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Lakehead University Magazine


The "Frog Lady"

Dolores Wawia, whose Aboriginal name Muk kee Queh

Frances Harding
Dolores WawiaNovember 2005. Dolores Wawia is standing in front of an audience of 320 women who have come to the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay for the first Northern Ontario Women’s Leadership Forum. Her 4-foot, 11-inch frame is barely visible behind the podium, but you can tell from the tone of her voice and the silence of the room that she has everyone’s rapt attention.

After the smudging ceremony and the opening prayer, Wawia begins speaking about her journey to become an Assistant Professor in Lakehead University’s Faculty of Education. It’s a story that begins on the northwestern shores of Lake Nipigon and moves through residential school, teachers college, and two universities – one in the south and one in the north.

Wawia is dressed in her regalia – an ochre-colored deerhide suit with fringes and abalone shells. As Elder-in-Residence in the Faculty of Education, she is in high demand for special ceremonies – sometimes doing as many as 15 grand openings in a six-week period. “The older I get, it seems the busier I am,” she says.

Born the eldest of 12 children in the Ojibwe community of Gull Bay in 1944, Wawia was a student at St. Joseph’s Boarding School and Orphanage in Fort William, before completing a high school diploma from Hammarskjold, a teaching certificate from Lakehead Teacher’s College, a BA from McMaster University, and a BEd and a MEd from Lakehead University.

“I was the first Aboriginal woman in Northwestern Ontario to get a Bachelor of Arts, and the first to get a Master’s degree in Education,” she says proudly. “I have nine brothers and sisters living – six of us attended Lakehead and between us all, we have 14 degrees.”

In July 1975, Wawia was hired by the Faculty of Education to work as a teacher/counsellor in the newly established Native Teacher Education Program (NTEP).

“There were 36 students in first year, and I can tell you that we had many growing pains. But overall the program was successful. Many of our graduates, like Goyce Kakegamic (NTEP‘83, BA‘86), Deputy Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, are now in leadership positions within the Aboriginal community.”

Today NTEP – the first and longest running program of its kind in Ontario – is still going strong.

“What motivates Aboriginals to go back to school isn’t money or fame,” says Wawia. “It’s family. Most want to make a better life for their children.”

This was certainly true for Dolores Wawia.

At age 21, she left an abusive husband on the Gull Bay Indian Reserve, taking two young children with her. Her goal was to finish high school and she succeeded – but not before failing physics three times, giving birth to another child, and attending night school in Thunder Bay because, in those days, pregnant women were not allowed to attend regular daytime classes.

Later on, while working full-time as a grade school teacher in Peterborough, Ontario, she realized she simply couldn’t make ends meet. The only way to increase her salary was to get a university degree, which she did in two years at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Her three children were looked after by her good friends Carl and Esther Lennstrom – who are “like family to me.”

“ALL teachers should be taught HOW to MEET the NEEDS of Native children in the CLASSROOM.”

– Dolores Wawia
Next followed a 15-year period at Lakehead University developing the Native Teacher Education Program (NTEP), after which she took a three-year leave of absence to move back to Hamilton to help McMaster University set up an Indigenous studies program.

“All teachers should be taught how to meet the needs of Native children in the classroom,” says Wawia, “There are all kinds of cultural differences. Native people communicate differently. We usually have an indirect means of answering questions. Native people tend to be group oriented, rather than individualistic, and we tend to be circular thinkers rather than linear thinkers.”

Throughout her career, Wawia has made it a regular practice to go into the schools to talk to children about Aboriginal culture.

“Storytelling is important in Aboriginal culture. If someone asks for advice, say on how to deal with a problem, I would never tell them what to do. Instead, I would tell them four or five different stories and let them choose which direction to take.”

One of the stories she would often tell schoolchildren is the story of how she got her Aboriginal name: Muk kee Queh (Frog Lady). To her delight, many of these same children, now adults, still recognize her and will stop her on the street to say, “Hello Frog Lady! How are you Frog Lady?”

Click the play button to listen to
three stories by Dolores Wawia on
how children are given their Aboriginal names:
her mother's story, her story,
and her granddaughter's story.
Length: 12 minutes, 50 seconds.

These days, Dolores Wawia is organizing storytelling sessions at the Thunder Bay Public Library where everyone – from all cultural backgrounds – can come to share their stories.

Wawia has seen a lot of change at Lakehead and believes the Faculty of Education has continued to blossom under the direction of Julia O’Sullivan, the Dean.
In 2003-2004, Lakehead announced the establishment of a new Department of Aboriginal Education – the first of its kind in Canada. It incorporates existing Aboriginal programs within the Faculty of Education, and is committed to the development of new initiatives within Aboriginal education. The same year, Lakehead announced the appointment of Lauri Gilchrist as Associate Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives).

In 2005, Ethel Gardner was hired as Chair of the Department of Aboriginal Education and in 2006 Judy Iseke-Barnes became the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Education.

Wawia sees a bright future ahead and is proud to be associated with Lakehead University.

