What's Happening in Arts & Science

Faculty of Arts and Science News

Dr. Cindy Peltier, Associate Professor and Chair in Indigenous Education in the Schulich School of Education releases a new film: This Was Real

The was real - Cindy Peltier

Dr. Cindy Peltier, Associate Professor, released a film in November 2020 titled, "This Was Real" that was based on her dissertation. Dr. Peltier's film was selected for the Lift-Off Global Network First-Time Filmmaker Sessions April 2021. The film festival is an online showcase dedicated to provide a platform for new voices. "This Was Real" was selected as one of the finalists! Congratulations to Dr. Peltier!


Math students, Cole Maddin and David Haighton participated in a code-breaking challenge titled "Krytos" hosted by Central Washington University.

Turing Certificate

There were participants from across the USA, Canada, France and the Netherlands and we are excited to announce that Cole and David place 6th out of 65 participants! Cole and David were also recognized as Master Codebreakers as they were one of only 10 teams who solved all three challenges and they received the TURING level of achievement. Congratulations to Cole and David!



NU Graduate Skaai Davison will do her MSc at Oxford University in England

Skaai Davison

Skaai Davison is heading for Oxford University in England this fall to do an MSc in Embryology. She prepared herself to make this leap across the ocean by excelling in all the Biology, Chemistry and other courses she took at Nipissing University during her four years here. She made good use of specialized upper-year courses to  distinguish herself from other students who are competing to get into Graduate School at Oxford University. For instance, Skaai gained experience with medical practices by assisting an Orthopedic Surgeon in BC through our Internship Course, and she conducted an impressive research project, as part of our Thesis Course, that involved studying quail embryos that had been exposed to the types of chromate chemicals that caused a major health disaster in China!



Exchange Student, Katie Whelan Expresses Gratitude for a Unique Opportunity at Nipissing University

Katie Whelan and Steve Connor

Back in November, I decided I wanted to extend my academic exchange, from only one semester at Nipissing University to the entire academic year. However, I was advised by my University in Ireland that I would have to meet the requirement of studying a Historiography course, preferably in Irish History, in order to stay for another semester. It’s hard to believe that I would be able to take an Irish History course in Canada, but that is exactly what came to pass. I went to the Head of the History Department, Dr. Katrina Srigley and asked for her help. I was met with nothing but kindness, generosity and an eagerness to help. She assured me that she would do whatever she could to help me stay at Nipissing. Soon after, I was put in touch with Dr. Stephen Connor who has an extensive background in Irish history. Luckily, they were able to put together a module "Efforts to Realize Ideas: Engaging Modern Irish History" for me to study, which allowed me to extend my stay at Nipissing University. The course itself was unlike any I had ever taken before as it was a directed study, which was basically a discussion/debate with my professor each week on a given topic. Throughout the course I was forced to think critically about my own history (Irish History) and re-evaluate my preconceived notions on the Irish Struggle for Independence. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to write a paper for the Undergraduate Research Conference, under the guidance of Dr. Connor, which became a passion project of mine. It has inspired me to pursue a Masters in History when I graduate. I am very grateful to the History Department at Nipissing University, in particular Dr. Stephen Connor and Dr. Katrina Srigley for creating this course, which challenged me as a history student and allowed me to stay for another semester in Canada.



History Students Travel to Poland

Michela Roman Hist 3005

A Reflection by History Student, Michela Roman

David and Eva Bross were two Holocaust survivors who endured and survived the second world war. As Polish Jews during the Holocaust, David Bross lost his wife and four children, and Eva Bross lost her husband and two children, before immigrating to Canada following the war. Their sole son, Alon Bross, is a close friend of my family. I was lucky enough to be able to hear the story of his family and his own personal journey to Poland. He shared with me the details of his family roots and how, by visiting the home towns of his parents, he was able to trace their journey from the evil of the Holocaust to their liberation and freedom in Canada. In Listening, one particular story of Alon’s journey had left me troubled and heartbroken. During his 1997 trip to Poland, Alon had visited the Warsaw Cemetery in hopes of finding his grandfather, Aron Bross. However after hours of searching, the tombstone was no where to be found and Alon had left Poland with low spirits.

After learning Alon’s perspectives and sorrows I had decided that during my own journey I would find what he could not. Through the history course HIST 3005: Looking into the Darkness, I was provided the opportunity to expand my knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust to a capacity I had not known to be possible. Prior to departing, I had shared Alon’s story with Professor Hilary Earl, who had helped me significantly by placing me in contact with a tour guide of the Warsaw Cemetery. I was on a mission to find Aron Bross’ tombstone and complete a grave rubbing to bring back for Alon. Warsaw, being the final city on our itinerary, I can confidently say my knowledge regarding the previous treatment of the Jewish community had been developed and our group entered the Warsaw Cemetery with a greater amount of understanding, in comparison to the beginning of the course. Our tour guide was able to find the section of Aron’s grave, and after bringing us there, our entire group spread out to find his tombstone. It was not long before it was found. I was filled with joy at the thought of being able to finally show Alon his grandfather’s resting place. The photos you see show me clearing and cleaning the tomb of the roots and dirt that had begun to suffocate his stone, setting the red candle onto the stone after a group prayer was said, and finally creating a grave rubbing with the help of my close friends.

It was difficult to speak in front of the group and explain this personal connection, however it is through these personal stories we learn the best. Mass numbers and facts tend to numb out the realism of the Holocaust, and strip the humanity from it’s victims. Aron, Eva, David, and Alon all have very different stories, all however stand to express the cruelty of their suffering and strength of their humanity. For David and Eva in particular, their story was one of survival and the rebuilding of their lives, in a country that was polar opposite of the torture perpetrated during the Holocaust. The teaching of the Holocaust is the contradiction of evil, death, and destruction against the values that are required for it to never happen again, which include; tolerance, compassion and respect for humanity. The act of this grave rubbing is to express my compassion and respect towards Alon’s family and to hopefully allow him to feel at peace with his journey from twenty years ago. I was able to give him the rubbing as well as a hand drawn map to ensure he would not get lost if he or his family ever choose to visit Poland, and his grandfather again.

This course has helped me grow as an individual and understand the deeper aspects of life. Through the use of hands-on-learning, we were able to experience modern day anti-semitism, see the development of Jewish Community Centres in Poland, as well as the horrific conditions and activities that took place among the concentration and labour camps ranging from Krakow, to Lubin, and finally Warsaw. Among it all we understood enough to not let the mass numbers of victims direct us away from the mass amount of humanity and personality that the Holocaust stole.


History Seminar Series

The Nipissing History Seminar Series will soon return for a sequence of four presentations over the next several months. All our talks are free of charge, and everyone is welcome. Coffee and tea are provided.

If you haven't joined us before: our presenters speak for about 45 minutes, after which we have an approximately equal amount of time for questions. All presentations take place at Nipissing University. A brief list of dates and presenters follows, with more details. Further information will be sent out in advance of each talk.

  • Friday, January 31, 2:30 pm, Room A226: History MA students present a panel discussion on how history is done at Nipissing
  • Friday, February 7, 2:30 pm, Room A226: Rev Dr Derek Neal (History, Nipissing) on relationships of trust among Cambridge clergymen in the 1550s
  • Friday, March 6, 2:30 pmRoom A122: Dr John Allison (Education, Nipissing): "Canada and Education Diplomacy:  History and Contemporary Perspectives; 1960-1990"
  • Friday, March 20, 2:30 pm, Room A226: Dr Susan Glover (English, Laurentian) on writing by Indigenous women before 1860

We look forward to your joining us. Please contact Rev Dr Derek Neal (derekn@nipissingu.ca) in case of any inquiries.


Biology Students Experience Hands-On Learning

Emily Kraft

Emily Kraft completed a placement at the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, analyzing data on trends affecting the health of our community. Her supervisors were Dinna Lozano and Dr. Tony Parkes

Doug Manners with owl

Doug Manners was at the Hilliardton Marsh Research and Education Center near New Liskeard, ON., doing songbird/owl banding and migratory research, supervised by Bruce Murphy and Dr. Dave Hackett.

Diva Elgie

Diva Elgie was at the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority, working on a trail monitoring program and various other community initiatives,  supervised by Paula Loranger, Troy Storms and Dr. Dave Hackett.


Grant Lafontaine2

Grant Lafontaine shadowed an Orthopedic Surgeon, observing and learning from a diverse range of clinical tasks at the North Bay Regional Health Centre in Ontario, Canada, with Dr. Creech, supervised by Kristinn Peterson and Dr. Peter Nosko.


A Unique Wetland Course at Nipissing University

wading through waist high water

Anyone wishing to qualify as a Wetland Evaluator in Ontario must take the Ontario Wetland Certificate Course (OWES) which is only available through Nipissing University. For years, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) had been holding their week-long OWES sessions in North Bay, owing to the tremendous quality and diversity of wetlands in the area. Since 2018, Nipissing University Instructors have gradually taken over responsibility for the course. That puts Nipissing University at the centre of the “wetland world” in terms being a training hotspot for those needing to gain the credentials required to evaluate wetlands, and it creates a new market for the university – largely consisting of professional biologists and environmental consultants. Members of the Nipissing University team include Dave Hackett, Corina Irwin, Oriana Pokorny, Joe Boivin, Paul Courville and Kevan Cowcill, along with student-assistant Stephanie Jeffery. The photos show team members visiting local wetlands in the spring to flag sites of interest, to identify noteworthy wetland species, and to safety-check each field location before bringing students in for a week of intensive training. The course is designed to run each year for several weeks in late June when wetland flora and fauna are at their finest. For further information, contact Dave Hackett.


