Graduate Studies on the Rise
Lakehead is stepping up its focus on Graduate Studies to become one
of the top 25 research-intensive universities in Canada
David Pelster is a PhD candidate in Forest Sciences working with Professor Ellie Prepas, Lakehead University’s Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Water Management and the Boreal Forest. He is studying the processes by which nitrogen is cycled through the watershed ecosystem. “I don’t think it’s entirely understood,” he says, “and by the end of my project I don’t think I’ll understand it completely either. But hopefully, I’ll add a little bit to that body of knowledge.”
Adding to the collective knowledge of humankind is an important part of a university’s mission. David Pelster, like many other graduate students at Lakehead, is successfully pursuing that goal.
Since 2002-2003, graduate enrolment at Lakehead has increased by 72%.
Last year, a new Faculty of Graduate Studies was established and, between 2000 and 2005, the total number of graduate programs at Lakehead had jumped from 18 to 29. Several new programs are now in the planning stages including a PhD in Biotechnology, a PhD in Health Sciences, a Master’s in Social Justice, a Master’s in Anthropology/Geography, a Master’s in Computer Science, and new graduate programs in Engineering.
Lakehead is close to completing a Strategic Research Plan entitled Momentum for Future Prosperity. It supports an ambitious goal: In the next 5 to 10 years, Lakehead University will become one of the top 25 research-intensive universities in Canada.
One measure of research intensity in Canadian universities is provided by Research Infosource Inc.’s annual ranking of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities, based on financial input indicators (such as total sponsored research income and research intensities of researchers and their graduate students) and research output (publication intensity).
Lakehead ranked 38th in 2004. However, Vice-President (Research) Rui Wang believes that measuring research intensity on a per capita basis should provide a more accurate picture of research intensity. He also cautioned that “the research intensity indicators used by some external agencies do not always reflect the differences in research cultures among different research institutions and between disciplines, especially for the social sciences and humanities.
“Such rankings should take into consideration other indicators such as the percentage of faculty who actively engage in research; the percentage of graduate students whose theses lead to publications, research recognition, and awards; the societal and economical impact of research and innovation, and knowledge transformation,” says Wang. “Unfortunately, some agencies are reluctant to use these indicators, as collecting such data is much more complex and costly.”
How does Lakehead increase the intensity of its research? “By creating a dynamic research culture and environment that promotes and rewards research excellence,” he says. “Graduate students are one part of a research continuum that includes professors, lab technicians, research assistants, undergraduates, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars.”
Lakehead is committed to its mission of excellence and innovation in teaching, service, research, and other scholarly activity. The training of graduate students is essential if the university is to perpetuate itself. After all, says Wang, “It is today’s graduate students who will become tomorrow’s academic leaders.”
Lakehead’s Dean of Graduate Studies, Gary Boire, believes that, in many ways, “Lakehead University is the best kept secret in Ontario.” He is trying to change that perception through an awareness campaign that highlights the advantages of doing graduate work at a mid-sized university with world-renowned researchers and scholars.
Ellie Prepas, Professor in the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment, has been successful in securing millions of dollars in funding from government and industry sources in support of her research into management planning in boreal forest watersheds. She supervises six Master’s students and PhD candidates and is supportive of Lakehead’s new focus on increasing graduate programming
“Really, a Master’s degree is a process that allows you to do a nice piece of research, if it’s a research-based Master’s. But it’s with guidance – considerable guidance – that you learn how to put research in the context of a larger framework,” says Prepas. A Master’s or PhD thesis should be composed of a student’s own thoughts and ideas within the larger framework.
Les Praisley (HBA’03), a Master’s student in History and president of the Graduate Student Association in 2005-2006, says the amount of work triples, if not quadruples, in graduate school. “It’s at the graduate level that you really start to develop analytical, reasoning, and debating skills, and that takes a lot of work!” he says.
“Professors in the Department of History are stellar,” he says. “They are genuinely interested in seeing all of us succeed…. Lakehead produces about 145 graduate students a year at this point, and they are quality students who can compete with the best in the world.”
So why does Lakehead need to focus on “growing” its graduate programming? After all, if Lakehead simply focused on expanding its existing Departments, wouldn’t new graduate programs develop naturally?
