Articles by author: Brock University

  • University sends its supplies to Niagara’s front-line workers

    MEDIA RELEASE: 1 April 2020 – R0057

    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    Research labs across Brock University have emptied their supply rooms to help the people who are leading Niagara’s fight against COVID-19.

    Thousands of gloves, hundreds of lab coats and goggles, and cartons of face masks were loaded into a truck on Tuesday, March 31, and sent to Niagara Health, who will distribute it to front-line health workers at the region’s hospitals.

    It was the result of a campus-wide response to the request for much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) for Niagara’s health-care providers.

    “A lot of it is people feel the need to be part of the solution and do something,” said Dawn Zinga, Brock’s Acting Associate Vice-President, Research, who was tasked with heading up the University’s response to the call.

    Brock’s Vice-President, Research, Tim Kenyon, said the University is doing what it can to support the Niagara region through the pandemic.

    “As a research institution, we’re obviously very fortunate to have the materials on hand to be able to do this,” said Kenyon. “We are the community’s university, and the community needs these resources. They need them right now.”

    The PPE being donated came from a wide range of faculties and departments such as research labs and services, teaching labs, science stores, the electronics shop, and the Campus Store.

    “We are extremely grateful to Brock University for this remarkable show of support and generosity,” said Niagara Health President Lynn Guerriero. “We have always valued our strong partnership with Brock University, and this is another example of that. These donations will help as our health-care team responds to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    In order to limit the risk to front-line staff, much care was taken around how many people were handling the goods and to keep everything in their exterior packaging.

    “It’s all about controlling the exposure to the supplies,” said Zinga. “It has been noticeable how conscious people are in not affecting those supplies because the last thing you want to do is cause more risk.”

    Zinga thanked everyone involved in the collection and transfer of the PPE, including everyone who identified and provided equipment and those involved in handing the gear over such as Campus Security, Custodial, Facilities Management and others.

    “We’re lucky in that we can work remotely, but those medical professionals in front-line roles can’t do that,” she said. “People want to support them and recognize the great work they’re doing out there and the risk they’re taking in doing that.”

    Roger Ali, President and CEO of the Niagara Health Foundation said he was “deeply grateful for the support.”

    “We are so grateful for the community leadership of Brock University and their dedicated staff and students,” he said. “It is at times like this that Niagara is so fortunate to have a world-class institution stepping up to supply our front-line heroes with the critical protective equipment they need. These items will truly support the health-care professionals as they treat our friends, neighbours and loved ones.”

    The Niagara Health Foundation is taking the lead on securing protective equipment and raising funds to purchase additional urgently needed equipment.

    Guerriero said “it’s inspiring to see how the Niagara community is pulling together in so many different ways to support each other. A challenging time is bringing out the best in everyone.”

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University, or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Niagara community encouraged to contribute to Brock’s COVID-19 archive

    MEDIA RELEASE: 30 March 2020 – R0056

    From bare grocery store shelves to playgrounds with warning signs, workplace and school closures, and unlimited social media and news content about COVID-19, it’s hard not to feel the impact of the pandemic.

    Brock University’s Archives and Special Collections and Digital Scholarship Lab have created a website to gather and preserve photos, text, video and other forms of capturing the experience of living in the Niagara region during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “In the near and far future, students, researchers, authors and other curious folks will be looking for such materials to retell the history of this challenging time,” said David Sharron, Head of Archives and Special Collections at the University’s James A. Gibson Library. “It was recently the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu, and people relied on our archives to see what Niagara did in 1918. We want to capture the history of COVID-19 as it’s happening.”

    Sharron says inviting the Niagara community to contribute their materials to the archives will allow for more organic, accurate history.

    “Archives usually receive historical documentation years after something has happened, but doing it in the moment allows primary reaction to be genuine and truly historic,” said Sharron. “It allows people to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences in real-time, and in a novel way.”

    He adds that giving people a platform to share their experiences while also learning about the experiences of others can allow those feeling isolated to feel less alone.

    Tim Ribaric, Acting Head, Digital Scholarship Lab, has been leading the technical side of the website

    “We have an open access platform at Brock called Omeka, which is an exhibit platform that allows us to showcase digitized materials,” said Ribaric. “You take that history and information and retain them for people who want to do research about how things such as normal everyday life felt for people in the moment.”

    A couple of key, recent examples in the Brock archives from people who self-submitted are the Occupy Wall Street protest movement in 2011 and the Ferguson Unrest protests and riots in 2014.

    “I see people posting on social media every day about what they’re thinking and feeling,” said Sharron. “It’s front and centre on our minds. To capture these raw emotions is more telling than writing this months later when we polish our thoughts. How we’re living right now is true to history.”

    There are two ways to contribute to the project.


    David Sharron, Head of Archives and Special Collections at Brock University’s James A. Gibson Library is available for phone and video interviews.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University, 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases