Laurentian University receives $1.2M for three projects

Sudbury's Laurentian University is receiving more than $1.2 million in grants from eCampus Ontario for three projects that will help students and researchers at the school.

The Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health is receiving $1,078,000 for its collaborative healthcare simulation project that includes 12 virtual reality training modules. Both undergraduate and graduate students in the nursing and respiratory therapy programs along with other allied health programs across Ontario will benefit from the interactive training, the school said in a news release.

"The resultant modules are flexible enough to be used across institutions at no extra cost, while also being suited to use in remote or northern areas where access to simulation training is limited," Laurentian said. "During the current COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, this technology will allow students and workers to engage in live, synchronous immersive scenario training at home or abroad."

A two-part, multilingual documentary series called The Stories of Decolonization Film Project is receiving $25,000. The films will feature the ongoing negative impacts of colonialism and will have subtitles available in Anishinaabemowin, Cree, English and French. Curriculum guides will accompany the films.

"Thanks to distribution through eCampus Ontario, the material will be widely accessible and allow institutions greater ability to share important ideas about decolonization. The project is a collaborative effort involving Social Work researcher Elizabeth Carlson-Manathara, as well as her collaborators Gladys Rowe and Teddy Zegeye-Gebrehiwot," Laurentian said.

A grant of $143,775 will help the school expand its online learning by hiring two full-time bilingual teachers, one in instructional design and another in media design and development.

"This will subsequently lead to the creation of somewhere between 15 – 30 new online non-credit micro-credential courses over the next few years. Bettina Brockerhoff-Macdonald, Director of Laurentian's Centre for Continuing Learning, will oversee this expansion," Laurentian said.

This news comes after the school made massive cuts that saw many programs eliminated along with faculty and staff.

"The funding will allow the development of non-credit courses that will greatly benefit northern communities," said Dr. Joel Dickinson, the dean of the faculty of arts at the university.