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Lakehead University Magazine


Going Global

Lakehead reaches out Internationally

Frances Harding
Qi Ma

When you tune in to CBC-TV to watch the Beijing Olympics in 2008 you may see the work of Qi Ma, one of Lakehead's multi-talented International students.

Qi (pronounced chee) Ma is a thirty-three-year-old Chinese journalist who came to Thunder Bay to practice speaking English. She stayed on to earn a Master’s degree in Education, to become a Canadian citizen, and to move closer to her goal of becoming a university professor.

Along the way, she landed a contract position with CBC-TV Sports to work as a senior researcher, developing documentary programs about her home country for broadcast during the Olympic Games.

Ma is typical of many International students who have discovered the tremendous value of studying at Lakehead University – a safe campus away from the hustle and bustle of Canada’s large urban centres. She says she is grateful to Lakehead University and considers Thunder Bay to be her “lucky place.”
In 2006-07, Lakehead had 187 International/Exchange students on campus from approximately 40 countries around the world.

“Lakehead and Thunder Bay are wonderful places to experience Canadian culture and education,” says Gary Boire, Dean of Graduate and International Studies. “With the full-time staff in our office dedicated to meeting each individual’s needs, our International students don’t get lost in the shuffle.” There are a total of seven staff in the Office of Graduate and International Studies including Wendy Bons, an International Officer, whose responsibilities include recruitment, student exchange (incoming and outgoing), as well as the management of partnerships abroad, and Miriam Lappala, an International Student Advisor who provides support services for international and exchange students attending Lakehead University.

Educating students to be global citizens is part of Lakehead University’s mission and strategic plan, says Boire. “International students enrich the cultural, intellectual, social, and political life of everyone on campus… All of our students are learning that our world is a much more complicated and multi-hued place, and that we’re all in this together.”

Boire is especially pleased to see that, under the federal government’s new work-study program, International students may choose to work up to 20 hours per week off campus. When he sees Lakehead students working with various organizations in Thunder Bay he is reminded of the economic and social benefits International students bring to the community as a whole.

Tuition for International students at Lakehead is relatively low compared to other Canadian institutions. In fact, Lakehead’s Vice-President (Academic) and Provost Laurie Hayes says it is less expensive for American students, paying International fees, to get a degree from Lakehead than from some of their state-funded universities!

Hayes has represented Lakehead at various recruitment fairs south of the border, and she recently travelled to India and China. There, she discussed opportunities for graduate and undergraduate student exchanges, faculty exchanges, and joint research.

As well, she explored joint funding opportunities with Indian and Chinese institutions such as Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India; Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India; and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, in the province of Sichuan, China.
Lakehead’s current International recruitment strategy is to concentrate on India, China, and the Caribbean. “We chose to focus on China because of our track record,” says Boire. “And India and the Caribbean because they are English speaking jurisdictions.”

Limited budgets require that Lakehead be extremely focused and creative when it comes to International recruitment, he says. By restricting the number of countries where Lakehead actively recruits, the University is in a much better position to cultivate long-lasting and effective relationships.

Lakehead International Quick Facts


International students make up 11% of the total number of graduate students enrolled at Lakehead University. In 2007-2008, Lakehead is hoping to expand graduate enrolment in conjunction with the Ontario government's plan to add 14,000 graduate-student spaces in the province by the 2009-2010 academic year. For more information go online: or contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies 807-343-8785.


where Lakehead draws International students
  • China
  • India
  • United States
where Lakehead recruits International students
  • China
  • India
  • Caribbean
where Lakehead sends Canadian students on student exchanges
  • Australia
  • Sweden
  • France


  • AFCASA – African and Caribbean Student Association
  • LUCSA – Lakehead University Chinese Scholars Association
  • LUSASS – Lakehead University South Asian Student Society
  • LUTSA – Lakehead University Tamil Student Association
  • MSA – Muslim Students Association
  • LUIC – Lakehead University International Club


By participating in the International Student Exchange Program, Lakehead students may study abroad at partner institutions in:

  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • England
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Russia
  • France
  • Singapore
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Iceland
  • United States


With the raised profile of the Office of Graduate and International Studies, more Lakehead students have become aware and are taking advantage of the International Student Exchange opportunities available. Last year the largest number of Lakehead students yet participated in a student exchange.


where Lakehead Graduates live other than Canada
United States477
Hong Kong129


International UndergraduateCanadian Undergraduate
$10,000$4,300 – $4,630
International GraduateCanadian Graduate
$10,600 – $15,700$5,400 – $9,400


Amanda KruegerLakehead University is part of a trilateral initiative that will see up to 42 students studying at six universities in Mexico, the USA, and Canada over a four-year period. Amanda Krueger, a fourth-year Civil Engineering student, spent four months at Louisiana State University. She writes:

“When I went to Louisiana State University (LSU) I was amazed by the size of the city and the campus. I had the opportunity to take classes that were not available at Lakehead, such as Coastal Engineering, Airport Design, and Hurricane Engineering.

