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Lakehead University Magazine


Good Leadership: A Determination of the Will

Bryan Poulin shares his latest findings on leadership and succession

Frances Harding
What makes an organization effective? This is a question that Bryan J. Poulin has been trying to answer since 1982 when he left the engineering consulting firm he established in Western Canada and decided to teach business strategy and entrepreneurship at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Today, Poulin is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Lakehead, and for the past five years he has been Coordinator of Research and Professional Development for the Faculty.

In 2006-2007, Poulin co-wrote a paper with his colleagues Michael Z. Hackman and Carmen Barbarasa-Mihai that was published in the August 2007 issue of Leadership, an international, peer-reviewed journal published by Sage in the UK (
Their paper is entitled “Leadership and Succession: The Challenge to Succeed and the Vortex of Failure.” In it, the authors analyze data collected from manufacturing businesses in Canada, United States, and New Zealand, and draw conclusions about two broad leadership styles — that of the “socialized” leader and that of the “personalized” leader.

Socialized leaders are people who seek to make their own lives and the lives of others fairer and more workable, says Poulin, while personalized leaders look primarily to their own interest alone.

Poulin and his colleagues found that two patterns emerged among firms that were deemed by opinion leaders to be successful. First, socialized leadership relationships succeeded in transforming the firm by applying leadership and management principles to serve the needs of others, and enlisting support throughout and beyond the firm. Second, personalized leadership relationships promised much and either achieved narrowly defined success, or failed completely.

They write: “When socialized leaders are present at the CEO level, the other parts of the organization – identity, structure, and system – can be properly balanced in task and social orientation and the organization will likely stand for what it needs to be most about – equity, individual human dignity, and of course, valued products and services produced and supplied by productive people, efficiently and cost effectively.”

Balance is critical in understanding the difference between the two types of leaders, says Poulin, “Socialized leaders have regard for both themselves and other people at the same time, but when the pressure is on, they will side with the best interests of all. The personalized leader, on the other hand, loses that balance when the crunch comes.”

Of all the traits that effective business leaders exhibit – courage, experience, determination, vision, humility, and integrity – Bryan Poulin believes that integrity, humility, and determination are most important. “You have to make a determination of the will,” states Poulin, “and say: ‘I will be known as a person who looks out for others, not just myself, and effectively communicate this in word and action.'"

Even then, your effectiveness will not be fully known until time passes.

Michael Z. Hackman is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Carmen Barbarasa-Mihai is a consultant for the Government of Canada and was a member of Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration from August 2002 to January 2007.

Leadership Succession: Five Ways Businesses Can Fail

Despite many leadership successions and much experience, corporations fail to put in place effective CEOs consistently. The succession literature and the illustrative case studies together suggest the following five ways to fail, and possible remedies.

1 Deception

Appearances are deceiving. The incumbent CEO and Chair of the Board and other Board members can fall under the spell of a personalized leader with an ability to oversell.

Possible remedy: Check references carefully to determine if the person fits the profile of the personalized or socialized leader, including the exercise of how much or little he or she helps and trusts others, and shares in their successes.

2 Nepotism

One of the most frequent instances of malfunction relates to nepotism or cronyism.

Possible remedy: Be clear on what is looked for, and test on merit, not familiarity.

3 Homosocial Reproduction

This is the tendency of the current CEO and/or Board to choose someone who appears demographically or otherwise socially similar.

Possible remedy: Look to vision and competencies, and test for behaviors and psychological growth: how has the person learned to look out for him or herself, as well as others?

4 Invulnerability

A false sense of invulnerability occurs when past success is associated with an incumbent CEO. Even a strong and appropriate culture, built up over many decades, is vulnerable to decay and cultism.

Possible remedy: Be on the lookout for potential leadership talent within.

5 Seduction by Promise of Immediate or Short-term Gain

This temptation obviously plays to the decision makers' ignorance, insecurity, or both.

Possible remedy: Look out for the leader who plays to base motives and offers false hope, and distinguish between these selfish, personalized leaders and the humble yet determined leaders of integrity who offer real performance over the long-term.

- Excerpted from the article “Leadership and Succession: The Challenge to Succeed and the Vortex of Failure”

Profiles in Leadership


Ugo & Andrea Feunekes
This Fredericton-based company creates software for sustainable forest management planning that is considered by many to be the standard in the industry. Software developed by Remsoft Inc. is used in the management of more than 200 million acres of forestland on five continents. The company was founded in 1992 by Andrea Feunekes (BA/HBOR’83), President, and Ugo Feunekes (HBScF’83), Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. Andrea went on to complete a MScF (UNB) and Ugo completed a BSc (McGill) and a MScF (UNB).

What is your leadership style and what makes you effective?

Andrea: I believe in providing my team with the tools to do their job effectively. I hire smart, capable people and then get out of their way. Because I include our team in discussions about our company’s direction, we are all focused on the same goals.

Ugo: I like to lead by example. I work in a “pod” alongside my technology team. This helps us to collaborate more effectively and create a great work environment.

How has your Lakehead University education helped you in being where you are today professionally?

Andrea: Besides the fact that Ugo and I met at Lakehead, I received an Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lakehead University. I was not at all expecting to run a software company. My education at Lakehead was a stepping stone to better understand our natural environment and how to communicate its value to the public.

Ugo: I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from Lakehead University and then completed a Computer Science degree at McGill University. These degrees combined my two interests and enabled me to develop the software tools that we sell.

What is your idea of professional and personal success?

Andrea: As far as professional success goes, I believe I have achieved many of my goals. I really enjoy coming to work everyday. I lead a great team of people who are making a difference in the way our forests are being managed around the world. Personal success to me is to know that my family is happy.

