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Students Showcase Original Research

The week of March 7 is Research & Innovation Week at Lakehead University - Orillia.

It is a chance for students to share their research projects with peers, faculty, staff, and community members.

The showcase event – Undergraduate Research Day – takes place on Wednesday March 9 – when students present their research through poster presentations for public viewing.

The day begins at 10 am with students from Dr. Lesley Clement’s Children’s Literature class. These student projects focus on their picture book projects, which require the students to choose a book and analyze it using themes such as “Exploring Gender and Identity,” “Confronting Death,” or “Celebrating Art and the Artist.”

Following the Children’s Literature poster presentations (at 11:30 am), students from Dr. Gerardo Reyes’ fourth-year Interdisciplinary Studies Inquiry course will set up their posters, which cover a wide range of projects – representing the students’ choice of research topic.

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For example, one student, Madeleine Belgum, has researched the relationships between students and with their pets, and whether or not this relationship helps alleviate stress. “Being a student myself, I knew going into this project that many of us experience high levels of stress,” Belgum tells me, when asked about the inspiration for her project. “I also know that curling up with my cat helps me to relax after particularly stressful days. This left me wondering: does/could this work for other people too?” The answer to this question and many others will be available for viewing and discussion during the poster presentation.

The poster presentations will be followed by a special Awards Ceremony at 12:30 pm with Dr. Andrew Dean, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Dr. Moira McPherson, Provost and Vice-President Academic, who will present awards for the top research projects.

The day will finish with Undergraduate Research Presentations, taking place from 2:30-4 pm. At this session, you will be able to hear oral presentations from students completing their Honours thesis in Interdisciplinary Studies and Environmental Sustainability. These students have been working independently, under the supervision of a Lakehead faculty member, in subjects from English to Microbiology. I am looking forward to presenting my own original research on Mary Shelley (the author of Frankenstein) at this session, and I cannot wait to hear updates on the exciting research that I know is being done by my peers.

Students here at Lakehead Orillia have been working hard since September on these projects and are very excited to share their interesting and surprising findings with the community. All events are open to the public and community support and interest is very rewarding for the students.

For more information, including dates, times, and room numbers for the events, visit

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