“I learned Cajun dancing, the Louisiana slang, and I enjoyed the beauty of the French quarter and the garden district of New Orleans. I met students from many different parts of the world such as Germany, France, Nigeria, and Puerto Rico, and also a few Canadians.

“I was there during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita when many of the students along with their families lost everything. The school was closed for a week while the field houses were turned into medical centres. Living through those storms is something I will never forget.

“If given the opportunity to take part in another Student Exchange, I would definitely do it again.”

International Student Profiles


4th year Business Administration

Ibi SekudoIbironke (Ibi) Sekudo is frank about the difficulties she faced as an International student at Lakehead. There were many times during the first year that she felt alone and left out. The experience led to an epiphany of sorts and the formulation of a personal philosophy: You should be comfortable in your own skin, no matter what.

Armed with that new-found insight, she set out in second year to work as the second coordinator of the LUSU-established Lakehead University Multicultural Centre and “to fully, properly, and eloquently define its mandate.” The Multicultural Centre exists today to champion the social development of all students on campus, and to serve as a resource and reference centre for both Canadian and International students.

Sekudo is the youngest daughter of a Nigerian diplomat and has lived in Britain, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Kenya. Her goal is to study at the London School of Economics and to pursue a career in Finance in her home country of Nigeria.


4th year Electrical Engineering

Mohammad Kabir Hossain 
Kabir Hossain was in Toronto studying electrical engineering at Centennial College when he first saw Lakehead University recruitment ads on the subway. By September 2003 he had applied to the University and was accepted into the four-year Bachelor of Engineering program.

In 2006, he was awarded the Lakehead University Student Union Student Participation Award for his work with the LUSU Food Bank and other LUSU clubs including the South Asian Student Society, the Muslim Student Association, and the Engineering Student Society.

Hossain is from Bangladesh and hopes to return to his home country after he has graduated and has gained a few years’ experience working in Canada.

There are about 100 Muslim students at Lakehead, he says, and about 40 are active with the Muslim Student Association. Many make use of UC-0041, a room below the Agora, for daily prayers. “To be honest,” he says, “Lakehead is a good place.”

Field Studies In China

Geography professors David Kemp and Will Wilson are introducing students to the practicalities of field research

Colin Anderson. Photos by David Kemp
En route to the Yi Village

For four weeks in the spring of 2005, a group of 12 graduate andundergraduate students from the Department of Geography called the town of Lijiang, China home. Using the town as a base camp, they explored the mountains, forests, and growing urban settlements in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province. But this was no idle vacation from schoolwork; it was part of a course designed to introduce students to the practicalities of conducting geographical field research in unfamiliar and international locales.

According to David Kemp, Professor of Geography at Lakehead University and co-leader with Professor Will Wilson of the new International Field Studies course, “The program is giving students a chance to directly improve the quality of life for Yunnan by helping to promote eco-tourism and environmentally responsible development.”

Yangtse River flowing into Tiger Leaping Gorge Kemp and Wilson have long been committed to the importance of environmental geography, and saw an opportunity to share their passion with students while conducting their own research. “Travel broadens the mind,” Kemp says, “and for Yunnan this is important. It is one place in China that hasn’t yet changed as much as the rest of the country.” The course gives students the chance to learn from professors doing real field research, but also requires that they come up with their own projects.

For Sarah Breen (HBA’06), a student who participated in the trip, the experience was priceless. Under the guidance of David Kemp, she developed a research project that assessed the effectiveness of small-scale hydro as an alternative to major dams, which are considered to be environmentally destructive. The International Field Studies course was a welcome change for Breen, who says that, in most classes, “You talk about field work, but you don’t actually do it.”

The unpredictable nature of international study often means that budgets, research techniques, and even routine activities must “adapt on the fly” to unexpected situations. This type of real-world experience will help Breen in pursuit of a Master’s degree, but she also stresses the benefit that Kemp’s class has had on students entering the work world. “Employers love to hear about your practical experience, not just vague ideas taken from a textbook. It is a massive step up.”

The model developed for the first International Field Studies course will now be used by other professors within the Department of Geography to take students abroad. They will surely find an experience that is both enjoyable and beneficial – one which is simply unparalleled by traditional classroom teaching.


The International Field Studies course originally sprang from an idea conceived by Will Wilson, an Associate Professor of Geography, who had asked Kemp to join him in China. The two are currently engaged in a project which compares several well-documented environmental indicators with conditions as they exist today. Because Yunnan has long been a destination for explorers, settlers, and entrepreneurs, Kemp and Wilson have the ability to see a clear image of past geography. The data that they collect on their trips is being used to track development patterns in Yunnan, keeping a close eye on the effect that global warming is having on the area. “The goal,” Kemp says, “is to preserve the environment while providing the people there with a sufficient income.”

Dr. David Kemp & Dr. Will Willson Wilson agrees, saying that their work “is about more than simply entering a community, studying it, and using the research for our own personal gain.”

Wilson and Kemp will continue to develop their relationships with the farmers, students, businesses, and international organizations working locally in Yunnan on their next research trip, which they intend to take by 2008.