In the summer of 2005, she was honored at the Fort William First Nation powwow on Mount McKay for 30 years of service to Lakehead University and the Aboriginal community. In the fall of the same year, she and three other Aboriginal people were chosen to be recipients of Lakehead University’s 40 Northern Lights award.

This year at Convocation, Dolores Wawia will be at the podium again, dressed in her regalia and delivering an Ojibwe prayer to the Class of 2006. It’s an invocation to the Creator that nicely sums up her approach to life and learning.

O Great Spirit

Whose voice I hear in the winds and whose breath gives life to all the world
Hear me, I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset
Make my hands respect the things I have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock
I seek strength not to be greater than my brother but to fight my greatest enemy – myself
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame

– Anonymous

Milestones In Aboriginal Education

Harold Linklater
Harold Linklater,
First NTEP Director

Native Teacher Education Program (NTEP) receives accreditation. The two-year program is the first of its kind in Ontario. Graduates are eligible for a teaching certificate issued by the province. The program later evolves into the BA/BEd (Native Education) degree program.
Native Language Instructors’ Program (NLIP) begins, focusing on Western Ojibwe/Central Ojibwe and Cree languages. Students attend summer orientation programs on campus.
Mae Katt
Mae Katt,
NNEP Supporter
and Mentor
Native Support Services is established and the First Aboriginal Counsellor is hired. The unit is later renamed Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services.
Native Nursing Entry Program (NNEP) prepares students for admission to the Nursing program and provides students with support to complete a four-year Nursing degree.
Richard Lyons
Richard Lyons,
Aboriginal Elder
and Instructor

Native Access Program is established for Aboriginal students who do not meet the regular admissions criteria.
The Provincial Aboriginal Education & Training Strategy (AETS) program is established, enabling Lakehead to better respond to the education needs of Aboriginal people. Lakehead’s Native Advisory Committee evolves into the Lakehead University Aboriginal Management Council (AMC), a decision-making body made up of students, elders, and representatives from 12 different Aboriginal groups from across Ontario.
Ruby Farrell
Ruby Farrell,
Professor of
Indigenous Learning

Department of Native Studies is established and, over the next few years, Senate approves several degree and certificate programs including a HBA (Indigenous Learning) and a BA/BEd (Indigenous Learning). The name is later changed to the Department of Indigenous Learning.
Native Access Program for Engineering (NAPE) gives Aboriginal people the opportunity to enter an engineering program by providing pre-engineering study coupled with academic, cultural, and social support.
Ethel Gardner
Ethel Gardner,
Chair of the Department
of Aboriginal Education
A philosophy course in Native Canadian World Views is offered and Lakehead secures funds from The Rockefeller Foundation to support a Humanities Fellowship Program, the Native Philosophy Project, which runs until 2000.
Lakehead University and Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) sign a partnership protocol to improve relationships and foster linkages between NAN and its First Nations members and the University.
Lauri Gilchrist
Lauri Gilchrist,
Associate Vice-Provost
(Aboriginal Initiatives)

The Department of Aboriginal Education, to be chaired by an Aboriginal scholar, is established within the Faculty of Education, and three new Aboriginal Professors are hired. The Department’s mandate is to increase the Faculty’s capacity in all areas of Aboriginal education including policy, programs, research, and service.
A new position, Associate Vice-Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives), is created to lead the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives and is filled by Lauri Gilchrist.
Judy Iseke-Barnes
Judy Iseke-Barnes,
Canada Research Chair
in Indigenous Education
A Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Education is established and is based in the Faculty of Education.

Simply the Best

The Thunderwolves Nordic Skiing Team hold on to their National Champion title at the 2006 Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay

Frances Harding
For the second year in a row, Lakehead University’s Varsity Cross Country Skiing Team claimed the National Champion title in both the men’s and women’s divisions at the 2006 Canadian Colleges & Universities Championships
Stephan Hart
“It felt great,” said Stephen Hart.

He’s the Lakehead cross-country skier who, along with Skeets Morel, topped the charts in the university men’s division of the 2006 Ski Nationals.

“We have such a deep team at Lakehead. There are so many talented skiers, and it was great skiing on home turf. We knew the trails by heart, so we were able to push a little more.”

For the first time ever, the Canadian Colleges and Universities Championships were held in Thunder Bay at the Lappe Nordic Centre from March 5-12, 2006. They were held in conjunction with the national club championships and they coincided with the annual Sibley Ski Tour.

“The Thunderwolves’ win – the second in two years – has definitely put Lakehead on the map as the place to be for cross-country skiers,” says Hart.

Lakehead’s ski team prides itself in being one of the most accomplished varsity teams in the classroom, says Head Coach Lisa Patterson (BEd’96). “Fifty percent of our team members maintained an 80% plus average in 2004-2005, not an easy task considering that in some weeks, skiers will have between six and seven practices.”

“We have the National Team Development Centre here, lots of local support, as well as fabulous ski trails at the Lappe Nordic Centre, the Kamview Nordic Centre, and the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.”