“There is an inextricable link between graduate studies and research,” says Gary Boire. “In the five-year period leading up to 2010, Lakehead wants to double graduate enrolment and to do so in a way that builds on the successes and strengths of the University. The recent decision by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to fund 170 new spaces for graduate study at the Master’s and PhD levels (over a two-year period from 2006-2007 to 2007-2008) is a strong endorsement of Lakehead University and the excellence of its faculty.
External research funding awarded to Lakehead has more than tripled from $4.6 million in 2000-2001 to $18.1 million in 2004-2005
Indeed, as this issue was going to press, Lakehead University learned that for 2005, Research Infosource Inc. has designated Lakehead "Research University of the Year" in the undergraduate category. Overall, Lakehead moved from 38th place to 29th among the Top 50 Research Universities this year, and was ranked 1st overall in research income growth and 1st in its category in research intensity.
Gary Boire is right when he says, “Lakehead University has done extraordinarily well and we really should be celebrating.”
GRAD STUDENT PROFILES
David Duncan is one of several students taking part in SPARK – Lakehead, a student writing program sponsored by The Chronicle-Journal.
Grad Student Profiles
has long been fascinated with Asia. While working on his undergraduate degree in English and History at Lakehead, he spent a summer in Japan. After graduating he spent a year in Korea teaching English. Now he is back working on his Master’s degree in History with Professor Carl Young; his topic − Kabuki Theatre and its relationship to urbanization in Japan between 1600 and 1868. As President of the Lakehead Graduate Student Association last year, Praisley helped to organize regular social events for graduate students. “The potential at Lakehead is unbelievable,” he says. “We have excellent researchers and faculty who are drawing students from around the world. As an undergraduate student you don’t really see that…. I am proud of having a degree from Lakehead and confident that I can compete for any position in any PhD program in History.
is tackling a subject everyday that most of us spend our whole lives pondering: what exactly is a “good death”? For her Master’s project, Terner will be working with a sample of elderly patients who (while not actively dying) are chronically ill. In a series of 30- to 45-minute interviews, she’ll be asking them just what it is they perceive constitutes a good death. Her results will be compared to the American study, “Steinhauser et al.’s (2000), “In Search of a Good Death: Observations of Patients, Families, and Providers.” While there is plenty of literature regarding palliative care, she says, very little of it is told empirically from the point of view of elderly people. Her supervisor is Professor Mary Lou Kelley.
When the Internet first came out, everyday it seemed like there was a new idea that was going to revolutionize our world. One of those ideas might finally see the light of day. Imad Abdallah,
a Master’s student in Computer Science, is working with Professor Jinan Fiaidhi on a project involving the “Semantic Web” with a focus on developing a Secured Environment for e-learning. The Semantic Web is a worldwide network that links computers together, much like the “regular” web. The difference is that while the regular web is meant to be viewed by humans, the Semantic Web is designed to be viewed by computers. This means that computers across the globe, regardless of their user’s language, would be able to communicate. Abdallah’s research lies in developing a secured environment that would allow educators to take advantage of this new tool.
was a teenager when a French radio station was established in her community. It was, in part, a fascination with the power of media that led her to a Master's study on the effect of media on French-speaking individuals within Northern Ontario communities. In today's age of technology, she wonders if other media, particularly the Internet, impact linguistic communities. Corbett is sending out surveys to individuals who understand the French language and who reside in Northwestern Ontario. The survey covers a wide range of media usages, including radio, television, Internet, and cellular phones. Working with her supervisor, Professor Chris Southcott, she hopes to gain insight on the role that media plays in community vitality − an issue that is vital to small communities around the world.
Paleomagnetism was not the field of study that Bjarne Almqvist
had in mind when he first started undergraduate work. But the field presented itself as a challenge when Almqvist decided to move on to graduate studies and work with a renowned expert in the field, Professor Graham Borradaile. Paleomagnetism is exactly what its name implies: the study of Earth’s past magnetic field in rocks and sediments. For his Master’s thesis, Almqvist has been studying sediments from Northwestern Ontario in order to get a recording of the region’s magnetic history over the previous 10,000 years. Down the road, these data may help us better understand the nature of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Tracy Buckler: 2006 Alumni Honour Award
St. Joseph Care Group's President and CEO takes her work
seriously – and does it with style, savvy, and good humor
When asked what quote best represents her style, Tracy Buckler, newly named President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph’s Care Group in Thunder Bay, responds with her famous laugh, “Take your work seriously, but never yourself.”
