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Annual Report 2008-2009

Chad Gaffield
Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, is a guest speaker during Research & Innovation Week 2009.

Year In Review

University Governance

An international search is launched to find a new President and Vice-Chancellor of Lakehead University to take office in 2010. As well, the University begins searching for a Chancellor to succeed Dr. Lorne Everett, who has admirably represented Lakehead for the last nine years.

Convocation 2009

Lakehead University honorary degrees are awarded to Richard Stallman, free software advocate, Dr. John Evans, medical, research, and business leader, and Gwynne Dyer, journalist and filmmaker. Dr. John Augustine and Dr. John Whitfield, both community leaders, are made Fellows of Lakehead University.

The Young Alumni Award is presented to Terry Robinson, athlete, community leader, and human resources professional. Alumni Honour Awards are presented to Dr. Thomas Ryan, professor, teacher, and athlete, and Poh Lam Tan, business leader.

Lloyd Dennis, co-author of the Hall-Dennis report on the future of education in Ontario, published in 1968, receives the Lakehead University Ė Orillia Campus Civitas Award.

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine Charter Class graduates.

Recognizing Excellence

Dr. Bruce Strang (History) receives the 2008 Lakehead University Distinguished Instructor Award. Lakehead University Contribution to Teaching Awards are presented to Dr. Adam Van Tuyl (Mathematical Sciences), Dr. Bruce Strang (History), Dr. Randle Nelsen (Sociology), Dr. Lisa Korteweg (Education), Dr. Timothy Hardie (Business Administration), and Dr. Jason Blahuta (Philosophy).

Dr. Abdelhamid Tayebi (Electrical Engineering) and Dr. Syed S. Islam (Political Science) receive 2008 Lakehead University Distinguished Researcher Awards. Lakehead University Contribution to Research Awards are presented to Dr. Anna Guttman (English) and Dr. Charles Xu (Chemical Engineering).

Marie Ferguson, Administrative Assistant, Physical Plant, receives the 2009 Lakehead University Award to Staff for Outstanding Performance and/or Contributions.

Research and Innovation

Lakeheadís Biorefining Research Initiative (BRI) is officially launched with the appointment of Dr. Robert Dekker, Founding Director and Senior Ontario Research Chair in Biorefining Research. He is working with Dr. Wensheng Qin, Ontario Research Chair in Biorefining Research, and Dr. Wely Floriano, Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET)/Molecular Medicine Research Centre (MMRC) Biorefining Research Chair. The mandate of BRI is biorefining process development (biological and chemical) that transforms forestderived biomass into value-added bioproducts leading to new opportunities for the bioeconomy.

Research Infosource Inc. announces that in 2008 Lakehead places third in the University Income Growth 2002-2007 category, and 30th among Canadaís Top 50 Research Universities, based on total sponsored research income as well as research output and impact measures.

Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) takes part in the opening ceremonies of Research and Innovation Week, an annual event held in February to celebrate research excellence. SSHRC research grants totalling more than $2.4M over three years are awarded to Lakehead in 2008-2009 competitions, almost triple the funding received in previous years. New Discovery Grants awarded from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) total more than $1.0M over five years in diverse areas of study including forestry, food pathogens, and wireless communications.

Two Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) are appointed: Dr. Alla Reznik, Canada Research Chair in the Physics of Molecular Imaging, and Dr. Gregory Pyle, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Biotechnology and Ecotoxicology. With the additional allocation of CRCs in 2008, there will be a total of 11 CRCs at Lakehead.

An international research team headed by Dr. Rui Wang, Vice-President (Research), publishes research on the effects of hydrogen sulphide on blood pressure in Science.

New Graduate Program

A new Master of Business Administration program (MBA) is launched for start-up in 2009-2010.

Recruitment Initiative

Lakehead offers free tuition for Canadian students with a 95% average coming from a recognized Canadian high school.

Alumni Services

Lakehead appoints Richard Longtin as Manager of Alumni Relations and the Lakehead University Alumni Association establishes an Alumni Chapter in the Greater Toronto Area.

Campus Construction

Moriyama & Teshima, a renowned planning, architecture, and landscape architecture company, is chosen to design the first academic building at Lakehead University Ė Orillia Campus to open in 2010. The campus will be the first in North America to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum standards.

The historic Port Arthur Collegiate Institute building in Thunder Bay is purchased from the Lakehead District School Board and a public celebration is held in September 2008.

A fire damages the East Wing of the Braun Building on the Lakehead University − Thunder Bay Campus, displacing several departments and laboratories. Plans are under way to rebuild.

Part of the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse closes for renovations to the pool, change rooms, and entranceway and re-opens in early June.


Lakeheadís womenís Nordic ski team wins its sixth consecutive Canadian Colleges and Universities national championships.

Lakehead hosts the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) 2009 University Cup Menís Hockey Championships in Thunder Bay and will host the event again in 2010. Huy Nguyen (Wrestling) and Tasia McKenna (Basketball) are named Lakehead University Athletes of the Year.

Joel Scherban, former Captain of the Lakehead Thunderwolves Menís Hockey Team, is appointed Head Coach of the Menís Hockey Team.

Aboriginal Initiatives

Working in conjunction with Confederation Collegeís Negahneewin College of Academic and Community Development, Lakehead hosts a public talk by author John Ralston Saul and sponsors an Artist-in-Residence program featuring playwright Tomson Highway.

A concerted effort is placed on promotion and advertising activities in an effort to reach out and attract Aboriginal students to Lakehead, and in particular the Orillia Campus. This involves increasing advertising, hiring Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer Brendon Johnson to visit First Nations and other Aboriginal communities in southern Ontario, and developing a promotional video, Follow Your Dreams, and an Aboriginal Initiatives booklet.


International delegates participate in Leveraging Learning for Regional Development: An International Forum, Learning Cities and Regions, organized by the Faculty of Educationís Department of Lifelong Learning, under Chair Dr. Seth Agbo, in collaboration with Confederation College.

Lakehead Universityís Centre for Northern Studies and Dr. Douglas Morris, Lakehead University Research Chair in Northern Studies, commemorate the International Polar Year and ďDarwin YearĒ celebrations, with a two-day National Symposium on the Ecological and Evolutionary Implications of Climate Change. The Symposium features scholars and graduate students from seven Canadian universities and includes plenary lectures, posters, and an open public forum.

Campus and Community

Events Lakehead celebrates its diverse community during International Days, a week-long program of activities celebrating culture.

Lakehead University Ė Orillia Campus is featured during Lakehead Celebrates, the annual fall fundraising event in support of student scholarships, sponsored by Bell.

Lakeheadís Vocal Ensemble joins Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Thunder Bay Symphony Chorus for a performance of Carmina Burana at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. Lakeheadís Opera Studio performs excerpts from Mozartís The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi fan tutte in the Bora Laskin Auditorium.

Numerous public lectures are held in Orillia and Thunder Bay including talks by Dr. Kevin Danaher, Executive Director of the Global Citizen Center, on Building the Green Economy; Pat Patton, Director of Aboriginal Relations at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, and Sean Russell, Acting Vice-President of APM Technology, on Long-Term Management of Canadaís Used Nuclear Fuel; and Dr. Mark Kingwell, University of Toronto Philosophy Professor, on Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City, sponsored by Lakeheadís Advanced Institute for Globalization + Culture (aig+c).

Lakehead students initiated the first Take Back the Night march and rally in Orillia to end sexual assault, domestic violence, and other forms of sexual violence. In addition, students partnered with the Alzheimer Society to stage a Manulife Walk for Memories in Orillia, raising over $6,000 to fund local programs and services for people living with dementia, and their families.