– Head Coach Lisa Patterson

“Lakehead University has a strong Nordic Skiing program because of the tightly knit ski community here in Thunder Bay,” she says. “People in this city really care about cross-country skiing. We have the National Team Development Centre here, lots of local support, as well as fabulous ski trails at the Lappe Nordic Centre, the Kamview Nordic Centre, and the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Every weekend, it seems, there is a high-quality race to attend right here in town.”

In addition to coaching the varsity team at Lakehead, Patterson is Head Coach of the Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club, which is currently ranked second in Canada. She is also one of six coaches participating in the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Team Coach Apprenticeship program. This two-year program is providing Patterson with $20,000 to travel within Canada and to Europe to take part in coach learning opportunities at national and international competitions, and national team training camps, such as the World Nordic Junior and Under 23 Championships held in Slovenia last February.

“All the knowledge I gain on these trips will be brought back to the Lakehead University Nordic Ski Team as well as the Big Thunder Ski Club,” says Patterson. As for Stephen Hart, he is hoping to graduate with a Master’s degree in Forestry this year and will stay in Thunder Bay to see just how far competitive skiing will take him. The 2010 Winter Olympics are not far off, but for now, he says, “I’ll be taking it one year at a time.”
Back row (l-r): Jeffrey Cameron, Phil Wood, Andrew Casey, Jesse Winter, Doug Bolster, Matt Schoales, Robb Martin, Skeets Morel, and Head Coach Lisa Patterson
Front row (l-r): Linnaea Kershaw, Berit Dool, Mallory Deyne, Rena Bode, Amanda Holdsworth, Emily Hayman. Missing: Stephen Hart, Ava Rudachyk

Campus News


Orillia Campus Lakehead’s new campus in Orillia will accommodate 250 students when it OPENS in SEPTEMBER 2006

Students attending classes at Lakehead University’s new campus in Orillia will have three new academic programs to choose from:

  • A four-year Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science degree
  • A four-year Concurrent Bachelor of Arts and Science/Bachelor of Education (Primary/Junior) degree
  • A five-year Concurrent Honours Bachelor of Arts and Science/Bachelor of Education (Primary/Junior) degree

“Employers, professional schools, and graduate schools are all telling us the same thing: they want to see graduates who have strong skills in critical thinking, writing, and analysis and interpretation of information, and who have an ability to integrate ideas from a variety of perspectives,” says Lesley Lovett-Doust, Lakehead’s Dean of Science and Environmental Studies.

The new programs will offer a multidisciplinary approach to post-secondary education, allowing undergraduate students to study in a variety of disciplines.

In the short term, Lakehead is leasing space in downtown Orillia at Heritage Place, the site of an old carriage and automobile factory.

For the long term, Lakehead is looking at a number of different sites in the Orillia area for a permanent campus.

For more information contact the Orillia Campus Main Office at (705) 329-3387 or visit and click on the “Orillia Campus, Apply Now” button.


“The good of man is an activity of the soul in conformity with excellence or virtue.”
– Aristotle

Dr. Kim Fedderson Although Kim Fedderson has left Lakehead to become Vice President Academic and Student Services at Confederation College, he will continue to make a positive impact on education in Thunder Bay.

Fedderson joined the Department of English as a faculty member in 1989 and, for the last five years, has been Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities. He’s also been active in the local music scene, playing guitar for jazz singer and colleague Gillian Siddall, a Lakehead University English professor and Director of Instructional Development.

If you wish to contact Kim Fedderson, or any other Lakehead professor, send your notes to Lakehead University Magazine. We deliver.


Jennifer SmithJennifer Smith (HBOR/BSc’01), a student in the Master of Environmental Studies program, has received an award from the Parks and Protected Areas Research Forum of Manitoba for her presentation entitled, Wild Wolves? Understanding Human-Wolf Interactions in the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

“Historically, wolves have generated a wide-range of human responses. Some perceive the wolf as a symbol of wilderness, and some feel they should either be protected or destroyed,” says Smith. “Whether or not sea kayakers – the largest user group within the park – are willing to co-exist with wolves, has become a primary issue for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.”

Parks Canada will use Smith’s findings to produce effective educational programs, behavior modification strategies, and effective messaging systems for parks and protected areas.


Award Winning Engineering StudentsThree Electrical Engineering undergraduate students have once again been honored by a national engineering institution. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has awarded Andrew Roberts, Alex Nequest, and Marc Kennedy the 2005 IEEE Life Member Award for the best student paper in Western Canada. Their paper is entitled Stabilization of an Inverted Pendulum on a Mobile Robot, and was written under the supervision of Abdelhamid Tayebi.

The first award the students received was the IEEE-TELUS Innovation Award, which was given to the students at the national competition in Vancouver last September.


Mary Lou Kelley A Lakehead University graduate and expert on gerontology and palliative care has been appointed Director for the Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health (CERAH). Mary Lou Kelley (BSW‘74) will strengthen the research and education role of CERAH in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario through partnerships with other stakeholders. “I am honored to have been appointed Director,” she says. Kelley has a MSW from the University of Toronto, and an interdisciplinary PhD in Human and Social Development from the University of Victoria.


