Alumni student profiles

Rebecca Starkman

Year of graduation: 2011
Hometown: Hamilton, ON
Currently lives in: Toronto, ON

Thesis title

Revisiting the Jewish American Princess (JAP): Jewish Girls, The J.A.P. Discursive Stereotype, and Negotiated Identity

Advisor

Tom O’Neil

What are you currently doing? (Working, studying, family life, etc.).

I am currently completing a PhD in Education (program of Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development) at OISE/University of Toronto. My research is exploring how religiously affiliated girls (of all faiths) navigate the secular spaces of public high school in Toronto. I am utilizing qualitative research methodology incorporating both online and in-person data collection tools. My dissertation is titled Religious girlhood and secular schooling: A multimodal poststructural feminist inquiry. It will hopefully be finished in 2019.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I honestly don’t really remember. I did not apply to any other programs like it. I was actually applying to social work masters programs at the time. I also applied to this program because I had a lot of experience working with youth and I really enjoyed that work. So a program focused on youth seemed like something I would enjoy as well. In hindsight, I don’t think I really understood that I was entering an academic research training program.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

The CHYS program is entirely responsible for my continued path in academic research. And ultimately my entire career right now! The CHYS program was my first exposure to doing academic research and participating in academic work. It provided an incredible foundation for how to conduct research into my own questions. The program also housed wonderful professors who mentored me, nurturing my newly found interests in academic research and writing. The mentors (Shauna – this is you! Amongst others), encouraged me to pursue academia through a PhD program. So here I am today.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

The CHYS education in childhoods and research from a multi-disciplinary perspective prepared me to continue working in another multi-disciplinary field – education. The CHYS program demonstrated how to integrate research and theory from multiple fields (sociology, philosophy, history, psychology, etc.) in a meaningful way to explore topics of interest. This training has prepared me to confidently continue academic work using multi-disciplinary perspectives and tools.

Jaspreet Bal

Year of graduation: 2010
Hometown: Brampton, ON
Currently lives in: Brampton, ON

Thesis title

Children’s Rights in Rural Punjab: the Story of a Border-Dweller

Advisor

Tom O’Neil

What are you currently doing? (Working, studying, family life, etc.).

I am currently a professor in the Child and Youth Care program at Humber College.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I did my undergrad at Brock in Child Health and the Child and Youth Studies program supported the work I wanted to do with their expertise and approaches.

What was your research focus?

I looked at children’s rights in my rural village in Punjab, India and here in Ontario. I reflected on my own experience between the two places.

Other?

After completing my MA in CHYS I went to Queen’s University and completed my PhD in Cultural Studies. I continued to build on my research on international children’s Rights. I am a certified Child and Your Care Practitioner (CYCP) as well. My practice involves doing radical youth with young women of colour across North America. Outside of my academic work I am a community organizer. I serve on the board of directors for Kaurs Unites International and the Sikh Feminist Research Institute.

Bethany Morris

Year of graduation: 2014
Hometown: Charlottetown, PEI
Currently lives in: Bowling Green, Kentucky

Thesis title

In danger of jammed minds: A deconstructive discourse analysis of the criteria for early onset schizophrenia and imagination in children’s literature

Advisor

Hans Skott-Myhre

What are you currently doing? (Working, studying, family life, etc.).

I just finished my PhD in Psychology at the University of West Georgia and am about to start working as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lindsey Wilson College in Kentucky.

What was your research focus?

My focus was on antipsychiatry approaches to childhood psychosis and the use of children’s literature in psychiatric interventions. I was interested in bridging some of the scientific approaches with the insights of the humanities, with the intent of critically engaging with contemporary psychiatric practices.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

First of all, I have developed academic and personal relationships from the CHYS program that have supported me throughout my doctorate and I anticipate will continue to do so in my career. Second, the diversity of approaches in the CHYS program exposed me to a number of ideas and insights that I know I would not have experienced in a more homogenous department. I have taken these insights and ideas into my research and teaching.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

I find it very difficult to imagine doing work that was not trans-disciplinary. My dissertation bridged English literature, French philosophy, History, Psychoanalysis and Psychology. I also rely greatly on different disciplines in my Psychology classes, and my students have communicated that they appreciate the different perspectives. The CHYS program at Brock University gave me my first exposure to a classroom that could incorporate and appreciate perspectives across disciplines.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

Play around. Don’t be afraid to get out of your academic comfort zone and experiment with different ideas. The CHYS department fosters creativity and it is worth taking advantage of that.