Ugo: Because Remsoft is very successful and our software is selling all over the world, professionally I am happy. I feel successful when I have been able to solve interesting problems.

What are the major challenges faced by leaders today and how do these compare with yesterday’s challenges?

Ugo: The main challenge facing leaders today is adjusting to a global marketplace. The global market can also be their best advantage, depending on how prepared they are.

What role does higher education in general play in developing leaders relative to actual experience in the “trenches”?

Andrea: Higher education gives us a broader perspective. It opens our minds. We are better thinkers and analyzers, and learn how to learn. These are important characteristics when facing the many challenges of leadership.

Remsoft has received numerous awards including the Business Excellence Award (Chamber of Commerce), Export Achievement Award (Alliance of Manufactures and Exporters of Canada), KIRA Award – Export (Knowledge Industry Task Force), KIRA Award – Technological Innovation (Knowledge Industry Task Force), and the Community IT Hero Award (IT Association of Canada). Andrea Feunekes is the 2006 winner of the RBC Entrepreneur of the Year award for Innovation in Technology.


Glenn A. Miller
PenEquity is a Canadian company that has undertaken retail and entertainment development projects in excess of 4.2 million square feet, including Toronto Life Square, a 500,000 square-foot multi-use complex scheduled to open in the fall of 2007. The Toronto-based company was established in 1984 by its Chairman Glenn A. Miller (BSc’69, Grad.Dip. Bus.’69) who holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.


Success to me is finding the balance between the professional and the personal life, and never losing sight of family being the highest priority. There are always times when the professional life has demanded exceptional time and effort, but success is keeping it all in perspective and being able to compartmentalize. It is also important to recognize that each of your team members needs as much of that balance as possible to be fully productive. If you have balance, you have success.


I believe that the generic basket of required leadership skills is the same today as yesterday. What is different, in this truly global world, is the accelerated rate of change and the speed of communication. In a few decades we have gone from taking as long as years to change product lines, markets, manufacturing and production lines, and distribution to weeks, if not days. An acceptable response time, previously measured in days or weeks, has now shrunk to an expected immediate response. The challenge is in how quickly and fully we embrace the new technology and then how best we control its uses and efficiency before it controls us.

Canadian Leaders

Canada is highly respected abroad, both in the public and private sectors. We have an exceptional culture and standard of living, a highly educated work force, and abundant natural resources. We embrace technology and, in fact, are on the leading edge of technology in many areas. We compete successfully on the world stage. By almost every competitive measurement tool, we have the credentials to take a leadership role in a global world. While it is not the Canadian way, we have earned the right to wave our flag more than we do.

Role of Higher Education

The key leadership skill that both higher education and experience develops is intelligence. Leaders develop intelligence over time. Higher education gave me the big skill — how to learn. But I know many individuals who figured it all out in the trenches. That being said, over the past few decades it has become more and more essential to take the university stepping stone, otherwise you end up with a disadvantage when starting your career.


Kate Bird
Through its offices in Ontario and Nova Scotia, Career Essentials specializes in upgrading the skills of unemployed adults in order to facilitate their reintegration into the workforce. The company offers individualized services covering assessment, training, job search, and co-operative experiences. It was founded in 1998 by its President, Kate Bird (BEd’94) who in 2002 was named Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Startup by the Rotman School of Management.

Leadership Style

My approach is collaborative and, although I understand I will never achieve consensus on everything, I feel strongly that I should be able to sell my ideas to people. If I can’t, then perhaps they're not the best ideas after all. I would rather take the time to explain my rationale to get “buy-in” from my staff than take an authoritative approach.

Personal and Professional Success

My ideas of professional and personal success are very similar. I love challenges and I love to appreciate the “moment.” Because of my background in Physical Education and Education, I take great pleasure in watching other people thrive and succeed, and I enjoy being able to facilitate their success.

Major Challenges

The character of the people we’re leading has changed dramatically. Managing staff 10 years ago was very different from managing staff today. It is important for leaders to understand their staff’s motivation in order to truly lead.

Role of Higher Education

I think higher education prepares us to think on a grander and broader scale.… I feel that the more education and knowledge I possess, the better able I am to have discussions with people from various fields. Being a good leader requires that I find ways to connect with my staff and my customers, and the more I know, the more I can interact with people whose interests might be different from mine.


Frances Picherack (BScN’73, MEd’78) is the Founder and President of Petrine Consulting Inc., a company based in Edmonton and Vancouver. Since 1991, Petrine Consulting has provided strategic policy advice, issues management, and capacity development services to health systems (mainstream and alternative, public and private sectors), as well as to governments, regulators, educational institutions, public tribunals, and foundations.

Lakehead Experience

Both my degrees at Lakehead were very timely. They strategically enabled me to be at the forefront of leadership and innovation in the focused world of health care, and in the broader arena of planning, evaluation, and political economy in the larger and politically sensitive health arena. Lakehead, for me, was the beginning of “pushing the envelope” of both discovery and application that has fuelled the passion in my career path.

Two professors at Lakehead influenced me profoundly. Sharon Oliver, who had come to Lakehead from McGill, told me that change would be the most continuous challenge in career development for my generation. She encouraged broad thinking and robust search and discovery, but made it clear that this was not enough without having an open mind and operating ethically and with sensitivity to people. Sharon Oliver engendered a pride about scholarly activity, and how it would inform the many career changes we would make over the years. She celebrated the fruits of inquiry with the students, and put them into broader professional and personal contexts, teaching us the power and rewards of curiosity in the face of change. Mary Richardson, a professor in Education, encouraged the diversity of doing my graduate work in a field outside of nursing and  health, as it could satisfy my primary interest in research methods at a time when a dearth of such degrees existed in health policy, planning, or administration. Lakehead University blessed my taking the road less travelled, and, as Robert Frost says in his poem, The Road Not Taken, “that has made all the difference.”