The first phase of a campus renewal project has reduced Lakehead’s GREENHOUSE GAS emissions by roughly 4,600 TONNES annually

Lakehead University reduces Greenhouse Gas emission THE PROBLEM

Lakehead University faced a significant challenge with an aging, inefficient central steam plant, a chiller plant with R-11, and over $32 million in deferred maintenance issues.


Lakehead and Johnson Controls embarked on Phase 1 of an Energy Conservation Project to review the University’s heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system.

New, efficient central hot water boilers were installed in combination with a heat recovery circuit and new distribution system, which contributed to a 25% reduction in natural gas consumption.


Greenhouse gas emissions have been significantly reduced by approximately 4,600 tonnes annually. Substantial quantities of glass, aluminum, mercury, and phosphorous were recycled, and toxic materials such as asbestos and R-11 CFC refrigerant were removed.

Considering Lakehead University serves over 7,500 students, the reduction in greenhouse gas accounts for more than 61% of the students’ cumulative target for the One-Tonne Challenge.

Alumni Matters




Thursday, May 25, 2006
Join us as we celebrate our Alumni Honour Award winner, Tracy Buckler, and our Young Alumni Award winner, Herp Lamba.

23rd Annual Alumni & Athletics Scholarship Classic Golf Tournament 23rd ANNUAL ALUMNI & ATHLETICS SCHOLARSHIP CLASSIC GOLF TOURNAMENT

Thursday, August 17, 2006
Take part in a great afternoon out on the course in support of student scholarships and bursaries.


October 19, 2006 Mark your calendar for an evening of celebration to honor the friends of Lakehead University. Details to come.



The 23rd Annual Alumni Curling Funspiel, sponsored by MBNA Canada Inc., took place on March 24, 2006. Approximately $3,500 was raised to fund student scholarships and bursaries. This year's winners are from the LUSU team (above l-r): Doug Gorrie, Jason Harynuk, Chad O'Halloran, and Kyle Kostiak.


In November 2005, more than 100 art enthusiasts gathered at Definitely Superior Art Gallery in Thunder Bay to take part in the Gala Opening Reception for the 2005 Alumni Art Exhibition. Guests viewed various works of art from many alumni artists, which were shown in the three galleries. The Alumni Association was proud to sponsor this event which celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Visual Arts department, as well as Lakehead University’s 40th Anniversary.


In December 2005, the AALU hosted an evening to show its appreciation for all the volunteers who assisted with events over the past year, including all of the 40th Anniversary activities. Guests enjoyed a reception at Armani’s Nightclub, followed by a rousing performance by Elvis tribute artist, Daylin James. Thanks to all the volunteers who gave their time and energy to the Alumni Association.


The Alumni Association has been busy reconnecting with grads over coffee! In January, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre hosted an event for about 40 grads, while in March, Confederation College opened its doors for a gathering of 25 grads. At each event, alumni learned about new University and Alumni Association initiatives and events. Interested in having the AALU come to your workplace? Call the Office of Alumni Relations. 


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

Alumni Awards




President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Care Group, Thunder Bay


Buckler received her BScN from Lakehead in 1999 and a Master of Health Studies from Athabasca University in 2004. She was hired as a registered nurse at St. Joe’s after graduating from Sault College in 1985. Buckler is currently working on a certificate in Catholic Leadership from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. She is a certified health executive and a surveyor with the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation.

Herpreet Lamba YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD 2006



Division Director for Investors Group Financial Services, Thunder Bay


Lamba graduated from Lakehead with a BSc in Mathematical Sciences in 1998. He credits his degree at Lakehead as being instrumental in his career success today. Lamba has worked to develop partnerships between Lakehead University and Investors Group and is active in recruiting, hiring, and mentoring Lakehead graduates. He is an active member of the volunteer community and is committed to ensuring that Investors Group plays a significant role supporting many charitable causes in Thunder Bay, including Lakehead University.

About the Award

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 honor 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.

2007 Alumni Association Awards: To nominate a graduate for the 2007 Alumni Honour Award or Young Alumni Award, visit A and click on “Awards and Recognition” or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 1-800-832-8076. The deadline for nominations is November 30, 2006.





Composer, musician, teacher, and mother of three, currently pursuing a Doctor of Music Composition at the University of Alberta. Recipient of the 2003 Lakehead U Chancellor’s Medal awarded to the highest-ranking part-time student, a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, as well as numerous awards and scholarships from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Alberta.

Career Goals
I am both an acoustic and electroacoustic composer. I am planning to do my doctoral dissertation (composition) for orchestra, real time electronics, and chorus. Being a Professor of Composition and Music Theory will allow me to continue as a composer in an enriching research atmosphere.

I am a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Alberta and I love teaching. Period. Teaching at the university level is extremely exciting, and I feel strongly that to teach at this level, you have to have a strong academic background yourself. It helps to put into your head all the information and problem-solving abilities in order to answer the really tough questions that inspired university students will ask. Although you may not know the answer, you have the passion and really deep understanding that can help you face yourself when you say “I don’t know that. Let’s investigate!”

