Graduate Studies Orientation – Fall 2020

Welcome to Graduate Studies at Brock University. The first weeks of your graduate program bring many exciting opportunities, but can also be overwhelming. We have put together a website that will help ease your transition to graduate studies and introduce you to key services and contacts that can help you throughout your program.

Nice to Meet You

Brock’s President and the Dean of Graduate Studies welcome you to graduate studies at Brock.

Get to Know Us

The Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Students’ Association are here to help you.

Here to Help

Across the University, there are services and people specially trained to help you succeed in your program.

You're Joining a Diverse and Welcoming Learning Community

Brock is situated on Indigenous land. This fact underlays all that Human Rights and Equity does in our work for transformational change on this campus. We work to mitigate and, eventually, eliminate oppressive practices based on power imbalances. We do not shy away from discussing anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism and the impact systemic oppression imposes on these communities. We work in a holistic and trauma-informed manner to end sexual violence. HRE provides the opportunity to educate yourself on your level of intercultural competence and awareness and tools to assist with growth. We recognize we live in an ableist society where the rights of people with disabilities are all too often ignored. We receive complaints around harassment and discrimination on the basis of identities covered by the Ontario Human Rights Code. In all that HRE undertakes, we seek to fulfill the fourth pillar of our institutional strategic plan – making a culture of accessibility, inclusion, decolonization and reconciliation a lived reality for all members of the Brock community.

Welcome to Brock


Dr. Gervan Fearon
President and Vice Chancellor

Dr. Suzanne Curtin
Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies

Get to Know the FGS and GSA

Faculty of Graduate Studies

As a graduate student, you are a part of not one, but two Faculties. Your home Faculty is where your program is housed and your Faculty of Registration, is the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Commonly referred to as the FGS, we are here to help you with every aspect of your graduate degree, from admission through graduation.

Graduate Students’ Association

The Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) is the independent voice of graduate students on campus, and we are recognized by Brock University as the official representative of Brock graduate students. The GSA represents the interests of all graduate students at Brock University. Brock GSA offers many valuable services to our members ranging from extended health and dental insurance (StudentVIP) to workshops and a student lounge.

Key Services and Contacts

Academic Supports

A – Z Learning Services offers programming tailored to your professional and discipline-specific field. Every graduate student is entitled to a free, one-hour ‘critical read’ consult with a Learning Specialist. You can also access writing supports in a number of ways:

  • One-on-one consultations
  • Group workshops
  • Essay-Zone Advanced: an online interactive academic writing tool

To book a consultation, please email and state that you are a graduate student.

Visit the A-Z Learning Services Website

Key Contact: Monica Drenth, Learning Skills Specialist

A-Z Learning Services is hosting a virtual drop-in session to answer any questions and explain their services.

Session Information

Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The Library is here to support your research with access to online books, journals, media and more, along with helpful staff to guide you through the information landscape. We can support you throughout the research process, from brainstorming research questions to disseminating results and tracking research impact. Each program also has a Liaison Librarian to provide personalized research assistance.

Visit the Library Website

Key Contact: Jennifer Thiessen, Acting Head, Liaison Services
Liaison Librarian List

The Brock University Library is hosting a virtual drop-in event to answer any questions and explain their services.

Session Information:
Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) supports teaching and learning at Brock University. We offer a variety of programming to support the professional development of teaching assistants, marker/graders, lab demonstrators, tutorial leaders, and course coordinators.

We offer a certificate program for TAs; this series of workshops begins with our annual fall TA Days and culminates in April with the TA Reception where we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Brock TAs.

The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is a three-day workshop designed to enhance teaching effectiveness of new and experienced educators. The ISW is peer-based, experiential instructional development program. Over 30-years old, the ISW is one of the most successful approaches to pedagogy in post-secondary institutions!

CPI also offers the non-credit graduate course GRST 5P01: The Theory and Practice of University Teaching. This course explores the theories and practices of teaching in the post-secondary environment. Students engage in experiential approaches to course planning, instructional methods, evaluation and assessment, and reflective practice.

Interested in a self-directed program of professional development in university teaching? The Graduate Teaching Assistant Practicum may be of interest. The practicum consists of components that together reflect growth as a facilitator of student learning, documented through a teaching dossier.

Visit the CPI website

Key Contacts:
Lianne Fisher, Manager, Educational Development
Natalie Currie-Patterson, Educational Development

CPI is hosting a virtual drop-in event to answer any questions and explain their services.

