The theme of Lakehead University’s 2019 Report to the Community was Dare. Defy. Discover.
Emceed by fourth year Lakehead criminology program student, Courtney Holmes, the annual event featured students, faculty and alumni of the Orillia campus who dare to defy constraints and expectations to make discoveries about themselves and the world through unconventional scholarship and independent thinking.
“Through the Report to Community we have the opportunity to meet the people who make Lakehead Orillia such a special place – students, faculty and alumni,” stated Lakehead Chancellor Lyn McLeod. “Lakehead University is extremely honoured to serve the people of Orillia and Simcoe County and our students, both those who live here and the many who come from elsewhere to access a quality postsecondary education.”
Guests at this year’s event included Gia Spiropoulos, Master of Education student, alumna Dana Clark, and Lakehead’s Dr. Cheryl Lousley, Associate Professor and Research Chair in Environmental Humanities.
Dr. Lousley spoke passionately about storying the climate change emergency and provided examples of how environmental concerns have been woven into the narrative of Canadian fiction.
In her talk, Spiropoulos shared her journey to Lakehead, her passion for basketball, and documented the incredible research opportunities she has participated in during her master’s program. Working with lecturer and SSHRC post-doctoral fellow Dr. Ellen Field, Spiropoulos is working on developing hands-on, inquiry-based learning resources for teachers to help introduce education around climate change into today’s classrooms.
Clark, a graduate of Lakehead’s media studies program, talked about her global social impact movement, Heroic Humans. The online platform inspires, celebrates, empowers and acknowledges acts of heroism big and small all over the world. To date, it has featured almost 200 people from around the globe who show exceptional examples of courage, bravery, love, and resilience in everyday life. Clark’s work on Heroic Humans earned her the 2018 Mindful Millennial Award from The Notable Life.
“This year’s Annual Report shows the exceptional impact our students, faculty, and alumni are having on the economy and society,” said Dr. Moira McPherson, Lakehead’s President & Vice-Chancellor. “Today was an opportunity to meet some of the people who learn, teach, and advance research, scholarly and creative work at Lakehead—each empowering themselves and our learners to become the next generation of leaders.”
“At Lakehead University we have a deep and authentic commitment to education, innovation and the dreams of our diverse population of students,” explained Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans, Principal of Lakehead Orillia. “This is supported by the significant milestones we’ve celebrated in 2018-2019.”
Those milestones included being named ‘Research University of the Year’ in the undergraduate category for the fifth year in a row by Research Infosource, and being included among Canada’s Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities by Maclean’s 2020 University Rankings.
In addition to celebrating the academic, research, and community accomplishments, Lakehead also celebrated the incredible financial impact it has on the province. Lakehead University adds approximately $1.4 billion per year to Ontario’s gross domestic product. The annual economic impact of the University’s Thunder Bay campus on the province was $1.3 billion, while its Orillia campus contributed $122.7 million. Lakehead University is responsible for 6,277 full-time equivalent jobs.
“The Report to the Community is a chance to celebrate the year’s successes and connect with the communities within Northwestern Ontario and Simcoe County,” said Ross Murray, Q.C., Chair of Lakehead University’s Board of Governors.
Visit daredefydiscover.ca to view Lakehead University’s 2018-2019 Report to the Community.
Photo: 2018-2019 Report to Community speakers Dr. Cheryl Lousley, Associate Professor and Lakehead’s Research Chair in Environmental Humanities; Dana Clark, Alumna (HBASc ’16); and Gia Spiropoulos, Master of Education student.