#Imagine2023 : More Consultations and Guest Speakers

Dear members of the University community /Boozhoo/Aanii/Kwe kwe,

I want to thank the 350 students, faculty, staff, Governors, alumni and community members who attended one of eight electronic brainstorming sessions held on March 27-29th to help shape our 2018-2023 Strategic Plan. The energy in the room was incredible and the ideas expressed were inspiring!

The 24-member Strategic Plan Steering Committee held its first meeting on February 27th and heard from Dr. Ted Hewitt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), who delivered a 14-minute talk on the topic of  “What will university-based research look like in 10 years”? I invite you to watch it.

Students, colleagues and members of the public have already responded with over 500 answers to the three statements on the strategic plan website: 1) I am proud of Laurentian because … 2) Laurentian should consider … 3) Five years from now Laurentian will …  In addition, everyone is invited to email advice to the Steering Committee at strategicplan@laurentian.ca.  All submissions received will be shared with the full Steering Committee.

I want to thank our student associations who are enabling the Steering Committee to seek advice from members of the university community in the “bowling alley.” Check out the chalkboard and give us your input on a new question each week from now until the end of May.

Dr. Linda Ambrose, Special Advisor for Strategic Planning who supports the work of the Steering Committee, already met with the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Architecture Council on March 15th and with the Association of Retired Academics of Laurentian University on March 22nd.

Other consultations by Dr. Ambrose have been scheduled with the:

  • Library and Archives Faculty Council (March 30th);
  • Faculty of Arts Council (March 31st);
  • Institut franco-ontarien (April 5th);
  • Faculty of Management Council (April 5th);
  • Offices Reporting to the VP Research (April 6);
  • Faculty of Graduate Studies Council (April 11th);
  • Faculty and staff of Thorneloe University (April 19th);
  • Centre for Academic Excellence/Registrar’s Office (April 26th);
  • Laurentian University Native Education Council (May 9th);
  • Faculty of Education Council (May 10th); and the
  • Northern Ontario School of Medicine (May 24th).
  • … and arrangements for several others are still in the works!

I engaged with alumni and friends of Laurentian in Ottawa on March 24th, and will do the same in the Cobalt area on April 7th and in Sault Ste Marie on April 13th. Similar sessions are being organized on Manitoulin Island and in Timmins, as well as discussions with students attending local elementary and secondary schools.

I want to remind you that on Monday, April 3rd, Dr. Janet Morrison, Provost and Vice-President, Academic at Sheridan and former Vice-Provost, Students at York University, will stimulate our reflection about student life. She will deliver her presentation at 7 pm in the Governors’ Lounge. Once again, we will take some time that evening to discuss what we hear and think about how it helps to inform our strategic planning process.

On Wednesday, April 19th, Alex Usher, President of Higher Education Strategy Associates, Editor-in-Chief of Global Higher Education Strategy Monitor, and a member of our Strategic Planning Steering Committee, will present a talk on trends in postsecondary education. This will take place at 7 pm in the Executive Learning Centre. Alex’s presentation, and our reflection on it from that evening, will be captured by graphic recording artist Sara Heppner-Waldston. In 2012, Sara worked with the McEwen School of Architecture as they developed their vision. We are pleased to welcome her back to Greater Sudbury to work with us as we #Imagine2023.

I am pleased to confirm that on Wednesday, May 10th, Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Assistant Professor and Acting Head of the Department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, will be our guest speaker on Indigeneity in universities. Details to follow.

If you have any questions or comments about the strategic planning process, please do not hesitate to email strategicplan@laurentian.ca

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter. You can reach me at dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca, or can join the 12,700 people who follow me on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Merci, Thank you, Miigwech.

Celebrating Diversity in Research

Dear members of the University community / Boozhoo / Aanii / Kwe kwe,

This year’s Research Week was once again an outstanding success. The theme “Celebrating Diversity in Research” highlights the varied and unique contributions of Laurentian faculty and students, from underground to outer space, from lab bench to bedside and from classroom to community!

