Lori Oddson began her career with Athabasca University (AU) in 1978 as a Lab Instructor for CHEM 209: Chemical Principles and enthusiastically tutored AU chemistry courses for the next 10 years. She was acting coordinator for Sciences from 1980 to 1984, during which time she coordinated both CHEM 209 and CHEM 320. In 1987, Lori was appointed Regional Coordinator of Learning Services, and in 1999, she became the Director of Collaboration and Learning Services at Athabasca University. During her 25 years with the University, Lori actively participated in a variety of planning and advisory committees. Lori's commitment to AU's Tutor Union began in the early 1980s with her involvement in the Tutor Pay and Working Conditions committee and the Tutor Conference Planning committee and culminated in her presidency of the AU Tutor Association. Lori was also variously involved in a number of University governance activities including Academic Council, Arts and Science Council, Governing Council, a Presidential Search Committee, and Budget Advisory Committees.
Lori approached life optimistically, always open to the world and its magical moments. She especially appreciated the educational opportunities provided by a fully funded, public education system. Lori obtained her Bachelor and Master's degrees in Chemistry from the University of Alberta and deeply appreciated the difference that education made in her life. This appreciation informed much of her work at Athabasca University and bolstered her dedication to the University's mission to provide quality post-secondary education, not just to students in Canada, but to students around the world. Combining intuition and scientific training, Lori measured her path by degree of difficulty—if something seemed "too much trouble," she sought, and found, smoother, more elegant solutions. Lori was a committed and hardworking professional, but most importantly, she was a loving and generous friend, daughter, sister, and mother to two remarkable young women.
Lori was diagnosed with cancer in November 2002. She died just two short months later, at the age of 51, in much the same way she lived—thoughtfully, with dignity and grace, and with a firm resolve to do it her way. By her example, Lori reminds us to live our lives well and fully, and to be more generous and forgiving of one another.
Updated February 25 2015 by Student & Academic Services