Session Information:
Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Grad school is an opportunity for personal and professional growth and development. Along with your course and research work, you will discover and uncover your unique sets of skills and talents. To build and accentuate those talents in preparation for the world of work, our community of highly skilled facilitators have created a personal and professional development curriculum to supplement your academic training.

We offer several signature events for graduate students, such as the Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference – an opportunity for you to present your research in any stage to an audience of your graduate school peers. We also plan the annual Shift Conference – a Professional Development Conference where an amazing roster of dynamic speakers present on ideas that help you make the most of your graduate education. To learn more about these opportunities, visit our website and watch your e-mail inbox for event announcements.

Visit the FGS Professional Development Website

Key Contact: Ashley Haroutunian, Professional Development Coordinator

Employment and Career Services

Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 4207 is a labour union that represents contract academic workers at Brock: Teaching Assistants, Instructors, Lab Demonstrators, Marker/Graders, Course Coordinators, and ESL Coordinators and Instructors. The union is run by members who are elected at annual general meetings, and by members who attend those meetings, join or form committees, and are not only active in protecting workers rights at the university but engage in promoting social and economic justice beyond the walls of our workplace. CUPE is the largest labour union in Canada with extensive network of labour and community organizations that engage workers to utilize their power to collectively build a better world. Union members can attend labour union conventions and workshops to be better equipped to face challenges in the workplace and the political arena of our society. Our local supports Ontario Public Interest Research Group at Brock. Our members are also OPIRG Brock members.

Visit the CUPE 4207 Website

Key Contact: Karen Hofman, Membership Outreach Officer

CUPE 4207 is hosting a virtual drop-in event to answer any questions and explain their services.

Session Information:
Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Zoom Call Details:
Meeting ID:
824 7884 7999

For graduate students that are also employed as Teaching Assistants, Graduate Assistants or Research Assistants, Brock’s Human Resources department can provide assistance with employment-related issues.

Key contact: 

Gain a competitive edge. In today’s labour market, having graduated with experience and career knowledge will give you a critical advantage. At Brock, we pride ourselves on integrating experience into your studies by offering a variety of hands-on learning opportunities in your academic program. Work with our career team to successfully translate your experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, as you launch yourself into your career.

Co-op, Career and Experiential Education (CCEE) offers many resources, specifically for Graduate students.

Explore resources for Graduate students

CCEE is also offering many opportunities to connect with them over the fall.

View opportunities to connect

Graduate Students' Association

The Graduate Students’ Association offers full and part-time graduate students a comprehensive Health, Vision and Dental plan through Student VIP.

Full-time domestic, full-time/part-time International and most full-time/part-time Co-op students are automatically charged for the Health and Dental plan in the Fall term only. Students who begin their program in the Winter or Spring term, are not automatically charged for the plans and must OPT-IN to access coverage. You must check your Brock tuition billing to determine if you have been billed for the plans.

Visit the GSA website for further information.

Student Services

As part of the Student Success Centre, Aboriginal Student Services is focused on providing a welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment for Aboriginal students and visitors to campus.

Our goal is to help all Aboriginal students, including First Nations, Metis and Inuit, make the transition to the Brock University community, and to provide support and resources to enhance their academic success and cultural identity at Brock. We recognize that the transition may be difficult due to differing cultures and perspectives. We offer social and academic supports in a culturally sensitive manner to encourage Aboriginal students to maintain their identity within the university setting. We also work closely with Aboriginal community partners to enhance the success of both current and prospective students.

Visit the Aboriginal Student Services Website

Key Contact: Sandra Wong, Aboriginal Academic Support Program Coordinator

Faith and Life Centre provides a safe and inclusive community space for all students, staff, and faculty that call Brock home, offering religious, spiritual, and secular supports. ​

Visit the Faith and Life website

Key Contact:

Human Rights and Equity is a resource for all Brock community members to provide information, education, assistance and advice on issues related to human rights, harassment, discrimination and bullying.

This includes harassment and discrimination on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, ancestry, creed, sex, gender identification, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status, receipt of public assistance (in housing), record of offences (in employment) and disability, as well as personal or workplace harassment and bullying.

Human Rights and Equity works with many other departments and services on campus to prevent harassment and discrimination from occurring and to quickly address incidents as they arise. We assist community members with issues of harassment and discrimination and help guide them to understand the range of options available to resolve the situation.

