Media releases

  • Brock researchers receive $3.7 million funding from federal granting agency SSHRC

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00194 – 9 September 2016

    Brock University psychologist Michael Busseri predicts that a new indicator may be popping up in many countries’ statistics in the near future: Gross National Happiness.

    Coined in Bhutan in the early 1970s, the idea is to estimate peoples’ sense of well-being “with the growing understanding that a happy society that feels they have meaning, purpose and satisfaction is also a more productive society,” says Busseri.

    Busseri studies how various categories of people – young, old, optimistic, pessimistic, happy, sad – think about their lives over time and how they view whether or not life will get better in the future.

    The Professor of Psychology plans to examine countries’ economic and social indicators – gross domestic product, infant mortality, education, access to democratic institutions, etc. – to see if there is a relationship between peoples’ beliefs about their well-being and how the country they are living in is performing economically and socially over time.

    “Understanding this at a global level may help inform social policies or at the very least give us information about society and how it sees itself changing over time,” says Busseri. “This information may be useful not only to lay persons but also to governments.”

    Busseri is among 18 researchers at Brock University who were awarded funds from the federal granting agency Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

    On September 9, SSHRC announced this year’s awarding of research grants for post-secondary researchers across Canada. Brock was awarded more than $3.7 million in three competitions for the 2016 funding year.

    Subjects areas of other grants awarded to Brock University include: transparency and accountability of mining activities in West Africa; the meaning of deep and sustained friendships for people living with dementia; the role of emotion in language comprehension; and employee entrepreneurial behaviours in the workplace.

    “Our researchers continue to expand the boundaries of society’s knowledge and understanding of a wide variety of issues, which leads to the improvement of the lives of many,” says Steven Renzetti, Interim Vice-President Research.

    “This latest round of SSHRC funding is extremely important as we strengthen our research intensiveness and further develop our reputation as Canada’s newest comprehensive university,” says Renzetti.

    See story in The Brock News. (LINK).

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
    * Cathy Majtenyi, Research Communications/Media Relations Specialist,, 905-688-5550 x5789 or 905-321-0566

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Wheelchair hill race to raise funds for Brock University Power Cord program

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00192 – 7 September 2016

    A unique fundraiser taking place this weekend that will have people racing uphill in wheelchairs all started with a simple question about community involvement.

    Brock University alumnus Eric Mukendi (BBA ’07) is a member of the University’s Power Cord exercise program for individuals with spinal cord injuries. He recently completed a study with Applied Health Sciences graduate student Scott Donia that compared two different strength training protocols. The study looked at the changes of individual muscular strength, functional capability and psychological well-being.

    “One of the questions I was asked got me thinking about what I could do to become more involved,” says Mukendi.

    The question was “how satisfied are you with your contributions to your community, neighbourhood, religious, or other group?” says Donia.

    It was a turning point for Mukendi.

    “The Power Cord program has helped me to become stronger and I wanted to find a way to contribute and get involved,” he says.

    The result was the C6 Wheelchair Challenge, a two kilometre, uphill wheelchair race that Mukendi has been planning for the past four months. It will take place on Concession 6 Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.

    Mukendi says it was through the support of friends and the skills he learned while at Brock University that he was able to secure sponsors, get the necessary permissions and start finding participants.

    “Power Cord and the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being are extremely grateful for the efforts of Eric in initiating this fundraising event. The proceeds will go towards Power Cord and spinal cord injury research,” says Brock kinesiology professor David Ditor.

    Brock RECL student and wheelchair track racing Paralympian Jessica Lewis, who is currently in Rio for the 2016 Paralympic Games, said she thought the C6 Wheelchair Hill Challenge was a great idea.

    “Exercising and being active can provide you with many benefits personally and socially and can help you be the best you can be. It also shows that just because you are differently abled doesn’t mean you can’t achieve anything you set your mind to,” she says.

    The C6 Wheelchair Hill Challenge will take place on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 9 a.m. to noon on Concession 6 Road south of York Road in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

    The event is open to everyone – regardless of physical abilities. Wheelchairs will be provided by For the Needy Not the Greedy, Motion Specialties and Niagara Wheelchairs and Seating. Walking or biking the route is also an option.

    The event is sponsored by The Mansion House and Kully’s Original Sports Bar.

    For more information visit:

    For assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases