Sparrow Family Experiential Learning Centre

Sparrow Family
Mac Sparrow, Linda Sparrow, Cathy Tremblay, Pam Laycock, Dian Laycock

Experience that sets you apart

The Grand Opening of the Sparrow Family Experiential Learning Centre took place on Friday, October 4, 2019.

Students in Nipissing University’s School of Business now have the opportunity to connect with the North Bay community through the Sparrow Family Experiential Learning Centre. The University and the Sparrow Family have come together to create a space on campus where students will engage in experiential learning and foster their skills with hands-on engagement opportunities. The Sparrow Family Experiential Learning Centre will connect students, faculty and the community with a space for generating and sharing ideas, providing valuable workshops and building dialogue between community partners, their needs and how students can be involved.   

Pam Laycock

“The reason we choose to support Nipissing University and create the Sparrow Experiential Learning Centre is because our Dad and Grandfather (Herb Sparrow), and our Mom and Grandmother (Tena Sparrow) were self-made entrepreneurs here in North Bay. Together they supported several business start-ups in Northern Ontario and have always felt that it was important to do their part to give back to the greater community. They saw the value of education and helped many students in their pursuit of higher education.The Sparrow Experiential Learning Centre is the embodiment of these wonderful aspects of Herb and Tena’s legacy in this community and we are honoured that it will support students in their academic journeys for years to come.”

Pam Laycock
granddaughter of the late Herb and Tena Sparrow

Experiential Learning in Action: North Bay Agri-Business Connects with Local University Talent

Gateway City, a start-up brewing company, was looking for advice on how it could expand outside its local base in North Bay. The brewery engaged a team of Nipissing students to create a full marketing plan, including advertising, social media, events and other marketing tactics, and to provide suggestions for markets that Gateway City should consider moving into. The founders were delighted with the results and will continue to provide future opportunities for university students.

Nipissing students to learn from new Executive in Residence

Students in Nipissing University's School of Business have a fantastic new resource available to help them learn and connect classroom theory to real world business settings. The university has appointed George Flumerfelt, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Redpath Group, as the inaugural Executive in Residence. Flumerfelt will serve as an important link between the classroom and boardroom by delivering guest lectures , mentoring students, and providing feedback on program development.


The Sparrow Family Experiential Learning Centre is located in room A235. 

Students in Nipissing University’s School of Business now have the opportunity to connect with the North Bay community through the Sparrow Experiential Learning Centre. Due to a generous contribution from the Sparrow Family, the university has created a new space on campus where students will engage in experiential learning by developing knowledge, skills and values from direct experiences outside a traditional academic setting, which includes hands-on engagement opportunities with the community. The Sparrow Experiential Learning Centre will facilitate connection between students, faculty and the community with a space for generating and sharing ideas, providing valuable workshops and engaging in a dialogue with community partners regarding their business needs.


Sparrow Centre Launch

Sparrow Centre Launch

L-R (back): Mac Sparrow, Linda Sparrow, Cathy Tremblay, Mike DeGagné, Dian Laycock, Pam Laycock, Denyse, Lafrance-Horning L-R (front): Cristin Christopher, Brianna Ominika

iLead Jamaica Expedition

Students engage in international experiential learning in Jamaica during a field course in February 2019


Our flagship iLEAD Business Experience Certificate Program, allows you to Learn through Experience, Action and Discovery while earning credits toward your BBA or BComm degree. The program is designed to help you gain valuable and relevant work experience through activities such as directed studies, writing an honours thesis, participating in workplace internships or studying overseas. The iLEAD program allows your learning to transcend the classroom so you can hone your personal and professional skills and realize success in all facets of your life.

For more information on how to get involved, visit: or email

Simulated Learning

Some courses within the School of Business make use of specialized simulation software enabling you to practice real world business decision-making skills in a risk free, yet realistic environment. Simulation not only allows you to learn about the consequences of your own decisions, but you are also able to learn from the experiences of your peers. Simulations can be applied to many different scenarios from buying and selling stocks to making decisions on business strategy. For more information on courses that use simulations, contact Dr. Prasad Ravi at

Applied Projects

Many of our business courses incorporate applied projects within them, providing you with opportunities to work with clients on real world business challenges that add depth to your resume.

Read more about some of the exciting applied projects students have undertaken:


Nipissing’s small size allows undergraduates to assist with faculty research; an opportunity often reserved for graduate students at larger institutions This experience is invaluable for students looking to pursue graduate studies. If you’re interested in getting more involved in research, speak with a trusted faculty member for more information.

As a business student, you also have the opportunity to participate in Nipissing University’s Annual Undergraduate Research Conference to showcase your research and engage in scholarly debate with peers, faculty and the public.


Interested in being your own boss? We can help. The School of Business offers courses specifically for those looking to start their own business including ADMN 2156 - Introduction to Entrepreneurship and ADMN 3306 - Small Business Administration. The Sparrow Centre can also help you connect with a variety of community partners who can support you through your startup journey by providing access to mentorship, grants and funding, networking opportunities and workshops.


Here are some of our partners:

For more information on the Sparrow Family Experiential Learning Centre and its programming, contact:

Dr. Prasad Ravi
Director, School of Business
705-474-3450 ext. 4270

As faculty, there are many ways you can get involved in experiential education:

  • Mentor a student as an iLEAD supervisor
  • Incorporate applied projects or simulations into your course

For ideas on how you can get involved with experiential education, contact Prasad Ravi at

Faculty testimonials (those who have been faculty advisors or who have lead applied projects, etc.)

Our students add value to your organization by bringing fresh knowledge, energy and enthusiasm. Whether you are looking for an individual student to join your team as an intern, or for a team of students to tackle a business challenge you are experiencing, we can help! Our students have worked with organizations from a variety of sectors including non-profits, health care, mining, finance, retail, sports, the arts and everything in between.

Our students are creative problem solvers and critical thinkers. They study all functional areas of a business, but have the option to specialize in areas such as accounting, finance, economics, organizational studies (human resources), marketing or technology management.

Emma Hough - iLEAD

Any student that has the opportunity to participate in the iLEAD program in the School of Business should definitely do so. I would highly recommend this program without hesitation. Not only did I learn about the accounting field that I want to enter into as a professional after graduation, but I also got to experience, prepare and participate in the workforce. I had the opportunity to expand my learning in a number of fields and apply my knowledge and skills in the areas of accounting, human resources, organizational behaviour, and marketing during my field placements. I got paid to do an internship while earning credits toward school, how cool is that?

I am currently in the last course that I need to complete my iLEAD Business Experience Certificate and we are going camping at Camp Petawachuan! I am so excited to see what consulting tips I will learn in this class.

I will take the things that I did throughout obtaining my iLEAD certificate with me throughout my entire career; it was a great experience and definitely helped me grow as a young adult who is soon entering the workforce.

Emma Hough - BBA

For more information on working with our School of Business students, contact:

Dr. Prasad Ravi
Director, School of Business
705-474-3450 ext. 4270




For more information on the Sparrow Family Experiential Learning Centre and its programming, contact:

Dr. Prasad Ravi
Director, School of Business
705-474-3450 ext. 4270