Articles by author: nb_mtibollo

  • Recap: 2022 Starlight Gala & GSA Award Winners

    April 4, 2022 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    Recap: 2022 Starlight Gala & GSA Award Winners

    On Saturday, April 2, over 300 graduate students, alumni, members of senior administration and honorable guests joined the GSA at Club Roma for the annual Starlight Gala. In what can be claimed as the largest in-person event for graduate students in the history of Brock, this evening also marked twenty years of operation for the GSA. It truly was a night of celebration and community.

    As pillar of the event’s ceremony, extraordinary individuals were recognized for their work, research, community service and dedication to the graduate student community. Congratulations to all:

    GSA Award Winners:

    Academic Excellence Award – Ardalan Eyni

    Teaching Assistant of the Year – Lauren Nesbitt

    Community and Engagement Award – Mariana Garrido de Castro

    Volunteer of the Year Award – Neerav Vaidya and Emma Schmidt

    Outstanding Graduate Mentorship Award – Hannah Charnock

    President’s Award – Owen Angus-Yamada

    Honorary Membership Inductees:

    Jack M. Miller (2022 inductee, posthumous)

    Marilyn Rose (2022 inductee, posthumous)

    Christopher Yendt (2021 inductee)

    GSA Ambassador – Class of 2022 Cohort:

    Mario De Diviitis

    Diana Huson

    Russell Evans

    Chris Ventura

    Kithio Mwanzia

    Amber Bramer

    Jason Ribeiro

    Mary-Louise Vanderlee

    Gianluca Agostinelli

    Scott Behie

    Natalie Spadafora

    Rebecca Macpherson

    John Smol

    Lisa Whittingham

    Kiel Omerod

    Ashleigh Miatello

    Jess Vickruck

    Daniel Antwi-Amoabeng

    GRADFlix Winners:

    Third Place and People’s Choice: Kim Uyeno

    Second Place: Megan Pellow

    First Place: Caitlyn Gallant

    We want to especially thank our presenting sponsor, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, for their support in the development and execution of the Gala. We are excited to continue working together and collaborating as a way towards stronger engagement of graduate students.

    We also want to thank our other sponsors and donors for their contributions to the Gala:

    Platinum Sponsors

    – Student VIP

    – Brock University Alumni Association

    – Drug Smart Pharmacy

    Bronze Sponsors:

    – BUSU, the Brock University Students’ Union

    – The Office of the President

    – CUPE Local 4207

    Special thanks to:

    – Brock Campus Store

    – Brock Recreation

    – Daily Grind Café

    – Canadian Federation of Students

    – Landmark Cinemas – Pen Centre

    – HUB International

    – Pen Financial

    – Brock University Applied Disabilities Department

    – Brock University Sociology Department

    – Brock University Print and Digital Services

    Special thanks to DJ Patty V for being both the master of ceremonies and DJ for the Gala’s reception, as well as Club Roma and their staff for helping bring the event to life and create a warm space for our attendees to enjoy the evening in.

    To graduate students: we look forward to creating more memories with you – stay tuned for more programming and opportunities!

    -30-

    Categories: News & Events, Uncategorised

  • Record Turnout for 2022-2023 GSA Election and Referenda

    March 25, 2022 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    Record Turnout for 2022-2023 GSA Election and Referenda

    After nearly two months, the 2022-2023 GSA Elections came to a successful conclusion yesterday, March 24, with polls closing with record-breaking voter turnout (24.6%).

    The preliminary results for the elected members of the 2022-2023 Executive Committee are:

    • President & CEO: Haley Myatt (89.6%)
    • Vice-President, Student Engagement: Safa Khan (88.7%)
    • Vice-President, External Affairs: Rakha Zabin (88.3%)
    • Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion: Ash Grover (88.2%)

    These results have been confirmed by GSA Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Nwakerendu (Kay) Waboso and await ratification at the upcoming meeting of the GSA Board of Directors on March 31. Further information on the results can be found here.

    Graduate students also had the opportunity to cast their votes on two proposed referenda: The Aboriginal Student Services Levy and the Student Engagement Levy. The Aboriginal Student Services Levy proposed a per-term fee that will go directly towards the advancement and growth of Brock’s Aboriginal Student Services (AbSS) as a service and resource for both Indigenous students and the greater student population. The Student Engagement Levy proposed a per-term fee that would create a dedicated fund supporting graduate student events and programming. Both referenda successfully passed (Aboriginal Student Services Levy at 65.8% and the Student Engagement Levy at 55.9%) and will take effect in September 2022.