Personal success for me is living and celebrating a meaningful life with family, friends, and colleagues. A meaningful life is interesting, challenging, progressive, reflective, and spiritual. Whether it involves the joy or sadness of life, it faces the truth with respect and compassion. It allows me to make an ongoing contribution to family, friends, and society.


Understanding globalization as a space rather than a place brings leaders squarely into the eye and consciousness of civil society. The leader who sees globalization merely as an imposition from other places or a threat to a self-declared or former elite uniqueness tied to their place, does not understand - or may be denying — that knowledge, information, innovation, and discovery can be derived from anywhere today.

Transparent processes and rules for the conduct of enterprise (private or public sector) are part of an integrated web of changing norms, laws, and conventions reflecting societal values, such as dignity and respect for diversity and fair business practices that must be afforded to all. Some leaders may not be aware of or acknowledge that dysfunctional, unsafe, unethical, or corrupt patterns or processes at home or abroad will manifest publicly. Such naïveté or disposition may result in unwanted or negative forced disclosure or publicity that an enterprise or leader cannot recover from without significant transformation.

The leader who develops the skill and has the ethic to collaborate for innovation — while retaining a watchful and humble eye as well as the courageous commitment to say “No” or, when necessary, halt a situation — will have a positive and successful leadership impact in the emerging global space, regardless of global place.

The fundamentals of these challenges have always existed. They are more compelling and more transparent today because of global consciousness, increased accountability, and public scrutiny. The impact of disclosure that comes from leadership failure to understand the global space is far more serious, abrupt, and unforgiving today. The leader of today can take none of this for granted and must robustly and continuously exercise diligence not only in what to do and what not to do, but how to be, ethically as well as strategically. Leaders at the forefront of significant and enduring successes in the global arena consistently manifest an understanding of global space.


David Shannon
David Shannon (BA’86) is Executive Director of the Canadian Paraplegic Society (Nova Scotia) and author of Six Degrees of Dignity: Disability in an Age of Freedom, published by Creative Bound Inc. , in 2007. David has a law degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, and a Master's degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Leadership Style

My approach is very collaborative. No vision can be implemented without a team working together on a common objective. With this in mind, I like to establish a common theme or purpose to our work, then draw from the capacities and strengths of each group member, and build upon their collective talents in order to steer project completion.

Lakehead Experience

This was a critical time personally to build confidence and self-esteem through intellectual pursuits. It became my motivator for law school and graduate school.

What Defines Success

Seeing those around you improve in their skills and ambitions and grow emotionally.


Responding to technological advancement in a socially responsible way, and maintaining human rights and civil liberties in the face of shrinking resources and the pressures of armed conflict. This is nothing new, but history has shown what happens when responses are not measured and thoughtful.

Canadian Leaders

I am profoundly concerned that leaders in Canada and throughout the world have not yet embraced the paradigm shift that is necessary to respond to a global world. Dignity as a cornerstone of new social constructions will be necessary, but it is all too frequently missing when considering ethical responses to advancing technologies, displaced persons, poverty, climate change, and armed conflict to name a few.

Role of University

Without higher education a leader will always be missing a critical piece, like an incomplete puzzle. I am not suggesting that one cannot be a leader without higher education or that higher education creates leaders in and of itself. It is, however, foundational.

Impact of the Lakehead Experience

It helped me intellectually, socially, and otherwise, so I am constantly drawing upon my experience at Lakehead to develop my expertise. Perhaps the greatest benefit at Lakehead was the curriculum which, for the first time, exposed me to great thinkers in a concentrated and sophisticated way. I often look to their work to dream, quote, establish my professional ethos, and to maintain structure to my work.

Food, Friendship, and a Sense of Security

Thunder Bay’s Ogden-Simpson Veggie Garden Project is a great example of community service learning

Michelle Nowak

Donna Renaud
When Donna Renaud entered her final year in the Honours Bachelor of Social Work program last fall, the last thing she expected to learn about was gardening.

Renaud’s fourth-year research methodology class conducted a qualitative evaluation of the Ogden-Simpson Veggie Garden Project, a year-old community garden project in Thunder Bay with over 30 gardens. Students evaluated how gardening strengthens the City’s East End area, by studying the project’s impact on residents’ sense of belonging, well-being, and safety.

The class, taught by Connie Nelson, has studied an aspect of food security over the past several years. Through the community service learning approach, students like Renaud evaluated the project’s impact firsthand, by interviewing and documenting the activities of gardeners and residents. “For me, the hands-on learning was so significant to see it all come together,” says Renaud.

Nelson says that’s the goal. “What community service learning is demonstrating is that there is an experiential and traditional knowledge in the community that is a very valuable source of knowledge,” says Nelson. “We are committed not only to bringing the knowledge of the University into the community, but also to bringing the knowledge of the community into the University.”

The approach has grown like Topsy. This past academic year, many of Lakehead’s disciplines engaged students in community service learning with a food security theme. Political Science students developed a community food charter; Business Administration students studied the potential for a local organic food market; Sociology students investigated why milk costs vary greatly in many northern communities.

The Social Work students learned that both friendship and food are cultivated by the project. Resident Suzie McFarlane was the first to give over her yard for others to garden. “It’s great. I don’t get out much and this way I’m meeting new people. While they’re weeding or planting, we chat,” says McFarlane.

Students also discovered an inherent sense of sharing and trust. Former Community Development/Youth Worker and member of the Food Security Research Network Marg Stadey says available plants are given to anyone who’ll use them. “What happens is that those who can’t afford to start plants have a break,” says Stadey.