Please let us know you favorite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program? This could be an event, a conference, a memory, etc…

The Graduate Lounge/Computer Room was full of great memories. I made life-long friends there while we graded stacks of midterms and final exams. Also, the Mapping the New Knowledges Conference in the Spring was always a fun time. I loved seeing what my friends were working on and being able to share what I was working on in a supportive environment.

Christine Goodwin-De Faria

Year of graduation: 2009
Hometown: Mississauga
Currently lives in: Mississauga

Thesis title

An Examination of how Youth understand their Rights during the Criminal Process

Advisor

Voula Marinos

What are you currently doing?

I got married in 2010, and have two children. My son Lucas is five years old, and my daughter Sydney is three.
I am currently a PhD student in the Policy Studies (social policy stream) program at Ryerson University. My dissertation examines the experiences of Indigenous offenders during court and diversion.
Soon after I finished my Masters I worked in youth custody, and also as a youth diversion coordinator. Over the last few years, I have taught a few courses in the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care Program at Humber College. I am currently a course instructor in the Child and Youth Studies Program at Trent University.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I did my undergraduate degree in Child and Youth Studies at Brock, and really enjoyed the program and faculty. Since I have always wanted to do work and research with young people, I felt that the CHYS program would provide me with the best experience.

What was your research focus?

My Masters research focused on how youth offenders understand their legal rights, and their rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?
The research experience I gained from completing my Masters influenced my decision to complete my PhD, and the type of research I conducted for my dissertation.
Since I am currently teaching in Child and Youth Studies at Trent, I am able to draw on the knowledge I gained as an undergraduate and Master’s student when designing my own courses.

Please let us know you favorite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program?

The CHYS faculty was one of the best aspects of my experience. Everyone in the department is so supportive, and will go out of their way to help and encourage students. One of the best aspects of the CHYS department is that professors have an ‘open door’ policy, where students are always welcome to visit and/or ask questions. It is an extremely welcoming program that is very student focused.
I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know many of the professors in CHYS, and still stay in contact with several of them.

Daniella Bendo

Year of graduation: 2016
Hometown: Hamilton
Currently lives in: Ottawa

Thesis title

The Role of Canada’s Child and Youth Advocates: A Social Constructionist Approach

Advisor

Richard Mitchell

What are you currently doing?

I am currently a third year PhD Candidate in the law and legal studies program at Carleton University. I am also a contract instructor at Carleton University in the sociology and anthropology department, teaching a third year course entitled, “Children and childhood in a globalized era.” I am a research assistant at the Landon Pearson Resource Centre for the Study of Childhood and Children’s Rights focusing on children’s rights research, advocacy and child participation.
Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?
The multidisciplinary nature of the child and youth studies program enabled me to explore different areas relevant to childhood from a combined perspective of disciplines, including sociology, education, psychology, social justice, and more. The program combines practical experiences in various child-service delivery systems and academic, theoretical notions of childhoods to provide a well-rounded learning experience. The program and school are extremely welcoming and supportive and there are some excellent funding opportunities for financial support!

What was your research focus?

My research focused on understandings of child and youth advocacy in Canada and the barriers and opportunities advocates face in their day to day work. My work adopted a rights-based approach and made use of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a guiding framework.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

The CHYS program has led me to a Doctoral program in the field of law and legal studies and has enabled me to teach as a contract instructor. As a foundational degree, the CHYS MA program trained me practically and theoretically and without the knowledge I gained in the program, I would not be in my current position as a research associate, teacher, and academic. Some of the skills I have gained from the program include organizational skills, time-management skills, leadership skills, research skills, communication and oral-speaking skills, and multi-tasking skills, amongst others. I developed and strengthened these skills through the MA program and have used them to attain my current positions.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

The multi-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary nature of the program trained me to explore childhood from a diverse perspective and as a result, I am working on projects in various fields including: psychology and neuroscience, sociology and anthropology, law, education and social justice. As a researcher, I adopt a problem-oriented approach to research as opposed to a discipline focused approach. As a result, I have been able to understand and explore issues in childhood studies from a rich and diverse perspective, which in turn, has led to enhanced understandings of childhood that may not surface from a single-discipline oriented perspective.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

The CHYS program is unique and fruitful and unlike many other programs within various universities that I have been immersed in. The tight-knit community is rare, and the professors go above and beyond to teach and guide students. My advice would be to treasure this experience and get to know the professors because they will mentor you and provide you with excellent opportunities that you would not receive at other institutions. The MA program is an opportunity to enjoy the privilege of learning and design your own research project with expertise and knowledge from an array of different leaders in the field of child and youth studies!

