Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Innovative programs and research activity at Lakehead University’s Orillia campus were recognized last night during the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards reception, held at Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club in Orillia.

Lakehead Orillia was the recipient of the Technological Advancement Award for an innovative research project with Polymer Specialties International Ltd. (PSI) to develop improved degradable plastic film products. Lakehead professor, Dr. Chris Murray, who leads the research team, along with Derek Rynard of PSI, accepted the award.

“We are thrilled to be working with PSI on this project,” said Dr. Murray. “If successful, our research will lead to a dramatically improved product for PSI that will, in the long run, help support environmental sustainability by reducing the impact on landfills.”

The research collaboration was made possible through The Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the provincial body responsible for supporting industrial/academic partnerships. “What is most exciting for us at Lakehead, is the opportunities these research partnerships provide for our students and graduates.”

The University was also the recipient of the Chamber’s Hats Off Award for contribution to the community. The Award recognized the impact of the University’s “Humanities 101” program, which was launched at the campus in 2012. The program is designed to provide a university experience to adults who would otherwise not have the opportunity to attend university because of financial or other barriers. In April 2012, 25 students graduated from the 15-week program, some of whom have now gone on to further education.

Frank Cappadocia, Lakehead Orillia’s associate vice-provost, accepted the award and thanked the numerous community partners and volunteers who contributed to the program’s success. “Without the involvement of the community, including volunteers who sat on our steering committee and the generosity of local restaurants, we could not have provided such a positive experience to these students.”

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