Grad student research recognized with Jack M. Miller awards

The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards.

The awards have a proud history. They were established as the Excellence in Research Awards by the late Jack Miller when he served as Vice-President Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, from 1999 to 2004.

As a tribute to Miller, the FGS renamed the awards in his honour in 2013 and, at the same time, increased the number of awards available and the value of each award.

Since then, as many as 11 graduates students, in research-based programs, are selected annually from within the six academic faculties to receive between $1,000 to $1,500 to support their research and scholarship.

Award criteria include the originality, significance, and depth of research projects as well as the student’s record of publications and presentations.

“It’s a highly prestigious honour to be selected from within individual academic Faculties to receive a Miller award,” says Mike Plyley, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies.

“Our 2016 recipients stand apart for pursuing exciting and bold directions of research. They are passionate and committed about learning the craft of research as they address questions that are pertinent to today’s society. Their graduate student career is marked by strong records of publications and conference presentations through which they eagerly share what they know and why their work matters.”

Over the next week, The Brock News will post a series of profiles about this year’s recipients. The first set of profiles features the winners from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

2016 Jack Miller Excellence in Research Awards for the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Kirsten Bott – MSc Applied Health Sciences; Supervisor Dr. Sandra Peters

Kirsten Bott is an emerging expert in both bone and muscle research, says her supervisor Dr. Sandra Peters.

“While researchers have studied bone and muscle separately for some time, it is becoming increasingly clear that this approach is outdated, since the function/strength and metabolism of these two tissues are intimately linked. However, rarely are experts in one tissue even familiar with the other. Kirsten has successfully bridged this gap,” says Peters.

“Kirsten has always had a clear direction of where she wants to go and how she is going to get there. This is a new direction for my lab, and I’m excited that a master’s student could be so instrumental in expanding my horizons.”

Bott will continue doctoral studies at Brock under the supervision of Peters and Professor Wendy Ward. Her doctoral thesis will focus on investigating the effects of nutrition on muscle and bone health.

“Studying the effects of these two major lifestyle factors together is of high importance given the increasingly aging population in Canada as a whole,” Bott says.

“My goal is to begin a career in research and academia and this award assists me in continuing my studies to achieve that goal.”

Bott’s research has been recognized with external funding support that includes OGS and QEII-OGSST scholarships. She has published a peer-reviewed paper as first author and has presented her research at local, national and international conferences and meetings.

Bott is contributing to the University in many other ways. She is a member of the Biosciences Research Ethics Boards and the Brock Exercise and Medicine Committee, and was an assistant with the Leave the Pack behind project. Most recently, Bott began a second straight one-year term as the VP Communications for the Graduate Students’ Association. 

Lindsay Cline — PhD candidate Applied Health Sciences (Behavioural and Population Health); Supervisor Kim Gammage

Lindsay Cline will put her award to good use very quickly.

The monetary value of the award will help Cline cover registration fees to present her PhD research at the 2016 Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference this June.

Cline’s research focuses on helping women develop more positive body image.

“I am particularly interested in promoting body appreciation, a characteristic of positive body image, as a way of helping women to develop a protective filter against negative weight stigma often experienced by women who are overweight,” Cline explains.

Cline is at the forefront of body image literature in three significant ways, says her supervisor Professor Kim Gammage.

Lindsay Cline

Lindsay Cline

“Lindsay’s dissertation is among the first to investigate body image from a positive perspective,” Gammage says. “She has also taken a unique approach to understanding appearance commentary-feedback such as teasing and compliments.

“Finally she has also taken a novel approach to investigating the impact of body weight on body image.”

In May, Cline also presented her study at the 2016 Qualitative Methods Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

She has a growing record of publications with four published-papers and in-press-papers along with two more in submission.

Cline’s research, both as a master’s and doctoral student, has been recognized with prestigious funding support from SSHRC, CGS and OGS.

She is a recipient of several Brock awards that highlight both qualities of academic excellence and leadership contributions. These awards include the Spirit of Brock Award, the President’s Surgite Award, the Brock University Distinguished Graduate Student Award, and the Barb Daly Excellence & Student Leadership Award.

“Lindsay is a leader by example in my lab — influencing students from the high school mentorship program, to undergraduates completing independent studies and theses, to master’s students’ research projects,” Gammage says.

This year’s other recipients are:

Master’s students:

Jesse Abbott, History

Kirsten Bott, Applied Health Sciences

Megan Earle, Psychology

Zahid Rahman, Management

Xiaolong Yang, Chemistry

Doctoral students:

Terry Chu, Chemistry

Lindsay Cline, Applied Health Sciences

Shawn Geniole, Psychology

Julia Polyck-O’Neill, Interdisciplinary Humanities

Read more stories in: Applied Health Sciences, Featured, Front Page, Graduate Students, Graduate Studies, People
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