While gardeners often build fences to prevent stealing, many gardens are purposefully grown on the back lane-way, so passersby can pick for themselves. Small, random acts of urban renewal were an unexpected offshoot of gardening.

Renaud noticed where passersby often stopped to chat over a garden, a graffiti-covered shed nearby was given a fresh coat of paint. An elderly couple in the neighborhood were having a hard time cleaning up their yard to sell their house. Some gardeners cleared debris and raked, and the place sold in days.

The Veggie Garden Project is an example of the kind of community service learning that is being nurtured through the Food Security Research Network, co-directed by Professors Connie Nelson, School of Social Work, and Doug West, Department of Political Science.

In 2007, the Network donated $1,000 worth of seeds to the project by providing hundreds of tomato, squash, and broccoli plants, started over the winter in the Lakehead University greenhouse. It also hired two part-time student staff to work with the community participants in the gardens and write grants requesting support. “It’s really a three-way win here: community, University, and the students, and hopefully, with that magic combination, we will really move forward in strengthening local food systems,” says Nelson.

Connections are being made all the time. In June, the Thunder Bay Correctional Centre unexpectedly delivered hundreds of plants to organizers after reading about the project in the local newspaper. The donation was timely because the project did not have the money or indoor space this year to start enough of its own seedlings before planting time.

Stadey says in this second season of gardening, the focus of building relationships while sharing gardening hasn’t changed but there have been challenges and they have had to make adjustments.

By building on Lakehead’s staffing and financial support, she says, the community now needs to steer the project. “It is important for the community participants to decide how to carry on as a community-based initiative,” says Stadey. This can be accomplished by nurturing relationships. Walking tours were planned to promote networking and Stadey hopes a “garden house” can be established, where people can gather to plan for the future.

During the summer of 2007, Donna Renaud transplanted aspects of the project to her own neighbourhood on the north side of Thunder Bay. She polled her neighbors and discovered that they too welcomed opportunities to get to know each other better. Soon, collective yard sales and a block barbecue happened.

Although she’s not able to work in her food garden, Suzie McFarlane can tend her front flower garden where the symbolic flower of the Veggie Garden Project, the morning glory, grows. The purplish flowers tell passersby that her home is part of the project. Her garden yielded a bumper crop of potatoes last season and she plans to expand the plot next year. “As plants get larger it makes me happy,” says McFarlane. “I look out there and I like what I see. It all went to people who needed food.”

Notes from the Editor

What We Have Learned

Welcome to the Fall/Winter ’07 issue of the Lakehead University Alumni Magazine.

Frances Harding, Eleanor Abaya, and Mehdi Zahaf
Over the past year, Lakehead’s Director of Communications Eleanor Abaya and I have learned a lot about what our readers like and don’t like about the Magazine.

Thanks to Mehdi Zahaf and his graduate students in Business Administration, we were able to conduct a readership survey where we learned that our readers:
  • Consider Lakehead University Alumni Magazine to be the most important source of information about Lakehead (followed by the Website and Lakehead e-bulletins)
  • Are very satisfied with the Alumni Magazine’s content and layout
  • Prefer to read the Alumni Magazine in print rather than online
  • Would like to read more about Lakehead research initiatives, and alumni, faculty, and student achievements in every issue
  • Would like to receive more than two issues per year, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.
We also learned that some of our readers were concerned about seeing advertising in the Alumni Magazine and questioned why there was a need to solicit advertising. Others questioned why advertising was heavily weighted toward Northwestern Ontario companies. The answers to these questions can be found in our budget and in our demographics.

Lakehead University has a limited budget for the Alumni Magazine and, for the past several years, the Office of Communications has relied heavily on revenues from the sale of advertising (electronic and print) to offset the increasing costs of production (writing, design, photography, and printing).

Currently, we mail one copy of the Alumni Magazine to every graduate -- except in the case where there are two or more Lakehead alumni living under one roof. We have also kept the number of pages to a maximum of 28, and write most of the articles internally rather than hiring paid external writers. But even while making these economies, we are still challenged to keep abreast of rising costs. In fact, prior to generating advertising revenues, the Alumni Magazine had been operating on a deficit.

As to why so much of our advertising relates to Northwestern Ontario, the answer lies in our mailing list. Lakehead has over 41,000 alumni living around the world, but we have correct mailing addresses for only 25,288 and of these, approximately 34% live in Southern Ontario and 51% in Northern Ontario including Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay businesses have been supportive of the Alumni Magazine, and they have been quick to see the benefits of advertising. It has been a greater challenge to sell advertising space to companies operating outside the region, but we would certainly welcome those advertisers!

Taking all these factors into consideration, we have determined that an editorial to advertising ratio somewhere between 65:35 and 70:30 is a satisfactory solution that addresses our revenue needs while maintaining the editorial standards that our readers have come to expect.

So thank you to the many readers who took part in our focus groups and telephone and online surveys, and to our advertisers who continue to choose Lakehead University Alumni Magazine. We have learned a great deal over the past year and, with your help, will continue to improve the publication.
We urge you to stay engaged. Send us news about your accomplishments and new ventures, because unless you tell us, we won’t know. Remember, too, to keep us informed of your current postal and email address so you can continue to receive Alumni Magazine.

Best Wishes,

Frances Harding

Campus News

Convocation 2007

Dick Pound
Lakehead celebrated its largest graduating class this year with approximately 2,300 graduands attending three Convocation ceremonies last May. Honorary degrees were awarded to Goyce Kakegamic, Aboriginal educator, artist, and community leader in Northwestern Ontario; Dick Pound, lawyer, businessman, and a leader in the Canadian and international Olympic movements; and David Strangway, a visionary university researcher and educator who has had a profound impact on the shape of university-based research in Canada. Richard Buset, a long-time supporter of Lakehead, was presented with the title Fellow of Lakehead University.

