Erica Carlson is a cheerleader for Laurentian University’s School of Human Kinetics (SHK).
She graduated with an honours degree in physical education in 1976. She enjoyed the collegiality and closeness then and looks forward to renewing friendships at the SHK 50th Anniversary Reunion Sept. 15-17.
“I have been to a number of larger university campuses. I like the size and I like that they always seem to be moving ahead. It’s not just that the academic picture,” says Carlson, a member of the reunion organizing committee.
Carlson, who was living in Elliot Lake before attending Laurentian, was encouraged to pursue her education in Sudbury by Wendy Jerome, a sports psychologist and human movement professor. They met when Jerome was teaching a seminar in Elliot Lake.
Human Kinetics includes five programs: Outdoor Adventure Leadership; Health Promotion; Sport and Physical Education; Kinesiology; and Sport Psychology.
There are approximately 4,000 SHK alumni. Reunion organizers are hoping as many as half of them will attend the reunion.
“We’re really looking forward to celebrating with everyone and hoping a lot of alumni are returning to celebrate with us because they’re sure to have a great time,” Carlson says.
And so as SHK prepares for a reunion, loading the archival images into digital slideshows, the personal touch remains the link that binds past, present and future of the whistle-blowing gym teachers, outdoor education leaders, sports psychologists, health promoters, and kinesiologists at the east end of the campus.
Anik Dennie is nearly finished her degree in health promotion in French. She enjoys the small class sizes ─ on average 18:1 according to the Laurentian website ─ and the connection she has with staff and faculty.
She couldn’t imagine going into a classroom that would have as many students as her entire high school had.
“It never made sense for me to leave. I love Northern Ontario. I dream of working up north.”
Emily Tetzlaff was introduced to Laurentian while she was still going to high school in Trenton. She was visiting her sister. Gracie, who was studying sports administration.
During that visit, Tetzlaff met with Ginette Michel, a health assistant professor and co-ordinator of the Health Promotion without Borders program. Michel emphasized the opportunities to study abroad that Tetzlaff would have in health promotion.
Tetzlaff enrolled, eventually spending a year at the University of Limerick in Ireland and then went to Mongolia in 2013 with Health Promotion without Borders. She is completing her master’s in June and then plans to return to Mongolia as a team leader with four other students.
“I have a lot of relationships here with faculty members and with classmates that I don’t really want to leave. People know who I am. You kind of feel at home,” she says as she considers her options for a doctorate. “I have really grown to enjoy Sudbury.”
For Kaitlin Sheridan, the reunion marks a return to Sudbury. She graduated from SHK in health promotion in 2012 and is working as a family medicine resident.
Sheridan played varsity basketball and rowed for Laurentian but ultimately it was, as many SHK alumni can attest, the influence of professors Pat Pickard and Ginette Michel that helped Sheridan chart her course.
Support from staff and faculty is the strength of the SHK, Sheridan says. “You couldn’t find a more supportive group who are so invested in their students.”
As Sheridan moved forward with her application to medical school, staff would find research and volunteer opportunities to help her out, Sheridan says.
Sheridan will attend the reunion with her mother, Louise, who is also a SHK alumna.
Information on the reunion is available at laurentian.ca/event-school-human-kinetics.
11 am –Registration, Back to the Ben Golf Scramble, Idywylde Golf and Country Club
7 pm –Back to the Ben Golf Dinner
Friday, Sept. 15
9 am –Learning, Research and the Alumni Connection, Ben Avery Building Physical Education Centre, Alumni speakers, discussions and exhibit posters and presentations.
6 pm – 50th Anniversary Barbecue/Meet and Greet. Ben Avery Building. Official kick-off to the 50th Anniversary Alumni Reunion
8 pm – Bonfire. A chance to get together at the “Ben” and enjoy an outdoor evening with alumni, students, faculty and staff, family and friends.
Saturday, Sept. 16
10 am – Open Doors at Ben Avery Building. Experience the history of old haunts and jump into the future with tours of the campus modernization projects. A reception area will be open throughout the day to meet and recharge.
6 pm – Alumni Gala dinner at Caruso Club
Sunday Sept. 17
9 am – Alumni Breakfast, Ben Avery Building
11 am – Whistle blowing and closing ceremony in the gym or at the track depending on the weather.