It is so hard to be away from Thunder Bay and my partner, Terry Reid (MEd’95). My parents, my two sons, and my daughter – I miss everyone. I try really hard to fit in with my colleagues who are generally 22 to 26 years of age but at age 47, it has always been hard on me. After a few months of making overtures to them, they get more comfortable with me but honestly, I have more in common with my professors.

The Lakehead Experience
While I was at Lakehead, the whole Department of Music operated around two full-time faculty, and these professors would leap small buildings in a single bound for their students. It is a great music program and, because of these professors, I and several other graduates have gone on to be noteworthy musicians both in Canada and in the United States.

Aris Carastathis gives of himself. He cares. He cares about students. He cares about the University. And in every composition lesson and all his teaching he cared about every note and rhythm that I wrote. He expects nothing less than perfection from himself, and he radiated that philosophy to me. I work to achieve the best I can because of the values Aris has shared with me.

My Legacy
If I were rich enough to pay for three more full-time professors in the Department of Music that’s what I would do, but, sorry, I don’t think that is ever going to happen. However, I talk about Lakehead as a wonderful and warm place to be, where stress is not the determining factor to success, and where there is an openness and connectedness with the professors that is exemplary.

Editor’s Note: The Department of Music now has three fulltime professors: Aris Carastathis, Glenn Colton, and Dean Jobin-Bevans. Dean Jobin-Bevans has a background in choral conducting and was Director of the McGill Conservatory of Music before coming to Lakehead in August 2005. 


Friendly Fire - The Untold Story of the U.S. Bombing that Killed Four Canadian Soldiers in AfghanistanFRIENDLY FIRE - The Untold Story of the U.S. Bombing that Killed Four Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan

Moments after he dropped a laser-guided bomb on a platoon of Canadian paratroopers near Kandahar, Major Harry Schmidt sensed that he might have made a terrible mistake. “I hope that was the right thing to do,” the elite U.S. fighter pilot said over the cockpit radio, as smoke billowed underneath his jet.

“Me too,” replied his flight lead, Major Bill Umbach. Thousands of feet below, four Canadian soldiers—Sgt Marc Léger, Corporal Ainsworth Dyer, Private Nathan Smith, and Private Richard Green—were dead. Eight of their comrades were wounded.

What happened on April 17, 2002, forever changed lives on both sides of the border. For years, the incident grabbed front-page headlines, culminating in unprecedented criminal charges against the F-16 pilots who unleashed the bomb. However, despite the overwhelming media coverage, much of this story has never been told—until now. Based on dozens of exclusive interviews and thousands of pages of classified documents that were never publicly disclosed, Friendly Fire: The Untold Story of the U.S. Bombing that Killed Four Canadian Soldiers in Afghanistan (Wiley Canada, November 2005, $36.99) by Michael Friscolanti is the first comprehensive account of that tragic night and its controversial aftermath.


Mike Friscolanti Michael Friscolanti (HBA‘99), now a Senior Writer with Maclean’s magazine, covered the friendly fire story for the National Post newspaper from the night of the fatal bombing. He quickly emerged as one of the foremost reporters on this story, traveling across Canada and the United States to investigate the unfolding drama. Along the way, he broke many of the most important stories about the case, including the first-ever interview with one of the pilots. 


Tom Warden, Director of Athletics
Lakehead Thunderwolves VolleyballOf the many positive developments happening at Lakehead Athletics this year such as the hockey team's run to the Nationals, there is a special one I'd like to talk about – the success of the women's volleyball program under third-year Head Coach Kathy Clouthier and her fine staff of assistants.

The team ended up in fourth place in the OUA East and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1997-98. Lakehead co-captain and setter Erin Weir was named an OUA East First Team All-Star and Coach Clouthier was named OUA East Coach of the Year – both great individual accolades.

This year's team has been dubbed "the small but mighty Wolves" and it is a fitting name. The team was always at a height disadvantage when it played against much taller OUA opponents, but through talent, coaching strategy, and implementation of their game plan, the Wolves made themselves into a team to be reckoned with.

Lakehead was led by setter Erin Weir who was in the Top 20 in the OUA in three stats categories – assists, digs, and service aces. She is one of the best players in the OUA and her pinpoint passing has made the Wolves into a formidable unit on the court. Her passes go to players like Melissa Merilainen, who ranked 10th in the OUA in points per games (3.24) and sixth in kills (202).

Lindsey Johnson led the CIS and OUA in total digs (348) and digs per game (5.19). Freshman Ashley Baer was another favorite target for Weir's assists, and Baer has been a sensation with 139 kills, 196 digs, and 2.56 points per game. Amanda Henderson has 109 kills and 2.67 points per game. Other strong all-around players who helped in the team's success were Bri Bartlett, Chantelle Zanette, and Gabrielle Ladouceur. With only Henderson leaving the squad due to graduation, the future looks bright, indeed, for Lakehead volleyball. 