"I will treasure this occasion and the connection with Lakehead for the rest of my life."
-- Dick Pound, first chair of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an international organization set up to promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against doping in sport

Athletes of the Year

Jeff Cameron and Rena Bode
Two outstanding Nordic Skiers claimed the title “Lakehead U Athlete of the Year” in 2007: Rena Bode and Jeff Cameron (HBScF’07). Bode led the women’s team to three straight Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships and four consecutive Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) national championships, as well as competing in Italy at the 2007 Winter Universiade Games. Cameron, too, competed in Italy at the 2003 Winter Universiade Games and, in his final year, collected five gold medals from the OUA and a bronze medal from CIS.

Orillia News

Rebecca Hand and Sally-Ann Burnett
A student from the Orillia campus has won the grand prize associated with last year’s YaleShmale/Be Smart awareness campaign – a pre-paid four-year lease to a Smart Car. Rebecca Hand is enrolled in the five-year HBASc/BEd P/J program and was one of 3,000 people across Canada and abroad who entered the contest. Handing her the keys is Sally-Ann Burnett who served as Director of Operations, Orillia Campus, from April 2006 to September 2007.

Dr. Ronald Harpelle

2006 Distinguished Researcher

Ronald Harpelle has been named Lakehead University's Distinguished Researcher. Harpelle teaches Latin American and Caribbean History and has a special interest in international development. His current research is on the social history of the West Indian diaspora to Central America between 1850 and 1950, and focuses on the struggles for recognition and acceptance of these people during the first half of the 20th Century. Current projects include a history of the International Development Research Centre (which he is writing with Bruce Muirhead of the University of Waterloo) and a documentary film on barbed wire.

YaleShmale/Be Smart

A controversial Awareness Campaign positioning Lakehead University as a smart choice for students attracted worldwide attention from the media and helped to contribute to a 14% increase in first-choice applications from Ontario high school students for the 2007-2008 academic year. The campaign also received a CCAE award. Read more Lakehead success stories in the Annual Report

Biorefining Research Initiative

The Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation is providing $6 million in support of a Biorefining Research Initiative (BRI) at Lakehead. Biorefining processes transform low-value biomass feedstocks into higher-value products. Read more online:


Whither the Lakehead Pool?

In 2006-2007, Lakehead University's Board of Governors authorized administration to examine issues surrounding the potential renovation and re-allocation of space within the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse.

The essence of a proposal by the Department of Athletics is to reconfigure the space and close the pool to create a service and retail mall that would offer a mix of university and private sector services, including the Alumni Bookstore, food stores, restaurants, coffee shops, clothing stores, and banking services. The service/retail mall would provide enhanced services for the entire Lakehead University community and would create the revenue stream necessary to pay for modernizing the building. Renovating the building would give Lakehead the opportunity to improve the programming space for athletics as well as recreational programs, create additional lecture areas and laboratories, and enhance building security.

Eleanor Abaya, Lakehead’s Director of Communications, met with Tom Warden, Lakehead’s Director of Athletics, to discuss the proposal. The following is an excerpt of their conversation.

Eleanor Abaya: In a nutshell, what is the challenge facing Lakehead University and the Department of Athletics?

Tom Warden: Deferred maintenance. The C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse is approximately 35 years old. And although it has served us well and we have done a good job of maintaining it, there is a point in time when a university needs to assess its facilities to determine if a particular facility is still meeting the needs for which it was originally intended, at a cost that is acceptable under the current circumstances. The time has come to do that for the facility. This assessment will include research into the cost of maintaining the current uses, as well as the feasibility of alternative uses that may include revenue-generating opportunities and extensive renovations to the facility.

We need to decide on a solution that will benefit the greatest number of students and other stakeholders in the most comprehensive way. What solution will benefit the most stakeholders? That is the question we need to answer before we make a decision on this issue.

Abaya: What are the advantages and disadvantages of re-allocating space within the Fieldhouse to create a service/retail space?

Warden: The main advantage of this proposal is that by creating a service/retail space, Lakehead could afford to retrofit the entire building. This would mean having new athletics programming and additional academic and office space to address the current space shortage; a new entrance with better security and admissions controls; an accessible university bookstore; and the convenience of having more services on campus under one roof. The main disadvantage is that we would lose our pool. However, I must point out that by our calculations, the pool is not widely used by members of the Lakehead community or the public.

Abaya: Regardless of whether the pool is widely used or not as you claim, isn’t the pool providing an invaluable service to the community as it stands, and should we not, therefore, keep it?

Warden: Under ideal circumstances it would be a sound approach to provide a service that does not pay for itself especially if it supports the University’s outreach objectives within the internal and external communities. The harsh reality, however, is we cannot afford to do so. First, the usage level is much lower than we would hope and therefore does not justify the space and upkeep it requires. Second, the reconfiguring of the overall facility space will mean the space can be put to better use for everybody as well as allow us to generate reasonable revenues to support new and enhanced programming. It is a question of priority and how we can best maximize our resources for the greatest good.

Abaya: Are you able to share the cost/benefit analysis that would support your proposal?

Warden: Of course. This will be part of the consultation process.

Abaya: What is the process and time frame for decision-making?

Warden: Our first course of action will be to consult with all the stakeholders through small focus groups and public meetings. Our student body, faculty, alumni, staff, and other users need an opportunity to have their opinions heard. We expect this consultation process to take place in 2007-2008, and a decision will be made only after consultations are completed.

Abaya: What opportunity will students, alumni, staff, and the Lakehead University community as a whole have to voice their comments and opinions?

