Students recognized for hard work at Brock and beyond

Antwi Boasiako knows too well the ravages of HIV/AIDS. He watched as his best friend died of the autoimmune disease at the age of 20, only two years after being diagnosed.

Growing up in Ghana, he said HIV/AIDS was highly prevalent, but also widely stigmatized.

While battling the disease, his friend was no longer able to attend classes. Boasiako visited him and tutored him.

“I was always looking to honour his memory and his life,” Boasiako said. “He was like a brother.”

The Master’s of Political Science graduate found a way by volunteering with Positive Living Niagara while studying at Brock University.

He has served in many roles at the organization from community outreach and advocacy to planning committee member and researcher.

Antwi Boasiako is a graduate student in the Faculty of Social Sciences who was presented with the Spirit of Brock award at Spring Convocation.

Antwi Boasiako is a graduate student in the Faculty of Social Sciences who was presented with the Spirit of Brock award at Spring Convocation.

He created a database for the organization detailing the health and social profile of its clients to help it better direct services to those in need.

Boasiako, an international student from Ghana, was awarded the graduate student Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock Award Tuesday during the Faculty of Social Sciences convocation.

Winnie Murombedzi, Positive Living Niagara’s education and support co-ordinator, said Boasiako is “a true change agent and a global citizen who is committed to the social transformation of the lives of HIV/AIDS clients.”

Boasiako said getting the award is the most prestigious honour he’s had in his academic career.

“It’s the perfect icing on the cake for what has been an inspiring graduate studies program,” he said.

Boasiako was one of 3,513 students who will cross the stage for their degrees this week.

The undergraduate student Spirit of Brock award went to Rebecca Lepore, who studied Speech and Language Sciences at Brock.

The award is given to students who demonstrate leadership, innovation, courage, inspiration and community involvement.

Rebecca Lepore an undergrad from the Faculty of Social Sciences was the recipient of the Spirit of Brock award at Spring Convocation.

Rebecca Lepore, an undergrad from the Faculty of Social Sciences, was the recipient of the Spirit of Brock award at Spring Convocation.

The four-year member of the Brock Linguistics Network executive helped set up events for students and faculty and organized fundraisers. Lepore was a member of Smart Start and frequent ambassador at Brock Open House and the Ontario Universities Fair.

She also received the Dean’s medal, while a second Dean’s medal for Social Sciences was given to Nicole Hinsperger.

At Tuesday’s morning convocation, the Excellence in Teaching award was presented to Assistant Professor of Economics Ivan Medovikov.

His colleagues praised his commitment to making “the teaching of our students a first priority.” They cite his use of innovative teaching techniques employing the latest technology in making his classes engaging for all students.

His nominators emphasized his collegiality and mentorship, pointing to his willingness to share course materials he has developed, and to guide and advise his colleagues on their own teaching strategies.

His teaching philosophy emphasizes clarity, creativity and student engagement. Students have called him “an excellent prof (who) made the course enjoyable and intellectually stimulating at the same time.”

Honorary doctorates were presented to Liz Palmieri and Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish during convocation ceremonies Tuesday.

Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo and President and Vice-Chancellor Jack Lightstone each addressed the students and shook their hands as they left the stage with their diplomas.

Brock’s Spring Convocation continues Wednesday with the Faculties of Math & Science, Humanities and Education. University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi will be presented with an honorary doctorate in the 10 a.m. ceremony.

Watch the full morning ceremony here:

Watch the full afternoon ceremony here:

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