Please let us know you favorite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program?

Some of my favourite memories include travelling to different countries and across Canada to present my research at multiple conferences, publishing my first academic article, working some of my first positions in various child service delivery systems, such as, the Children’s Aid Society, working and learning with and from undergraduate students as a teaching assistant, and connecting and learning from professors in the department, including: Richard Mitchell, Shannon Moore and Shauna Pomerantz!

Other?

I always recommend this program to students that I work with who are looking to enter a MA program focused on child studies!

Kimberly Mularczyk

Year of graduation: 2017
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Currently lives in: Ottawa, Ontario

Thesis title

Identifying Antisocial Youth Through Broad and Specific Measures of Personality

Advisor

Tony Volk

 

What are you currently doing?

I am currently continuing my studies at Carleton University in the Forensic Psychology Ph.D. program (aiming to graduate with quantitative methodology specialization), and I will be starting my second year in the fall of 2018. I currently work as a teaching assistant at Carleton and as a research assistant with Public Safety Canada in the Corrections Research division. Some of my main responsibilities as a research assistant are to conduct risk assessments for high-risk sex offenders from the National Flagging System and to help complete/co-author government reports.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I primarily chose the Child and Youth Studies program because of the potential to work with Dr. Tony Volk. I also knew I loved research and wanted to work with children and youth, so I hoped to gain a broader perspective on that demographic in particular (I came from a pure psychology background and wanted to learn more about what other perspectives and methodologies had to offer, such as qualitative/sociocultural, etc).

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

The CHYS program made me more well-rounded as an academic, allowed me the freedom to explore my research interests, and provided me with the necessary skills to learn challenging new statistical techniques and programs that gave me an advantage heading into my new program.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

One way the multi-/trans-disciplinary focus has helped me in my current situation is that it has differentiated me from other students who have a sole background in psychology and provided me with a stronger application for Ph.D. studies.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

Don’t be too busy and take on too many extracurricular academic activities. Focus on gaining the skills needed for publishing research and getting as much experience with the publishing process as possible (e.g., editing or reading a friend’s paper before it is submitted).

Anna Nguyen

Year of graduation: 2010
Hometown: Stoney Creek, Ontario
Currently lives in: Hamilton, Ontario

Thesis title

Conflicting Ideologies in early childhood education: an exploration of Reggio-Inspired Practice

Advisor

Richard Mitchell

Why did you choose Brock for graduate studies?

Choosing to pursue graduate studies at Brock was a bit of a “no-brainer” after completing my undergraduate degree and diploma in the Niagara Region. Aside from the location and familiarity of Brock, I was drawn to the small size of the Child and Youth Studies program and felt it would be advantageous to work with faculty and other graduate students closely. I considered pursuing other programs at other universities, but the multidisciplinary nature of the CHYS program was most appealing to me.

What are you doing now?

I work for a Municipality in Southern Ontario in the Children’s Services Division. Our division is the designated System Service Manager, and is responsible for planning and managing a broad range of services for children and families in our community. As the division’s Quality Specialist, I research, evaluate and provide guidance on best practices and professional standards for our Early Learning and Child Care System.

What are your long-term career goals?

I have found my dream job! It is a privilege to work in the public sector and make a broad impact on children, families and professionals. In the long-term, I may consider opportunities in leadership, but intend to stay in the field of Early Learning and Child Care.

How did your Brock graduate studies experience help prepare you for the next steps in your life? 

The knowledge, skills, opportunities and connections that I acquired as a graduate student have been tremendously enriching and valuable. As a proud Registered Early Childhood Educator, completing a Master of Arts degree has made me more competitive in the workforce and has prepared me to work in unique roles within the field, beyond the traditional classroom walls.

