Posts By: Barbara Lehtiniemi

Barbara Lehtiniemi

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer and photographer from Ontario. She’s a graduate of Athabasca University, having completed her Bachelor of General Studies degree in 2018.

A regular contributor to The Voice Magazine since 2013, Barbara has also contributed to other publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul and Maclean’s. Barbara writes in several genres, including non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. She’s grateful to The Voice Magazine for providing the opportunity to explore an array of topics and writing styles, and she remains dreadfully sorry for those awful haikus.

Barbara has a fondness for travel, used bookstores, everyday absurdities, and oversized wine glasses. Originally from urban Southwestern Ontario, she now lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario with her indulgent and supportive husband, Leo.

You can follow Barbara on Twitter @theregoesbarb, or contact her at

AUSU Scholarships—Plenty of Choices for AU Undergrads

Who couldn’t use an extra $1000 for their studies? Sixteen AU students can look forward to a $1000 scholarship boost from AUSU this fall.  AUSU has two award cycles each year.  The fall awards cycle opened for applications October 1, with a deadline of November 1. Last week’s article summarized the AUSU Bursaries and the… Read more »

AUSU Bursaries

AU is known for providing high-quality post-secondary education without barriers.  Anyone over the age of 16 can go to AU. But education is not cheap.  AU’s student union, AUSU, offers several bursaries to assist AU students with financial challenges.  Some of these bursaries are available year-round, while a couple others can only be applied for… Read more »

Dear Barb Continues Advice Tradition in Book Format

There’s a saying, attributed to author and inspirational speaker Regina Brett, that states, “If we threw all our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s we’d grab ours back.” Whether it’s schadenfreude, self-improvement, or simply gratitude that our own problems are not worse, reading advice columns seems to be a pastime with universal appeal…. Read more »

Empty Skies

Travel comes with risks at the best of times.  Travelling during a pandemic adds an unsettling new dimension. It was with some trepidation that we booked flights to Canada’s west coast.  We researched the airlines to learn what measures they were taking to keep passengers safe.  In addition to disinfecting protocols, mandatory mask wearing, and… Read more »

Turn Summer Volunteer Hours into Cash

Canadian students aged 30 or under can now register for the Canada Student Service Grant.  The details of the grant program were announced June 25, and registration is open until August 21, 2020. The grant program is one of several relief measures for students first announced in April.  Since many traditional summer job opportunities for… Read more »

Echoes of Bereavement at Holiday Time

The holiday season brings comfort in tradition and ritual.  At the heart of many celebrations, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and others, are patterns that have comforted us throughout our lives.  The rituals, the food, the family gatherings. When someone has lost somebody special in their lives, whether a spouse, family member, or friend—even a pet—everyone… Read more »

Smooth Sailing to Convocation

Next month, hundreds of students—I mean graduands—will make the trek to Athabasca for convocation. For many, it will be the first time they’ve visited AU’s campus.  For some, it may be the first time they’ve visited Alberta. I went to convocation in June 2018.  It wasn’t my first trip to Alberta, but it was definitely… Read more »