Graduate Studies award winners lauded for leadership

Psychology Professor Cathy Mondloch and Master of Education candidate Christopher Yendt (BEd ’15, BEd ’20) have shown what it means to go above and beyond for graduate students.

Their leadership efforts have yielded them two of the most prominent honours presented by Brock’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, with Mondloch receiving the Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Award and Yendt receiving the Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award.

“These two awardees have shown continued demonstration of their commitment to Brock,” says Suzanne Curtin, Vice-Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. “They strive to ensure graduate students have an excellent experience.”

In addition to the two award winners, the Faculty also announced recipients of the Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards, presented to at least one student in every Faculty at Brock.

Receiving the mentorship award was affirming for Mondloch, especially since nominations came from her past and current graduate students.

In this 2016 file photo, Cathy Mondloch, third from left, is pictured with her students Claire Matthews, Xiaomei Zhou, Kristen Baker, Sarah Laurence and Lindsey Short at a Vision Sciences Society meeting in Florida. Long known for her outstanding efforts with students, Mondloch was just named the winner of the Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Award.

“Working with MA and PhD students is extremely rewarding; it also takes a great deal of care and time,” says Mondloch, who also works with undergraduate students. “The synergy created by students in my lab is amazing. I do teach them, but they learn a lot from each other, and I learn from them. I was truly touched by this acknowledgement of my role in their development.”

Mondloch’s nominators commended her support academically, but also expressed gratitude for the personal support and opportunities to succeed and grow that she provides.

In her nomination, students noted how Mondloch is good at recognizing their research talents and working with them to develop those skills. This includes challenging students to complete their best work. Many of her students work with her through all levels of their academic pursuits.

Mondloch is also known for taking time to check in on how students are doing, helping them to thrive academically, personally and in their future careers.

Students in Mondloch’s lab have opportunities to publish their research, and also travel and present their work at conferences. She hosts guests and researchers from around the world, and works to provide opportunities for students to travel to gain experience working in different research labs.

Yendt also has a long history of making a difference at Brock.

He was a champion for students through the Brock University Students’ Union during his undergraduate degree and later the Graduate Students’ Association, holding various positions before taking on the role of President for the past two years.

Yendt worked with individual students to resolve their issues and oversaw five student referenda to help the graduate student population, including advocating for Fall Reading Week, an extra seat on Senate, and securing financing for a building dedicated to graduate students.

He was honoured to receive the leadership award, which recognizes faculty, staff and students for their work enhancing the Brock graduate student experience. The award is named for the late Marilyn Rose, who had a foundational role in establishing the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

“It is truly humbling to win an award named after a such a dedicated champion of graduate studies at Brock,” Yendt says. “Her impact on graduate student life was resounding and continues to be felt, and I am thrilled to have my own leadership journey connected to that legacy.”

Winners of the Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards include:

Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
Danny Marko, Master of Science in Applied Health Sciences
Kylie Dempster, PhD in Health Biosciences

Faculty of Mathematics and Science
Cody Dennis, Master of Arts in Computer Science
Fereshteh Moradi, PhD in Biological Sciences

Faculty of Education
Maria Coccimigio, Master of Education
Giang Nguyen Hoang Le, Joint PhD in Educational Studies

Goodman School of Business
Mohammad Mahdi Pouyan, Master of Science in Management

Faculty of Humanities
Robert Gaiero, Master of Arts in History
Mitchell Goldsmith, PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities

Faculty of Social Sciences
Samantha Witkowski, Master of Sustainability
Claire Matthews, PhD in Psychology

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