List and describe any additional achievements:

During my graduate studies, I had the privilege of participating in an internship in the United Kingdom through the “Advocacy and Leadership” program. I was also awarded a number of scholarships including a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Masters Scholarship.

What are your personal hobbies/interests?

I am a mother so my hobbies and interests tend to revolve around my family! My husband and I keep busy by keeping up with our two sons and by exploring nature and our outdoor environment, near and far.

What advice would you give to future graduate students who are considering Brock?

Take advantage of any opportunities for professional learning and growth that arise – it is amazing how five years later, the opportunities I was afforded in graduate school still impact and influence me positively today!

Carolyn Hyde

Year of graduation: 2011
Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario
Currently lives in: Toronto, Ontario

Thesis title

Advisor

Voula Marinos

Why did you choose Brock for graduate studies?

I had attended Brock for my undergraduate studies in Child and Youth Studies and I was familiar with the department and had build relationships with the faculty which helped to inform my decision to stay at Brock for my graduate studies.

What are you doing now?

Currently working at Centennial College as a Project Lead in the Strategic Initiatives and External Relations Office. I have also worked a few semesters as a part-time faculty in the Community and Child Studies Department.

What are your long-term career goals?

I would like to get my PMP and formalize my career as a project manager in the academic sector.

How did your Brock graduate studies experience help prepare you for the next steps in your life? 

My experience at Brock prepared me with critical thinking, time management, and writing skills that have become essential in my career. These are the skills that are most valuable in my current role and those that I see being a key element of what I have to offer any employer.

List and describe any additional achievements:

Project Management Certificate from the University of Toronto

What advice would you give to future graduate students who are considering Brock?

My time at Brock provided me with some of the best memories of my life so far, and if I could go back and do it again, I would choose Brock in a heartbeat. The faculty and staff from the Child and Youth Studies department were very welcoming and helpful during my entire time at Brock. In addition the St. Catharines community and social elements of university life at Brock were a huge part of such a positive experience. I would definitely recommend Brock to anyone.

Hafsah Shaikh

Year of graduation: 2013
Hometown: Fonthill, Ontario
Currently lives in: Fonthill, Ontario

Thesis title

South Asian Women’s Identities: A Media and Personal Narrative Analysis

Why did you choose Brock for graduate studies?

I chose Brock for graduate studies because I had a highly positive experience while completing an undergraduate program at Brock University in the department of Child & Youth Studies. Furthermore, Brock University offered me a comprehensive funding package, which included an opportunity to work as a Teaching Assistant during my graduate studies. Lastly, I had the opportunity to work with Dawn Zinga as my thesis advisor, which was a great experience as we have similar research interests and she was a wonderful mentor!

What are you doing now?

I currently hold an administrative position as the Student Conduct Officer at Niagara College. I assist the Director of Student Services with the overall administration of the student conduct system, which includes investigating student conduct cases and convening the Threat Assessment Team as required to review serious conduct issues, overseeing relevant sanctions, providing advice and consultation on relevant policy and procedure development, and educating faculty, staff, and students about student/faculty rights. Overall, I collaborate with College Security, Counselling, Academic Divisions, and Health Services to promote a safe campus environment.

What are your long-term career goals?

My long term-term career goals are to advance within a post-secondary environment. I am specifically passionate about advocating for students rights and assisting students with conflict management by implementing a restorative justice approach. I also hope to continue to work in an environment where I have the opportunity to assist students with mental health issues.

How did your Brock graduate studies experience help prepare you for the next steps in your life? 

My graduate studies equipped me with qualifications to pursue roles that I may not have been equipped for with solely an undergraduate degree. My current role requires me to conduct research for policy development. I strongly feel that my graduate studies prepared me for this skill as I gained excellent qualitative and quantitative research skills. Furthermore, I also conduct workshops at Niagara College and my graduate studies assisted me with improving my presentation skills.

List and describe any additional achievements:

– Distinguished Graduate Student Award: I received this award during my convocation for achieving the highest academic standing in my graduate studies program.
– Dean of Graduate Studies Spring Research Fellowship Recipient
– SSHRC A-List Scholarship Recipient: I received a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada Scholarship in 2011 for my proposed graduate research.

What are your personal hobbies/interests?

I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my niece and nephews. I love gaining knowledge in my field and being aware of global issues and trends. One of my favorite hobbies is cooking for my family and friends. I enjoy reading true crime stories and have a particular interest in understanding the behaviour of criminals.

