There is so much good happening in our community and it's important in these trying times that we highlight these exceptional actions. We have seen faculty members going above and beyond for students, we have researchers creating new ways to combat COVID-19, and we have staff and students dropping off food for those in residence. We know there are more stories out there and we encourage you to share your stories with us so that we can share them with everyone.
Laurentian has delivered more than 74,000 pieces of medical supplies, including gloves, surgical and N95 masks, sterile cotton swabs and safety goggles to Health Sciences North.
Thank you to the School of Science, Engineering and Architecture for going through its inventory, and to Tom Fenske for making the pick-ups and assembling the supplies and Tom Matheson for the delivery service.
Laurentian continues its commitment to helping critical workers stay safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This week (April 20), the institution has donated 8,000 masks to our colleagues at Health Sciences North.
Gisele Roberts, Laurentian’s manager of Innovation and Commercialization, has mobilized 3D printing expertise from organizations and companies across Greater Sudbury to build plastic face shields for health-care workers at Health Sciences North. Those partners include the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Cambrian College, Collège Boréal, Science North, Lively District and Lo-Ellen Park Secondary Schools, and industry partners Ionic Mechatronics, SHYFTinc, and Hard-Line.
Laurentian has collaborated with its post-secondary partners, including the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Cambrian College and Collège Boréal, to help supply a temporary Health Sciences North location at the Clarion Hotel, where the hospital can treat its alternative level of care patients. St. Joseph's Villa was also a partner in this initiative.
Laurentian University’s Biology Department contributed small bottles to Sudbury’s Crosscut Distillery, which is supplying local health care centres and members of the community with hand sanitizer. Laurentian University helped Crosscut Distillery meet its health and safety standards by the donation of 100 bottles.
Dr. Eric Gauthier, Chair of Laurentian’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was contacted by Patrol Sergeant Randy Buchowski from Greater City of Sudbury Police Service to develop hand sanitizer, ensuring safer service calls for Sudbury police officers. Gauthier has so far made three batches of spray hand sanitizer for police services, inspired by a World Health Organization (WHO) recipe using isopropyl alcohol and glycerol. “We need to stick with each other,” says Dr. Gauthier. “We need to help police services, as they’re on the frontlines and answering regular calls. This is my small way to help them deal with this new reality.”
April 6 Update: Mining company KGHM has donated $2,000 to Dr. Gauthier to help cover the supplies needed for his local hand sanitizer production.
Our partners at SNOLAB took inventory of their cleanroom personal protective equipment and donated it to Health Sciences North. They have also been in touch with the hospital and local research institutes to determine if any of their lab capabilities or personnel could contribute in additional ways.
Technology manufacturing company Fortai is working with a number of partners, including Laurentian University and the Perdue Central Analytical Facility to convert its SmartCube technology, designed to manage inventory for the mining industry, into a sanitization chamber for personal protective equipment.
Laurentian partner SNOLAB is part of a group of national laboratories, along with TRIUMF and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, which are working to develop a ventilator model which can be built quickly and reliably in Canada. Nobel Prize-winning researcher Dr. Art McDonald is leading the team of scientists at the national laboratories.
Mining company Vale has launched its Vale COVID-19 Challenge, a $1 million fund to support COVID-19 research. The challenge is open in Canada and Brazil with each selected solution eligible to receive up to USD $200,000. Companies, startups, institutions, universities and professionals with innovative solutions to help our communities and lessen the impact of COVID-19 are invited to participate. Vale is seeking submissions for solutions in three categories: Risk Monitoring and Prevention, Patient Monitoring and Open Challenge.
Laurentian’s Dr. Stefan Siemann is using Virtual Reality (VR) to help in the race to find drugs against COVID-19. Over the past few weeks, scientists at the Diamond Light Source (DLS) in the U.K. have identified about 60 small organic compounds that bind to Mpro, an enzyme that helps the COVID-19 virus to replicate itself. Dr. Siemann will seek to leverage Virtual Reality to examine existing data to come up with some ideas on which type of compounds could bind well to, and inactivate Mpro. The VR platform allows him to test some of these ideas, and to find out whether a compound is too small, too large, or doesn’t have the right fit for the drug-binding site in Mpro.