Buckler’s work is serious. The healthcare organization she heads has an annual operating budget of $115 million and includes a staff of approximately 1,700 people. She oversees the multi-site facility, which includes a complex care/rehabilitation hospital, a psychiatric hospital, an addiction facility, a detoxification centre, a diabetes health centre, a behavioural sciences centre, two longterm care facilities, an Alzheimer day program and a community centre. A competent leader, Tracy Buckler rose to the top in the St. Joseph’s Care Group with style, savvy, and good humor. “I believe that if you can’t laugh, you are in trouble. Humor is very important, and laughter truly is the best medicine.” This philosophy is something Buckler encourages in the people who work with her – keep things light when appropriate but make sure you’re doing your job as well as you can.
Buckler was born in Scotland and raised in Wawa, Ontario. Her journey to her current position began in 1985 when, as a new graduate from Sault College, she moved to Thunder Bay with her future husband. They drove around to the numerous health care facilities that existed in Thunder Bay at the time. Buckler remembers dropping off her resumé at St. Joseph’s Hospital and immediately being taken to meet Janet Slivinski, the Assistant Director of Nursing. It was Miss Slivinski who led the future CEO up the stairs to 2North to meet Sister Bonnie MacLellan – the head nurse at the time. “That day was memorable because there was Sister Bonnie, cleaning utility shelves since the floor was closed. At that time, we used to close certain units to clean, paint, and repair areas when the Operating Room slowed down in the summer. It was an interesting first meeting.” Janet Slivinski said to Sister Bonnie, “We have a nurse for you.” Tracy Buckler had a job at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She started work with the organization on August 19, 1985.
After being on the job for awhile, Buckler decided to pursue her Post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
“I dabbled at courses toward my nursing degree in the beginning stages,” says Tracy of her slow progress in finally achieving her BScN in 1999. Being a mature student was tough at times, but eventually rewarding.
“When I was going to school, working, raising a son, and juggling home commitments, there were many times, days, assignments, and deadlines that I didn’t know if I could manage. Even though it can be tough, going back to school has huge advantages because you can apply the real-life experience learned on the job to your education.”It was an interesting time to be a student at Lakehead in the ‘90s because distance education was new, and teaching technology and medical technology were rapidly changing.
Buckler appreciated the Lakehead professors who recognized the multi-tasking that was required as a mature student. “The most significant professor for me at Lakehead was Lorne McDougall. He was always reasonable and logical in setting deadlines, while being respectful of adult education principles and real-life commitments at the same time.”
Along with her professors, Buckler has learned from mentors on the job. Encouraged and mentored by both Sister Bonnie MacLellan (former Assistant Executive Director – Patient Services), and Carl White (former President), she considered other jobs within the Care Group.
Buckler calls Sister Bonnie an inspiration. “She saw something in me as a nurse that she wanted to nurture. She’d say ‘Why don’t you try this?’ or ‘Maybe you should apply for that job.’ From the very first meeting she was a huge influence on my career.” Sister Bonnie encouraged Tracy to think about things along her career path that she wouldn’t necessarily have thought she could do because she was happy in her nursing role.
Carl White and Tracy were a great team who worked hard together – she as Chief Nursing Officer and he as President – and also laughed together. To this day they remain good friends.
As for her vision of the future of St. Joseph’s Care Group, Buckler says that they need to keep the caring philosophy that has been in practice at St. Joseph’s since 1884. This guiding principle is first and foremost in every decision. As President and CEO she believes her role is to provide guidance, leadership, and clear direction. From Buckler’s perspective, titles don’t matter as long as everyone in the organization takes pride in his or her work. “Do what you do well and we’ll be fine. Look after the people we serve in a way that’s compassionate and speaks to our caring philosophy.”