What advice would you give to future graduate students who are considering Brock?

My advice is to thoroughly research the various programs offered and choose a program that will assist you in gaining employment in the field of your choice. Next, choose a thesis advisor not just based on his/her research interests, but also his/her personality to ensure that you are compatible. Meet the advisor you are interested in working with prior to even applying for the program. Apply for as many scholarships as possible! Lastly, if you are in a graduate program which requires you to complete a thesis, make sure that you are passionate about not only conducting research in general, but that you choose a topic that is of true interest to you.

Jessica Rathwell

Year of graduation: 2011
Hometown: Oro Station, Ontario
Currently lives in: St. Catharines, Ontario

Thesis title

Mediated action, narratives of risk-taking, and identity formation in adolescents with a visual impairment

Advisor

Danny Tarulli

Why did you choose Brock for graduate studies?

I chose Brock for its innovative Child and Youth Studies program. I was particularly interested in the interdisciplinary nature of the department; I liked how the emphasis was on understanding children and youth, not necessarily on the discipline used to study this population. This focus on childhood from many different angles – Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Education – opened my eyes to new ways of approaching issues related to children, but also on a more practical level, it broadened my employment opportunities.

What are you doing now?

I am currently working at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. I am a Research Coordinator for the ARCH Lab (www.archlab.ca). I work with Dr. Mark Ferro, studying children with multimorbidity – those who have both a mental illness and chronic physical illness. I also continue to work part-time at Brock as a Teaching Assistant for Child and Youth Studies and Psychology courses.

What are your long-term career goals?

I love working at McMaster University – especially at the Offord Centre and I look forward to seeing how my current role grows and develops. After graduating, I worked at both Big Brothers Big Sister and Pathstone Mental Health for several years involved in program development and health promotion work. Working at the Offord Centre gives me the opportunity to take the lessons I learned in the community and make a difference by helping to influence policy and best practices for at-risk children and youth.

How did your Brock graduate studies experience help prepare you for the next steps in your life? 

Brock Graduate Studies prepared me for success in a prestigious research environment. On a practical level, I learned the skills necessary to develop and implement a research project. Throughout the entire process I felt supported and valued by the faculty that taught me during my two years at Brock. The faculty in the Child and Youth Studies department were some of the best mentors I have come across to date.

List and describe any additional achievements:

– One of five students chosen by Brock University to participate in an international internship to increase awareness about individuals with disabilities in the United Kingdom (during my MA)
– Developed an interactive mental health promotion seminar that I delivered over 250 times to high school and post secondary students in Niagara
– Spent the past 3 summers volunteering at Camp Oochigeas, a camp in Muskoka for children with cancer

What are your personal hobbies/interests?

– volunteering, particularly with children with physical disabilities and medical conditions
– biking the many awesome trails around the Niagara region
– skiing
– reading

What advice would you give to future graduate students who are considering Brock?

Both your graduate experience and the degree itself are what you make of them. You will have the opportunity to develop relationships with both faculty and your peers. Put yourself out there and expand your network; you never know where these connections could take you years from now. In terms of your degree, you are your own biggest advocate. In my case, not everyone had heard of a degree in Child and Youth Studies. It was up to me to promote my abilities and show that many of transferable skills I gained would be beneficial in the workforce. Be creative and confident!

Sara Fulmer

Year of graduation: 2008
Hometown: Waterdown, Ontario
Currently lives in: Oneonta, New York, USA

Thesis title

A multidimensional measurement approach and analysis of children’s motivation for reading, attributional style, and reading achievement

Advisor

Jan Frijters

Why did you choose Brock for graduate studies?

As a Brock undergrad (B.A. Child and Youth Studies, B.Ed. Primary/Junior), I felt both inspired and supported by the CHYS faculty. The faculty were dedicated teachers who were also engaging in interesting research. I wanted their job! As an undergrad, I worked with Dr. Jan Frijters on my Honor’s thesis. Through this experience, I developed a passion for research and wanted to continue the work we had started. The M.A. program was a natural next step, and provided me with the opportunity to pursue my research interests while developing skills as both a teacher and researcher.

What are you doing now?