To recognize International Women’s Day on May 8 Laurentian’s Students’ General Association and the Association des étudiantes et étudiants francophones awarded Dr. Linda Ambrose, a faculty member with Laurentian’s Department of History, with their faculty award. She was recognized for her contributions on campus and in the community.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has awarded Dr. Diana luele-Colilli a 2020 Teaching Award of Excellence. Dr. luele-Colilli is the chair of Laurentian’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and has been recognized for her dedication to her students. She consistently goes out of her way for their success, and makes learning an interactive experience. Congratulations!
Forty-one professors from Laurentian’s Faculty of Arts are not only making donations to the Laurentian residence foodbank, but they are running errands for a student who is immunocompromised. They are also soliciting other donations, such as pots and pans.
Dr. Thomas Merritt showed small actions can have a big impact. Merritt, a professor with Laurentian’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, brought coffees to the security staff who continue to work hard keeping our campus safe.
To celebrate International Women’s Day on May 8 Laurentian’s Students’ General Association and the Association des étudiantes et étudiants francophones recognized two students for their contributions on campus and in the community. The recipients were:
- SGA student award - Sorel Kenmoe Mouedji
- AEF Student Award - Page Chartrand
Brothers Hamza and Irbaaz Syed, both students in our Forensic Science program, have designed personal protective equipment that was approved to protect healthcare workers at Stevenson Memorial Hospital, located in their hometown of Alliston, Ontario. Local volunteers are now producing the PPE for those frontline workers. The brothers have also been doing grocery runs for seniors in their community, who cannot safely leave their homes.
We have amazing students. This is a difficult time for all of us, but many of our students continue to give back to the community. We wish to thank Alka Chonkria, Caelen Thompson, Div Patel, Alyssa Labelle, Cassyra Walia and Jaiden Wright for volunteering their time with the NEO Kids Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to building awareness for children’s care needs and raising funds for services, equipment, and research to help our youngest and most vulnerable patients in our region.
Students with our Francophone nursing program are helping at the front lines across the province, working as attendants and COVID-19 screening officers. Among them, Janik Dufour, Kassandra Dignard, Renée-Ann Pitre, Shaina Montgomery, Tyler Pretty and Alexa Macinnis are supporting healthcare workers in Ottawa, Kapuskasing and here in Sudbury.
Laurentian basketball players, Kadre Gray and Héléna Lamoureux were named the Male and Female Athletes of the Year during our year-end awards celebration for our student athletes. Gray and women's hockey player, Morgan McCann, were named the winners of the prestigious Voyageur Award while swim coach, Phil Parker, was named the Voyageurs' Coach of the Year.
Thanks to our amazing alumni, many of our fourth-year SPAD students will be able to complete their internships and earn their degrees. Due to COVID-19 and overall uncertainty, some in-person internships had fallen through. Laurentian alumni Diane Mihalek, Gilles Rochefort, Brent Donelly, Domenic Fiorini, Craig Heron, Bryan Merrett, Bruce MacDonald, Jeff Dzikowicz, Mike O’Connor, Luc Ouimet, Chris Moore, John Richer, Mike Flanagan, Jon Malton, Mark Dottori, David Corelli, Tim Dignard and Miranda Boivin answered the call to accommodate our students. Thank you to Laurentian staff members Andrew Dale and Rachel Meehan for developing the remote internship opportunities.
Interac Corp. has established a new scholarship that will provide financial assistance to a full-time undergraduate student who receives the highest final grade in the Foundations of Community Leadership course. Interact created the scholarship in recognition of its outgoing Board Chair Michael E. Roach, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science, as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Laurentian.
Laurentian established a Student Emergency Support Fund shortly after the COVID-19 emergency was declared on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020. The fund has received thousands of dollars in donations, including a $20,000 matching gift from the Mabel Jean and Bob Lye Memorial Award; and a $10,000 gift from the Laurentian University Alumni Association. The fund will support our students with housing, groceries, and other financial challenges.