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Lydia comes from a political science and information studies background from the University of Ghana. The research topic undertaken in her undergraduate centered on the ways government sustain its intervention schemes in the health sector (Ghana) especially in the deprived areas (Northern region-Ghana) where women, children and the aged are vulnerable. She will be doing her Masters thesis under the supervision of Dr. Dawn Zinga. For her research, she intends on analyzing the different parenting styles adopted by parents in the upbringing of their children in the developing country (Ghana) and the developed country (Canada). Lydia hopes that her research will provide further insight into how the different parenting styles adopted by parents in these two countries affect the children and their relationship with the world and with others.
Melanie received her BA in psychology. Her honors thesis investigated the relationship between personality and social development. Specifically, how the Big Five dimension of introversion/extraversion interplayed with shyness and other measures such as negative emotionality, sociability, and loneliness. She is currently working with Dr. Marini to explore relational aggression and the functions of gossip and how it relates to perceived popularity. As well, she will be investigating the adaptive function of relational aggression in female ethnic minorities from low income backgrounds and how it escalates to physical violence. She hopes to also incorporate some aspect of resilience into her future studies.
Eneze received her master’s degree in Development Studies, and she specialized in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Human Security from the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, Netherlands. Her Master’s thesis focused on Migration, Sex work and Counter-Trafficking measures with a specific focus on the experiences of Nigerian migrant sex workers and victims of trafficking in Turin, Italy. Eneze has experience working as an international development practitioner in the Netherlands, Italy, Nigeria and Republic of Benin and she hopes to continue her career in that field. Her research interest also includes, youth entrepreneurship and peacebuilding. At Brock, she will work under the supervision of Dr O'Neil, her thesis will explore the topic transnational youth migration and the socio-economic well-being of African youth migrant workers.
Daniella is a Brock University graduate of Child and Youth Studies. During her undergraduate degree she conducted an honours thesis that analyzed the position and construction of child and youth advocacy within Canadian law, policy and media documents. Continuing under the supervision of Dr. Richard Mitchell her masters research builds upon this pilot study to highlight that although research exists on the rights of marginalized youth, relatively little attention has been paid to the growing role of Canadian child and youth advocates in promoting rights awareness. Daniella’s research aims to address this gap in the literature by exploring how Provincial and Territorial child and youth advocates carry out their roles, and consider the opportunities and barriers associated with their day-to-day work. Daniella’s practical work with young people as a Youth Employment Counselor, Camp Director, After School Program Teacher, Supervised Access Worker and Family Visit Worker has shed light on the importance of advocating for children. As a result, Daniella hopes to analyze the day-to-day work of child and youth advocates in Canada as they have been under-researched by university-based academics and civil society stakeholders. Accordingly, Daniella plans on applying her research findings to both policy and practice in the Canadian context to illuminate the voices of children who seemingly remain silent citizens.
Amanda is a Brock University graduate of Child and Youth Studies and her research surrounds social media, specifically photo sharing online, and what effects it can have on children and youth social development. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Zopito Marini involved examining the phenomenon of the ‘selfie’ and how young adults viewed the meaning of posting and sharing photos of one’s self online. Amanda will be continuing this research with Dr. Marini in her Masters research by focusing on the younger generation of children and what it means to communicate online through photos instead of text. She recognizes that the many children are developing a sense of identity through online outlets, and that this will continue into the future, which is why it is important to look more deeply into living online. Cyberbullying, sexting, and harassment online is also of high interest for Amanda as possible negative effects when being public on the Internet and being active on various social media sites.
Prarthana received her Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at York University. Her work and volunteer experiences as a Psychometrist conducting psycho- vocational and psycho- educational assessments, Research Assistant analyzing infant mental health, violence, and conflict resolution, and Student Mentor working with children with developmental delays, has influenced her master’s thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Anthony Volk. Prarthana is currently examining the influence of children’s facial cues (e.g., cuteness, health, happiness, and resemblance to parent) and parents’ personality traits on parental behaviors from an evolutionary perspective. She has also collaborated on publications concerning bullying, child facial cues, and anxiety, with faculty in the CHYS department.