Campus News


More than 300 people gathered to celebrate the opening of the Orillia Campus on September 8, 2006. Among them were 120 full- and part-time students in the Charter Class, Orillia residents who helped to get the University established, and Lakehead University’s first President, William (Bill) Tamblyn.

Director of Operations at the Orillia Campus, Dr. Sally-Ann Burnett, introduced the new faculty and staff and welcomed the Charter Class, their family and friends “with great enthusiasm for the University Campus and confidence for its future.” She acknowledged that “the opening of the Campus marks the culmination of a huge amount of hard work and persistence that reflects the passion, motivation, commitment and enthusiasm of a Lakehead University community the Orillia campus is proud and excited to join.”

Later on in the fall, Laura Siddall, the Orillia Campus tuition prize winner, thanked the 18 Orillia businesses and individuals who gave to the Charter Class tuition prize.

Siddall is enrolled in the combined Bachelor of Arts and Science/Bachelor of Education program and hopes one day to become a teacher. “This support has helped me concentrate on my studies and not worry about finances,” said Siddall. “I thank you for investing in me and my family.”

Read more about the development of the Orillia Campus in Lakehead University’s 2005-2006 Annual Report entitled “The Adventure Begins” (

Photo courtesy of Amy Lazar, Reporter, Orillia Packet & Times


Graduate Studies on the Rise

Thank you so much for the wonderful article about Tracy Buckler (Fall/Winter 2006). She is truly an impressive role model.

But how disappointing to read the article on the rise of graduate programs without one word about the psychology graduate program, one of the oldest Masters programs at Lakehead and the first doctoral program. Surely the number of masters and doctoral students graduating from that program is far greater than from any other program at Lakehead. Students in that program regularly bring in thousands of dollars in research grants and publish regularly even prior to graduation. So, wonderful to hear that other programs are catching up, but distressing that no attention is given to the first and I suspect, still biggest graduate program at Lakehead University.
– M.A. Mountain, PhD (BA’85, MA’86)

Psychology is indeed one of the largest graduate programs at Lakehead University and one of the oldest. And yes, it is home to Lakehead’s first PhD program, in Clinical Psychology, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2006.

According to Josephine Tan, Associate Professor and Director of Clinical Training, the Masters-level programs have collectively graduated 468 students, and there are now 18 PhDs, all of whom are employed in positions commensurate with their skills, experience, and training.

Psychology’s first PhD graduate, Suzanne Barker-Collo (PhD 1998), works as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, in New Zealand. Other PhD graduates have secured employment across Canada and in the United States in hospitals, mental health clinics, and research and academic settings. One of the recent graduates, Louise Maxfield (PhD 2003), a psychologist at the London Health Science Centre and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Western Ontario, recently co-edited a book with two other scholars entitled, the Handbook of EMDR and Family Therapy Processes.

Last year, three faculty members in the Department of Psychology received a Canada Foundation for Innovation collaborative grant to set up the Centre for Biological Timing and Cognition at Lakehead. This new facility will be used as a laboratory and graduate training facility to carry out neuroscientific and clinical research that investigates biological, social, and environmental factors that influence perception, cognition, and mental health.


Professor Norm McIntyre


Professor of Psychology Stephen Goldstein showed two films at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival last November. The first, co-directed with Valerie Weiss and entitled, Chatting and Scatting at the Cornelia Street Café, is described as “a tour de force down in the basement of the Cornelia Street Café where bits of poetry and jazz coalesce in a mind-field of creation.” In the second, entitled Park Pleasure, “the pleasure-seeking behavior of the diverse inhabitants of Central Park and environs provide the setting for this observational documentary.”
Professor Stephen Goldstein

Home Away

Outdoor Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Professor Norm McIntyre has co-edited and published a book entitled Multiple Dwelling and Tourism: Negotiating Place, Home and Identity. Comprising a collection of specially written contributions by 25 authors from Canada, USA, Sweden, Finland, Australia, and New Zealand, it explores multiple dwelling (camps, cottages, cabins, RVs) as a societal response to the major influences of increased mobility and amenity tourism.

New Music in Serbia

Dr. Aris Carastathis Dr. Aris Carastathis, Chair of the Department of Music, recently had a composition selected and performed for the 15th International Review of Composers in Belgrade, Serbia from November 18-21, 2006.

Andrew Staniland’s Full Circle for solo guitar was performed on November 20 in the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestral Hall. Sharing the programme was Aris Carastathis’ Holiday Traffic for flute, marimbas, and cello.

Holiday Traffic was originally written for CMC’s New Music in New Places series and premiered at the Thunder Bay International Airport in December 2005 with a performance by Nancy Hennen, flute, Todd Harrop, marimba, and Colin Mathews, violoncello.

The International Review of Composers is organized annually by the Composers’ Association of Serbia, in service to their mandate of promoting Serbian music in national and international contexts, and informing the domestic audience about international trends in composition.

Click on Play button to hear Holiday Traffic
Carastathis’ music has also been performed recently in Almaty, Kazakhstan (Suite North for String Orchestra), Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Suite North), and in a CD recording by ARA Ensemble in Krakow Poland (Variables I & II for clarinet).



