Today’s Convocation ceremonies for both the Faculty of Mathematics and Science and Faculty of Applied Health Sciences featured more than 800 students receiving their degrees and certificates from Brock.
One of those students, Rachel Chouinard, took a break from her current job in Toronto as an exploration geologist to take in her graduation today.
The Welland-native completed an Earth Sciences Co-op degree and currently works for Kinross, a Canadian-based gold mining company with projects around the world.
Chouinard credits extracurricular activities, like the Brock Geology Club – Brock’s oldest undergraduate club – as well as networking, professional development and recruitment events co-ordinated by Brock’s Co-op office, for helping to land her in her current career path.
“The jobs I got through Co-op definitely got me where I am today,” says Chouinard. “It was the marks I got in school as well as the experience that I have on my resume. You can be told so much and you can take so many notes, but it’s all about applying it and meeting people.”
During her time at Brock, Chouinard completed three work placements as part of her five-year degree. She worked with Ontario Geological Survey, Trelawney Mining & Exploration, and IAMGOLD.
“I got to talk to the people who would do the hiring and then I applied,” she says. “The girl who I talked to [at Ontario Geological Survey] remembered me from an event at Brock, so that’s kind of how I got my first placement.”
Now at Kinross, Chouinard splits her time between exploration logistics and analysis in their Toronto corporate office and geological exploration out in the field.
“What I’m used to is wearing coveralls, being covered in bug spray and dirt, steel toed boots and trudging through the forest, that is where I thrive,” says Chouinard.
“But spending the summer in the city is a super interesting experience that most student geologists my age do not get,” she says. “I’m getting a total different look at the industry and I’m just learning so much. And I do get to go out in the field, so I won’t get cabin fever in the office.”
At today’s morning ceremony, Paul House, Chairman of Tim Horton’s Board of Directors and a member of Brock’s Board of Trustees since 2008, presented Spirit of Brock medals to graduate students Hayley Morrison (Applied Health Sciences) and Kristin Schaven (Mathematics and Science).
Professor Joffre Mercier, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, was also presented with the 2014 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and delivered the Convocation address, which spoke to themes of “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Yin Xu, an MSc student in mathematics and statistics, was also recognized with the Governor General’s Gold Medal, awarded to the student who achieves the highest academic standing at the graduate level.
At Friday’s afternoon ceremony, Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffrey Cairns of Brock’s Board of Trustees, presented a Spirit of Brock medal to Goodman School of Business graduate student Shuoqian (Athena) Gao.
Professor Mary Breunig, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, was presented with the 2014 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. She also addressed the graduating class.
Tomorrow’s remaining two Convocation ceremonies for the Goodman School of Business will proceed as follows:
Saturday, June 7, 10 a.m. – Goodman School of Business
• Professor Tejaswini (Teju) Herath, Department of Finance, Operations & Information Systems, Goodman School of Business, will be presented with the 2014 Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, and will deliver the Convocation address
Saturday, June 7, 2 p.m. – Goodman School of Business
• John Zoccoli, Brock’s 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient will deliver the Convocation address
• Business Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock medal winners: Erik Robert Christian Gunn (undergraduate)
• Business Dean’s Medal: Jordan Raymond Menchella