Kaitlyn Daw was able to take her experience at Brock University as a volunteer and turn it into a career.
After volunteering and working across campus during her studies at Brock, Daw was hired as the Communications and Events Facilitator at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Niagara.
“The experience and skills I gained through my involvement in student clubs, volunteering on campus, and working with the student body through student governance, have given me opportunities I didn’t know existed beyond Brock,” Daw said.
As an honours student and accomplished graduate, Daw received a number of awards while at Brock University, including the President’s Surgite Award and the undergraduate student Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award, which was presented to her during convocation Wednesday. She is among 3,513 students graduating from Brock University this week.
While maintaining an A grade as an English major, Daw demonstrated inspiring leadership as an executive of the Brock Eco Club, the Brock University Students’ Union and the English Students’ Association.
Asked to give students some advice from a graduate, she said: “Always keep your eyes open to the plethora of opportunities available on and off campus, and take advantage of the free resources and support offered by the Career Services department, and above all, follow your passion.”
During the Faculty of Humanities convocation Wednesday morning, the graduate student Spirit of Brock award went to Malisa Kurtz, the first graduate of the PhD program in Interdisciplinary Humanities.
Kurtz takes her academic interests off campus, both among her peers with the interdisciplinary student reading group she founded, and with members of the community as a Go-Girl mentor for middle school girls in St Catharines. Sharing knowledge is a hallmark of Kurtz’s activities, as demonstrated in her organizational role in the interdisciplinary “Thinking Through Deleuze” conference, which brought together over 100 international participants.
The Spirit of Brock award is given to students who demonstrate leadership, innovation, courage, inspiration and community involvement.
Humanities Dean’s medals went to Matthew Ludwig and Marissa Guetter.
The Excellence in Teaching award recipient was English Language and Literature Professor Tim Conley who focuses on international modernism and contemporary literature. He has taught a wide array of courses, from first-year literature to second- and third-year courses in theory, short fiction, modernism and poetics, to senior and graduate courses on topics such as James Joyce, jazz and literature, and surrealist narratives.
Conley maximizes the free exchange of ideas, encouraging students to make their own discoveries and to engage with difference. Above all, he urges them to have fun doing so.
As one former student explained: “His teaching style gives his students a sense of intellectual agency: he never contents himself with providing hard-and-fast interpretations for them to memorize and parrot back in essays and exams, but rather, invites his students to explore various possibilities in analyzing literary texts, and to draw their own conclusions.”
Another student appreciates his humour: “His technique of infusing humour. . . makes me eager to come to class as I am able to laugh alongside my learning.”
Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo addressed students during the ceremony and urged them to move forward in their lives with hope and gratitude. President and Vice-Chancellor Jack Lightstone joked with the students in his speech and congratulated them and their families.
An honorary doctorate was presented to Satish Tripathi, an internationally recognized educator who is the president of the University at Buffalo.
Brock’s Spring Convocation continues Thursday with the Goodman School of Business and then wraps up with the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Friday.
Watch the Wednesday morning convocation ceremony below: