Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Faculty of Social Sciences
MA Political Science
Binish Ahmed's major research project was an investigation into why a large number of immigrants do not choose to make Niagara their new home. As an immigrant herself, Binish understands the difficulty facing newcomers.
Her case study was directed to helping local governments and agencies understand what stands in the way of new immigrants settling in Niagara. Her paper offered policy recommendations as a means of increasing the retention of newcomers to the Niagara area.
Binish’s involvement in the University went far beyond her academic work, however.
She gave generously of her time and energy in organizing events and assisting in the day-to-day operation of the Graduate Students’ Association as the representative of the Political Science program.
Binish was a driving force behind the Political Science Department’s First Graduate Student Conference held in May of 2012. The event was a huge success that brought together graduate student researchers from Brock and four other Ontario universities.
Binish says her goal as a teaching assistant was to facilitate and promote critical thinking. In her words: “I taught my students to ask the right questions. I shared tools that would help them find answers successfully.”
She says that she uses the creative process to support the broader community through research, education promotion or engaging in social justice causes.
An example of this is her volunteer work with RAFT, a non-profit organization serving homeless youth and disadvantaged families in Niagara. In the role as a Community Connector serving the Old Pine Trail community in St. Catharines, Binish put her research skills to work. She helped to design a resident survey to better understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in serving her neighborhood. She went door-to-door with the survey and also consulted with other community stakeholders such as the local church, food bank, police, schools and businesses.
She analyzed the information collected to produce a report with recommendations for action to the Niagara Regional Housing Board. This report has led to a series of program initiatives under way in the Old Pine Trail community.
Binish has also worked with her husband to develop an innovative program called Visions of Science Network for Learning. This program is geared to introducing disadvantaged primary and secondary students to science in an innovative and engaging manner.
Binish personifies the kind of spirit that we would like to develop at Brock — she has truly made all of the communities that she has touched better places in which to live and learn.
Also, read the story in Brock News: Grad student recognized for work bettering community