current students, and the University. May 2005 saw the publication of our first Alumni E-Newsletter. In the same month, the Association celebrated and honored the achievements of two outstanding alumni – Stephen Low and Chris Fernyc – at the 2nd Annual Alumni Awards Dinner. At the spring 2005 Convocation, we initiated the tradition of presenting an alumni pin to all new graduates to commemorate their membership in the Alumni Association and to congratulate them on their academic success. In August, the Association teamed up with Lakehead Athletics for the first time and staged the 22nd Annual Alumni Golf Scholarship Classic in support of student financial aid, with particular emphasis on student athletes at the University.

The 40th Anniversary Celebration Weekend was the result of another partnership undertaken by the Alumni Association this year. The project was co-funded by the Association and Lakehead University. Countless alumni volunteers, University staff, community partners, and event sponsors came together, stayed together, and worked together to bring our alumni back on campus to celebrate the remarkable achievements and the 40th Anniversary of our Alma Mater. It was a richly rewarding experience that has made a lasting impact on everyone involved.

During the series of fun-filled celebration events leading up to the activity-packed 40th Anniversary Celebration Weekend (September 29-October 2), the Alumni Association and the University were pleased to welcome back hundreds of alumni who had not been on campus for a long time. The pride, joy, and admiration that our alumni felt were palpable as they saw how far the University has progressed as a world-class institution of learning, teaching, and research. The leading-edge technology housed in the Advanced Technology & Academic Centre, the new athletic facilities available at The Hangar, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine located on campus, speak to the advances that Lakehead has made in the last few years alone.

The Fireworks Birthday Extravaganza and the 40th Anniversary Celebration Weekend gave our alumni the opportunity to reconnect with the University, renew past friendships, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. In the coming months, the Association will continue to build on our existing partnerships and provide more opportunities for our alumni to stay connected with each other and the University. Plans are already under way to make 2006 a stellar year in terms of new beginings, progress, and successes. We strongly encourage you to get involved in your Association in any capacity that is of interest to you. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Please give us your comments on how we can serve you better, and what types of events, services, and benefits would appeal to you most, and how we can enhance our E-Newsletter and communication with you. Currently, we have approximately 10,000 alumni who are “unaddressable” due to outdated address information. We urge you to update your email and contact information through our website A whenever you are on the move. Last but not least, we hope that you will visit the website often for details on our activities, to participate in our future online surveys, or simply to keep in touch with the Alumni Association and Lakehead University.

With your support and the dedication of the Alumni Board, I know that, together, we can achieve even greater successes. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our future events.

Celebration Weekend

For Photos of all the 40th Anniversary Celebrations go online:

40th Anniversary Celebrations
Left: Mary-Carol Gellert and Jim Gellert, Jennifer Everett and Lorne Everett, Chancellor
Below Left: Jen Scott, John Tornblom, and Marg Page
Below Right: Mark Piovesana

More than 140 golfers took part in the 22nd Annual Alumni Open in August raising approximately $15,000 for student scholarships with an emphasis on student athletes. Special thanks to major sponsors: RBC Royal Bank, TBayTel, The Chronicle- Journal, and Mallon’s Corporate Impressions.

Thirty-two alumni, students, and parents attended the 4th Annual Ottawa Student Send-off in August at the MBNA Canada Headquarters. Students had the opportunity to meet with alumni and to listen to a presentation by Robert Perrier, Lakehead’s Senior Recruitment Officer. For information about next year’s event, contact the Office of Alumni Relations.

Lakehead has joined with five other Ontario universities in offering a license plate of its own. The plate, emblazoned with the Thunderwolves logo, can be purchased through the University's Office of Alumni Relations or through the Ministry of Transportation. To view a sample and to learn more, visit: A
A new slate of officers was elected to the Alumni Association of Lakehead University at the Annual General Meeting on May 26, 2005.

Vonnie Cheng, BSc‘80, BA‘82, GDBus‘92, HBA‘92
Mark Tilbury, HBComm‘94
David Heroux, BAdmin’82, HBComm‘84
Diane Thompson, BA‘94
Past President
Ken Owen, BA‘94

John Bonofiglio, BA‘79, HBA‘81
Patty Habl-Gregory, HBA’96, BEd’97
Dan Mackie, BA‘02
Donna Marsh, BAdmin’01
Ben Kaminski, BA‘82, HBA’00
Glendon Tremblay, HBOR/BA’03
Joe Quaresima, HBComm‘00
Brian Stroud, HBSc‘02
Shelley Trewin, BA’94
John Zahn, EngDip’83, BAdmin‘86
David Heald, BA’84, Board of Governors Rep.