GIS is Everywhere

GIS is Everywhere!

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are widely used throughout the North Bay community. The Geography Department would like to invite all faculty, staff, students and community members to join us at an open-house to celebrate International GIS Day on Wednesday, November 13th from 10 am to 2 pm in A257. This community event showcases the use of Geographic Information Systems in: environment, business, government, health, emergency services, and education. GIS Day includes an open-house style fair for the community. The theme this year is, “GIS is EVERYWHERE! 

Our guest speaker is Mr. Paul Beach, general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre’s Acorn Information Solutions Group. A not-for-profit group dedicated to promoting the sharing of GIS data and resources, and growing knowledge and tools among community organisations to create healthier, safer, and more prosperous communities. Exhibitors from the local community will be displaying how they use GIS in their work, including the City of North, North Bay Police Department, the Parry Sound District Health Unit, the Anishinabek First Nations, the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, the the Municipal Property Assessment Commission, North Bay Hydro, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, and Canadore. Joining them will be exhibits by our GIS students, the Geography Department, Biology students, and Nipissing’s Nordic Ski Club .... GIS is EVERWHERE!


Dr. Katrina Srigley, Keynote Speaker at Australian Oral History Association Conference, October 10 - 13, 2019

Dr. Katrina Srigley delivers a keynote at Australian Oral History Association Conference in Brisbane.

Dr. Katrina Srigley

"Gaa Bi Kidwaad Maa Nbisiing/The Stories of Nbisiing Nishnaabeg: relational storytelling and story listening on Nbisiing Nishnaabeg territory"

As feminist oral historians have well established, the act of sharing stories (challenging or celebratory) always involves degrees of intimacy, but what does this mean for a non-Indigenous historian listening to and learning from oral histories on Nbisiing Nishnaabeg territory? In answering this question, I will speak about the unlearning and learning journey that has given way to Gaa Bi Kidwaad Maa Nbisiing, a historical project developed in partnership with Nipissing First Nation, and reflect on the relational historical framework that has developed through our work. In interesting ways relational storytelling and story listening is rooted in Nishnaabeg ways of knowing and being, resonates with and challenges my training as a feminist oral historian, and has a great deal to teach us about how to collectively understand the past, challenge the present, and contribute to the future.


Beyond Women's Words, Katrina Srigley

Dr. Katrina Srigley is also co-editor of Beyond Women’s Words: feminisms and the practices of oral history in the twenty-first century (2018), and currently co-researching Gaa Bi Kidwaad Maa Nbisiing: A-Kii Bemaadzijik, E-Niigannwang: The Stories of Nbisiing: the Land, the People, the Future; and Nbisiing Anishinabek Biimadiziwin: to understand the past and shape the future, in partnership with Nipissing First Nation.


CICAS The Future of Humanity

CICAS publishes The Future of Humanity: Revisioning the Human in the Posthuman Age

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Collaboration in the Arts and Sciences is proud to announce the publication of The Future of Humanity: Revisioning the Human in the Posthuman Age, edited by Drs. Pavlina Radia, Sarah Winters, and Laurie Kruk, published by Rowman & Littlefield. 

Among others, the book also includes chapters by our NU colleagues--Dr. Gillian McCann, Dr. Manuel Litalien, and Eric Weichel and colleagues from other Canadian and international universities--Dr. Fred Spier (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), Dr. David Witzling, Aaron Weiss (Tyndale University College), Dr. Christine Bolus-Reichert (University of Toronto), Dr. Catherine Jenkins (Ryerson University), Dr. Adam Nash (RMIT University, Australia), and Dr. Christopher Vitale (Pratt Institute, NYC).

One of the reviewers describes the book as a "groundbreaking collection of interdisciplinary meditations on the posthuman condition." The book is now available at https://www.amazon.ca/Future-Humanity-Revisioning-Human-Posthuman/dp/1786609568.


Chancellor's Award Recipient Dr. Mukund Jha

 The Faculty of Arts & Science is proud to recognize Dr. Mukund Jha, Professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry, as the recipient of  Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research.

