Research café featured a diverse menu of ‘meaningful study’ for today’s society

It was called a research café for a good reason.

The Nov. 25 “Research for a Changing World” offered a diverse menu of research topics that address the challenges of today’s world and the impact on daily life – from how we play and learn to how we sleep and function.

mappinglogosmMore than 70 people gathered at Pond Inlet for this first event of the 2009-10 Mapping the New Knowledges conference. The café featured research presentations from faculty and graduate students from Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and a Niagara community representative.

“Research is the lifeblood of a full-blooded university such as ours, and our faculty and graduate students work together to undertake the meaningful study of all aspects of our society,” said Marilyn Rose, dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies. “At Brock, researchers at every level generate knowledge that truly addresses our ‘changing world.’ In this sense, they and their counterparts in the Niagara community are truly the architects of tomorrow.”

The conference is presented by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Brock Research and the Graduate Students’ Association.

Here are some highlights:

  • Kevin Kee, associate professor, History, and Tamer Thabet, a visiting international scholar and PhD student at the University of Antwerp, presented “Interactive Media at Brock, for Niagara.” Kee discussed his research into best practices for the design, development and use of computer games and simulations for history learning and public history. We are in this moment in time, he said, in which new technology is affording us possibilities – it’s up to us to see how to use these. Thabet’s work focuses on the need for literary theorists to examine the ways in which our stories are being told through new kinds of interactive narrative activities, such as computer games.
  • Susan Drake, professor, Graduate and Undergraduate Education, and doctoral students Danielle Beckett, Catherine Longboat and Joanne Reid presented “Exploring the impact of integrated curriculum on classroom practice in one Ontario school board.” Their collaboration focuses on the Bluewater District School Board and its experience with an interdisciplinary approach to classroom teaching organized around big ideas rather than individual subject curriculum. Drake and the graduate students discussed the project and shared their insights as research partners.
  • Kimberly Cote, associate professor, Psychology and Neuroscience, and doctoral student Catherine Milner presented “Functioning in a 24-7 world: how sleep impacts waking cognition and performance.” The general focus of Cote’s program of research is the study of sleep, performance, and cognition. Milner discussed her master’s work in understanding the role of napping in both young and older adults and her PhD sleep research involving people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
  • Sandra Noel, a data analysis co-ordinator with Ontario Early Years, Niagara Region, through Regional Municipality of Niagara Public Health, presented “A Report to Mobilize a Community into Action.” Noel talked about a recently released report, “Niagara Children’s Charter Enacted,” on how well Niagara is supporting children and their families. Her presentation focused on the efforts that are underway to put the report’s recommendations into action.

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