Class Notes

Sara Tennier


A new book by Cyril Dabydeen (HBEng’73), Drums of My Flesh, was launched in Ottawa in December 2005. The book adds to the already considerable body of fiction produced by Dabydeen, Poet Laureate of Ottawa from 1984 to 1987.

Annamarie Walcz (BEd’78) has been blessed with two sons Daniel, 16, and Josh, 19. Having recently moved back to Calgary, AB, they plan to learn how to sail this summer.


Roger Lee (BEng’81) works in Hong Kong for Schmidt & Co. (HK) Ltd. as the Managing Director. He is planning to establish a publicly listed company in Hong Kong.

Debra Rose Wilson (née Colvin, Kuper) (HBScN’81, BA’81) recently completed her PhD in Psychology with a focus on psychoneuroimmunology. Her dissertation examined the relationship between stress management and health. In 2002, she graduated from Tennessee State University with a Master of Science in Holistic Nursing. She was honored with the Martin Gerstein Award for her outstanding performance at Walden University, and has been nominated for the Walden dissertation of the year award. She is currently living in Nashville, TN, with her husband Bill and their dog Barkley. Her son Joe is attending college in Calgary.

Wilson coordinates and teaches the Master of Science in Holistic Nursing program at Tennessee State University. This unique and fully accredited program was developed by Wilson to offer graduate education for nurses in holistic approaches to patients. It includes certifications in many complementary modalities for health care. She also teaches at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, and will soon be teaching at Walden University in their School of Psychology. Last summer, she completed eight education videos for nurses in Holistic Nursing at MGM Studios in Florida. This spring, she will add to her list of accomplishments by travelling to Cape Town University in South Africa to help put their nursing program online.

Isabel Grace (née Tempesta) (BAdmin’84), along with her husband Paul and son Andrew, recently moved from Thunder Bay to Peterborough, ON, where she has accepted a position as Superintendent of Business and Finance with the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board.

Jade Yesim Unal (HBSc’89) is working as a Senior Staff Geologist in the East Central Business Unit of Husky Energy.


Robert Worona (BEng’92) is Regional Project Coordinator for the Planning and Capital Development department of the Calgary Health Region. In 2004, he earned the designations of Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and Professional Engineer (PEng), in Alberta.

Laura Beeby (HBA’93, BEd’00) spent three-and-a-half years as a copywriter for Generator Advertising + Design in Thunder Bay. She moved to Haarlem, The Netherlands, to live with her fiancé Ruud Lodder. After waiting almost a year for the Dutch government to grant her a residence permit, she is now working in the biotechnology sector as a Clinical Research Coordinator at Genzyme Europe BV. In her spare time she works on the compulsory Dutch language/culture course and sings with her folk band, ELSA. Her son Alex, 19, is working at Sears and plans to join the couple in Holland for their wedding in 2006. The three share the same dream of moving to the UK, where Alex hopes to pursue a career in music. Contact her by email: A

Lisa Lockett (née Stevenson) (BAdmin’95) married her high school sweetheart Shawn in 1998. Brenden was born in September 2001, followed three years later by Zachary, also a September baby.

Andrea Trembath (née Perry) (HBA’95, BEd’97) works as a travel counsellor for the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation in Fort Frances, ON. She and her husband Cameron are proud to announce the safe arrival of their first child, Magnus Alexander, on August 2, 2005.

Jennifer Chambers (BEd’95, BEd’05) completed two additional qualification courses at Lakehead and was hired last fall by the Upper Canada District School Board in Brockville, ON, to teach a Grade 7/8 class, and Special Education.

Tracy Compton (née Lindstrom) (HBK’95, BEd’96) has gone through a lot these past 10 years. Shortly after graduating in 1996, she married her husband Jeff and began work as a teacher at the local public high school in Kenora, ON. August 2003 was a difficult month, as she and Jeff had to say both hello and a difficult goodbye to their first-born son. However, as grief stricken as they were, they were soon blessed with a beautiful baby girl.

Tyler Mitchell (BA’96) has written a book about mapping software techniques using open source software called Web Mapping Illustrated (O’Reilly, 2005). He is currently managing the GIS department for a major forestry consulting company in Prince George, BC.

Donald Paul Turnau (BA’96) works in Ottawa, ON, with his new wife Micheline. They were married in August 2004, and were expecting their first child in December 2005.

After receiving her licence to practice Professional Engineering, Chantal Chiddle (née Lefebvre) (BEng’96) left the consulting business and returned to the municipal water and wastewater field. She is a Utilities Engineer with Utilities Kingston and lives in Kingston, ON.

Kristen Zillman (née Lawrence) (BA’97) is happy to announce that she was married in October 2004 to John Zillman.

Kevin Goodick (BEng’98) is employed with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. at the Chalk River Laboratories in Chalk River, ON. He joined AECL in 2003, and is currently the Section Head for Electrical Design in the Site Engineering Services Department. He recently purchased a new home in the area.

Cynthia Auckland (HBMus’98) married Michael Fedorowski (BA’98) in 2000. They have two daughters, Emily, 3, and Abigail, 1.