Promoting diversity in research compels us as a university community to address the question of representation in all disciplines and ensure that inclusive spaces and pathways open to all ways of knowing and learning.

Research Week featured keynote addresses by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, Kim Rudd, and Dr. Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. We saw the unveiling of the research video and launch of the latest edition of our research magazine, The Key. It featured 10 faculty and student-led symposia and fora, 57 presentations by graduate students, 20 3-minute thesis competition presentations, 32 submissions to the ICEBATS art show and 3 pitches to the Voyageurs’ Innovation Challenge.

Governors Claude Lacroix, Peter Faggioni and Ian Wood, as well as numerous researchers, faculty, staff and students attended the various events held during the week – a big thank you to all who joined us, whether in person or video stream. There were many new events this year, including:

  • A multi-site Health Research Day developed in collaboration with Health Sciences North, the Sudbury and District Health Unit and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine;
  • An Industry event which featured representatives from the Mineral Exploration Research Centre (MERC), Vale Living with Lakes, the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH), the Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO), the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Services Association (SAMSAA) and Expert Process Solutions (XPS) to discuss the opportunities for Industry-University collaboration;
  • A Science North Science Café addressing the ways in which we can attract and support a diverse scientific workforce.

One of the best things about Research Week is that it allows the university community to celebrate the outstanding achievements of faculty and students. Congratulations to all recipients who were recognized during the March 3rd closing ceremonies. A complete list is available here.

Highlights for me included listening to alumna Dr. Sylvie Lamoureux, now Vice-Dean of Undergradaute Studies at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ottawa, deliver a keynote presentation on her research as part of the Faculty of Education’s first research symposium. I was impressed by student presentations at the Voyageurs’ Innovation Challenge, which was inspired by the television show “Dragons’ Den” and for which I had the pleasure to serve as master of ceremony. I learned a lot from fellow panellists Elder Hilda Nadjiwan, Susan Manitowabi (Indigenous Relations) and Dr. Celeste Pedri-Spade (Northern and Community Studies) as we discussed Truth and Reconciliation. Finally, I was moved by the determination and accomplishments of PhD candidate Gabriel Thériault, and by the significant pride his parents shared with me at the closing ceremony.

We celebrated Laurentian’s Top 10 Research and Innovation Achievements for 2016 as determined by popular vote from the university community. The following awards were given:

  • Student Achievement – Publications in High Profile Research Journals (Nature-Heredity, PLOS one, Ecology and Evolution, Genes and Genomics, etc., Gabriel Thériault, (PhD candidate, Biology);
  • 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics;
  • Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) award, Metal Earth, $49.6 million;
  • Clifford A. Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building, Laurentian University;
  • Canada’s #1 in total sponsored research income growth in the undergraduate category, Laurentian University;
  • Achievements in Indigenous Research, Laurentian University;
  • First NSERC CREATE grant at Laurentian University, Dr. Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde (Biology), Dr. David Lesbarrères (Biology), Dr. Jacqueline Litzgus (Biology), Dr. Brett Buchanan ( Environment), Dr. Gillian Crozier (Philosophy);
  • Research Chairs recruitment and renewals, Laurentian University;
  • Outstanding NSERC Granting Success, Dr. Elizabeth Turner (Harquail School of Earth Sciences);
  • Governor General Gold Medal for highest achievement in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and NSERC Doctoral Award, Justin Chamberland (MA, Psychology).

Thank you to everyone who participated in Research Week, and a special thanks to the staff in Research Services, Graduate Studies, Marketing and Communications for organizing such an outstanding week of events!

Stay tuned for next year’s Research Week!

As always, I welcome comments on the blog or any other matter. You can reach me at dominicgiroux@laurentian.ca, or can join the 12,700 people who follow me on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Merci, Thank you, Miigwech.