Thunder Bay is home for Tracy, her husband Philip, and their son, Ian. Their extended family has grown with her in-laws’ relocation a number of years ago and with the addition of her father who recently moved to Thunder Bay from Barrie.
“I spend a lot of time recruiting people to move to Thunder Bay,” she says. “I am so proud to call Thunder Bay home.” First on her list of the best Thunder Bay has to offer is ‘the lake’ that Buckler has a glimpse of from her office window, followed closely by amenities such as the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Magnus Theatre, the golf courses, and many good restaurants.
Tracy Buckler, 2006 Lakehead University Alumni Honour Award recipient, is someone who genuinely enjoys family, life, her community, and work.
The Year Ahead
Campus Recreation and Intramural Sports Leagues are back in swing, allowing Lakehead students to exercise and relax away from the demands of the classroom. This year Lakehead Athletics will stage Ontario University Athletics (OUA) games, meets, and tournaments, as well as the annual Lakehead University John Zanatta Alumni Weekend. In addition, we are hosting a number of special events such as high school tournaments, meets, and charity events to better foster our ties with the community of Thunder Bay.
Returning Varsity athletes are back in action and, along with the new recruits, are sure to do the Lakehead colors proud.
Coach Kathy Clouthier’s women’s volleyball squad made the OUA playoffs last season and Clouthier was named OUA West Coach of the Year. Coach Lisa Paterson led the men’s and women’s nordic skiing teams to OUA and national championships for the second consecutive year. Coach Owen Dawkins was named OUA Male Wrestling Coach of the Year, and many Lakehead wrestlers took OUA medals last season.
The men’s hockey team won their first OUA Queen’s Cup Championship last year and claimed silver at the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) national championships. On the hockey front, Lakehead Athletics is already busy preparing to host the 2009 and 2010 national championships – an event which will allow us to showcase our school and community to the country.
Coach Kip Sigsworth’s cross country and indoor track teams continue to make strides, and both basketball teams – Coach Scott Morrison’s men’s team and Coach Jon Kreiner’s women’s team – look ready to make strong runs for OUA playoff spots after impressive recruiting years.
I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join us here at Lakehead Athletics, whether as a fan supporting the Thunderwolves or by coming out and using our wonderful facilities to support your healthy lifestyle. It’s going to be a great year and we want you to be part of it!
LAKEHEAD TURNS A FISCAL CORNER
The year 2005-2006 marked an important turning point for Lakehead University. As we celebrated our 40th Anniversary in 2005, we moved ahead on many fronts to secure a vigorous, sustainable future.
ELIMINATING THE DEFICITFor the first time since 1995-1996, Lakehead is not carrying a deficit in its operating budget. Several years of budget surpluses have allowed the University to eliminate the operating deficit, and prudent fiscal management should allow us to set the stage for strategic growth in graduate studies, interdisciplinary programming, development of the new Orillia campus, and elsewhere.
This growth will be guided by the Academic Plan and the Strategic Research Plan. While we must continue to be cautious and not overextend the institution, we also can start to address some fundamental long-term deficiencies such as teaching equipment needs and deferred maintenance.
REFINANCING THE LONG-TERM DEBT
After receiving an A1 rating from Moody's Investors Service, Lakehead University, working with RBC Capital Markets, successfully issued a 40-year $100 million debenture. Funds are being used to refinance existing debt at a lower rate of interest, finance Phase II of the Energy Conservation Project, and set up an internally restricted investment fund for Lakehead University. The endowment interest will be utilized to address particular needs within the University, and a portion will be re-invested in the capital, allowing continued growth of the endowment.
INCREASING RESEARCH ACTIVITYThe increasing success of our graduate students, faculty, and staff in securing research grants has assisted our commitment to become one of the top 25 research-intensive universities in Canada over the next five to ten years. Furthermore, the provincial government has provided graduate funding to allow us to grow to 524 graduate spaces by 2007-2008.
Premier McGuinty was on campus last spring to announce funding for the remodeling of the Munro Street Cancer Research Centre in Thunder Bay. This will provide important space and facilities for the cardiovascular research team headed by Lakehead’s Vice-President (Research) Rui Wang, and for other Lakehead researchers who may engage in preclinical studies in the future. The announcement was made in the third-floor research laboratories of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and another announcement proclaimed the naming of the Dr. Serafina “Penny” Petrone Health Information Resource Centre in the same building. This naming recognizes the personal donation of over $1 million to the NOSM Bursary Fund by the late Dr. Petrone.
