Brock graduate students receive SSHRC awards

Programs to help those living with autism or Asperger’s often end in late childhood, leaving teens and young adults to struggle with these conditions on their own. But Master’s student Jeffrey Esteves is aiming to change that.

With his Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Applied Disabilities Studies student is analyzing the issue through his thesis titled My Life as an Epic Win: Providing transitional support to adolescents and young adults with a high function Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Created four years ago by Rebecca Ward, assistant professor in the Centre for Applied Disability Studies, My Life as an Epic Win works with 16 to 25-year-olds to develop goals and a wide array of skills in four areas of their lives: career/work; education; independence; and relationships.

“They do have the skills and tools necessary to be successful in life, however, they’re not really coached through and they’re not provided with that support,” says Esteves. “Autism support really drops off after childhood. We’re trying to fill that gap right now.”

Esteves’ research involves forming two groups of youth living with autism and Asperger’s. One group will take the My Life as an Epic Win course while the second group is put on a wait list for the program.

Participants in both groups will undergo tests – given before and after the course period – that measure levels of self-esteem, self-determination, life skills, and anxiety, among others. Esteves will compare test results to assess how the course has made a difference in the young peoples’ lives.

Esteves is one of more than two dozen graduate students receiving SSHRC awards in 2015-2016 for a wide range of research programs. The funding totaled $730,000: $345,000 for Doctoral and $385,000 for Master’s awards.

“We have remarkable graduate students at Brock,” says Dean of Graduate Studies Michael Plyley, “Our students demonstrate the high calibre of research that funding agencies, such as SSHRC, recognize as having great importance to addressing the challenges being faced by Canadians and to citizens around the world.

“Our list of SSHRC winners spans more than 12 graduate programs and five academic faculties. Brock University is committed to being a leader in transdisciplinary research and our graduate students are securing their place in contributing to that purpose.”

Award recipients of 2015’s SSHRC Scholarships are:

Candace Couse, Interdisciplinary Humanities: “The effects of art making and body trauma on identity” (Doctoral)

Aly Bailey, Applied Health Sciences: “Understanding and improving positive body image experiences in people with spinal cord injury” (Doctoral)

Terrance McDonald, Interdisciplinary Humanities: “Mediated Masculinities: The expression and alteration of masculinity in Hollywood cinema 1995-2005” (Doctoral)

Julia Polyck-O’Neill, Interdisciplinary Humanities: “Rematerializing the Immaterial: An interdisciplinary and comparative study of Vancouver’s conceptualist movements in visual arts and literature 1984-2014” (Doctoral)

Thalia Semplonius, Psychology: “A longitudinal study of emotion regulation and positive adjustment among young adults and older adults” (Doctoral)

Daniella Bendo, Child & Youth Studies: “The social construction of child advocacy in Canada” (Master’s)

Brianna Bosgraaf, History: “Nordic settlement in the Atlantic and interactions with Canada’s First Nations People” (Master’s)

Deseree Cipollone, English: “Milton’s reader and the political and critical interrogation of authority in Paradise Lost” (Master’s)

Meghan Crouch, Applied Health Sciences: “Formative research of anticipatory messages to assist parents in recognizing developmental milestones” (Master’s)

Erica Dugas, Applied Health Sciences: “Assessing Physical Literacy: Levelling the playing field for children and youth with physical disabilities” (Master’s)

Megan Earle, Psychology: “Intergroup attitudes and growing diversity in Canada” (Master’s)

Katrien Ecclestone, Child & Youth Studies: “Advocating for Recess: A proposal to analyze the impact of recess programs on the well-being of children” (Master’s)

Jeffrey Esteves, Applied Disability Studies: “My Life as an Epic Win: Providing transitional support to adolescents and young adults with a high function Autism Spectrum Disorder” (Master’s)

Melanie Grice, Child & Youth Studies: “Supporting vulnerable readers across the summer months” (Master’s)

Taylor Heffer, Psychology: “Examining age differences between young adults and older adults in risk taking perceptions and behaviours” (Master’s)

Thomas Irvine, Classics: “The crucial role of Numidian Cavalry during the Second Punic War” (Master’s) 

Katrina Krievins, Sustainability Science & Society: “Pushing the Boundaries of Freshwater Ecosystem Restoration: Evaluating a conservation initiative in terms of social-ecological resilience” (Master’s)

Tessa Mazachowsky, Psychology: “Social anxiety in children and engagement in an educational context” (Master’s)

James McBride, Social Justice and Equity Studies: “Wild Life: An autoethnographic inquiry” (Master’s)

Edward Middleton, Classics: “Archaeological study of ethnic identity in cases of Archaic Greek colonization” (Master’s)

Mohammad Zahidur Rahman, Management: “Explaining Employee Creativity: The roles of task conflict, learning orientation and goal congruence” (Master’s)

Nicole Redmond, Education: “What is Perceived as Valued in Assessment? – An exploration of teacher intentions and student perceptions” (Master’s)

Scott Robertson, Applied Health Sciences: “The effects of teaching games for understanding on student enjoyment in secondary school health and physical education” (Master’s)

Aidan Smyth, Applied Health Sciences: “Exercise as a moderator of body shame and cortisol responses to acute social-evaluative body image threats” (Master’s)

Rochelle Tkach, Education: “Teaching with Tablets: Fostering 21st century skills within science and literacy” (Master’s)

Zoe Walters, Critical Sociology: “The regulation of female sexuality” (Master’s)

Hamza Warraich, Management: “An analysis of individuals’ tax compliance behaviour” (Master’s)

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