Although it looked a little different than she had always dreamed, Ghazala Ahmed embraced her special Convocation ceremony for one on Friday, June 18.
She earned her PhD in Educational Studies during Brock’s Virtual Spring Convocation, and celebrated at home alongside her husband Ejaz Ahmed, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science.
“I feel proud of earning my PhD, but also a little disappointed that I missed walking the stage,” Ghazala said, adding she looks forward to taking part in a future in-person event on campus when public health restrictions allow.
Ghazala’s thesis examined how South Asian immigrant women conceptualize gender roles in the context of family and society in southwestern Ontario.
“I did interviews with immigrant women in Canada and heard real life stories that were really powerful,” she said.
Ghazala’s convocation marks the third time a member of the Ahmed family graduated from Brock University, with son Jazib (BBA ’15) graduating from the Goodman School of Business in 2015 and daughter Feryaal (BSc ’16) earning her degree in Biophysics in 2016.
“I’m feeling a little left out being the only one at home who hasn’t graduated from Brock,” Ejaz said jokingly. “After my time as Dean, I may have to come back and take an undergraduate degree just to keep up with this illustrious bunch.”
Ghazala, Jazib and Feryaal had opportunities to attend different universities, but all found that Brock was the best option to advance their studies, while also feeling close to home.
“When I first arrived at Brock around 2012, I didn’t notice many people of colour or other cultures and I wondered how our family would integrate,” Ghazala said. “We now have a robust international student body and variety of staff and faculty from all over the world. I have felt connected and accepted here.”
Ejaz has no trouble recommending Brock to students thinking of attending higher education.
“I always tell prospective students, ‘If Brock wasn’t a great school, my family wouldn’t have all chosen to attend here,’” he said.
The hard work of all three Ahmed family Brock graduates has paid off since completing their degrees.
Ghazala is currently a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Education, while Feryaal attends the Richard Ivy School of Business at Western University and Jazib works as a Data Engineer in Toronto.
Ejaz is proud of the excellent work and dedication Ghazala put in to earn her PhD.
“She worked diligently throughout her degree and is incredibly smart,” he said. “There is nothing she can’t do when she’s determined.”