Grad conference showcases research excellence, celebrates award recipients

From prenatal yoga and cardiac rehabilitation to municipal climate impacts, invasive species and the COVID-19 resignation boom, the research of Brock’s graduate students covered a wide range of compelling topics at last week’s Mapping the New Knowledges (MNK) Graduate Student Conference.

Presented by the Faculty of Graduate Studies on Thursday, April 14, the 17th annual event featured oral and poster presentations from more than 100 graduate students across more than 25 programs.

“Our team in FGS was so excited to be able to host an in-person event for our graduate students,” said Lauryn Carrick, Manager, Graduate Education Engagement in Graduate Studies. “After two long years of hosting virtual events, it was great to see our team work so hard to make this event run smoothly.

A woman stands in front of a PowerPoint presentation on a large screen as a man, who is seated at a nearby table, looks on.

PhD student Sarah Galway (BKin ’18, MSc ’20) presents her research to a group of fellow students, while Applied Health Sciences PhD candidate Phillip Wallace chairs the session during the 17th annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Conference on Thursday, April 14.

“We received a lot of positive feedback about the day and were thrilled to see students embracing the spirit of MNK — sharing their research and making connections with each other.”

The one-day conference consisted of a keynote presentation by Associate Professor Julia Baird, who spoke about the importance of reflection in mentorship, followed by morning and afternoon oral presentation sessions, complimentary lunch and a poster viewing session.

The event also included an awards ceremony that saw outstanding students and faculty in the graduate community recognized for their efforts.

Emily Bagshaw, a Master of Arts candidate in Social Justice and Equity Studies, was honoured with the Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award, presented to faculty, staff and students who have demonstrated leadership in enhancing graduate studies at the University.

“I am so thankful to receive this award and have my efforts recognized,” Bagshaw said. “It is not I alone who deserves this award, but all of the amazing people in my life who have helped guide me to a place where I can successfully serve the Brock community as a leader.”

Bagshaw said that throughout her graduate studies, she has been “lucky enough to meet, work for and befriend many leaders both within and outside of the Brock community.”

“Thanks to the wonderful people in my life, including my thesis supervisor and supervisory committee, supportive peers and coworkers, friends and family, and many more, I have learned what it means to be a leader in my community,” she said.

Chemistry Professor Melanie Pilkington received the Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Award for her outstanding and professional mentorship within the Brock graduate community. She received the honour alongside Associate Professor of Nursing Sheila O’Keefe McCarthy.

Three individuals stand together discussing research in a hallway by a research poster presentation.

Deb O’Leary, Associate Dean of Applied Health Sciences, and Suzanne Curtin, Vice-Provost and Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies, speak with student Albert Wu about his research.

“We are all winners, since we get to collaborate with and mentor some of the most amazing graduate students here at Brock,” Pilkington said. “As evidenced at the MNK conference, our graduate students’ resilience, determination and hard work have allowed them to overcome many of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that research at Brock is very much alive and flourishing.”

MNK session chair Phillip Wallace (MSc ’16), a PhD student in Applied Health Sciences (Health Biosciences), was honoured as one of 10 Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Award recipients.

“I am deeply humbled by receiving the Jack M. Miller Award and to represent the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences,” he said. “It helps re-enforce and highlight our current research in using aerobic exercise to rehabilitate individuals with post-concussion syndrome and studying exercise and mental function in extreme environments such as hot and cold.”

Wallace said the MNK conference is a “great way to highlight current and future research being performed at Brock.”

“We have an excellent group of graduate students creating a bright future for research at the University.”

2022 FGS award recipients include: 

Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award
Emily Bagshaw (Master of Arts, Social Justice and Equity Studies)

Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Award
Professor Melanie Pilkington, Chemistry
Associate Professor Sheila O’Keefe McCarthy, Nursing

Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards
Josh Celebre (Master of Arts in Applied Health Sciences)
Phillip Wallace (PhD in Applied Health Sciences)
Sreedevi Rajasekharan (Master of Education)
Rakha Zabin (PhD in Educational Studies)
Adel Hadjiesmaeili (Master of Science in Management)
Shakeel Ahmed (Master of Arts in Classics)
Brett Robinson (PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities)
Alina Baradzenka (PhD in Chemistry)
Sarah Bernier (Master of Arts in Applied Disability Studies)
Brianna Anderson (PhD in Child and Youth Studies)

Read more stories in: Alumni, Applied Health Sciences, Business, Education, Faculty & staff, Graduate Studies, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, News, Research, Social Sciences
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,