CONVOCATION 2006Convocation is a reminder of the true raison d’être of a university – to educate – and in so doing advance the frontiers of knowledge and provide citizens with the credentials and capacity to succeed in a very challenging global environment. This academic year marked our largest graduating class ever with a total of 2,065 graduands in the fall of 2005 and the spring of 2006. Two honorary degrees were awarded. A Doctor of Laws to Paul Weiler, the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law at Harvard University, and a Doctor of Science to Jerry Franklin, Professor of Ecosystem Analysis at the University of Washington.
CONTROVERSIAL ISSUESLast winter, Lakehead was widely featured in a number of print, broadcast, and online media for its decision to limit wireless Internet access on campus because of potential adverse health effects. The University currently has many Internet café locations with hardwired hookups where students can use University computers to access the Internet and enjoy specialized software and secure communications. Lakehead will continue to monitor research on wireless technology on an ongoing basis and, at an appropriate time, re-evaluate its current position on the issue to see whether the precautionary status can be removed.
Finally, Lakehead University engaged in a number of Thunder Bay initiatives that administration and the Board of Governors viewed as being in the long-term interest of the community and the University. One of these initiatives was a preliminary discussion with the Lakehead Public School Board and the Thunder Bay Country Club about a plan to build a new, centralized high school on land near the intersection of Oliver Road and Golf Links Road. Under discussion was the possibility of entering into a three-way agreement that would see Lakehead University utilizing Port Arthur Collegiate Institute (PACI) for much-needed teaching and research space in exchange for leasing a portion of University land along the McIntyre River for use by the Country Club. While not everyone agreed with this initiative, there was spirited and useful debate on the issues. At press time for this article it was still uncertain whether the School Board will continue to pursue this site for a high school. If it does, the University would consider a revised arrangement with the Thunder Bay Country Club.
Lakehead University is committed to excellence and innovation, and we are united in our desire to have the University recognized as one of Canada’s finest institutions of higher learning. I encourage you to find out how you can take an active part in helping to accomplish the strategic goals of our remarkable institution.
1970sDeborah Jones (Dipl.Lib.Tech '76) is living in New Mexico and has retired after a 22-year career with AT&T.
Brenda Chapman (BA'77) is a Communications Advisor with Health Canada in Ottawa, Ontario. In 2006, her second novel was published by Napoleon Publishing. Hiding in Hawk's Creek is a suspense/mystery geared toward 10-to15-year-olds and is set in Northern Ontario (Thunder Bay and a fictional town north of Lake Superior). It is a sequel to Running Scared, released in 2004.
David Crowe (HBSc'78) is president of Cellular Networking Perspectives Ltd., and living in Calgary. In 2007, he will be interrupting his career in software development and telecommunications to write a book tentatively titled The Infectious Myth. It will explore his interest in alternative, non-infectious causation for diseases like AIDS, SARS, Mad Cow, and West Nile.
1980sDonna Fossum (BA’87, Dipl.Lib.Tech’73)
says her husband Earl is Vice President of ICORR Properties International and has accepted a transfer to the office in Sarasota, Florida. Their daughter Elsbeth and her husband Regan Fielding live in Yellowknife, NWT.
1990sJohn Coleman (BSc’94) is a chiropractor in St. Thomas, Ontario, and is the father of Reece, a younger sister to John Jr.
Paul McAughey (HBK'95) has obtained Microsoft certifications and has entered the IT field.
Chris Jones (BA'97) attended Fanshawe College in London and graduated from the Television Broadcasting program. He is working as a camera man for A-Channel London (Chum Ltd.).
Kevin Marchment (BA'99, HBA'00) met his wife Natalie Boudens (BEd’99, BSc’99) in Residence (Geraldton House) during his first year at Lakehead. They now live in Pembroke, Ontario, with their year-and-a-half-old daughter, Madison.