    “The results of this election are an incredible endorsement of the work put in from all the members of our team over this year – 24.6% is the second highest voter turnout in our history and the highest in almost twenty years,” shares GSA President, Christopher Yendt. “For most other associations, voter turnout has decreased over the course of the pandemic. It is rejuvenating to see that our members are engaged with the GSA and value the work we do on behalf of all graduate students.”

    Recruitment efforts are ongoing to fill the position of Vice-President, Communications and Advancement for the 2022-2023, pursuant to the GSA Bylaw (Document 001) and other relevant legislation. Any interested graduate students must submit their application by Friday, April 1 at 4pm EST to gsapresident@brocku.ca. For more information on the position and the application process, please refer to our notice of recruitment.

    Results of the election will be ratified by the GSA Board of Directors on March 31, 2022. For questions about our elections, please email gsaed@brocku.ca.

    -30-

    Categories: News & Events, Uncategorised

  • 2022-2023 Election Update

    March 4, 2022 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    2022-2023 Election Update

    As of the close of the first Nomination period the Chief Returning Officer, Nwakerendu Waboso, has confirmed the following nominees will stand for the 2022-2023 Executive positions.

    • President – Haley Myatt
    • Vice President, Student Engagement – Safa Khan
    • Vice President, External Affairs – Rakha Zabin
    • Vice President, Equity and Inclusion – Ash Grover

    The GSA Executive Nominations have been re-opened for a second nomination period for ONE WEEK for the upcoming Election.  The GSA is seeking eligible candidates for the remaining position of:

    Per GSA policy, current Executive members who are also standing as a candidate in the upcoming election are required to take a leave of absence from all Executive, Board and Committee activities for the duration of the campaign and preparation period (March 4 to March 24).

    Further information regarding the specific duties and requirements of this position, eligibility criteria, submission requirements, etc. can be found in the GSA Executive Nomination Package posted on the GSA website or by contacting gsaed@brocku.ca.

    -30-

    Categories: Current Opportunities, News & Events

  • GSA Hires Chief Returning Officer for the 2022-2023 Election

    January 21, 2022 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    GSA Hires Chief Returning Officer for the 2022-2023 Election

    After a successful recruitment process in the Fall semester, pursuant to Document 040 and other relevant GSA legislation, the GSA is happy to announce Kay Waboso as the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) for the GSA’s 2022-2023 Election.

    Despite Brock University returning to in-person operations for the Fall semester, the recruitment process in its entirety was held in online spaces in additional respect to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Recruitment Committee’s recommendation for the position was presented to the Board of Directors at the December 7 meeting, providing the Board Directors with the opportunity to ask questions of the recruitment process and nomination – the nomination was unanimously supported by Directors.

    “The GSA is delighted to have Kay on board working with us for this year’s election. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the role and keen temperament to ensure that the association’s policies are upheld ensuring a robust elections process from beginning to end,” shares GSA President, Christopher Yendt. “Election integrity is a vital component of the work that we do as student associations, and we have no doubt that Kay’s commitment to these principles will only build on the strong tradition the GSA has cultivated within the elections space.”

    Waboso is a third-year PhD student in Child and Youth Studies and has continually expanded her involvement within the graduate student community at Brock. Within the spaces of the GSA, Waboso has been actively engaged at committee levels and has been a spokesperson on graduate student panels. She is regarded by colleagues as a valuable, enthusiastic voice with a passion for advocacy and policy awareness.

    Further information on the 2022-2023 GSA Elections will be shared in coming weeks with the membership.

    -30-

    Categories: News & Events

  • Mental Health and Well-Being Supports Available to Graduate Students

    January 21, 2022 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    Mental Health and Well-Being Supports Available to Graduate Students

    Whether you may be struggling to navigate the ongoing pandemic, balancing workload that comes with being a graduate student, and/or wanting finding harmony between all outputs of your life, we acknowledge that the worlds around us can feel heavy. We also acknowledge that reaching out for supports may not always be easy.

    While the information below is not inclusive of all resources and supports available to you, we wanted to share these as a starting point to you discovering the best supports for your well-being and situation.

    Personal Counselling & MySSP App

    Personal counselling is available to all Brock graduate students 24/7. You can speak to a professionally trained counsellor in a confidential space, completely free.