Warden: In September we started our consultations with stakeholders, and the process is continuing. Stakeholders are encouraged to voice their opinions and concerns either at the sessions or directly to me by email:

We want to make sure stakeholders have a full understanding of the issues and strategic implications of a decision either way. We also want to ensure that the process is comprehensive, inclusive, and allows everyone’s voice to be heard. The schedule and guidelines for the project consultation process will be available on our website

Do you have an opinion about the future of the Lakehead University Pool? Email your comments to:


Daryle Martin HBPE '90
The C. J. Sanders Fieldhouse was named in honor of Carl J. Sanders, a wealthy philanthropist who donated the majority of his estate to seven colleges and universities, mostly in Northwestern Ontario. At the time, his gift of $200,000 (toward Phase 1 construction costs of $840,000) was the largest individual monetary gift to Lakehead University.

Phase 1 officially opened in March 1969 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by Reverend Father David Bauer and a performance by Canadian folk-singing duo Ian and Sylvia. Phase 1 consisted of a gymnasium auditorium accommodating 3,200 people for non-athletic events such as science fairs, conventions, concerts, and Convocation.

Phase 2 officially opened in January 1973. It included an Olympic-sized swimming pool; two large outdoor fields for soccer, rugby, and field hockey; three squash/handball courts; and an auxiliary gym, weight room and exercise physiology lab.

The cost of construction for Phase 2 was $1.8 million, of which the provincial government agreed to pay $1.2 million. The balance came from the University’s development fund and included an annual grant from the City of Thunder Bay.

These grants were given to the University as part of an agreement between the University, the City and the province wherein the Fieldhouse would be available to the public.

Total enrolment in 1973-74 was approximately 2,600 students.

Dr. Jim Widdop, Chair of the Physical Education program at the time, anticipated the pool would lead to national swimming championships at the University saying, "About 33% of the pool time will be needed by the University. The remaining time will be allocated to the community while University students continue their training in coaching."

The Chronicle-News reported that the general public would be able to purchase inexpensive memberships that would, in the words of Lakehead President Bill Tamblyn, cover administrative costs.

Lakehead University had hoped that the Fieldhouse would be the main site for the 1981 Canada Summer Games, but because the pool was not equipped with five- and ten-metre towers (due to the high cost of construction), the bid was denied.

Public use of the swimming pool has continued to this day, however, with many community groups using the pool for swim clubs, underwater hockey games, Special Olympics training, synchronized swimming, aqua fitness, canoe and kayaking instruction, emergency training, and cardboard boat races for Shad Valley participants and others.

Written by Frances Harding with assistance from Mike Paularinne (HBKin’01, BEd’0, MEd’06)) who researched and wrote a history of the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse in 1997 for Dr. Ron Lappage, Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology.


Honoring Lakehead's Finest

Tom Warden, Director of Athletics

Top l-r: Kerri Rock (née Skilling) and Kelly Breutigam. Bottom: Lakehead NorWesters Hockey Team 1968-69
Another year of Athletics is now under way and students, alumni, and fans can expect to see some shining performances by the Lakehead University Thunderwolves. The season began in the fall with two special events - the John Zanatta Memorial Games and the 2007 Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The Wall of Fame Ceremony is a biannual event where we honor alumni athletes who have made significant contributions to Lakehead University. During the weekend of September 29, 2007, we inducted in the Athletes category Murray Smith, Dwight Stirrett, and Dave Siciliano from men’s hockey; Frank Abdou of men’s wrestling; Kelly Wilkins (née Breutigan) of women’s volleyball; and Kerri Rock (née Skilling) of women's swimming. In the Builders category we inducted former wrestling Head Coach Bob Thayer (who led the men’s team to Lakehead’s only CIAU national championship in 1979-80) and in the Team category, we honored the 1974-75 women’s swim team, and the golf teams from 1967-68 to 1970-71 that won four consecutive OIAA Golf championships.

All of our varsity teams are now in action and I am expecting strong performances from each one.

Dwight Stirrett, Dave Siciliano, and Murray Smith
Many exciting varsity events are planned for the year including one at the Orillia Campus, a Wrestling Duals Meet in November in Thunder Bay, and the TBayTel Varsity Cup men’s hockey tournament at the Fort William Gardens during the December holiday break. As well during the holidays, our women's basketball team is making a historic trip to Cuba to play against three top Cuban squads and to soak up some of the culture of this fascinating Caribbean country.

Of course, we will have our regular campus recreation leagues for students and staff, in addition to all of the excellent facilities which give all our students, staff, and members the opportunity to keep up an active and healthy lifestyle. So, I hope to see you soon — either supporting the Thunderwolves this year in Orillia or Thunder Bay, or perhaps even running around the Hangar track!

Class Notes


Dorothy Wright (BA’71), CAO of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), has been named the 2007 public sector Influential Woman of the Year for the Northwest, an award given out annually by the Northern Ontario Business Magazine. This prestigious award recognizes and honors women who have contributed to the economic growth and development of Northern Ontario.

Donna Fossum (Lib.Tech’73, BA’87) is living in Sarasota, Florida, USA, with her husband Earl who works for Unique Air, Inc. She plans to visit her daughter in Yellowknife this December for the birth of her first grandchild. “We’ll be going out of the frying pan and into the freezer!”

In September 2006, The European Society of Cardiology conferred upon Dr. Andrew Zawadowski (BSc’74, HBSc’75) a Fellowship in recognition of his contributions to cardiology. After graduating from Lakehead, Andrew attended McMaster University Medical School and did a residency at the University of Western Ontario. For over 20 years he has been a practitioner, researcher, and educator in Oakville, ON, where he lives with his wife Iris. As Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine for McMaster University, Andrew has guided many medical and medical technology students, and he has participated in over 14 important clinical research studies at Halton Healthcare Services. Andrew Zawadowski is the son of Dr. Leo Zawadowski, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Romance Philology, Lakehead University.