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.

Student Profile

Andrea Goold

Andrea Goold with Peter LeeAndrea Goold's master's thesis is a dream project – one that combines biology, environmental studies, and even politics. 
Goold is working with Biology Professor Peter Lee to monitor Hogarth Pit Lake near Atikokan, Ontario. The Lake has become chronically toxic following iron ore mining that took place under the Lake from 1944 to 1979.

“I feel fortunate to be working at Lakehead U's Aquatic Toxicology Research Centre,” says Goold. “I appreciate the holistic approach: being able to collect data and analyze my own samples, rather than sending them off to some far-away lab.” (ATRC is the only Canadian university-based toxicology test facility accredited by the Canadian Association of Environmental Analytical Laboratories.)

Goold's investigations into the toxicity of the Hogarth Pit Lake will be applied to an ecological risk assessment of the area. Her research is critical since continuously rising waters in the lake are expected to outflow into the adjacent Seine River system by 2030.

Lakehead University has been working with the Ministry of Natural Resources to address this problem since 1999. Research indicates the cause of toxicity is likely due to cationic metals such as copper, lead, nickel, and zinc. Several solutions have been proposed, including wetland remediation to remove the toxic metals from the water.

For more information contact the Lakehead University Environmental Laboratory at 807-343-8368.


Mike Aylward
The 2005-06 Athletics year is now under way and students are taking part in a range of campus recreation activities and sports leagues including our exciting Thunderwolves Varsity and Club sports programs.

The Hangar has proven to be a hit with the student body. It, along with the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse and our many outdoor facilities (beach volleyball courts, playing fields, and scenic hiking and cycling trails), gives Lakehead students and staff one of the most comprehensive athletics facilities in Canada.

Climbing Wall, The Hangar, Aerobics, and Wall of FameTo mark Lakehead’s 40th Anniversary, we held the annual Zanatta Alumni Homecoming Weekend during Celebration Weekend, on September 29 to October 2, 2005. The Weekend included the annual showdowns between the Thunderwolves Varsity teams and the alumni teams, as well as the popular game pitting Lakehead U Athletics Staff versus Thunder Bay Media Celebrities. The Men’s Hockey team also played two exciting games against Saint Mary’s University, the Atlantic powerhouse.

We also marked Lakehead’s sporting history by holding a special ceremony in the new Sports Lounge at The Hangar. This ceremony saw the unveiling of the “new” Lakehead Athletics Wall of Fame which was moved from its old location in the C. J. Sanders Fieldhouse. The ceremony included the presentation of this year’s inductees to the Lakehead Wall of Fame.
In March 2006, Lakehead will host the OUA Wrestling Championships and the CIS-CCUNC Nordic Cross Country Skiing Championships. The latter will be part of the Canadian National Nordic Championships, organized in conjunction with our partners at the National Training and Development Centre in Lappe, Ontario. There, Lakehead will be looking to defend its Men’s and Women’s national championship team titles.

It’s going to be another banner year for Lakehead Athletics, and I would like to extend an invitation to all of you to take in a Thunderwolves game, or drop by our campus and try out our excellent athletics facilities.

Class Notes

Ron Berg



George Yarwood (BA’70, BEd’71) of Oshawa, Ontario, retired in 2002 from his position as an Industrial Training Consultant at the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. However, he was called back to the MTCU to work on a contract basis.

June Kim (née Willianen) (HBComm’74) graduated as one of three women in her graduating class. She recently retired from Shell Canada after 23 years and moved to Coldstream, B.C., to pursue other personal interests.

John McKeown (BA’77, HBA’78) was awarded his Doctorate of Education from Warnborough University in Canterbury, England. The ceremonies were held at Canterbury Cathedral July 23, 2005. McKeown’s research dissertation focused on issues surrounding school improvements and community development at Turkish foreign national schools. Currently, he is Vice-Principal at the Luanda International School, Angola, Africa. He also provides consultancy to selected Turkish schools harmonizing educational practice to European Union community standards.

