Badgers Give Back: Applied Health Sciences community rallies in support of BIPOC students

Note: This story is one in a series of articles highlighting the culture of philanthropy that Brock was built upon and continues to grow among faculty, staff and the greater Brock community today. By showcasing the University community’s commitment to the success of its students and the institution, Brock hopes to share the lasting impact of giving.

Peter Tiidus joined Brock’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (FAHS) in 2015 with an existing admiration for its innovative and competitive programming — a quality he has worked tirelessly to support and expand over his past seven years as Dean.

He has overseen many successes for the Faculty, including Brock being ranked among the Top 100 universities in the world and Top 9 in Canada for its Sports Management and Kinesiology programs; the renewal of the McMaster-Brock School of Medicine partnership; launching Canada’s first accelerated combined Bachelor and Master of Nursing program; and various partnerships with schools across the globe, at both international and high school levels.

When asked about his commitment to the University and the Faculty over the years, Tiidus’ response is a modest one.

“It’s simple: since my arrival at Brock, I have found the community to be a warm and welcoming one. My inspiration stems from the interactions I have with students and their commitment to the best interests of the Brock student community and their qualities as serious students, aspiring professionals and as sincere people,” he said.

Last year, sparked by discussions with students and spearheaded by Tiidus and FAHS Associate Dean, Teaching and Undergraduate Studies, Kirsty Spence, the Faculty established its own unique award to respond to a growing need in post-secondary education, and specifically their Faculty.

Tiidus shares that through various conversations with students who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), faculty members across FAHS quickly identified the need for additional financial assistance for BIPOC students looking to enter the Faculty.

Since it was announced last fall, the award has seen significant support from FAHS faculty and staff at all levels. As a result, the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Diversity & Inclusion Bursary is anticipated to be available for undergraduate students who identify as BIPOC starting in the 2023 school year.

“I do feel a need to ‘walk the talk’ and give back in this form as an important equity, diversity and inclusion initiative as outlined in Brock’s strategic plan,” said Tiidus. “Trumping my own giving is the support of the many faculty and staff within FAHS that felt compelled to do the same. This award has grown into something much larger than Kirsty and I could have ever accomplished alone and for that, we have the Faculty to thank.”

From the long list of academic successes to the timely and sensitive student support, there is no doubt that the many achievements of Brock’s second-largest Faculty is in large, a group effort. Their collaboration and collective investment will support the betterment of health sciences education for Brock students for decades to come.

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