Chancellor's Award Recipient Dr. Mukund Jha

Major impacts of Dr Mukund Jha’s research accomplishments

Dr Jha obtained his PhD in Natural Products Chemistry from University of Saskatchewan in 2006 under the supervision of Prof Soledade Pedras. Subsequently, he received further training as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof Derek Pratt in Free Radical Chemistry at Queen’s University. He joined Nipissing University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry in 2008 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2016.
Dr Jha’s research primarily focuses on discovering novel organic molecules critical for the development of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and other materials for commercial applications. He routinely uses innovative aspects of synthetic chemistry to develop new methodologies to produce compounds with interesting architectures and properties. Over the years his research team has developed several elegant synthetic methods to prepare novel molecules fused with biologically important indole nucleus. Dr Jha is also involved in examining the biological and commercial importance of mushrooms from forests of Northern Ontario. His research endeavors, in collaboration with local industry partners, have contributed immensely in invigorating public interest around regional medicinal mushrooms like chaga. He has developed protocols for the preparation of chaga extracts especially rich in antioxidants. His work on chaga has been featured in a documentary produced by TV channel TFO, on CBC radio’s Up North and in an article in the magazine The Walrus. The application of the knowledge resulting Dr Jha’s research program is already showing positive ramifications towards addressing several key issues concerning the health of millions of Canadians.
Dr Jha’s has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles in leading chemistry journals. He has been successful in attracting external research funding in excess of $1.25 million as a principal investigator from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), FedNor, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) and Industry partners. His efforts have been tremendously instrumental in establishing a state-of-the-art infrastructure for research activities pertaining to analysis and characterization of organic molecules at Nipissing University.
Dr Jha has an excellent record of training students at various levels in his laboratory including a postdoctoral researcher, PhDs, Masters, and over 20 honours thesis students. Most of his honours thesis students have gone on to join graduate programs across


"Living in the North" Short Story Competition Winners

The Dean of Arts & Science is delighted to announce the winning entries in the "Living in the North" short story competition at Nipissing University. The competition was open to all current students at Nipissing. The eleven entries were submitted to the Chair of the Department of English Studies, who removed the students' names from the stories and passes them onto a committee of English faculty.

Aidan A
Aidan Adrian with his check for his first place story "On Route 116"

The committee unanimously awarded prizes to the following three stories:

In third place, receiving a $100 prize was Paige Linklater-Wong's story "The Fire and the Fall". The judges commended this for it tender treatment of Indigenous Trickster figure and the excitement of the plot.

In second place, receiving a $200 prize was Matthew Sullivan's story "Accompanied Voice". The judges commended this story for the lyricism of its prose and its vivid evocation of the beauty of the North.

In first place, receiving a $300 prize was Aidan Adrain's story "On Route 116". The judges commended this story for its skillful handling of multiple points of view and its ethical engagement with political realities of its setting.

Congratulations Paige, Matthew and Aidan!


Sarah Holt, Nipissing Students shares about "Life Changing" travel abroad course to Italy

This past June a group of students were fortunate enough to partake in an intensive ten-day course in Carrara Italy carving marble at Studio Corsanini with guest artists Stephen Shaheen and Fred X Brownstein. Students had the choice of either carving a traditional Italian mortar or a building cornice. There were twelve students who participated in the all-inclusive course, which earned each of them 3 FAVA credits and lasting memories. The students began fundraising for the course back in November of 2018 and put on numerous events to raise funds for the trip, including student run paint nights and art sales. All events the students ran were a huge success.

Art Abroad

The course was very studio based, with almost every day being spent in the open-air studio which was nestled on the edge of the mountains. Andrew Ackerman the organizer and professor responsible for the trip, had many other excursions planned to balance out the heavy work load. The students had the opportunity to tour a functioning marble quarry as well as visiting the Staglieno Cemetery in Genova which is known for its hyper realistic figurative marble monuments. In addition, there was a day trip to Florence where the students were exposed to works by Michelangelo, Donatello and other master stone carvers.

While in Carrara the students were fortunate enough to visit stone carving tool shops which featured authentic handmade tools and equipment as well as receiving the opportunity after to learn about each tool and how to use them. In addition to the stone carving at Studio Corsanini the owner Leonardo Corsanini had many workshops in place featuring his master carvers to show the students ancient techniques used to enlarge and or transfer plaster sculptures into stone.

All in all, the students involved with the course developed life changing skills, memories and friendships made possible by Nipissing offering the first Fine Arts abroad course. Each student came away with multiple connections for further artist development and opportunities that would not exist had they not been given the opportunity to take their studies outside of Nipissing’s campus.

Laura Peturson, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, completes urban mural for Up Here 2015, alongside Nipissing alum Jaymie Lathem

Laura Peturson Mural1

Up Here is an independent art and music festival that brings together dozens of musicians, installation artists and muralists to transform downtown Sudbury. The festival

is a project of We Live Up Here, a volunteer-run non-profit organization founded in 2012 around the simple idea that art can bring people together and can playfully reshape our community.

Laura’s mural is located on the side of a large social housing project at the busy corner of Notre Dame and Louis St. It depicts children exploring a tangle of fallen trees with the remnants of an old treehouse in the background. Laura brought an alumnus of the Fine Arts program, Jaymie Lathem (Executive Director of Creative Industries North Bay) to assist with the painting, and the two completed the three-storey mural over seven days.