Laurie Hill, Development Officer, Major Gifts

A fundamental shift has taken place in Ontario regarding athletics awards.Ontario universities will now be able to offer awards to entrance athletes. Lakehead University took a leadership role with this issue and played a critical part in bringing it forward and ultimately seeing it reach approval by the OUA (Ontario University Association). As Tom Warden, Director of Athletics, points out – Lakehead University, from the Board of Governors and Senior Administration, has been solidly behind this move and consistently demonstrated support for the policy change.

Prior to this development in policy, awards for athletics were available only to continuing students. As a result, Canadian universities were at a distinct disadvantage in recruiting top athletes. Students can now be recruited on the basis of athletic ability and Ontario universities will be in the position to offer those athletes significant assistance.

Ontario universities will now be in a more competitive position when recruiting top athletes from across Canada. Each potential recruit will be assessed by the respective coach and the athletics director, to determine status as an elite athlete. This status, along with an academic component, would make the student eligible for an athletics award. An athlete entering university must have an 80% average, and to qualify for the athletics award in continuing years, the athlete must maintain a 70% average.

This change has exciting implications for Lakehead University as it seeks to strengthen and build upon an athletics program, already recognized for its innovation and success.

Awareness Building

Controversial Ad Campaign attracts Worldwide Attention

Frances Harding
PosterAn awareness campaign positioning Lakehead University as a “smart” choice for students elicited more than 900 emails, letters, and phone calls when it was launched last August.

“Our challenge was to raise awareness and develop brand recognition among our target audience – students 16 years and older, and to break through the media clutter and fragmentation, an increasing challenge in today’s environment,” says Lakehead University’s Director of Communications Eleanor Abaya.

“We chose a non-traditional approach by developing a cheeky, slightly irreverent message that would grab people’s attention and lead them to our main message: Be smart. Choose a university that is right for you. Explore Lakehead.

“We won’t know the full effects of this campaign until next year – and beyond – when we trend our application figures; however, we do know that by November 2006 we had logged over 240,000 hits to our microsite, and close to 3,000 qualified entries to our SMART car contest.” The campaign was picked up by news agencies including,

BBC-London, Reuters, and Canadian Press, and articles were featured in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Marketing Magazine. Strategy Magazine, a Canadian trade publication covering news in the advertising world, featured the campaign as “Outstanding Creative” in its August 2006 issue.

Smart CarIn terms of raising awareness, Lakehead surpassed its expectations. And the University received media coverage and worldwide buzz it simply could not afford to buy. There were hundreds of messages from around the world – from all over the U.S., of course, as well as London, England, Australia, Spain, Germany, Africa, and Asia. A number of people have enquired about enrolling. The audited media coverage report showed publicity coverage worth over $750,000.
Lakehead University President Fred Gilbert admits the campaign was provocative, engendering extreme reactions ranging from fully supportive to totally against.

But he stood by his decision to run it, saying, “With university recruitment efforts in Ontario becoming increasingly competitive, we needed to connect in the Greater Toronto Area in a more current way that resonates with today’s youth.”

According to the University Webmaster, Tove Tronslien, Lakehead received more than 600 emails in the first week of the campaign and she and Communications Officer Marla Tomlinson replied to each one.

One person asked how he could donate to Lakehead. Another wrote to say Monty Python’s John Cleese would be proud. Yet another wrote to say, “It is not the place of a publicly funded institution to portray the leader of an allied nation in a negative fashion….”

Says Tronslien: “I felt it was important that each person get an individual response and not just a standard message because Lakehead prides itself in being a University that ‘sees’ each person.”

What impressed her most was the depth of the emotion felt by those who sent messages. Many writers expressed strong opposition. Still others congratulated Lakehead saying the campaign showed “forward thinking, confidence, and reality.”
Read the full story in the September/October 2006 issue of Agora Online

Note: As this issue goes to press, Lakehead has seen a rise in applications from Ontario high school students of 15% over last year, and these students have chosen Lakehead as their first choice 16% more often than last year at the same time.

Maclean’s University Ranking: Why Lakehead Withdrew

Lakehead University had participated in Maclean’s popular annual ranking of Canadian universities every year since 1991. This year, however, Lakehead along with 26 other universities in Canada has withdrawn its participation. Why? For a number of reasons, says Director of Institutional Analysis/Government Relations Kerrie-Lee Clarke.

“Lakehead withdrew from the survey mainly because of concerns with the overall ranking methodology employed by Maclean’s and a lack of response to our concerns from Maclean’s. The ranking is based on subjectively weighted indicators that do not reflect the Lakehead University experience. As well, the reputation survey, which has a very poor response rate, is included in the rankings and has a high weight. However, the reputation survey is based on inputs from various respondent groups, such as heads of corporations who might never have heard of Lakehead, or might never have had any dealings with us. Thus, any inputs into reputation and image questions in this survey are not based on true knowledge of, or experience with, Lakehead University. Rather, inputs are based on perception or vicarious information.
Why we Celebrate our Value Added Ranking
“Lakehead University has never taken issue with the Value Added indicator which we see as a much more valuable indicator that really shows that the University is doing a good job,” says Clarke. “Value Added is not included in the Maclean’s ranking but is a separate side-bar indicator that Maclean’s publishes.