Victor Zilberman (HBPHE’77) was honored recently by the Concordia University Alumni Association for his outstanding service as Concordia’s Men’s Wrestling Coach.

Zilberman defected from the Soviet Union in the early 1970s and was, at the time, a national wrestling champion. He studied at Lakehead and then earned a Graduate Diploma in Sports Administration at Concordia and a PhD at the Université de Montréal.

Over the years, Zilberman founded Montreal’s Wrestling Club and put together Concordia’s first wrestling team for the 1980 Olympic Games. Zilberman eventually became head coach of the Canadian Olympic wrestling team in 1988 and 1992, and continues to coach Canadian athletes internationally. Zilberman’s Concordia wrestling teams have amassed 67 CIS gold medals and produced dozens of national champions. He was also named the outstanding CIS men’s wrestling coach in 1984 and 1986.


In February 2007, Ray Raslack (HBComm’80) was appointed Director of Human Resources at Lakehead University. Prior to his appointment, he spent 12 years as Director of HR Services at St. Marys Paper Ltd. in Sault Ste. Marie, and before that he managed Human Resources for Abitibi-Consolidated, Fort William Division, in Thunder Bay. He currently resides in Thunder Bay with his wife, Laurie, and has two children.

Tara Tyson (BAdmin’84) married Brian Field and now has a blended family of five children. She moved to Toronto in April 2007 and works at Toronto Central CCAC as a Senior Manager of Quality, Risk and Evaluation.

Since her graduation, Lorraine Thomson (HBScN’89/NURSP’96) has been working at the Southwest Aboriginal Health Access Centre as a nurse practitioner and clinical manager in London, ON, where she resides with her husband, Derek Pape.


Piero Pucci (HBA’94) is married to Naira Pucci and they have two sons, Antonio and Victor. The family is living in Petrolia, ON, where Piero is the Manager for Small Business for Scotiabank for Sarnia and Lambton County.

Gregory Duras (BAdmin’94) is the Chief Financial Officer of Vancouver-based Cash Minerals, an emerging publicly listed energy company focused on uranium, coal, and alternative fuels (synfuels). He has more than a decade of senior corporate finance experience for TSX-listed companies. Prior to joining Cash Minerals, Gregory held the position of Vice President of Finance and Administration for a mineral exploration and mining development company, with responsibility for financial reporting, project financing, auditing, and budgeting.

After obtaining her degree from Lakehead, Ursula Ludwig (née Waters) (BA’97) married and had four children. She now lives in Arthur, ON, and works as a Support Worker with Community Living Guelph-Wellington. She is contemplating going back to school for either a teaching degree, or a Master’s degree in Psychology.

Mary Anne Oribhabor (BScN’97) is expecting her second child in December 2007. She obtained a Gerontology diploma from Mount Royal College, AB, works at the William Osler Health Centre in Brampton, ON., and is the recipient of a Preceptorship Award.
Todd Mansell (BEng’97) was recently appointed as the new technical marketing manager for Sakai America - an internationally renowned producer of vibratory compactors. He has an MBA from Santa Clara University in California and more than 15 years of experience in construction materials engineering, much of it in HMA mix design, plant production, placement, and construction of asphalt pavements. Prior to joining Sakai, Mansell was a paving quality engineer for Graniterock in Watsonville, California.

Gino Cacciatore (BAdmin’97) has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of Strangeloop Networks Inc., based in Vancouver, BC. Gino has more than 20 years experience in financial management and has served as Vice President of Finance for OctigaBay Systems, and as Vice President of Finance for Cray Inc.

Jorg Ruppenstein (BEng’98) has been named Chief Executive Officer of the Fort Frances Power Corporation. Jorg has eight years experience working in the pulp and paper industry at Abitibi-Consolidated, Fort Frances Division Mill. He championed several key strategic projects to help the mill stay competitive in a difficult market environment and was a key player in preparing the mill for a deregulated electricity market. He and his wife Christine live in Fort Frances and have one daughter, Monika.

Anthony Santelli (BA’98) graduated from the University of Windsor with a degree in education and recently launched a new online Canadian political magazine, Sir John, named after Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister ( Santelli is planning the release of a monthly print version of his magazine in late spring or summer of 2008.

Jeremy Tiers (HBA’98) spent the past two years at South St. Paul High School in Minnesota as a College and Career Advisor, and two seasons as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Hamline University in St. Paul. Late last summer he accepted the head assistant coaching position at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota, where he now lives with his wife Jen. The school competes at the NCAA Division II level.

Matt Tocheri (HBA’99) obtained a Master’s degree and PhD in Physical Anthropology at Arizona State University. Today, Matt is a graduate research associate with the Partnership for Research in Spatial Modelling (PRISM) at Arizona State U where he is conducting research on technology used in forensic science and anthropology. To learn more about Matt’s work, please visit the PRISM website at

Mindy Martin (née Foisie) (HBKin’99) is married to Jason Martin (HBKin’99) and they have a two-year-old son. Mindy lives in the Philippines where she works as a school teacher at Brent International School.


Michael Bertuzzi (BA’02) is living in Guilin, China, and managing China climb - China's leading adventure travel company that delivers outdoor education programs for international schools, teambuilding and incentive trips for companies, and custom packages for adventurous tourists from around the world. If you are interested in employment or looking for a program in China you may contact him by email:

Kimberly MacKinnon (née Chinkiwsky) (BA/BEd’02) recently was married to David MacKinnon of Cape Breton and is settled in Russell, ON.

