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.

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