I am an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at The State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta. I teach courses in child and adolescent development to Education majors and other majors who are pursuing an Educational Psychology minor. I also bring my teaching skills and expertise to the local YMCA in my role as a Spinning Instructor.

How did your Brock graduate studies experience help prepare you for the next steps in your life? 

The mentoring I received from my advisor (Dr. Jan Frijters) and other faculty provided me with numerous research skills, including designing my own studies, conducting advanced statistical analyses, and using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Learning these valuable skills gave me confidence as an independent researcher. This helped me to clearly convey my research interests when applying for Ph.D. programs. The excellent teaching in the program gave me a strong background in child development, as well as models to emulate when I began teaching my own courses.

List and describe any additional achievements:

I received my Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana) in 2013. I received fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for both my Master’s and Doctoral studies. To this date, I have published 7 peer-reviewed articles on the topics of motivation, learning, and teaching.

What are your personal hobbies/interests?

I enjoy learning new things, especially about teaching and student motivation. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. In my spare time, I teach Spinning and spend several hours a week at the dance studio. Most of all, I love coming back to Canada to visit family and friends.

What advice would you give to future graduate students who are considering Brock?

Find a program and an advisor that matches your interests and allows opportunities for growth in new areas (such as advanced statistical methods or novel research methods like neuroimaging). Choose an advisor that is actively publishing and conducting research. Also, choose an advisor that will challenge you to learn more, take risks, and work hard. Speaking of which, plan to work hard! You get out of graduate school what you put into it. Get to know the faculty and your fellow students. They will be some of your most important resources and allies down the road.

Sarah Farrell

Year of graduation: 2012
Hometown: St. Catharines, Ontario
Currently lives in: Niagara Region, Ontario

Thesis title

Self-Regulated Learning and Children At-Risk for Learning Disabilities: Using Motivational Tactics to Support “Reading Rocks!”

Advisor

John McNamara

Why did you choose Brock for graduate studies?

After obtaining my Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Studies at Brock, I wanted to continue building on my knowledge and skills in this field as well as further develop my research skills by pursuing a Master of Arts in Child and Youth Studies. Brock allows students to tailor their area of study to specific needs and interests. I knew that I would be able to contribute to positive change by pursuing a Masters in a unique and interdisciplinary program, which provided me with a rich educational experience and career opportunities.

What are you doing now?

I am currently the Program Coordinator at the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region. Through my job, I provide effective literacy interventions to support vulnerable readers within the region. I am responsible for coordinating various programs at the LDANR, recruiting and managing program volunteers and facilitators, administering program registration, engaging with the community and more.

What are your long-term career goals?

My long-term goals are to continue making a positive difference in the lives of children, youth and families in the community. I aspire to continue helping children learn and reach their fullest potential.

How did your Brock graduate studies experience help prepare you for the next steps in your life? 

My Brock graduate studies experience was excellent. Through my studies, I acquired professional development skills and had the opportunity to enhance my academic studies. My graduate experience specifically enabled me to develop my own research skills and knowledge in the field of education, literacy and interventions for children at risk for reading difficulties. My Brock graduate experience also provide me with opportunities to develop leading roles and make meaningful connections within the larger community. I had the opportunity to partake in research while applying my research studies in the larger community context.

List and describe any additional achievements:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Recipient

What are your personal hobbies/interests?

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy reading, learning on a daily basis and travelling to experience new cultures. I also love spending time in the outdoors, particularly running.

What advice would you give to future graduate students who are considering Brock?

Enjoy the experience and learn as much as possible. Actively seek for and be open to the various possibilities and opportunities that come your way and collaborate with others. Always remember you are the expert in your field of research!

Danielle Savona

Year of graduation: 2008
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Currently lives in: Mono, Ontario

Thesis title

Using Stimulus Equivalence to teach Monetary skills to Children with Autism

What are you currently doing? (Working, studying, family life, etc.). 

I am currently working with a private client as a Clinical Supervisor, providing Applied Behaviour Analysis services.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I chose this program as it was an interesting mix of psychology and sociology.

What was your research focus?

My research focus was very applied in nature as I taught children with Autism monetary skills using a behavioural technology.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

I am grateful for the CHYS program as it connected me with excellent professors in the behavioural field.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

I believe the coursework in the CHYS program helped to provide a well rounded experience. It helped develop critical thinking and new ways of looking at children’s issues.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

I am a big advocate for a more applied thesis, however, I’m sure any thesis that focuses on theoretical issues can also be of use to a Masters student.

