Caring about others has been a hallmark of Keegan Bruce’s time at Brock.
And during the University’s Friday, June 14 Convocation ceremony, she was recognized for those efforts.
Just before crossing the stage to receive her Bachelor of Arts degree, Bruce was presented with the undergraduate Spirit of Brock award for the Faculty of Humanities.
Bruce began volunteering with OPIRG (Ontario Public Interest Research Group) at Brock during her third year. The organization was going through some challenges and Bruce embraced the opportunity to get the wider community involved with OPIRG initiatives.
She was particularly involved in organizing OPIRG’s Free Store, which aims to find new homes for unwanted goods. The group collects donated items in good quality and redistributes them for free through the store.
“I tried to educate myself about my privilege and work that knowledge into a lot of the work I was doing at Brock and my approach to scholarship,” she says. “I have a lot of privilege, so why not use that to work with organizations and help people with less privilege?”
Bruce came to Brock planning to study Biology but switched to Classics her first year. She has been a peer mentor in the Department of Classics for the past two years, helping her fellow undergraduate students with essay writing and Greek and Latin languages.
“My favourite part of being at Brock has always been the Classics department,” she says. “It’s always been such an open and welcoming place.”
Bruce was inspired by the department’s enthusiasm for their subjects, and especially enjoyed her Latin classes. She found her courses with Classics Professor Allison Glazebrook particularly engaging, as their themes connected with current social justice issues.
“Keegan is one of the top and most spirited students in the Classics program,” says Angus Smith, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics. “She participates in our peer mentoring program as one of our mentors, has presented her own academic work at our student symposium on multiple occasions and has helped to promote our program.”
Bruce will continue her passions for Latin and social justice this fall as she begins a SSHRC-funded Master of Arts at Western University, where she will be studying ideas of Roman masculinity through the poetry of Catallus.
While her time at Brock has come to an end, Bruce says she will take with her inspiration from her professors, who have shown impressive enthusiasm for their subjects.
“Just knowing that my enthusiasm for something can spark enthusiasm in someone else is so motivating,” she says. “I just want to help at least one person follow their dreams.”
This story originally appeared in the Brock News.