“The Value Added indicator is a true measure of how well students do (outputs). Included in this measure are entering marks (students’ marks when they are accepted); retention and graduation rates (how many students actually stay until they finish their degree, and Lakehead has a high retention rate); and how many students win awards in national competitions with other universities (a high percentage of our students win external awards).

“Lakehead University has been Number One in Value Added in four out of five years, and we are very proud of this fact. We have also consistently ranked slightly higher than the provincial average in terms of graduate employment within six months and within two years of graduation.”

Common University Data Ontario (CUDO)
Ontario's universities have collaborated to produce a common set of data that would assist the public in assessing and comparing key areas. CUDO is now available on the Lakehead University website ( and can be accessed through the websites of the Council of Ontario Universities ( and the Ontario Universities’ Applications Centre (

International Class Notes

Where are they now?

In October we contacted International Alumni and Exchange Students asking them to share their news before January 1, 2007, for a chance to win a Lakehead t-shirt. Congratulations to the lucky winner, Phillip Hollis.

The following Class Notes were edited by Ade Sekudo (HBA’06), an International student from Nigeria enrolled in the Master’s program in Business Management.


In addition to enjoying the distinguished role of being Lakehead University’s Chancellor, Lorne G. Everett (BSc’66, HBSc’68) is the Chief Scientist and Senior VP of Haley & Aldrich in Santa Barbara, CA.

Everett left Thunder Bay in 1968 and received a PhD in hydrology in 1972 from the University of Arizona in Tucson. After joining the Faculty in the Department of Hydrology in Tucson, he was invited in 1974 to join General Electric’s Think Tank in Santa Barbara. In August 2006 he was invited – for the 14th year in a row – by the Science Advisor to the Pope to attend sessions on Planetary Emergencies where he gave the Annual Report on World Pollution to the World Federation of Scientists led by Nobel Laureates.

In September 2006, Everett was invited to give the keynote address at Brownfields Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His wife Jennifer Mae Hawkins (Library Technology, ‘67) participates in his international travel. In 2006, Everett published two new books: Submarine Groundwater published by CRC Press, and Groundwater Resources of the World and Their Use by NGWA Press. Both books were published with Professor Igor Zektser, Head of the Russian Academy of Sciences Water Problems Laboratory in Moscow.

Everett has received the Kapitsa Gold Medal from the Russian Academy, the C.V. Theis Award from the American Institute of Hydrology, The A. Ivan Johnson Outstanding Achievement Award, The U.S. Navy Medal of Excellence, and the Award of Merit, the highest honor bestowed by the American Society for Testing and Materials International.
> Email:


After graduating from Lakehead, Y. Alexander Ho (Eng.Tech’77, BEng‘79) obtained his MSc in 1985 from the University of Saskatchewan. He is married with two children and living in Hong Kong, where he is Senior Manager with the Hong Kong Housing Society.
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Shiu Yuen Tong (Eng.Dip’78, BEng ‘80) is married to Wing Ngan (HBSc’80) and they have a son in the ninth grade at Trinity College in Port Hope, ON. Tong is working as a project manager with Omas Construction and Engineering Company in Macau SAR, China, where he is in charge of two projects worth $200 million. Ngan is employed at the Macau Government’s Security Force Department as a computer consultant. They love living in Macau and are excited at the prospect of reconnecting with old classmates.
> Email:

David Berko (For.Tech. Dip.’82, BSc’82) lives in Rocklin near Sacramento, CA, and is working in Medical Sales in northern California and Hawaii. He is married with three grown children and enjoys dirt biking, fly fishing, and riding his Harley all over northern California and Nevada. He says he often thinks of his years at Lakehead and of the things he misses in Thunder Bay.

Helene Wallach (MA’82) acquired her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Western Ontario in 1988 and then moved back to Israel with her three children. While in Israel, she received a license to practice clinical psychology, completed studies in hypnosis and marital and family therapy, and started her own clinic where she gave cognitive-behavior therapy workshops for educational psychologists and psychiatrists. She worked at the Ministry of Health from 1989 to 1997 and has served on the Israeli parole board since 2003. Helene has also been teaching criminology and psychology in colleges and at Haifa University. In fact, she headed the criminology department at Emek Vezreel University from 2000 to 2005. She is up for promotion to senior lecturer, and enjoys publishing articles, chapters in books, and giving poster and paper presentations. She also has a passion for horseback riding (English, Jumping, and Dressage) and has made two trips to Ireland for cross-country riding.