2000sMeghan Hachkowski (née Venhola) (HBMus'00) was married in 2004 and is the proud mother of Jack Michael John Hachkowski. She teaches music in North Bay, Ontario.
Gillian Hamby (née Tomlins) (BA/BEd'00) was married in July 2005 and was expecting her first child in October. She is teaching in Cookstown.
Lori Skerritt (née Kenny) (BScN '00) and Mark Skerritt (BKin'98, BEd '99), along with big brother Kenny, welcomed Kezia Marie on January 12, 2006. Mark teaches high school in Guelph, Ontario, while Lori continues to work in the field of public health in the Elora and Fergus area.
Janet Littlejohn (née Crawford) (HBOR'03, BA'05) is married to Jonathan Littlejohn. On December 21, 2005, they welcomed baby Joshua.
Mark Stevens (HBFA'04, BEd'05) has taken five Additional Qualification courses; Intermediate, Senior, Special Education, Family Study 1, and Guidance 1, and is looking for a fulltime contract position with the Peel District School Board.
CAN YOU HELP?Four athletes were inducted into Lakehead University's Wall of Fame in October of 2005. We need help in finding out where they reside so that we can forward them a gift from the Wall of Fame Ceremony.
Female Athlete 1970 – 75
Patti Brousseau BPHE ‘74
Inducted as members of the 1972 – 73 Men's Basketball Team:
Tom Francis HBComm ‘76
If you can help us locate them, please contact Lou Pero by phone: (807) 343-8644 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Gift to RememberKevin Mann (HBComm'98)
and Sherry Mann
(née Neimann) (BAdmin'98)
first met in 1997 while taking Business 4039 – Canadian Financial Institutions. Kevin went on to earn a CMA designation and an MBA from the University of Windsor, while Sherry completed a two-year Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Alberta.
In lieu of table favors at their wedding on August 6, 2005, they chose to make a donation on behalf of their guests to Lakehead University's Faculty of Business. Kevin is now an accountant with Hydro One in Thunder Bay and Sherry is a high school teacher with Lakehead Public Schools.
Queen's Cup Champions
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S
Photo: Rob Linke
The Thunderwolves Men’s Hockey Team won the Queen’s Cup last March in a 4-0 shutout game in front of 3,735 noisy fans at the Fort William Gardens. They went on to compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) National Men’s Hockey Championships and finished the 2005-2006 season in second place.
On the Ice: Andrew Brown, Craig Priestlay, Mike Wehrstedt, Brad Priestlay, Mike Self, Erik Lodge, Chris Whitley.
Kneeling: Grant McCune, Jason Lange, Hugo Lehoux, Mark Robinson, Joel Scherban, Drew Kivell.
Standing: Dan Bissonnette, Pete Belliveau, Paul Mackett, Murray Magill, Matt Jacques, Jeff Richards, Shandor Alphonso, Dan Speer, Mike Jacobsen, Tobias Whelan, Steve Rawski, Dan Rogers, Darrin Nicholas.
In June, Lakehead announced it had won the bid to host the CIS Men’s National Hockey Championships in 2009 and 2010, bringing the best university teams in Canada to compete in March in Thunder Bay.
“We are really pleased and excited to host the CIS University Cup,” says Rory Cava (BA’78), President of the Thunderwolves Varsity Hockey Corporation. “It is a tribute to our program and to our great hockey fans. It was only with the support of our fans and corporate partners including TBAYtel that we were able to submit the winning bid. The Thunderwolves hockey program has grown into one of the elite programs in Canada.”
A Labor of Love
Students from Pelican Falls School in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, presented a handmade birch bark canoe to the Department of Indigenous Learning last spring. Their teacher Darren Lentz (HBOR’94,BSc’94) says he learned the art of canoe building from elders and builders at Fort William Historical Park and was inspired by Professor Jim Smithers who taught him to “go above and beyond.”
“The canoe is a great symbol of education, and it truly represents the contributions and innovations First Nations people have made to the world,” he says.
“During my time building my first canoe, I learned a great many lessons that I think are valuable for students to learn – humility, respect, patience, understanding, caring, and friendship. All of these values are brought out in canoe building, but they are not often demonstrated.”
See more photos online: http://aboriginalinitiatives.lakeheadu.ca/