    • For an appointment call 905-688-5550 x 6380 or visit ST400 on campus
    • For urgent 24/7 telephone counselling, call 1-833-BROCK33 (1-833-2762-533)

    You can also download the MySSP app (provided free by Brock) and receive confidential 24/7 support via text or telephone with a professional counsellor. Support is available in English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese (simplified Chinese via chat).

    The app also offers an extensive library of mental health and well-being resources, including articles, podcasts, infographics and videos and unlimited free access to the virtual fitness app LIFT. The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. When creating a profile, be sure to enter ‘Brock University Student Counselling Program’ as the school.

    For other avenues of well-being, wellness, and mental health supports, please consider:

    Additional App Recommendations

    If you are looking for a resource that is more portable and accessible to your every day, perhaps a mobile-based app could work for you. While there are several support resources online that you can access, here are a few suggestions to kickstart your search to find the best option for you:

    • Headspace App

    https://www.headspace.com

    • Calm App

    https://www.calm.com

    • Simple Habit App

    https://www.simplehabit.com

    • Happify App

    https://www.happify.com/

    Tips and Resources (complied by Faculty of Graduate Studies)

    Categories: News & Events, Uncategorised

  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

    National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

    September 30, 2021 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    Today, September 30, marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – a federal holiday established to honour residential school survivors and recognize the Indigenous lives lost across Turtle Island (an Indigenous name used to reference America and/or Canada).

    This day was formerly known as Orange Shirt Day, a day created by Phyllis Webstad of Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. The orange shirt is a reflection of Phyllis’ own orange shirt that was taken from her as a six-year-old when she attended a residential school; her orange shirt was taken, along with her culture. The orange shirt is meant to be worn to raise awareness about the negative consequences of the residential school systems felt by all Indigenous communities like Phyllis’ and the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation.

    As Indigenous communities across these lands continue to combat the ongoing legacies of colonization, the GSA believes that it is the responsibility of settlers to learn about the history of residential schools, the 60s scoop, missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), as well as ongoing land reclamation and sovereignty efforts.

    We encourage you to take meaningful steps with us towards ending the legacies of colonization; to take actionable steps forward toward reconciliation. Here are some steps that we would encourage you to take with us:

    • Take time to learn about the histories of Indigenous peoples in Canada and reflect on actions taken by Canada towards these communities.
    • Create space for Indigenous people to speak, to share their perspectives and their voices.
    • Find ways to spread awareness by sharing resources and educating your friends, families, and communities.
    • Learn how to properly acknowledge the land that you reside on and engage with tools like Native Land’s Interactive Map to learn about traditional territories around you.
    • Read the 94 Call to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Truth and Reconciliation Report and identify what role you can play in the work left to be done.
    • Support Indigenous-owned businesses, artists, experiences, and events.

    Resources and Information:

    [Brock Service] Aboriginal Student Services

    [Brock Library Collection] Reconciling the History of the Residential School System in Canada

    [Virtual Brock Workshop] How to Two Row: Advice from an Indigenous Auntie on October 5

    [Virtual Brock Workshop] GSV Support Certificate: Indigenous Perspectives on October 20

    [Website] Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

    [Interactive Map] Native Land: Find out whose traditional territory you live on

    [Website] ON Canada Project: Settlers Take Action

    [Course] Free 12-week Indigenous Canada course from University of Alberta

    [Interactive Website] CBC’s Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada

    [Website] 35 Books to Read for National Indigenous History Month

    Categories: News & Events

  • Announcement of Resignation for Vice-President, Student Engagement

    Announcement of Resignation for Vice-President, Student Engagement

    August 27, 2021 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    Upon meeting with our Board of Directors yesterday afternoon, we share the resignation of our Vice-President, Student Engagement, Amanda Nicol-MacDonald, effective immediately, due to personal circumstance. We deeply respect her decision and wish Amanda the best in her future endeavours.

    “Though our time together was brief, we acknowledge the vast amount of insights and knowledge that Amanda was able to share with both the Executive Committee and Board members,” says President Christopher Yendt. “We are appreciative of the work that she was able to put into the Association this summer as Vice-President, Student Engagement.”

    The Executive Committee, pursuant to Document 001, have appointed Haley Myatt, GSA Deputy President and Vice-President, Communications and Advancement, as acting Vice-President, Student Engagement until the completion of the recruitment cycle. In a meeting outside of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee has collectively agreed to subsequently support the transitional period wherever possible.