Marcus Khoo (BSc‘83) has spent the last 23 years doing Quality Assurance in various semi-conductor and electronics companies. He has also graduated with a Master’s degree in Quality Management from Loyola University in New Orleans. Marcus has recently been invited by the American Society of Quality in Milwaukee to develop the Certified Quality Auditors exam. He now lives in San Jose, CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley.
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Jim at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in IndiaJim Lalonde (HBSc’83) completed a PhD in Organic Chemistry at Texas A&M in 1987. He was promoted to VP (R&D) at Codexis (, an international biotechnology company with headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area. Jim is responsible for leading their research and developing efficient methods for pharmaceuticals for both generics and for new drugs. As part of his job, he travels to pharmaceutical companies around the world. This picture was taken at the Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Ankeleshwar, India. Jim is kneeling, second from left in the picture. Jim is married, has four children, and lives in Palo Alto, CA.
> Email:

After brief stops in British Columbia, Singapore, and Malaysia, Sid Nair (DiplEng’83, BEng’85) is finally settled in Australia where he is married to Sudha Nair and has two children. He currently presides over the evaluations unit at the Centre for Higher Education Quality at Monash University where he enjoys the responsibility of ensuring the quality of learning and teaching within the institution as well as the formulation of policy to better the educational needs of the students. Sid acquired a Master’s degree from Queen’s University and a PhD in Australia. He eloquently summarizes his learning experience at Lakehead with a quote from Bernard Shaw, “You see things, and ask: Why? But I dream things that never were, and ask Why not?”
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Greg Curniski with familyGreg Curniski (BSc’85) followed his Bachelor’s degree by working in Kenora, ON; Big River and Prince Albert, SK; and Grande Cache, AB. During this period, he tested his versatility as a Professional Forester by changing roles no less than six times! From Grand Cache, Greg moved to Toutle, WA, on the western slopes of Mt. St. Helens. At the moment, Greg lives in Longview, Washington, on the Columbia River. Greg and his second wife Gerri married in 1999 at Kananaskis, AB, and they have a four-year-old daughter Remi Briel. Their oldest daughter Shay is completing high school and their son Chris is preparing for university. Greg has enjoyed crossing paths with many Lakehead alumni in his travels and would like to send his regards to the Class of ’85, in particular, Paul Burke, Karen Wright, Olenka Bakowsky, and Jacque Tracey.
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Ron Fairbanks with FamilyRon Fairbanks (HBScF’88) lives in Vialonga, Portugal, where he and his wife Dalia are engaged in evangelical missionary work. They recently celebrated their fifteenth anniversary in Scotland while visiting friends. The Fairbanks have four children in primary school: Joel, Tamara, Jason, and Hannah.
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Phillip Hollis (BEd’89) took up a teaching job at Page Private School in Beverly Hills, CA, soon after leaving Lakehead. He followed that with yet another teaching job at Community Magnet (California Distinguished, National Blue Ribbon) with the Los Angeles Unified School District. During that time, he learned how to speak Spanish, and became a bilingual coordinator, a mentor teacher, and a recipient of the “Video in the Classroom” award from KLCS television. In 2003, Phillip received his Masters degree from California State University, Northridge, in educational administration and then became an Assistant Principal, Elementary Instructional Specialist, with responsibilities that included special education. In the summer of 2006, while in Thunder Bay visiting family, he received a call from a charter school and is now the Principal at Marquez Charter School in Pacific Palisades, CA. Phillip intends to continue his education and obtain an Ed.D. focusing on either reading or the influence of parent participation on student achievement. Phillip can be reached by long lost friends and acquaintances at
> or by visiting his charter school’s website at

Hin Cheung Yip (BSc‘87), a.k.a. Drick, moved to Australia in 1991 and became a citizen in 1994. Yip followed his Math degree with a Graduate Diploma in Information Technology at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), in May 1996, and is now working as the Team Leader of Network Engineering at Trust Company Ltd. Drick and his wife Iris have two children, Mandy and Kelvin.
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Robin Johnston (BAdmin’92) lives in North Carolina where he has been based since 1999 when he moved there to start a software company which grew from 4 employees to 95 in just 18 months. He took a position as a Vice-President (Development) at Randolph Community College where he oversaw details of strategic planning, marketing, and fundraising. He has since left the College to work as a professional speaker, author, and consultant. He wrote a book called the “Lead Generation Handbook” and was recently appointed executive director for Tallahassee Community College Foundation. Visit his website at
> or contact him by email:
Shortly after graduating from Lakehead, Shatal Thapa (BSc’93, HBSc’94) moved to Sydney, Australia, and obtained his B.Pharm degree at the University of Sydney. He is now settled in Sydney full-time, where he works as a Pharmacist. Currently, however, he is in England for one year working for Boots the Chemist.
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Ning Liu (BA’98, MScF‘03) returned to China where he is now married and serving as a lecturer in Forest Genetics at Shanxi Agricultural University. He and his wife have one son, Evan, born in the summer of 2006. Ning Liu loves to reminisce on his days spent at Lakehead, particularly the cold winter ones. He is grateful for the opportunity to share his news.
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Jason Alexander Matheson (HBSc’96) lives in Shakopee, MN, with his wife Susan and their one-year-old daughter Teagan Alexandra. Jason works as a Senior Instructional Designer/Trainer with QLogic Corporation, where he develops and delivers training in North America and Asia. He is also working on his Masters of Education, specializing in Distance and Online Learning.

