Virtual Convocation Messages

Welcome graduates,

As part of Brock’s 110th Convocation, this is the fourth time in the University’s 57-year history that we’ve hosted a virtual Convocation experience. The first three being in June and October 2020, and in June 2021.

Your degrees are officially conferred by Brock’s ninth Chancellor Hilary Pearson on Friday, October 15, 2021.

Whether you have decided to visit your tailored Convocation portal and this webpage immediately to enjoy the experience with your friends and family, or have chosen to wait and visit at a time convenient for you, we want you to know how proud we are of your achievements.

On this page you will find messages from the Dean and Associate Deans within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, as well as messages from your Department Chair.

We encourage you to show off your Brock pride! Download #BrockUGrad themed wallpapers, Facebook and Twitter cover photos, and profile picture frames at

“The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.”
– Dale Carnegie

Applied Health Sciences Graduates,

As the above quote illustrates, graduation is the next step in moving ahead with your life. Your education has prepared you for many possibilities, most of which we cannot yet foresee. Be confident that you have the skills and abilities to succeed and do not be afraid to take the chances to do so. You have graduated from excellent programs and have had the opportunity to learn from some great teachers. You have also had opportunities to learn outside the classroom and to benefit from interactions with your peers as well as the community at large.

I wish you all success and happiness in the future. Be proud of the education you have received and make the most of what you have achieved. You have a solid foundation for a life of learning and achievement. You are joining a community of Brock alumni as well as alumni from your program. Wherever you go, you will always be a Brock alumnus and we hope that this will continue to help you as you move through life.

While this has been an unusual “virtual” graduation, I hope that it will still serve to inspire you and that you are able to take pride in your achievement.

Best wishes,

Peter Tiidus,

Dear Graduates,  

Over the past several years you’ve worked extremely hard to complete your graduate studies here at Brock University. Through countless hours attending class, TA-ing, working in the lab or library, conducting quantitative or qualitative research, completing literature reviews and so much more, you have developed valuable skills for future success.

A graduate degree is something to be proud of – you’ve earned it! As many of you have had to complete your graduate degree during a global pandemic, these unprecedented times have taught you resiliency and that success can be achieved during the hardest of times. This is in fact a testament to your strength of character and perseverance to meet and exceed educational milestones. 

As you have now completed your graduate degree with us at Brock University, it is time for you to join the ranks of our remarkable alumni. I know you will use what you have learned within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and continue to make your mark as you follow your own career path. 

To our graduating doctoral students, I welcome you to the academic community as a colleague. 

Wishing you all a sincere Congratulations!  


Debbie O’Leary, PhD
Professor and Associate Dean

Research & Graduate Studies
Brock University | Faculty of Applied Health Sciences  

Deborah O'Leary

Dear Graduates, 

As you graduate during an unrivaled yet exciting period in our collective lived experiences, William Ayot’s poem “The Contract” is fitting, related to his call for you to lead courageously. 

A word from the led 

And in the end we follow them—
not because we are paid,
not because we might see some advantage,
not because of the things they have accomplished,
not even because of the dreams they dream
but simply because of who they are:
the man, the woman, the leader, the boss,
standing up there when the wave hits the rock,
passing out faith and confidence like life jackets,
knowing the currents, holding the doubts,
imagining the delights and terrors of every landfall;
captain, pirate, and parent by turns,
the bearer of our countless hopes and expectations.
We give them our trust. We give them our effort.
What we ask in return is that they stay true.  

As you enter a paradigm shifting time brought about by the challenges of this global pandemic, know that we are proud of you and of massive achievements at Brock both in- and out- of class. Continue to learn to innovate, create and lead anew with your FAHS education and please strive to be that true kind of leader to both yourself and all others, as you learn to courageously lead.  

I extend a heartfelt Congratulations to all of you!  

Dr. Kirsty Spence,
Associate Dean, Teaching & Undergraduate Studies 

Kristy Spence

It is with great pleasure that I extend heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS! 

You should all feel very proud as each and every one of you has worked tremendously hard during your undergraduate years to get to this point in time. From the first year of your undergraduate studies to your last, the journey you embarked on was one not only of academic achievement, but of self-reflection, personal growth, life skills, as well as friendship and comradery. 

Reflect on these years, focus on all you have learned, the people you have met and the faculty, staff, and fellow students who have inspired you. Remember all the sacrifices including the late-night study sessions, early morning cramming and group assignment meetings. Even COVID-19 could not derail your progress. 

All your hard work and dedication has finally been rewarded. The journey you embarked on years ago has led to this very day and will be one to remember for the rest of your life. Achieving an undergraduate degree from the Department of Health Sciences at Brock University is a milestone that should be celebrated by friends and family. 

The Department of Health Sciences is celebrating virtually alongside you and we wish you success and happiness in the years to come. 

CHEERS to the Graduating Class of 2021! 

Paul LeBlanc, PhD 
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Sciences 

Paul LeBlanc

On behalf of the faculty and staff of the Department of Kinesiology, I would like to offer my congratulations to the graduating students of our Bachelor of Kinesiology, Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, and Bachelor of Physical Education programs.

We are proud of our programs, and know that they challenged you across their four years. You have mastered complex concepts and skills across a diverse area of courses – anatomy, motor learning, physiology, psychology, history and ethics. Whether you are a physical education or kinesiology graduate, this is a tremendous mix of knowledge with real life implications.

You have embraced the opportunity to learn in classrooms, labs, seminars, gyms, fields and community placements. You have shown dedication, understanding, skills and interpersonal competencies that will be tremendous assets as you move on to the next stage of your life.