After having spent “a lifetime” in Thunder Bay, Tamara Austin (BSc’79, BA’91, HBA’92, MA’95) went on to work as a Children’s Mental Health Therapist for the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMurray, Alberta.


Caesar Squitti (HBComm’80) writes that he “began research in 1987 into various philosophical paradigms and discovered a negative side to truths; anti-truths. The discovery expands the definitions of three concepts ‘half-truths,’ ‘lies,’ and ‘truth,’ while creating a new philosophy, ‘thinking in color.’ The discovery suggests that the biblical story concerning the ‘original sin’ may indeed be true.”

David Donald (BSc’85) now lives in Campbell River, B.C. He works as an Ecosystem Biologist for the Ministry of the Environment, working with the forest industry to protect critical fish and wildlife habitats.

Susan Heald (MA’85) is a professor of Women’s Studies at York University. She was recently awarded the Faculty of Arts Award in Internationalization. Heald is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University and a founder of the Canadian Consortium for Universities with Programs in International and Development Issues.

James Hay (HBPE’89, BEd’90), heads Science and Math at the Sterling Hall School in Toronto, where his son David, 12, also attends. He and his wife Angela are proud to be sending their eldest son A.J. to begin his studies at Lakehead this fall.

Bradley Wood (HBSc’89) is a Chief Geologist with De Beers currently working on a two-year work secondment in South Africa.


Jean Maltesen (née Harrison) (BA/BEd’90) works in the Department of Adult Basic Education at the Malaspina University College in Nanaimo, British Columbia. She will begin a MEd degree in the fall of 2005 through the University of Calgary with a focus on Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning.

Vicki Verge (HBSW’92) married Ron Burgess in September 2004, and in October 2004 she graduated with a MSW. She recently left child welfare after 13 years for a position as Manager at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

Mike Carlson (BA/BEd’93) has lived and taught overseas for the past seven years in Instanbul, Turkey; Cairo, Egypt; and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has recently moved to Bayonet Point, Florida, as his wife has been diagnosed with cancer and must be near proper medical care.

Wendy Pak (HBComm’93) graduated from the University of Victoria with her Masters of Education – Coaching Studies, a two summer program, in May 2004. She was married in Thunder Bay on August 5, 2000, to Derek Dunkley. On February 6, 2005, Wendy gave birth to a baby girl – Adela (pronounced a-day-la) Mackenzie Pak Dunkley. The family loves to travel and continues to reside in St. Catharines, Ontario, where Adela’s parents both teach at Ridley College.

Nancy Doetzel (BA’94, HBSW’95, HBA’96, MA’98) was recently awarded the 2005 Thomas B. Greenfield Distinguished Dissertation Award for the best doctoral dissertation on educational administration completed in Canada during 2004. After completing her dissertation, Educational Leaders’ Spiritual Insights, Doetzel received her doctorate last year from the University of Calgary graduate division of educational research.

Derek Serianni (BA’94) and his wife Andrea are proud parents of a beautiful daughter named Carina Juliann, born March 14, 2004. Derek writes: “So keep an eye out for her on campus in 2023. Hopefully she won’t enjoy the pub as much as her dad did.” Derek is a sales engineer at Primus Communications in Toronto, Ontario.

Jim Johnson (HBKin’96) is working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences/Surgery at the University of British Columbia. He is interested in hearing from his classmates. Email:
Jennifer Paddon (BA/BEd’97) has recently purchased her first home. She is living in Waterloo and will be walking to work at her new position as Lead Core French Teacher at the new elementary school opening in September 2005. Laurie writes: “Looking forward to seeing everyone at the reunion and 40th Celebration Weekend in October!”

Christine McMaster (née Varga) (BA/BEd’97)
was married in 2003 and just had her first child – a boy, Gavin, in January. Christine works as a teacher at Prince Charles School. She lives in Belleville, Ontario.

Jason Murray (BA’96, HBA’98) teaches in a secondary school in Burlington, Ontario. He has also spent one year teaching in Australia.

After graduating from Lakehead, Cyndie Allison (MSc’99) worked as a Research Assistant at McGill University for six years, followed by one year of working as a Research Assistant at the University of Pennsylvania. Cyndie then returned home to Cape Breton in 2003 to teach and to enjoy the sailing.