    As we readjust our capacities to manage the vacancy. we thank our members in advance for their patience and understanding for any disruptions to services during this time. Today, Friday, August 27, we will begin a recruitment process to fill the vacancy of Vice-President Student Engagement and to complete our executive compliment once again.

    If you have questions regarding the recruitment process or the role of Vice-President, Student Engagement, please reach out to Christopher Yendt at gsapresident@brocku.ca.

    – 30 –

    Categories: News & Events

  • Brock COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate and Returning to Campus

    Brock COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate and Returning to Campus

    August 13, 2021 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    Over the past few weeks, and particularly the last few days, graduate students have been sharing their concerns and thoughts around the university’s plan to return to campus for Fall 2021. The perspectives have been both plenty and varying; we thank all of you for taking the time to share with us. Your voices, as always, have helped shape our decisions, our plans, and our advocacy-based efforts.

    Our executive team has been involved in numerous conversations throughout the summer, many of which are still ongoing, with members across the university and broader contexts about vaccine mandates and the impacts, both positive and negative, on our members.

    Yesterday, the university shared news that Brock will now require COVID-19 vaccination for students, staff, faculty to access campus. In their announcement, some of the details include the following:

    • A first dose, at minimum, of a Health Canada-approved vaccine required by September 7
    • A second dose required by October 15
    • Anyone who cannot be vaccinated, based on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code, can request an accommodation
    • Those fully vaccinated with a vaccine on the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing are deemed to have met this requirement
    • All members of the Brock community returning to campus will be required to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and be prepared to show proof of vaccination to the university

    We appreciate that the university, as noted in their announcement, holds the health and well-being of the Brock community as top priority.

    Standing alongside the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU), we request that the university further considers validating all vaccines that may not fall under current Health Canada or WHO approval, ensures the greatest privacy and security for sensitive health-related information, maintain open communication about the status of vaccinations and safety protocols, and above all else, continue to prioritize the wellness and safety of all students.

    We also recognize that this issue, vaccinations and mandates, is immensely complex. It is because of such complexity that we are seeking further consultation from you, our members. We want to do the best we can in representing and advocating for graduate students. From conversations, feedback, and additional research, we are aware that there may be students who are unfavourably affected by this new mandate. Your concerns deserve to be heard and considered. We are prepared to advocate for your appropriate accommodations.

    To help us take further steps that reflect the needs of all our members, we ask for your feedback. Please fill this short, anonymous survey by 4PM on Friday, August 20: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8Y3DTRD

    All verified participants of this survey will have the opportunity to win one of four $25 e-gift cards of your choice (some restrictions may apply).

    – 30-

    Categories: News & Events

  • New Compliment of Full-Time Staffers Marks Completion of GSA’s Second Phase of Organizational Restructuring

    New Compliment of Full-Time Staffers Marks Completion of GSA’s Second Phase of Organizational Restructuring

     August 6, 2021 – (St. Catharines, ON)

    Two years ago, the GSA began the process of redesigning its organizational structure, recognizing an ever-increasing demand for services and workload on both staff and executive members.

    Earlier this year, we launched a restructured executive team, whose roles were better aligned with the organization’s Strategic Plan and future vision. To compliment this restructuring was a staged approach to staff turnover and succession planning, recognizing the high demands on the former position of Office Coordinator. With a continually growing graduate student population, the demands on this position, and consequently the holder of the position, were subsequently unbalanced. Thus the Office Coordinator position was divided into two new, full-time staff roles: Executive Director (ED) and an Office and Health Plan Administrator.

    “Since our formal beginnings in 2001, the GSA membership has continued to grow and has roughly doubled in the last ten years”, says GSA President, Chris Yendt. “This growth has necessitated new service, advocacy and supports for our members to make the most of their time at Brock.  For years, we have made the most of these limited resources and leveraged partnerships where we could, but as we looked ahead to future retirements, it became clear that the former structure of a single office staff person was no longer enough to support the future direction of the GSA”.

    Reflecting on the work of former Office Coordinator and Executive Director, Barb Daly, and on the position itself, Yendt says that “Executive Directors are the staffing backbones of non-profit organizations. In many ways, Executive Director was the role that Barb had been performing but without the title. In this way, it was logical for the first phase of this restructure to transition the former Officer Coordinator role into two positions, allowing for a year-long onboarding and training process of the new Office and Health Plan Administrator position.”