If you think back over your years Brock and our Department, I hope that you can reflect on and appreciate a tremendous amount of growth, excitement, challenging lessons, and what will be lifelong friendships. As you look ahead to the opportunities that will lie before you, know that you have proven that you have the skills, knowledge and competencies to excel and make a significant impact in your community and lives of others. Be proud of the work and accomplishments of your years at Brock. We are excited for the next challenges that lie before you!


Philip Sullivan
Chair, Department of Kinesiology

Philip Sullivan

Congratulations on this amazing milestone that you have achieved. You have worked incredibly hard over the past four years and you should be so proud of yourself. This is an exciting time in your life. It is the end of one journey and the beginning of the next. You will be leaving your academic life and moving on to successfully writing your NCLEX exam to become a registered nurse. You will be entering into an amazing profession with endless opportunities. Now is your chance to take advantage of all the possibilities that will come your way. Go forward with confidence in your knowledge, skills, and abilities in nursing knowing that you have the ability to impact the health of Canadians.

Congratulations on your success! On behalf of the nursing department, I wish you all the best in your new career and look forward to the contributions you will make toward the nursing profession.

Karyn Taplay PhD, RN

Associate Professor & Chair
Department of Nursing
Brock University

Let me begin by congratulating you on your achievements, graduates. Your degrees are hard-earned and well-deserved. You endured four years of early morning and late night classes, large lecture halls and small seminar rooms, essays, tests, presentations, labs, field experiences, and exams to get you here today. You drank, I am sure, a lot of coffee. You rode packed buses, parked in a different city, or walked up a mountain on a regular basis. You balanced school with jobs, other commitments and responsibilities, and hopefully some fun. And of course, you go down in history as a class that graduated amidst a global pandemic and lockdown. Your classes, final field experiences, and internships went virtual. Your last class on Brock campus was over before you even realizedAnd the final culminating moment of walking across the stage to receive your degree, also moved online. We are wistful about these missed moments too.  

What now? I don’t have a lot of advice to give. There is only one thing that I am compelled to say to you. It may not be what you are expecting but here is my message: Don’t ever change.  

That’s right RECL students, that’s what I’m telling you. Don’t ever change!

Once in a while I get asked about RECL students from people who are not familiar with you, maybe it’s people who teach in a different university, or people who are curious about the people who choose this program. It is in these moments when I get to distill your essence and share it with the world beyond the walls of Brock. And here is what I tell them. You are curious. You don’t take yourselves too seriously and you don’t have a high tolerance for people who do. You are, in other words, a little bit irreverent. You would be great to invite to a party. You care about FUN! You care about each other. You care about the world and the meaning and quality of the lives people live in it. You push yourself. You put yourself out there. And, you go on to do big things. So, in terms of all of these qualities, don’t ever change. The world needs more of them in it.  

It has been an honour to share in your time at Brock and be part of your journey. You have graced our halls, our sports fields, our forests, and our community with your energy, commitment, inquisitiveness, and perseverance. From our end, I hope that we have done our job well, and that you are heading out these doors a different person than who you were when you first walked through them. At its very best the university is a place of possibility, a space where we take risks with our thinking, challenge conventions, and change our minds. It is a space where we encounter, either in story, narrative, or direct experience, worlds beyond our own. And when it all goes well, what comes out of it are new understandings of who we are and how we are to be in the world. In the clutter and chaos of today’s world, these moments are rare, precious, and important. After all, this is the way that we develop the wisdom we require to transform our world into a more humane place, and at the end of this journey this is as much as we can possibly hope for. 

Congratulations Recreation and Leisure Studies students! Don’t ever change. Stay red and blue. Have a wonderful convocation and celebration with your family and friends.  

Erin Sharpe

To the class of 2021, on behalf of the entire Sport Management department, I’d like to say congratulations and recognize each of you for your perseverance, dedication, flexibility, patience, tenacity, resolve, and endurance! You should each be very proud of your accomplishments and, specifically, your award of the Bachelor of Sport Management (BSM) degree. Over the course of four years, like those who graduated before, you have earned your way into a select group of alumni from Canada’s leading Sport Management program. You have balanced assignments, exams, extracurricular activities, work responsibilities and myriad other demands on your time. You have accumulated a wealth of skills, expertise, and competencies to provide the foundation for an outstanding career. You have forged relationships with peers, professors and advisors that will be invaluable in the future. Bottom line: you have now become ambassadors of our program; your program!

Many years ago, a hockey coach of mine noted the difference between ‘ordinary’ and ‘extraordinary’ is that little bit ‘extra’ … while it’s safe to say that this year has been unusual, each of you have been extraordinary! You have completed your final year of your undergraduate studies while simultaneously navigating a global pandemic: extraordinary. You have completed papers, exams, and lab assignments in a remote environment, for the first time in your lives: extraordinary. You have risen to the challenges and forged ahead with your academic and career goals: extraordinary. I dare to say, it has not been easy to taper your social lives to live under the stated rules to control this terrible virus: extraordinary. We applaud each of you for your extraordinary navigation of this culminating year in your undergraduate education.

In closing, it is my greatest hope that you remember fondly your time at Brock University. I hope you remember walking onto campus as a wide-eyed fist-year. I hope you remember eating at the Hungry Badger. I hope you recall your favourite classes. I hope you remember Isaac’s. I hope you recall seminars. I hope you remember seeing a game or two. I hope you recall classes and classmates. I hope you take lasting friendships into the next stage of your life. I hope you trust in yourself. I hope you know that you are well-equipped to succeed. I hope this final year doesn’t define your undergraduate experience. Finally, I hope you come back and visit us!

CONGRATULATIONS to an extraordinary graduating class!


Chris Chard
Chair, Department of Sport Management

Chris Chard

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