Jeremy Tiers (HBA’98) is working at South St. Paul High School in Minnesota as a College & Career Advisor. He also started a new coaching position in 2004-05, being named Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. He and his wife Jen have been married for over five years.

Jennifer Niskanen (née Wilson) (BA’99, BEd’99) currently lives in Thunder Bay. She works as a Communication Co-ordinator for the Lakehead Unitarian Fellowship.


After completing her degrees at Lakehead, Amberley Anderson (HBScF’00, MScF’03) worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for three years. Starting in February 2005, she began working at Lakehead as a Technologist/Off-Campus Properties Manager for the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment, and writes: “I just can’t get enough of this place.”

Steve Hebert (HBScF’02) married Anne on August 2, 2003, and they are proud to announce the arrival of their baby girl, born March 17, 2005. Steve works as an Operations Supervisor for Meakin Forest Enterprises Inc., a position he has had since November 8, 2004.
Andrew Turner (HBOR ’02) was just named “Defensive Player of the Year” by the National Lacrosse League (NLL). Andy just finished a season as the Alternate Captain of the Rochester Knighthawks, leading them to the league semi-finals. He was named a first team All Star (for the second straight year) and played in the All Star game in Calgary back in February.

Nadine Lessard (BEd’03) is working as a teacher in South Korea. She is also travelling around South East Asia.

Stephanie Thingstad (BA/BEd’03)
is working in Kuwait as a Kindergarten Teacher. She enjoys spending her free time travelling around the Middle East and learning about the culture and, at the time of writing, was looking forward to spending a summer back in Northern Ontario. Stephanie will be returning for another year in the Middle East.

Chris Fowler (BEd’04) works as an elementary school teacher at Guildwood Jr Public School in Toronto. Following graduation, Chris married Christina Taborda, also an elementary school teacher.

Mathieu Ruel (HBOR/BA’04) lives in Pointe-Claire, Quebec. He travelled for two months in Peru and Bolivia, South America. Now he is enjoying life – climbing.

Kevin Kelner (HBComm’04) travels as an Information Management Analyst for Johnson & Johnson, living both in Montreal and Guelph. He is also actively involved in recruiting efforts for J & J and the Information Management Leadership Development Program at Lakehead in 2005. He is looking forward to visiting friends and family in Thunder Bay and in Southern Ontario throughout 2005.

Jon Balabuck (HBA’04)
has remained active since graduating from Lakehead. He continues to work as a firefighter, but also has competed in, and won, several events such as the triathlon, the duathlon, and the Thunder Bay Firefighters Ten Mile Road Race. A cornerstone of his success has been his wife Laura, whom he married on August 7, 2004. Jon is working towards a Masters of Education and is a member of the Lakehead Cross Country Team.

Jaime Kerr (BA’05) recently graduated from Lakehead with a BA in Gerontology, including certificates in Palliative Care and Dementia. She is a third generation Lakehead grad.


Don Ayre, Former Registrar and Secretary of the University
Kurt Dieter Eigenbrod, Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering
Jeffery Frazer, BEng’78
Fred McIntosh, Former Chief Librarian
Penny Petrone, Professor Emerita of Education, (MA’70)

Other Voices

Convocation Address to the Class of 2005

Maude Barlow
Maude Barlow is head of The Council of Canadians and probably Canada’s best-known critic of economic integration with the United States and corporate globalization. She visited Lakehead University on October 18, 2005, to deliver a public lecture on this topic to a standing-room-only crowd in the Agora, as part of the Lakehead University Speaker Series, at which she also received in person a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, which had been awarded to her at Convocation last May. The following is an edited copy of her Convocation address.
Maude BarlowLakehead University is one of the most exciting, innovative, and dynamic institutions of higher education in the whole country. It has prepared you to think for yourselves, be guided by your conscience, and act in honour and with dignity at all times.

I am a social justice activist. My work takes me all over Canada and around the world on a wide variety of issues but I thought I would take my few minutes this morning to talk to you about the one closest to my heart – the world’s freshwater crisis. My concern over this issue started years ago with our fight to take water out of international trade agreements like NAFTA and the WTO and to stop the sale of Canada’s water for profit. But the more I learned about Canada’s water, the more I knew that I would have to deal with the fact that there are many parts of the world with little or no water for life at all.

