Lakehead University Signs MOU with University of Alberta
THUNDER BAY – News – Lakehead University officials have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a relationship with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts School in Cortona, Italy.
“This initiative with the University of Alberta will forge stronger connections between our institutions and the Italian community,” said Lakehead University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson. “Today’s MOU signing is a collaboration that will not only bridge generations of Italians in Thunder Bay and Orillia with their Italian roots, it will also allow non-Italians to experience the rich history and culture of Italy.”
Dr. Rod Hanley, Lakehead University’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic), explained how today’s signing represents another success in Lakehead’s efforts to create partnerships with other postsecondary institutions that benefit students, faculty and staff.
“This MOU fosters relationships with our Italian communities while extending Lakehead’s reach around the globe to bring the world to our students,” Dr. Hanley said.
Currently, students from all of the University of Alberta’s faculties and disciplines travel to Cortona, Italy each year to enrol in courses that take advantage of the country’s unique Tuscan region. University of Alberta professors conduct regular classroom lectures (in English) on diverse topics like Renaissance Art, Roman Civilization, Italian language and Political Science.
Dr. Carl G. Amrhein, Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Alberta, came to Thunder Bay for the signing. “I would like to recognize the local Italian community for their generosity in supporting students to study at the University of Alberta School in Cortona, Italy,” he said. “Not only will this agreement strengthen the connection between the University of Alberta and Lakehead University, but also between the cities of Edmonton and Thunder Bay.”
Instead of reading about Italian art in a textbook, students actually travel to see Michelangelo’s David. Instead of learning the Italian language in a classroom, students will live it. Studying at the School in Cortona is more than just attending lectures – it’s about being immersed in a relevant cultural experience.
Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, Dr. Lesley Cormack, said, “The School in Cortona welcomes Lakehead University students. All our students benefit from the easy access to the cultural riches of Italy and the international and multidisciplinary perspectives that studying abroad affords. This agreement will now allow us to reach a wider audience of Canadian students to provide an experience that will resonate with them both academically and culturally.”
Institute of Italian Studies–Lakehead University Contributes $25,000
The Institute of Italian Studies-Lakehead University’s (IISLU) board of directors contributed $25,000 to the Cortona project through the Free Tuition scholarship program at Lakehead University. The funds will be used to send students to study in Cortona, Italy.
“To study the Italian language while being immersed in the culture of Italy is the ideal situation,” said IISLU’s President, Roy Piovesana, who believes Lakehead students will get a perspective on the study and understanding of Italian that they would never experience in Canada.
“For the Institute of Italian Studies, the encouragement of and financial support for the study of the Italian language and culture is central to the fulfillment of its mission and mandate,” Piovesana added.
Cortona Scholarship Recipients
Thanks to the IISLU’s contribution, approximately four Lakehead University students will have the opportunity to spend a month studying in Cortona, Italy.
The first Lakehead student to benefit from this collaboration between the IISLU, Lakehead University, and the University of Alberta, will be Jennifer Rankel, a third year Bachelor of Education student at Lakehead’s Orillia campus, who will spend January 2014 in Cortona.
In May 2014, Kelsey Pennanen and Paige Elizabeth Tyler, both second year students from Lakehead’s Thunder Bay campus, will also make the trip.
“I am so grateful to the Italian Society of Thunder Bay, Lakehead University, and the University of Alberta, for their generosity,” said Kelsey Pennanen, who is currently completing her Honours Bachelor of Science in Geoarchaeology. “I am so excited for the chance to study in Cortona, and how the experience and knowledge I will gain from this trip will broaden my understanding of the world and the amazing history it has to offer.”
Paige Tyler is an Honours Bachelor of Science (Geography) and Bachelor of Education student who sees the opportunity to participate in the Cortona program as a dream come true. “I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of people, while learning about a new culture and language,” said Tyler. “Without this IISLU award, I would not have been able to take part in this life-changing opportunity.”
The application process for the international exchange scholarship to Cortona is the same as all Lakehead University exchange student initiatives.