Visit the Human Rights and Equity Website

Key Contact: Leela Madhavarau, Director

The University Ombudsperson is a confidential, independent and impartial service for students, faculty, staff, prospective students and persons connected to Brock University. The Ombudsperson can support people who have complaints or concerns by providing resources and advice, facilitating communication, assisting with informal problem solving, assisting with appeal procedures and investigating concerns. When appropriate, the Ombudsperson may also make recommendations on changes to University policies or procedures.

Visit the Ombuds Website

Key Contact: Kelly Barker, Ombudsperson

Student Life provides engagement opportunities to enhance your Brock student experience and offers programs and services that support student success through co-curricular learning activities, campus involvement, leadership development, community engagement, and off campus living.

Visit the Student Life Website

Student Life will be hosting a Virtual Drop-in Session

Session Information: 
Date: Wednesday, September 9
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Brock Recreation Fall 2020 Information for Graduate Students

The staff of Brock Recreation have worked diligently through the summer to prepare the Walker Sports Complex for safe limited resumption of activity for Brock students in the fall.  We recognize the tremendous value of activity for physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of students, and encourage you to take advantage of your facilities.  If you are studying on-line, there are virtual programs for you.

We will continually evaluate with public health and Brock University guidance to add more opportunities for students.

The Zone Fitness Centre expansion has continued with great progress since the COVID-19 government regulated construction delay was over.  We anticipate receiving occupancy to move equipment in in mid-October, with the intent to open for students later this fall.

What’s Available to you?

We are able to open some specific activity spaces in the Walker Sports Complex for all students beginning September 8.  Activity spaces include: an “alternate” Zone fitness centre in Beddis Gym Court 1 until the Zone construction is complete, the pool for lane swimming, badminton and tennis courts, basketball hoops for shooting, and the outdoor fields for small group activity.

How do I use the Facility

Covid-19 safety protocols require that all students pre-book their workout day, time and space.  Go to for information and directions for registration.

On the day of your reservation, you will go through the screening station at the Academic South entrance, then head down the ramp towards Beddis gym to check in with Walker Complex staff.

You must bring your student ID card, a mask, and it is helpful if you compete the Brock Covid-19 Screening on the Brock Safety App before you arrive.  We ask that you come dressed for your activity (bring clean shoes if required, your waterbottle), and if swimming, wear your swim suit under your clothing.  The locker room will only be available to those who are swimming.  No lockers will be available, there will be stations at each activity area where you can place items that you bring.

Virtual Programming

Virtual fitness programming, and intramural programs will be available by following @BrockRecreation

In-Person Programs

Individual and small group intramural programs will begin the week of Sept. 20.  Follow @BrockRecreation for information about signing up.


Please email us at if you have questions, suggestions or require assistance.

Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre

From Intention to Action (FITA) is a counselling program run by Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. FITA is a structured intervention that is geared towards assisting students to improve their mental health, cope with academic stress, develop better learning strategies and maintain a healthy life balance.

How do I get started?
If you are interested in participating in the FITA program, please visit the FITA website and complete the application form. Once you have completed the online application, a FITA staff member will connect with you within 3 business days to discuss next steps.

Visit the FITA Website

Personal Counselling is available to all students. We offer a confidential space for students to address:

  • Difficulty adjusting to student life
  • Worries about upcoming exams or disappointment with academic performance
  • Procrastination and building time management skills
  • Tensions with family members, friends, or roommates
  • Concerns or uncertainty about their post-graduation plans

For same day “drop-in” phone counselling, e-mail (Monitored Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Students can also receive urgent 24/7 telephone counselling by calling 1-833-BROCK33

Visit the Personal Counselling Website

Our priorities are to support and foster independence in students with accessibility needs, advocate for accessibility for students and provide resources and education opportunities for staff and faculty to ensure a welcoming environment in compliance with Ontario Human Rights Commission guidelines and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

We assist students with a documented permanent disability or temporary health condition, mental health and/or cyclical health condition which is affecting academic functions. Documentation is required as per our guidelines that provides the impact of the disability on academic functioning. Services and accommodations are determined on an individual basis and based on documented disability related needs.

Register here

Visit the Student Accessibility Services Website

Student Health Services is your on-campus medical clinic while studying at Brock. We provide a wide range of confidential, student-centered health options.

Appointments can be booked by calling (888) 978-2881 ext. 3243.

Visit the Student Health Website

Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre will be offering a Virtual Drop-In Session to discuss their services.

Session Details:
Date: Friday, September 11
Time:10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.