Michelle is a graduate of Brock University with two undergrad degrees. Her first is in Sociology and her second is in Child and Youth Studies. Therefore she tends to bring a multi-disciplinary lens to her research. During her grad studies, her research will be focusing on the experience of parents advocating for "the complicated child". As a parent of a child with autism and as someone heavily involved in the autism community she has experienced and heard the frustrations of parents and in particular mothers discuss their triumphs and hardships advocating for their child's needs. In particular it has become apparent that those children with dual diagnosis and multiple medical issues tend to have more difficulties in advocating and can have various experiences in a variety of community and service areas. Through her research of case studies she hope to bring to light these very important experiences of advocation so that others may understand the issues from a parental view.
Kimberly received her HBA in Psychology (Specialized Honours) from Lakehead University in Northwestern Ontario. Her undergraduate Honour’s thesis focused on psychopathic personality traits and the cognitive paradigm of systems thinking in relation to resilience, cognitive rigidity, and self-monitoring. A few of Kimberly’s other research experiences include studying mental illness stigma, in addition to early crisis intervention programs at a children’s centre. Under the supervision of Dr. Anthony Volk, Kimberly will extend her Honour’s thesis research to include bullying and aggression. Kimberly’s Master’s research will explore bullying prevention programs from an adaptive perspective with a focus on adolescents’ cognitive and behavioural predispositions, and whether they can be changed.
With a background in Psychology, Daniel believes he can bring a unique perspective to the Child and Youth Studies program. He has previously delved into bullying research by examining the physical and emotional effects of cyberbullying and cybervictimization in children. Now at Brock University, under the supervision of Dr. Tony Volk, he wants to switch gears and focus his research interests on examining the link between personality and bullying. More specifically, he wants to utilize the HEXACO model of personality structure to gain a better understanding of why bullies behave the way they do from a personality perspective. In doing so, he hopes his research findings will help to improve anti-bullying programs by targeting specific personality traits of bullies in order determine the most effective way to combat bully behavior.
Approximately 20% of children enter the education system lagging behind their typically-achieving peers in reading. Recognizing the importance of reading in today’s society and the prevalence of reading difficulties, Hilary’s research interests are centered on providing effective literacy interventions to support vulnerable readers in their youth. Under the supervision of Dr. John McNamara, her thesis will explore the efficacy of, “Reading Rocks”, a literacy intervention approach designed to support and motivate young children with reading difficulties. Specifically, Hilary’s research will build on her undergraduate degree in Child and Youth studies and her previous work experience with vulnerable readers. Her proposed MA research will focus studying the impact of motivational tactics, such as graphing, goal-setting, and monitoring, on achievement gains for youth in the Reading Rocks program. Hilary is hopeful that her research will make a contribution to policy, practice, and research for individuals and groups that work with populations at-risk for reading difficulties. In conducting her research, Hilary will also further develop her own research skills and knowledge in the field of literacy and supporting children at-risk for reading difficulties.
Erin completed her BA and BEd at Brock University in the Concurrent Education Program with a Primary/Junior focus. Throughout her undergrad assisted in the facilitation of the Recess Project under the advisory of Dr. Lauren McNamara in the Child and Youth department. Having an interest in the school experiences of children and youth, she decided she wanted to become more involved in the program. This led to her decision to complete her 4th year undergraduate thesis on “The Experiences of Junior Recess Leaders in the Recess Project.” She became fascinated by student experiences during recess and the effectiveness of the program. The majority of her thesis focused on the project’s ability to create student leadership opportunities, reduce occasions of student exclusion, and assist students in becoming more physically active. After completing her BEd, she was able to gain additional experience working with children and youth and felt that she was able to better understand a student’s average school day. Moving beyond student perspectives, she is now currently completing her MA thesis with Dr. Lauren McNamara regarding southern Ontario principals’ perspectives of recess in low-income neighbourhoods.