Thorneloe University Strengthens its Academic Programming with Two New Faculty Members

March 29, 2018

Thorneloe University is proud to announce the hiring of two new full-time, tenure-track faculty members in Theatre Arts and Religious Studies. Both are superb teachers and sought-after scholars in their fields.

Jennifer Heywood will be a strong addition to the Theatre and Motion Picture Arts Department. She holds an M.A. in Theatre History from the University of Toronto, a B.F.A. (cum laude) in Performance from Concordia University and is a Graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. Heywood is published in Theatre Research in Canada and is presently completing her Ph.D. thesis that consists of a dramaturgical analysis of solo-performances. She has travelled across Eastern Canada as both a dancer and an actress, playing in English, French, and twice in Inuktitut. She originated four roles in Canadian premieres and has directed 12 productions, five of which were collective creations. Heywood has taught Canadian and Aboriginal theatre at Brock University; acting at Concordia and McGill Universities; and acting and directing at York University. Next academic year, she will be teaching a number of courses at Thorneloe University, including “Script Analysis,” “Dramaturgy,” and “Theories of Drama.” Heywood is honoured to be member of the Eagle Women Singers drum group and a ninth generation seanchaidh (Gaelic for “story-teller”) of the Baintighearna nan Fiadh of Rannoch.

The Religious Studies Department warmly welcomes Jason Lepojärvi. Currently, he is a Postdoctoral Scholar-in-Residence at Regent College in Vancouver. Lepojärvi received his Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki in 2015, during which he held a fellowship and taught at Oxford University (2013-16) and served as the President of the Oxford C. S. Lewis Society (2012-13). As a specialist in C. S. Lewis and modern theories of love, Lepojärvi will enrich and expand upon existing departmental strengths, as well as complement them with his interest in contemporary debates in religion and culture. As a proud Finnish-Canadian (born in Lapland, Finland), Lepojärvi hopes to forge new partnerships with the local Finnish community in Greater Sudbury. To that end, he has already touched base with several local contacts at – appropriately – Leinala’s Bakery. Next academic year, he will offer several courses, including “Women, Religion and Spirituality” and “Ideas of Love II.” A coveted international lecturer, Lepojärvi’s speaking engagements have taken him to several countries, and will include Brazil and the UK over the next several months before moving to Sudbury with his wife Iisa and their three young children.

“I am very proud that we are making these appointments, reaffirming the importance of the arts and humanities in the university sector,” says Dr. Robert Derrenbacker, President of Thorneloe University. “The addition of Ms. Heywood and Dr. Lepojärvi will strengthen our academic programs, a priority that we have identified in our five-year Strategic Plan.”

Jennifer Heywood and Jason Lepojärvi will take up their faculty positions at Thorneloe University on August 1, 2018.

Thorneloe University has offered academic programming in the humanities for more than 50 years. As a founding member of the Laurentian University Federation, and situated on the campus of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Thorneloe is home to the departments of Ancient Studies, Theatre and Motion Picture Arts, Religious Studies, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well the Thorneloe University School of Theology.

For more information about Thorneloe University, visit

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