Hong My Luu (HBComm’98) recently received her CGA designation. She also wrote and passed the Professional Applications 1 exam in December 2004.

William Gottschall, Jr. (MA’99) is finishing his PhD in Sociology while working as a sessional lecturer at the University of Ottawa. He has three children now, and would love to hear  from anyone from his cohort.


Eleanor Acker (Lib. Inform. Studies’00) is working at the Vancouver Public Library. She lives in North Vancouver, BC, and enjoys hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and cultural activities. Email: eacker@hotmail. com
Rebecca Domjanic (née Chandler) (BA/BEd’00) is teaching the primary/junior class at Willow Landing Elementary School in Barrie, ON. She married her high school sweetheart in July 2003 in the Bahamas. Their daughter Ava was born in September 2004.

Susan Burt-Peckford (BA’00) completed an honours diploma in addictions counselling in 2001. She has also completed the fasttrack Bachelors of Nursing degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) in 2004, and is currently working on her Masters of Nursing degree through distance education at MUN.

Miranda Waterfall (née Weeks) (BEd/BA’01) is an elementary school teacher with the Durham District School Board. She was married in August 2003, and is happy to announce the birth of her daughter in June 2005.

Shannon Roen (née Dent) (BEd’02) is a Grade 7 teacher in Calgary, AB. She and her husband Mark were married August 20, 2005, in Calgary.

Kristen Pierce (née Rowe) (BEd’03) is happy to announce her marriage to Ben in July 2004. He is a pilot and AME apprentice at SunWestHome Aviation in Calgary.

Shivonne Lewis (HBA’02, BEd’03) is working as a teacher for the Peel District School Board. She and Phillip Young were married last October.

Sarah Garrett (BEd’05) lives in Guelph, ON, and accepted a contract teaching position two months after graduation. She recently bought a new house in the city.

Melissa Shaw (née Currie) (BA/BEd’05) married Evan Shaw in May 2005. She works as a teacher in Webequie, ON.

Richard Chander (BEd’05) lives in Mississauga and is currently waiting “for an opening in the Canadian education system.” He says that Lakehead University “played a big role in my becoming a better teacher. Lakehead – thank you for everything!”

Lisa Rose Thouas (née Paquette) (HBA’05) is applying for her Masters degree in Psychology for September 2006. In August 2005, she married George Thouas (BEng’05), a Structural Design Engineer-in-training.

Tara Hahkala (BA/BEd’05) works as an occasional teacher for the Rainy River District School Board. She was married in August 2005 to Frederick Crawford.

Matthew Lance (BA/BEd’05) is a Geography/World Issues teacher for Grades 9 and 12 at W.C. Eaket Secondary School in Blind River, ON.

Heather Baese (BEd’05) has opened up her own preschool in Port Rowan, ON. The program is designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5, and is a place where they will have opportunities to play and learn in a safe, nurturing environment.

Debra Embury (née Woods) (HBComm’05) has moved to Calgary, AB, where she has found employment downtown. She has also been working with a marketing firm in developing a business plan for a new business venture that is now in the works. Her nine-year-old daughter is enjoying Calgary and her new school.

Lindsay Riggin (BAdmin’05), an Auditor with BDO Dunwoody LLP, is living in Thunder Bay and loves all it has to offer. She is working towards her Chartered Accountant designation.


Dr. James (Jim) Widdop, former Chair of the Theory of Coaching Graduate Program

Robert (Bob) Thompson, BA’75


In the Fall/Winter ’05 issue we misspelled the name of June Kerr (née Willianen) who told us about three generations of Lakehead graduates in her family: June Kerr (HBComm’74), her father Roy Willianen (BA’69), and her daughter Jaime Kerr (BA Gerontology, 2005). June and her husband John Kerr live in Coldstream, BC. We apologize for the error.

Other Voices

NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO: On the Road to Poverty or Prosperity?

Larry Hebert
Larry HebertLarry Hebert is a graduate of Lakehead University (BA’69, Grad. Dip. Business’70, HBComm’78) and the University of Toronto (MBA’72) who served as General Manager of Thunder Bay Hydro from 1983 to 2003. He now works as an Energy and Human Resources Consultant with Genotran Consulting in Thunder Bay and has been working with SynFuel Technologies Inc. in their plans to construct and operate an electricity generating station in the City of Thunder Bay.

By the first quarter of 2006, it was clear to everyone in the region that the high costs of all forms of energy were contributing significantly to a downward spiral in our economy. It is both a real and a perceived, or psychological, poverty and I am not sure which is worse.

While many issues can put one into a state of poverty, the real and psychological poverty being spawned by escalating energy prices, at home and for employers, is causing a “shock wave” across Northwestern Ontario as more and more forest companies close down or significantly reduce their operations.

If we can turn these problems of poverty into opportunities for prosperity, we can get our region back to a culture of independent, strong, self-reliant thinking that made Northwestern Ontario the grand and great place it once was, and can be again.

