Media releases

  • Brock University’s 111th Convocation comes to a close

    MEDIA RELEASE: 17 June 2022 – R0069

    The final of Brock University’s nine Spring Convocation ceremonies was held Friday, June 17, marking the close of the first in-person celebrations in more than two years.

    About 400 graduating students from the Faculties of Humanities and Mathematics and Science crossed the stage in Ian Beddis Gymnasium to receive their degrees. It brought to an end a week of Convocation ceremonies at Brock that included 3,500 students graduating across seven Faculties.

    “It’s been a wonderful week, watching graduates on campus celebrate with their families and loved ones,” said University Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Lynn Wells. “That is what Convocation is all about.”

    The rite of passage, she said, helped to usher each graduate into their next chapter as they begin their career or embark on a new educational journey.

    “It’s important to mark those transitions in our lives, those pivotal moments, by coming together as a community and celebrating,” Wells said. “We want to ensure our graduates feel properly acknowledged for all the hard work they’ve put into earning their degrees.

    “They have persevered through tough circumstances,” she said, “but they’ve also continued to help the University grow during this challenging time, as have our faculty, staff, alumni, donors and community members.”

    Two years into her role as Brock Chancellor, Hilary Pearson was elated by her first in-person Convocation at the University.

    “All week, the students have looked so happy to be here. Even through the masks, you can see the excitement in their eyes,” Pearson said. “It has been so wonderful to be a part of.”

    She hoped to provide inspiration to Brock’s Class of 2022 through the words of legendary poet Maya Angelou: “Pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”

    It was a fitting sentiment for Amirali Madani, who during Friday’s ceremony was awarded one of Brock’s highest academic honours.

    Madani was presented the Governor General’s Gold Medal, given to the graduate student with the highest academic average for 2021-22. The 24-year-old international student from Iran, who made it his goal to earn the award as soon as he enrolled at the University, completed his Master of Computer Science with a 97 per cent overall average.

    All nine of Brock University’s Spring Convocation ceremonies are available to view online at

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Doug Hunt, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, Brock University or 905-941-6209

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Brock researchers awarded more than $1.1 million in SSHRC funding

    MEDIA RELEASE: 16 June 2022 – R0068

    With so many charities competing for a limited number of dollars, it’s hard to know who to support. Donors want to make sure groups they fund are using the money responsibly.

    Professor of Accounting Hemantha Herath is among those challenging the conventional way charities calculate and report their program expenses.

    With funding from the federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Herath is researching how data science techniques can be integrated into current reporting methods to give a fuller picture of charities’ performances.

    Herath is among eight Brock University researchers awarded SSHRC’s Insight Grant, announced Thursday, June 16 by François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

    Brock University received more than $1.1 million in the latest round of Insight Grants, which support research excellence and are judged worthy of funding by fellow researchers and/or other experts. The research can be conducted individually or by teams.

    “SSHRC’s investment in our research enables our scholars to contribute valuable insights into our collective understanding of a wide range of challenges faced in society,” says Brock’s Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon.

    In Herath’s case, he will use his funding to research how to recalculate the program expense ratio, which measures costs incurred by programs, services and other activities fulfilling a non-profit’s mission compared to its total costs.

    Herath is exploring how to integrate statistical techniques, including cluster analysis, which groups data that share similar properties, and text mining, which involves the process of examining large collections of documents to discover new information, into the accounting process.

    “This data-driven approach will generate more reliable information that will help donors, resource providers and the public evaluate the effectiveness of non-profit organizations so that they can make better funding decisions,” he says.

    Brock researchers awarded Insight Grants in 2022 are:

    • Julia Baird, Associate Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Individual interventions to transform water governance”
    • Angela Book, Associate Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, “The Social Predator Hypothesis of Psychopathy”
    • Timothy Fletcher, Associate Professor, Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Champions for Meaningful Physical Education”
    • Hemantha Herath, Professor, Accounting, Goodman School of Business, “How to Choose a Charity: A Data Science Based Investigation”
    • Shannon Kerwin, Associate Professor, Sport Management, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Signaling Change: Exploring Gender EDI and Human Resource Management Practices, Board Gender Composition, and Board Outcomes in Non-profit Sport Governing Bodies”
    • Sean Locke, Assistant Professor, Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Understanding how reframing inaccurate barrier perceptions promotes physical activity participation”
    • Bradley Millington, Associate Professor, Sport Management, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Sport and the digital economy: A case study of the Canadian sports analytics industry”
    • Elizabeth Sauer, Professor, English Language and Literature, Faculty of Humanities, “Reorienting English National Consciousness: Renaissance to Late Restoration”

    Also announced June 16 are Stage 1 of SSHRC’s Partnership Grants, which provide support for new and existing formal partnerships over four to seven years to advance research, research training and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities.

    Brock University’s two awards, totalling $39,882, are:

    • Jennifer Roberts-Smith, Professor, Dramatic Arts, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, “Staging Better Futures/Mettre en scène de meilleurs avenirs”
    • Teena Willoughby, Professor, Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, “The impact of technology use on adolescent risk behaviours and wellbeing over time: A collaborative approach focusing on partnerships and comparisons across different research approaches”

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

    * Doug Hunt, Communications and Media Relations Specialist, Brock University or 905-941-6209

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    Categories: Media releases