Aisling McGilly-Tsokos (BA’02) is married with two sons, Triskin, 3, and Tieran, 1. She lives in Brighton, ON, and works as a teacher with the Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board.

Nathan Kring (BA’03, HBA’04) was married in June 2004 and his daughter, Tanaeya, was born in February 2006. He is working as an elementary school teacher at Haileybury Public School in Haileybury, ON.

Stacey Cabaj (née Tallon) (BEd'04) has been working for the District School Board of Niagara for over three years as an eighth grade teacher and "loving every minute of it." She has been married for over two years and lives in St. Catharines, ON.

Michelle Bacso (HBES'05, BEd'07) is working as a full-time teacher with the Calgary Board of Education.

Muzi Ndlangamandla (BA'07) is working full-time at Investors Group in Thunder Bay as a Consultant. This Swaziland native resides here in Thunder Bay with his fiancé, Alona, a Civil Engineering student at Lakehead. Muzi can be reached at:

Imad Qasim Abdallah Odat (MSc'06) is a PhD student at Queen's University in the School of Computing. He started his studies in January 2007 and is expected to finish in 2010.

Djordje Varagic (BA'06) has returned to Ottawa, ON, and works as a Sales Account Executive with MSC Maplesoft Consulting Inc.

Shelley Adams (BEd'07) is living in Bobcaygeon, ON, and works as an Office Assistant/Desktop Publishing at Buckhorn Narrows Resort in Buckhorn, ON.

Kim Latimer (BEd'07) is the Communications Coordinator for Lakehead's Centre of Excellence for Children and Adolescents with Special Needs in Thunder Bay, ON. She has also been hired as a supply teacher with the Catholic Board of Education.

Crystal Beach (MPH'07) is living in Waterloo, ON, and started law school in the fall of 2007.

James Anderson (HBComm'06, MScMgt'07), one of seven participants in this year's Ontario Municipal Internship Program, is currently working for the town of Marathon, ON.

In Memoriam

Janet Bartley, wife of Mel Bartley, the founding Principal of Lakehead Technical Institute
Geoffrey Engholm
, Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Lisa Richardson,  Professor of English and Classics
Keith Roy, Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences
Richard Sitko, Certificate in Business Leadership’03
Russ Swerdlyk, DipEd’71, BA’75



2007 Alumni Honour Award

Position: Chief Executive Officer of the North
West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN)
Lakehead degree: BScN’82

Prior to her appointment in August 2005 as CEO of the North West Local Health Integration Network, Dubois-Wing served as Executive Director of the Northwestern Ontario District Health Council (DHC). She is currently a member of the Board of Governors for The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences in Toronto and Chair of Michener’s Governance Task Force. She is also a member of the Board of Governors of Confederation College and the Board of Directors of Ontario Telemedicine Network.


2007 Young Alumni Award

Position: Vice-President, Risk Management, of CIB  Mellon Global Securities Services (GSS) & Trust (CMT) Company, and a member of the Lakehead University Board of Governors
Lakehead degree: Eng.Dip’95, HBComm’99
Dennison is responsible for developing, implementing, and maintaining CIBC Mellon’s risk management program and framework to ensure business risks are being measured and managed appropriately. He started his career with Canada Trust in 1997, then moved to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada in 1999, where he was responsible for regulating and supervising a portfolio of Canadian financial institutions.
To make nominations for 2008, visit 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, 2007. This page is sponsored by the Alumni Association of Lakehead University.

William (Bill) Tamblyn Centennial Building

Bill Tamblyn believed that university buildings were important, but they tended
to obscure the more important, and often intangible, human values a university
brings to an area. These and other reflections by Lakehead’s first president,
were delivered by his son David Tamblyn (BA’84, HBA’86) when the University
community gathered last June to rename and rededicate the Centennial Building.
Bill Tamblyn served as President from 1965 to 1972.

Books by Faculty

The existential Joss WhedonThe Existential Joss Whedon: Evil andHuman Freedom in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Serenity

by J. Michael Richardson and J. Douglas Rabb
"It is important to analyze the work of Whedon because he deals with important moral, psychological, and philosophical issues, using a narrative and metaphorical method rather than more thorny abstractions,” says Mike Richardson, “This allows him to speak to the youth of today directly, in a language they can quickly grasp. Moreover, he is one of the earliest forces in American TV to try to create a strong and independent female hero with whom the males on the show can work comfortably."

A Change of Plans: Women's Stories of Hemorrhagic Stroke

by Sharon Dale Stone
This book is a collection of 11 narratives by women who experienced hemorrhagic strokes before the age of 50. The author herself experienced a stroke as a young girl. It came on suddenly and the symptoms were misdiagnosed. "I hope that these stories will be empowering for women survivors of stroke,” says Sharon Dale Stone, “I feel confident that many women who have survived a stroke and been left with impairments will find something in these women's stories that will resonate with their own experiences."

Children's Human Rights: Challenging Global Barriers to the Child Liberation Movement

by Sonja Grover
This book will be of interest to persons teaching or doing research on topics regarding society and law, social justice, human rights, and children’s rights in various disciplines such as sociology, law, education, social work, and political science. Since coming to Lakehead University, Grover has published extensively in the area of children’s human rights and social justice in various international refereed academic journals. For details visit

Against Freud: Critics Talk Back

by Todd Dufresne
Against Freud collects the frank musings of some of the world’s best critics of Freud, providing a convincing and coherent “case against Freud” that is as amusing as it is rigorously presented. Author Todd Dufresne writes in the book’s Preface, "Against Freud provides the much-needed inside story, and occasionally some dirt, about the theory, practice, and business of psychoanalysis across a range of critical perspectives and specialties."
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