When David Siegel retires this June after more than 40 years of service to Brock University, he will leave a lasting impact felt in many areas across campus and in the Niagara community.
To celebrate his career and ongoing contributions, a reception is planned for Thursday, April 18.
Siegel joined Brock’s Department of Political Science as a lecturer in 1978, later gaining tenure and promotion to full professor. In the decades since, he has held multiple positions within the University, both academic and administrative.
“You’re not going to find many people at Brock with that kind of portfolio of experience,” says Paul Hamilton, Chair of the Department of Political Science.
In addition to teaching, Siegel has served as Chair of Political Science (1987-88, 1989-91) Associate Vice-President, Academic (1995-99), and Dean of two Faculties: Social Sciences (2002-08) and Education (2015-17).
“I don’t think that’s ever happened at Brock before,” says Hamilton, adding that with Siegel’s vast experience at the University and knowledge of public administration “he could have been the Dean of any number of Faculties. It just happened that Education needed someone.”
During his time in Education, Siegel made an impression as an “attentive listener, as someone who made and accepted responsibility for tough decisions, and as an approachable, supportive and forward-thinking Dean,” says Renée Kuchapski, Associate Professor of Education.
“Although he was from Political Science, not Education, Professor Siegel participated fully in the Faculty and remained quietly focused on improving the student experience,” Kuchapski says.
While the Department of Political Science wishes Siegel the best in his retirement, his colleagues will be sad to see him go when he has his last day at the University June 30.
“His work is essentially part of our work,” says Hamilton. He specifically points to the Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) as Siegel’s legacy at Brock.
In 2008, Siegel served as founding director of the NCO, an institute devoted to research on the Niagara area.
For Associate Professor of Political Science Charles Conteh, who now heads the observatory, taking over from Siegel has been a privilege and a challenge. He watched with admiration as Siegel fostered collaborative community-based research networks in and beyond Niagara.
“He brought to these networks an uncompromising commitment to producing objective, credible evidence-based research to support community-based decision-making,” says Conteh. “Under David Siegel’s leadership, the NCO became a highly engaged and visible think-tank working in partnership with the Niagara community to foster, produce and disseminate research on current and emerging issues.”
Siegel’s vision and leadership “continue to heavily influence the NCO’s mission and activities,” Conteh says.
Dean of Social Sciences Ingrid Makus met Siegel many years ago when the pair became colleagues in the Department of Political Science. They have since crossed paths in their various administrative roles.
“I’ve learned a lot from him. He has such a wealth of experience navigating all aspects of university life,” Makus says. “Dave Siegel has excelled in all his roles — as a professor, teacher, researcher, administrator, mentor and colleague — consistently demonstrating his passionate commitment to the University’s mission.”
Conteh describes Siegel’s University career as “an excellent embodiment of Brock’s strategic commitment to community engagement.”
Current and former Brock students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the reception in Siegel’s honour on Thursday, April 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Pond Inlet. Hamilton has also invited representatives from local municipal and regional governments, former students and local non-profit organizations, many of whom have worked closely with Siegel on various projects.
Retirement Reception for David Siegel
Date: Thursday, April 18
Time: 2 to 4 p.m.
Location: Pond Inlet