The world is running out of fresh water. Humans are depleting, polluting, and diverting the world’s supply of fresh water so fast, that by 2025, unless we dramatically change our ways, two-thirds of the world’s people will be living (or dying) under severe water shortages. As it is now, every eight seconds, a child dies of water-borne disease.

This shouldn’t be possible. We were all taught that the hydrologic cycle is closed, that there is a finite amount of water in our system, which remains unchanged over time. Our teachers were not lying. Not only is there the same amount of water on the planet as at its creation, but also it is the same water.

What is also true, tragically, and what our teachers could not have foreseen, is that it is possible to render this water unusable for humans and unsafe for the ecosystem itself. Industrial farming and massive pollution, combined with the destruction of wetlands and the diversion of rivers by massive dams, have destroyed much of the world’s surface waters, leading us to mine the groundwater all over the world, thirstily depleting ancient aquifers before nature can replenish them. As a result, the earth now resembles an apple that is drying up on the inside, with brown spots on an otherwise healthy-looking fruit.

Right now an epic struggle is taking place in many parts of the world around these dwindling freshwater supplies. Large transnational water corporations are taking over the operation of water systems where poor governments cannot provide these services. Because the companies have to charge high prices in order to make a profit for their investors, millions of poor people cannot afford to buy their water and have to rely on contaminated rivers and streams for their water supplies.

As well, big bottling companies like Coke and Nestle are hunting for new water sources as the quality of public water is allowed to deteriorate in many parts of the world. Last year, companies put over 100 billion litres of water in plastic bottles around the world – an act of collective insanity as far as I am concerned. So I call water “Blue Gold” as it is becoming more precious than oil.

However, all over the world, communities are fighting to take back their local water systems from these giant corporations. People in hundreds of communities are demanding that their governments provide them with safe, clean, and affordable water as a public service. In October 2004, Uruguay became the first country in the world to vote in a national election for a constitutional amendment to guarantee every citizen the right to water on a not-for-profit basis.

These groups have formed into a powerful international civil society movement devoted to reclaiming water as a global “commons.” Central to this movement is the fight for a United Nations Convention on the Right to Water. The omission of water from both the original United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a problem that has hampered the efforts of those working for the right to water for all.

The answers to a water-secure world lie on the twin foundations of conservation on one hand – using every drop once – and water justice on the other – the fundamental right of every person to water for life. What is needed now is a concerted effort by the peoples of the earth and their governments to fundamentally change our relationship to water and to create a global plan of survival based on these cornerstones.

So on this wonderful day, I invite you to join us in the fight for a just and sustainable world. It may not be the fight for clean water that will be your challenge. It may be the fight against poverty, or discrimination, or violence. You may choose to fight for a united Canada or peace or a just system for Canada’s First Nations peoples, who by the way, could teach us how to live in harmony with nature instead of destroying it for our own pleasure. But choosing to live for something greater than yourself is the best decision you can make in life. And it is this choice I urge you to make today.

Money has its place. It is good to have enough money to provide stability and opportunity for your family; to allow you to be a good friend in time of need; and to help you be a productive and generous member of your community – locally and internationally. But the pursuit of money for its own sake will not give you the quality of life or peace of mind that a life lived for others will provide. Trust me. And trust me that having an ethical compass will stand you all your life. My favorites are the seven deadly sins that Mahatma Gandhi asks us to reject:

Pleasure without conscience;
Knowledge without character;
Commerce without morality;
Wealth without work;
Worship without sacrifice;
Science without humanity;
Politics without principle.

There is a new world waiting to be born. South African spiritual leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu says this to the old one: “You have already lost. You need to get out of the way so that we can rebuild – for our children and all life on this planet.”

Your life choices await you.

The Bernard Shaffer Boardroom

Paul ShafferBernard Shaffer – a lawyer who served on Lakehead University's Board of Governors from 1965 to 1972 – will be remembered on campus for many years to come, thanks to his son Paul, who made a generous contribution to the ATAC ~ Future of the North Capital Campaign.

The musician is well-known for his work as Musical Director of the The Late Show with David Letterman. He was in Thunder Bay in September to dedicate the fifth-floor ATAC Boardroom and celebrate his father’s life at a sold-out dinner and concert in The Hangar.
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