After graduating from Lakehead, Chris Coughlin (HBSc‘96) went to Queen’s University and completed his Masters in Physics in 1998. After working in Toronto for a year, he accepted a position in Austin, Texas, working for Texas Research International where he has been ever since. As a by-product of his work with the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Defense, he was awarded permanent residence (also known as “green card”) status in 2004 under the National Interest Waiver. In 2006, Chris was awarded U.S. Patent #7,080,555, “Distributed Mode System For Real Time Acoustic Emission Monitoring.” The system outlined in the patent ( successfully completed flight tests aboard an F-15E Strike Eagle several months ago. He is hopeful that the system will eventually become standard equipment aboard passenger aircraft as well, and has been in discussions with both Boeing and Airbus on the subject. Chris believes that as an “early warning” damage detection system, the system could help improve airline safety.
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Simon Pollard (BSc’96, HBSc’99) spent one year working for Royal Oak Mines in Timmins before joining Placer Dome Canada’s Musselwhite Mine, based in Thunder Bay. In April 2004, he married Lisa Spack (BSc’03) and then accepted a transfer within the company to be the Chief Geologist at the Henty Gold Mine on the west coast of Tasmania, Australia.> Email:
After graduation, Jackie T. Hrabok (MSc’99) opted for a postgraduate internship at the University of Alaska and volunteered with the University’s Reindeer Research Program in Nome on the Seward Peninsula. This experience enabled her to research the environmental impact of oil development and spills on Arctic mammals and vegetation. From Alaska, Jackie moved East to Sweden where she earned her PhD at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden, under the guidance of international academics from Australia, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, and Sweden. She credits all her accomplishments to her adventurous spirit and spends her free time playing hockey and reminiscing about the good old days spent with family in Thunder Bay. At the moment, Jackie is seeking funding to pursue a position with the Finnish Game & Fisheries Reindeer Research Station in Finland. Learn more by reading her story “A Personal Migration in Search of Arctic Dreams”. Friends may contact her at:


Katherine Fauvelle (HBSW’02) originally from Corwith, IA, now lives in Denver, CO, with her husband Robert (BEng‘98) and their basset-hound George. She received a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Denver in August 2005, and is currently employed as an Information Services Librarian with the Jefferson County Public Library system in the Denver Metro area. Katherine and Robert enjoy spending their free time together watching Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rockies games. They also enjoy the many outdoor activities Colorado has to offer, not to mention the weather!

Sarah FausetUpon graduation, Sarah Fauset (BEd’03) set out to teach English as a Second Language in South Korea. What was originally intended to be a one-year stint blossomed into a memorable three-year endeavor, one Sarah will be hard-pressed to forget. Her job enabled her to assimilate Korea’s unique culture and interact with fellow foreign teachers from the United States, South Africa, Australia, and England. She also travelled to Japan and Thailand. Sarah misses her students and has partnered with top South Korean schools in an attempt to provide them with more English-speaking Canadian teachers.


Ulf Runesson (HBScF’82) receives 2006 Distinguished Instructor Award

Dr. Ulf Runesson

Professor Ulf Runesson is a technophile who cares passionately about the application of knowledge about the physical world and our place in it.

He is an expert in Geomatics – the science and technology of gathering, analyzing, interpreting, distributing, and using geographic information. And one of his colleagues in the Faculty of Forestry and the Forest Environment, Ken Brown, believes he is worthy of the Lakehead University honor for this international work alone!

“In 1993, Runesson designed and installed a completely functional, ‘turn-key’ GIS/GPS/remote sensing laboratory on the campus of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi (KNUST), Ghana, West Africa,” says Ken Brown. “Beginning in 1994, and continuing for a decade, Runesson led a series of training courses in Ghana that were designed to provide Ghanaian forestry faulty, forestry practitioners, and others including civil engineers and geographers with the technical skills and knowledge needed to apply these new technologies to Ghanaian problems.”

One graduate student describes Runesson’s impact on her in an eloquent letter that now graces the front of his teaching portfolio:

“Thank you for being an effective, supportive, and accessible thesis advisor. I’m proud of what I accomplished under your tutelage, and I attribute it largely to your ability to raise the personal and professional standards of those around you merely by being you – capable, tirelessly positive, an intelligence with energy.”

Ulf Runneson's expertise, along with his commitment to student-centred learning and his deep concern for the ethics of his profession, makes him a truly worthy recipient of the Lakehead University 2006 Distinguished Instructor Award.

From the Archives

From the operetta "Luxembergin Krivi" circa 1940Thanks to the Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society, Lakehead University Library Archives now houses an impressive collection of materials documenting the history of one of Thunder Bay’s most prominent ethnic groups – Finns. It’s a treasure trove for the study of local athletic groups, labor and socialist organizations, businesses, architecture, and Finnish immigrants in Northwestern Ontario.

The collection consists of several thousand photographs including this one showing actors in the Finnish operetta “Luxembergin Kreivi” (The Earl of Luxembourg), performed at the Big Finn Hall circa 1940. As well, there are books from businesses and Finnish groups in the community, audio tape interviews of local people, Finnish literature and plays, and even some Finnish phonograph records.

