The Graduate Spotlight features exceptional students who have had unique journeys through Laurentian University. We celebrate these students and their accomplishments!
“I am proud of the person I have become,” said Lacey Hambleton, one of many students to graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Laurentian. “Now that I’m graduating, doors are opening for me and I look forward to walking through them.”
Hambleton is originally from the small town of Glen Robertson, near Ottawa, ON. She represents outstanding student dedication and resilience. Speaking about some of the obstacles she has overcome, she described her perception that those convocating this spring should be especially proud of themselves and their accomplishments: “I am so excited to graduate, and I know those graduating this spring are going to have that extra feeling of pride, just knowing, ‘we did this - we did this while underneath some challenging circumstances.’ I’m really looking forward to being a part of that celebration. I think we all deserve it.”
Though Hambleton is eager to attend her convocation ceremony on May 31st, she also looks forward to returning to Laurentian in the fall to complete her professional year of study through the Concurrent Education program. She is currently engaged in an educational placement that finds her supporting a split grade seven and eight classroom through the Rainbow District School Board. Unique about her placement is that teachings are offered online. “The school, housed out of Chelmsford, was established as a virtual school from the start,” she explained. “It’s been a really interesting experience. I never would have expected to have such a virtual placement, but as a result of the pandemic, it's been a lot of fun. I’ve been learning a lot.”
Hambleton’s studies have kept her on her toes. While she recently completed her final exams, she also kept busy writing her undergraduate thesis under the direction of Dr. Sara MacDonald and on the topic of education received by Japanese-Canadian children while they were living in World War II internment camps. Alongside her studies, she’s been heavily involved in student life. “I would have to say that my biggest contribution to the Laurentian community has been my work with the Residence Life team.” During her second year of study, Hambleton supported other students as a Peer Mentor. In her third year, she was promoted to the role of Resident Assistant. “Those years were hectic but rewarding. Because I worked with Residence Life over the course of the pandemic, it was kind of a weird arrangement but I still had a good experience.” Other student life involvement found Hambleton working with Liaison Services as a student ambassador, and with the Students’ General Association (SGA - AGÉ) at their new campus store, Due North.
Recently, Hambleton had the opportunity to contribute an article published by Maclean’s, titled Laurentian University: Student life on campus: An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more. “The Maclean’s article, I really enjoyed writing. I wasn’t expecting to get so much recognition for it, [but]... it really spread through the University.”
For Hambleton, what has positively impacted her the most are faculty who have both inspired and supported her student journey. “I don’t know if I would have succeeded as much in History as I have if I didn’t have the professors that I had at Laurentian. They are the soul of our department. They make all the difference and they are excellent.”
Dr. Sara MacDonald and Dr. Linda Ambrose have been especially influential to Hambleton. She said that both have consistently “taken me under their wing” and “have been my biggest inspirations going through all of this.” Speaking about the favourite course that she followed as a History student, she said: “Taking Dr. Ambrose’s Approaches to Canadian History course was probably one of the best decisions that I ever made in my four years studying at Laurentian because every class I would leave from, I would just be walking back to my apartment just kind of reflecting and thinking about what she [Dr. Ambrose] had said and making connections. For me, that’s how you know it was a great class.”
When asked if she has any words of advice to share with students interested in the pursuit of post-secondary education, she said with wisdom: “Let yourself grow. Let yourself change. When I came here….I was kind of scared to change a little bit and grow into this person. Eventually, after I got over that initial fear, I opened my mind not only to different worldly things, but to the possibility of being this type of person. So honestly, just letting that happen is the best thing to do [and] you will thank yourself for it. I know I do.”
This summer, Hambleton will remain in Sudbury to work at Brown’s Concrete. She enjoyed her student position at Brown’s last year, and described that as one of the only women working amongst men, she seeks to break the gender imbalance present within the industry and others. “I’m only one person but I hope that whatever I decide to do in the future, I still continue to break down those barriers.”
Post the completion of her second undergraduate degree in 2023, Hambleton shared that she is interested in the pursuit of a Master’s degree. She also hones a special interest in international relations. “I want to keep learning about things like I’ve been able to do here [at Laurentian.] So that’s kind of the goal right now.”
Undoubtedly, Hambleton will continue to inspire her peers and all those she encounters.