November/December 2011, Volume 28, No. 5

Reaching Out to Fly-in Communities through Sports and Mentoring Programs

Grand Chief Stan Beardy speaks about the importance
of Wasaya and Lakehead’s new partnership for
Aboriginal youth at the MOU press conference in the
Wasaya Airways Hangar  (l-r): Tom Warden, John Beardy,
and Grand Chief Stan Beardy

Wasaya Airways and Lakehead University have entered into a joint initiative that will use sports to connect with and empower young people in remote fly-in communities. Reach Up! – Northern Community Sports and Leadership Program is being launched after a well-received pilot project last year in which Lakehead Thunderwolves hockey players travelled north to offer hockey skills training and mentorship to Fort Hope First Nation children.

Wasaya and Lakehead are building upon the success of this initiative through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that expands and formalizes the terms of their collaboration. At the MOU signing this November, Lakehead Athletics Director Tom Warden said, “I think that everyone is interested in sport so you’ve piqued that interest immediately and then you can communicate other messages. That’s why I think it’s important that our young athletes are mentors in this program.” When the call went out for Lakehead athletes to volunteer for the program, Warden received many enthusiastic responses. Varsity athletes like basketball players Ben Johnson and Lacey McNulty are excited about working with young people in these communities. “I’ve had so much help along the way growing up and playing sports helped me out a lot. That’s the reason I am in university” said McNulty when talking to The Chronicle-Journal about her participation in the program.

Reach Up! will provide sport-specific coaching and general leadership strategies for youth in Northern Ontario First Nations communities serviced by Wasaya Airways. During visits to these fly-in communities, Lakehead coaches and community coaches and leaders will explore how to grow and sustain interest in sport as well as offer sport-specific training. Lakehead athletes will provide skills development training in varsity sports such as hockey, basketball, and volleyball in addition to discussing peer leadership, life goals, and sharing their personal experiences with local youth.  [Read More]

2011 Distinguished Instructor Award Winner


Dr. Pamela Wakewich 

“I want students to ‘claim their education’ so that they can develop their critical thinking and deepen their understanding of the course material,” says Dr. Pamela Wakewich, the 2011 Lakehead University Distinguished Instructor Award winner. Her approach to teaching has resulted in challenging and compelling courses that are highly sought after by students ranging from first-year undergraduates to doctoral candidates.

Fittingly, one of Dr. Wakewich’s former students, Lakehead history professor Dr. Jane Nicholas, nominated her for the award. “Today, as I walk into my own classrooms at Lakehead University, I remember Dr. Wakewich’s ability not only to deliver brilliant and meaningful lectures, but also her ability to facilitate a discussion in a large lecture setting that allowed us as students to engage with controversial ideas in meaningful and respectful ways,” writes Dr. Nicholas in her letter of support.  [Read More]

2010-2011 Contribution to Teaching and Learning Award Recipients

Every year students have the opportunity to nominate Lakehead instructors whose superior teaching performance has made a difference in their lives. The enthusiasm, dedication, and outstanding teaching techniques of these instructors are clear from their students’ appraisals.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

  • Mr. Randy Wilkie, Education “Mr. Wilkie enhances our learning by designing assignments and presentations that ask students to engage and connect with the information in meaningful ways which always respect our own experiences. But perhaps the greatest resource Mr. Wilkie has provided his students is himself through the sharing of his time and years of experience.”
  • Dr. Rupert G. Klein, Psychology “Attending a course taught by Dr. Klein is fun, informative, pertinent, and challenging. He makes excellent use of technology and traditional teaching methods as part of an explicit plan to optimally meet the learning needs of his students through multimodal instruction and participatory learning.”
  • Dr. Antony Puddephatt, Sociology “Dr. Antony Puddephatt is one of the most enthusiastic and supportive professors that the Department of Sociology at Lakehead has to offer. Dr. Puddephatt uses his humour as a tool to engage and entertain his students in the classroom. He has the ability to laugh as hard at his successful jokes as he laughs at his ‘flops.’”
  • Dr. David Richards, Business Administration “David Richards is a human resources professor who brings a passion and an enthusiasm for teaching to the classroom. His lectures were interactive and he always encouraged class participation. In the event that a student did not have the right answer he was looking for, he would never discourage their answer but would build upon it and add in clarification through textbook examples.”
  • Dr. Leonard Hutchison, Natural Resources Management "This is my first time taking a class with Dr. Hutchison and I’ve been extremely impressed by his ability and concern as an instructor. For example, Dr. H. had memorized students’ names by the second class, he regularly meets with students on weekends to discuss lab projects, and he shows concern for student work. Ask around, Dr. H. is a great teacher. 

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