    Mary Tibollo officially succeeded Barb Daly as Executive Director on July 26th, 2021. Mary’s former role of Office and Health Plan Administrator will be filled by Jennifer Meuser, who begins next week. By using a phased approach to organizational succession, the GSA has ensured continuity and retained corporate memory; we are adjusting our course and preparing for the next decade of growth in our organization.

    As shared in the 2020-2021 Annual Report, growing our staff compliment to two full-time employees (FTE) positions the GSA for expansion and allow for better communication year over year. This enables us to build upon on our successes more effectively, allows for easier and cleaner organizational growth, and aligns us with our strategic priority of commitment to service, as well as reflects our leadership and overall commitment to our graduate community.

    Today, we acknowledge both long-standing service and new team members. We welcome Mary Tibollo, outgoing Office and Health Plan Administrator, into the role of Executive Director and Jennifer Meuser as our new Office and Health Plan Administrator.

    “The completion of these hires rounds out an immense period of transition and change for the GSA,” shares Yendt. “As we prepare to action our first strategic plan, the growth has been remarkable but intentional, planned and measured and the GSA is ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow. As the GSA and our members welcome this new compliment of full-time staff, I think it is critical to reflect and recognize the work that Barb Daly has done for the GSA. I’ve been fortunate enough to know Barb since 2013 and have we have worked closely together since I joined the GSA in 2015. Her dedication to graduate students has been immeasurable and has underpinned each success the GSA has had over more than a decade. Each executive team owes much of their accomplishments to Barb’s support, knowledge, and university relationships. Our restructuring is no exception. While Barb’s trusted face and voice will not be forgotten at Brock, we wish her all the best in a well-deserved retirement. Last year, the GSA formally inducted Barb as our first honorary member and given both her passion for volunteering and dedication to graduate students, I look forward to the inevitable day that our paths cross again.”

    With the fall semester now under a month away, Mary and Jennifer are back in the GSA Offices, in full-time capacities. Both Mary and Jennifer are available to support graduate students by appointment only at this time; no walk-ins can be taken. To book an appointment, email gsaoffice@brocku.ca or visit our website to book through our online form.

    For questions about health and dental plan coverage, volunteer opportunities with GSA or general inquires about the GSA contact Jennifer at gsaoffice@brocku.ca.

    For questions regarding finances, operations, strategic directions, or governance related inquires, contact Mary at gsaed@brocku.ca.

    – 30-

    Categories: News & Events

  • Recruitment and Appointment of GSA Associate Vice President, Digital Outreach

    Notice: Recruitment and Appointment Process for the Associate Vice President, Digital Outreach

    To: Members of the Brock University Graduate Students’ Association (GSA)

    Pursuant to the GSA Policy (Document 27A) and other relevant GSA legislation, the association is looking to fill the role of Associate Vice-President, Digital Outreach. The appointment will take effect for August 30, 2021 and be until April 30, 2022. Recruitment will be rolling, whereby consideration of candidates will begin immediately, with a deadline for applications of August 18, 2021, at 4:00pm EST.

    Applications must include the following:

    1. A statement of interest in the position/cover letter,
    2. A resume/curriculum vitae highlighting relevant experience
    3. Contact information for three

    Additionally, experience with content creation, design and experience with relevant platforms should be clearly noted. While not required, applicants may also provide no more than five (5) samples of creative work/concepts to further illustrate their skills and/or interest in the position of Associate Vice President, Digital Outreach. Samples of work may include, but is not limited to: social media graphics, infographics, print materials, web design, videos, GIFs.

    Interviews shall be scheduled and conducted during the week following the close of the application period with an aim to announce an appointment in the week prior to the position commencement date.

    All applications will be held in strict confidence and should be directed, via email, to Haley Myatt, Vice President, Communications and Advancement at gsacomm@brocku.ca.

    All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. In keeping with the University’s commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) throughout the hiring process the Graduate Students’ Association’s commitment to increase diversity in positions of influence. We are actively committed to diversity and the principles of employment equity and invite applications from all qualified candidates. Women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minorities, people with disabilities, two-spirit as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons are encouraged to apply and to voluntarily self-identify as a member of a designated group as part of their application.

    The Graduate Students’ Association represents the interests of all graduate students at Brock University. At registration, all graduate students at Brock become members of the GSA. The GSA is the independent voice of graduate students on campus and is recognized by Brock University as the official representative of Brock graduate students.

    Job Description GSA Associate Vice President, Digital Outreach 2021/22.

    Categories: News & Events