Learn more at

A Personal Migration in Search of Arctic Dreams

Jackie T. Hrabok (HBSc'96, MSc'99)
I may have left Thunder Bay more than seven years ago, but my northern upbringing in the Northwestern Ontario region continues to direct my dreams as a Biologist working around the world.

You might remember me for my dedication to the development of the Thunder Bay Women's Hockey Association and Lakehead University Women's club hockey team. Or perhaps I persuaded you to purchase a new bike or top-of-the-line hockey equipment from Petrie's Cycle & Sports. I was also active in the annual Lakehead Music Festival performing with concert and jazz bands and brass ensembles.

A few weeks after graduation from Lakehead University in 1999, I embarked on a mission to get hands-on fieldwork experience in the Alaskan Arctic. Stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in various base camps above the Arctic Circle, I completed a post-graduate internship at the Large Animal Research Station with the University of Alaska and volunteered with the University's Reindeer Research Program in Nome on the Seward Peninsula. I also set foot on the North Slope, investigating the environmental impact of oil development and oil spills on a wide range of Arctic mammals and vegetation.

As a young girl, I was hesitant to pick up slimy earthworms (and I still squirm at their touch when fishing), but when it comes to research, I thrive on dissecting the stomach contents of reindeer/caribou, muskoxen, and fish, in search of parasitic roundworms, also known as gastrointestinal nematodes.

On October 13, 2006, I successfully defended my PhD research at the National Veterinary Institute and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden, with a thesis titled, Macroparasites of Reindeer in Fennoscandia; Population Dynamics, Control Options and its Environmental Impact. ( During the past 4.5 years I conducted my PhD fieldwork approximately 400 km north of the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Finland, in the northern-most Sami Reindeer Husbandry Area, under the academic guidance of world-renowned experts from Australia, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and New Zealand.

I discovered that reindeer become infected with parasites year-round when naturally grazing from the forest floor, despite -30 C and snow depths of up to one meter. The majority of the larval-staged abomasum worms do not develop into sexually mature adult worms during the winter. But in late May, when the snow begins to melt and ambient temperatures increase, the internal parasites resume development and there is an increase in output of parasite eggs within reindeer feces, which are then shed onto vegetation.  Male and female reindeer calves were infected with similar numbers of parasites, but castrated reindeer consistently had significantly higher worm burdens.

Dr. Jackie T. HrabokIn Finland, approximately 80% of reindeer are injected once annually with ivermectin, a chemical that essentially kills many of the parasitic nematodes and most of the warble fly and bot fly larvae. The residues of ivermectin are passed with reindeer feces. I studied the impact of these residues on soil nematodes, which are responsible for breaking down organic material in Arctic soils. After two years of monthly sampling of the contaminated reindeer fecal material, I did not detect a statistically significant difference in abundance or in species richness of soil nematodes. However, in more tropical environments, the concentration of residual ivermectin I detected in my samples has been shown to have detrimental effects on other soil organisms such as springtails.

The village of Kaamanen, Finland, with approximately 70 inhabitants, was my home and outdoor playground for most of the time during my PhD field studies.
At first, various community members would draw pictures in the snow or in dust on the dashboard of their cars to teach me valuable communication skills.  You see, the spoken languages of the area include only Finnish and Sami. I love adventure and am willing to take risks to learn about the world around me.  It took me one year until the locals accepted me, but some folks continue to challenge my bush skills and knowledge of reindeer husbandry. The 50- to 70-year-old reindeer herders are my favorite − they are always eager to share traditional knowledge with me. I am basically fluent in Finnish now and can slaughter a bull or cow in a few minutes and describe the resulting parasite fauna to the general public. The Sami community taught me how to naturally treat reindeer and trout skins to make leather for clothing and crafts.  The traditional reindeer fur boots lined with horsetail grass I made are much warmer than Sorels or Bunnyboots. There is very little waste of the animal.  The meat is eaten fresh cooked, smoked, salted and dried; cast antlers are used for making knife handles and buttons; and the fur-intact hide and prepared leathers are used for handicrafts among the families, and are also sold to seasonal tourists.

What does the future hold? The rigors of an outdoor lifestyle with snow and ice, hunting, fishing, trapping, foreign languages, and culture call out to me. One of my long-term goals is to become Professor of Arctic Biology/Ecology or Director of Research/Science.  For the immediate short-term, I am seeking funding to pursue a post-doctoral position with The Finnish Game & Fisheries Reindeer Research Station in Kaamanen, Finland, in affiliation with a Finnish University.  

What I have learned in my short, intense life is that anything is possible with determination (and prayer). Hard work, ambition, and a genuine smile have carried me a long way, and somehow money found me when I was in need. Will I return to Canada? My heart remains with my family in Thunder Bay, but my adventurous spirit for cross-cultural communications remains overseas for the time being. I have been fortunate to find some of the comforts of home in all of the places I have traveled to − hockey rinks are ubiquitous, and regardless of the international teams on which I have played, a Canadian flag is always proudly displayed on my goal mask and jersey.

Have you got a story to tell? If so, send it to the Editor by email:
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