Some sectors that already reflect this thinking are Education, Health Sciences, and Telecommunications where we see leadership being shown by Lakehead University, Confederation College, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and St. Joseph’s Care Group, along with their regional interconnected networks through modern communications technology. TBayTel has a real role to play if it makes the right decisions soon concerning its telecommunications strategy, including diversification, expansion, and strategic alliances. These sectors are all in a growth mode and, with the new Northern Ontario School of Medicine, are helping to create a positive, winning attitude for the region.

We still, however, need our resource industries, and those are being particularly affected by high energy costs. Fortunately for the Mining sector, high prices for their products are offsetting some of the energy costs. Mining cost structures are different from those of the Forest industry. Mining is only going to expand in our area, particularly in the Far North where First Nations should be able to prosper from the development of mines and the needed energy infrastructure to allow development.

The Forest sector – Ontario’s second largest export earner next to the Automotive sector – has not been as fortunate. Some have described its plight in Ontario as being hit by “the perfect storm” – a robust Canadian dollar, booming fibre costs, and escalating energy costs which have combined to result in the closing of plants entirely (Abitibi – Kenora) or partially (Neenah Paper – Terrace Bay and Weyerhaeuser – Dryden). The layoffs are massive and are hurting this region’s biggest Employment sector. Federal and provincial government aid packages are not providing the necessary solutions. However, several solutions are out there which are home-grown and could turn the “poverty” into “prosperity.”

We have a surplus of electricity in the region with Atikokan and the Thunder Bay coal plants staying open. Converting Thunder Bay to natural gas as a fuel makes no sense – nor does closing Atikokan, since Atikokan is a perfect test site for coal gasification. (It is a perfect test site because there are no other large industrial users in the vicinity that would compromise the coal-gasification or petroleum cokegasification test. It will either be cleaner than burning coal, or it won’t be, and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) in their Supply Mix Report (December 2005) calls for further testing of this technology.)

Gasification is a process of reduction rather than burning, and is considered a “clean” technology. Coal and petroleum coke gasification is common in other parts of the world. In fact, the federal government is putting huge investment into Saskatchewan and Quebec for gasification technology.

The SynFuel Power Process uses gasification technology and can gasify any carbon-based product, including coal, petroleum coke, municipal waste, sludge from municipal waste treatment plants, wood fibre, peat, and other biomass material. Peat has some potential, as does wood fibre, but some environmental and supply issues make these two fuel sources better suited as secondary fuel sources.

Wind energy and solar energy, to a lesser degree, have some potential in the area. One wind energy company is looking to manufacture all or part of their product in Thunder Bay. Another opportunity could be in the manufacturing of micro-turbine windmills for home or small farm applications (50 kW – 150 kW in size). Photovoltaics are getting more refined and Thunder Bay, west to the Manitoba border, is in the best sun regime in Canada – although on the eastern edge of it. Conservation, or the wise use of energy, is another consideration to avoid generation. If we can conserve 3,000 MW of energy – just by not using it – that will avoid building 3,000 MW of generation capacity. The government should create or develop incentives for efficient motors, pumps, and lighting for industry and commercial applications. In fact, if governments are serious about “conservation,” one shouldn’t even be able to purchase an inefficient appliance.

Although energy choices and misuse may be contributing to our problems right now, we are on the threshold of developing and using new energy sources and forms. In fact, the gasification process, as an example, can produce hydrogen as a by-product. Along with local chemical plants, we could be at the forefront of the “Hydrogen Economy” which some are predicting as the fuel of the future. Wouldn’t it be great if Lakehead University, Confederation College, and the local engineering firms were the leaders in making the quantum leap in storage technologies to turn the current testing into commercial reality?

Confederation College would have an opportunity for e-training, whereby trades training could take place over the Internet from a site in Thunder Bay.

Lakehead University would have a huge research opportunity in carbon dioxide capturing and storage. If we get the grid to the Far North, we get First Nations communities off diesel, allowing them to develop significant amounts of “green” run-of-the-river hydro products. As well, up to 35 mines may be developed in the mineral rich north, along with First Nations sawmilling and wood manufacturing capacity. Ethanol production from wood and agricultural waste becomes another energy opportunity.

The opportunities above can turn our real and apparent road to poverty to one of opportunity and prosperity for Northwestern Ontario. If unwise energy use and choices are part of our problem today, the “right” forms of energy will also be the vehicles to allow us to attract industry and commerce, yet make a significant contribution to meeting the emission requirements of the Kyoto Accord.

Opinions expressed on this page are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Lakehead University Magazine or Lakehead University. The Magazine welcomes your opinions on this article, or any other issue of interest to the broader Lakehead community. Letters to the editor and submissions for Other Voices can be sent to the Editor, Office of Communications, BB1049, Lakehead University, by fax 807-346-7770, or by email to 

Honoring Our Past

The night skies were ablaze in 2005-2006 as Lakehead continued to celebrate its 40th Anniversary. In November 2005, the University honored:

40 Northern Lights

– extraordinary men and women who have made a difference to the growth and development of Lakehead University. In March 2006, the University honored

40 Research Stars

– faculty members whose consistent and significant research excellence and productivity have been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally.
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