Research and award winners shine at graduate student conference

From gender influence on homelessness and mental health to the effects of rosemary polyphenols on cancer and diabetes, the wide range of research at Brock’s 18th annual Mapping the New Knowledges (MNK) Graduate Student Conference had curiosities piqued.

One of the largest events put on by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), the April 12 conference gave students the opportunity to showcase and discuss their research with the Brock community, and also included the FGS awards ceremony to recognize outstanding efforts and accomplishments in the graduate community.

“This year’s conference saw remarkable research, engagement and feedback,” Lauryn Carrick, Manager, Graduate Education Engagement in Graduate Studies, said of the event, which drew more than 200 students, staff and faculty.

“Our graduate students have shown unwavering commitment to their studies, and we couldn’t be prouder of their efforts. MNK provides an exceptional platform for showcasing their hard work and efforts to the Brock community. Every year, we look forward to supporting and celebrating our students’ successes.”

A Brock graduate student presents their research in front of peers.

Master of Science in Management student Farzad Mehrpour presents his research to peers and Session 3 Chair Brianna Anderson (far left) during the 18th annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Conference on Wednesday, April 12.

The event included a keynote presentation by Associate Professor of Nursing Sheila O’Keefe McCarthy, who spoke about the importance of sharing research in a creative way, followed by morning and afternoon oral presentation sessions, a complimentary lunch and a poster viewing session.

Applied Health Sciences student presenter Katrina Carbonara said the event, which helped her to connect her research to that of her peers, inspired potential research collaborations that she hoped to pursue beyond the day.

Carbonara, who was also named the Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award recipient at the event, presented her research that looks at identifying biological markers that can detect environmental influences.

“The other research being presented was really interesting as it was also focusing on environmental and social factors affecting well-being, such as combat-related post-traumatic disorder among Canadian Armed Forces members and women survivors of intimate partner violence,” she said. “There were a lot of ideas being thrown around of how researchers could collaborate in the future to bridge any research gaps.”

Also honoured with an FGS award was Child and Youth Studies master’s student Haley Myatt, who received the inaugural Suzanne Curtin-Christopher Yendt Graduate Collaboration Award for her collaboration and leadership efforts in the Brock graduate community and beyond.

“I have had the pleasure of working with both of the award’s namesakes on multiple projects throughout my time at Brock,” said Myatt, who is also the outgoing President of the Brock Graduate Students’ Association. “To now have my name being spoken in the same sentence as these two advocates and leaders truly is an honour. … Being the inaugural winner of an award that celebrates collaboration, leadership and community building is an incredible privilege.”

Kinesiology Professor Stephen Cheung was recognized with one of two Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Awards, alongside Assistant Professor Alison Cox, for outstanding and professional mentorship.

Cheung said the award is special to him for “a few reasons.”

“First, there’s a deep, personal connection with this award, as Mike was one of my PhD committee members at University of Toronto and he was also one of those instrumental in recruiting me to Brock in 2007,” he said. “But even more, it’s already an amazing privilege that students want to work with me and trust me with their development, and this award is special because it shows that I’ve been a positive influence in their lives and have helped them to achieve success on their terms.”

To view the conference’s program and see student participants’ abstracts, visit the MNK conference web page.

2023 FGS award recipients include: 

Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award
Katrina Carbonara, MSc in Applied Health Sciences

Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Awards
Professor Stephen Cheung, Department of Kinesiology
Assistant Professor Alison Cox, Department of Applied Disability Studies

Suzanne Curtin-Christopher Yendt Graduate Collaboration Award
Haley Myatt, MA in Child and Youth Studies

Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards
Zahra Fouladgar, MSc in Management
Stacey Woods, PhD in Applied Health Sciences
Carl Alano, MSc in Applied Health Sciences
Robert Blom, PhD in Educational Studies
Madelyn Huston, MA in Classics
Marley Liepert, PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities
Anne Worrell, PhD in Chemistry
Joshua Labrie, MSc in Earth Sciences
Kaitlyn Carr, MS in Sustainability
Victoria Dykstra, PhD in Psychology

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