What brought you back to Brock University?
I always wanted to work on a university campus and I found that Brock has a fun atmosphere. I thought that if I could work in that setting and be in that setting, it would be great. Since I completed my undergraduate degree here, I was very familiar with campus.
What about the University drew you back?
Well I’m from St. Catharines, and again, being familiar with campus and the people here, and being in Niagara was a big time bonus for me.
Best time at Brock?
Probably in first-year because that’s when you obviously meet the most people. I used to spend a lot of time in Jubilee Court just hanging out, tossing around a baseball or a football for a bit, and that was pretty sweet.
I worked for ESL Services in the summers as a Language Monitor and we would do the Explore program. Essentially, students from Québec and other parts of the world come here to learn English. It was basically a camp for adults since they were all 18+. We would teach them English but we would also do fun activities. We took a trip to Toronto, Niagara Falls, explore downtown St. Catharines, and we would play whatever sports were available on campus.
It sounds like you were really involved on campus while you were a student…
For sure. I mean, besides working on-campus, I was mostly involved within the Modern Languages department, I was part of the Italian/Canadian Society, and helped out in the French department whenever I could.
Was there a particular moment that you realized that you were making an impact?
Yeah, absolutely. Making an impact I would say that because Modern Languages is a smaller department, I felt like I was really getting to know my professors really well. We would be talking and getting to know each other outside of classes.
I thought in some way I was making an impact on their career but they were also making an impact on me. That made me feel really welcome at Brock and it’s why I continue to be a part of the community because I felt like I was being influenced by the faculty and they were influencing me. I appreciated that they treated me not just as a student but also as a person.
Michael Gicante is a Brock University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in French & Italian. He completed his Masters at Guelph University in European Studies following graduation in 2013. He is currently the Assistant Academic Adviser in the Humanities department.