Changes coming to Faculty of Graduate Studies leadership team

It will be a summer of change at the helm of Brock University’s Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS).

Suzanne Curtin will begin her term as Dean on Wednesday, July 1, taking the reigns from Interim Dean Diane Dupont. Then, on Saturday, Aug. 1, Professor of Kinesiology Brian Roy will begin a two-year appointment as Interim Associate Dean.

Curtin joins Brock from the University of Calgary, where she served as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, and previously as Graduate Program Director in the Department of Psychology.

Curtin’s academic credits span North America. She earned an honours bachelor degree in Linguistics from McGill University in 1996, completed her master’s in Linguistics in 1998, PhD in Psycholinguistics in 2002 at the University of Southern California and spent a year as a post-doc at the University of British Columbia. She held her first faculty position at the University of Pittsburgh before moving to Calgary, where she stayed for 15 years.

Attracted to Brock because of its commitment to graduate education, Curtin says she is excited to be joining an institution that views graduate studies as a holistic experience.

“Graduate education has changed dramatically since I was graduate student,” she says. “The focus on professional development, mental health and wellness, equity, diversity, inclusion, transforming traditional theses, entrepreneurship, internships and co-ops, and stackable credentials, to name a few current trends, is really exciting.

“I am looking forward to working with programs and Faculties, the Graduate Students’ Association and the senior leadership team to help translate these trends into practice and policy at Brock.”

Curtin moved to the Niagara region earlier in the spring and has been spending her first months working with FGS administration to learn more about Graduate Studies at Brock.

“Under Diane Dupont’s leadership, the Faculty’s role has evolved to one that supports students and programs above and beyond a purely administrative role,” Curtin said. “She and the FGS team have created a foundation that we can build on to create innovative opportunities for our graduate students.”

Brock University Kinesiology Professor Brian Roy.

As she begins her role, Curtin said she will strive to create a positive graduate experience for all students by creating a safe, professional environment that values inclusion and transparency.

Later in the summer, Roy will join FGS as Interim Associate Dean, taking over for Wendy Ward, who held the position since August 2019.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in FGS,” said Ward, Professor, Kinesiology and Health Sciences, and Canada Research Chair in Bone and Muscle Development. “I am pleased with what we were able to accomplish over the past year, but I am excited to turn my focus back to direct supervision of my team of graduate students and our research projects here at Brock and in the non-academic community. It’s been a pleasure to welcome and get to know Suzanne and I look forward to seeing where she will take the graduate student experience.”

Roy brings a wide array of research, teaching and administrative experience to the role. He began his role at Brock in 2002 as an Assistant Professor, and has held positions such as Chair of the Department of Kinesiology, Chair of the Bioscience Research Ethics Board, Director of the Centre for Bone and Muscle Health, and is a member of the U SPORTS Sport Medicine and Research Science Committee.

Roy said he’s looking forward to working with Curtin to enhance the profile of Graduate Studies within the University.

“I hope to assist FGS in continuing to provide outreach and value-added opportunities to graduate students, and to working with the Graduate Students’ Association to facilitate interaction of graduate students from our wide array of programs here on campus,” he said.

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