Please let us know you favorite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program? 

I had many memorable experiences in the CHYS program. I especially enjoyed presenting my thesis at a conference held at Brock.

Eneze Baye-Imerion

Year of graduation: 2017
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Currently lives in: Manitoba, Canada

Thesis title

Transnational Labour Migration: Experiences of Mid-to Highly Skilled African Migrant Workers in Doha, Qatar

Advisor

Tom O’Neil

What are you currently doing? 

I am the Program Manager, Community Leaders Program (CLP) at the Tim Hortons Children Foundation.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I have a Master of Arts Degree in Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Human Security from Erasmus University, the Netherlands.  I chose the CHYS program because I wanted to specialize in children and youth studies and the professors have vast areas of expertise I could leverage on. In addition, I was happy with the funding I received from the department and was also motivated to join the program seeing the online profile of some international students that graduated from CHYS.

What was your research focus?

I explored the experiences of African migrant youth workers in Qatar.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

The CHYS program gave me the opportunity to understand children and youth from a developmental and trans-disciplinary perspective.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

Provided tools to analyze issues facing youth from multiple lenses.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

Great resources in the department — the professors are willing to share their knowledge or have you work as a teaching or research assistant. The CHYS courses and readings are carefully selected and be prepared for a discussion-based approach to learning. The CHYS department will set you up for success from day one.

Please let us know your favourite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program? 

Shauna’s course, qualitative research and adolescent risk and risk-taking behaviours’. I really enjoyed the colloquiums and the opportunity to go on a departmental trip to Rutgers State University, Camden, New Jersey, with my professors and colleagues. Lastly, I enjoyed discussing my thesis project with my supervisor, Dr. Tom O’Neil.

Ishrat Zakia Sultana

Year of graduation: 2013
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Currently lives in: Toronto, Ontario

Thesis title

Unaccompanied minors in Canada: How social and legal services affect their lives in Ontario

Advisor

Tom O’Neil

What are you currently doing?

As a Sociology PhD candidate at York University, currently I am writing my doctoral thesis on Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

What was your research focus?

My M.A. research focused on minors arriving to Canada alone, and the availability of services for them.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

It has a significant effect on my current study. My M.A. research at CHYS introduced me the refugee and immigration practices for vulnerable people in Canada which, later, inspired me to conduct my PhD research in the same areas but in a different social context.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

There are lot of interesting areas around CHYS that maybe considered your research topic. Explore them and enjoy researching!

Please let us know you favorite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program? 

They are in fact a lot—a long list of series of memories, and most of them are happy memories. The one I recall at this moment is the amazing support I received from my thesis committee throughout the time.

Kaitlin England

Year of graduation: 2013
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario
Currently lives in: Brampton, Ontario

Thesis title

A Continuum of Traversing Lines: Youth Political Participation in Gaia online

Advisor

Rebecca Raby

What are you currently doing?

I am working at George Brown College as a learning strategist for the school of Early Childhood. As a learning strategist I teach learning strategies to students who have learning disabilities. I have completed certificates in the following: Learning Disability Specialist, Applied Counselling, Youth Mental Health, Child and Youth Advocacy and Adult Education. I Also teaching part time at Conestoga College in Early Childhood Education.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I chose the program because I had completed my undergrad degree in Children’s Studies at York and wanted to continue in a similar field. I was also really keen on working with Rebecca Raby as I had read a lot of you work while completing my undergrad.

What was your research focus?

Using the philosophy of Deleuze & Guattari to examine how youth use online social forums and virtual worlds to engage in political activism.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

It is likely that this degree increased my chances of employment in post-secondary ECE departments.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation?

Colleges often employ individuals who have completed MAs in the social sciences or related fields.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

If you are interested in working in PS then continue TAing after graduation if possible as this will give you more experience. Also, complete the adult education certificate while TAing if it is being offered.

Katrien Ecclestone

Year of graduation: 2017
Hometown: Milton, Ontario
Currently lives in: Milton, Ontario

Thesis title

The Sex Chronicles: Young Women’s Recollections of Learning About Sex

Advisor

Shauna Pomerantz

What are you currently doing?

I have been working as an elementary school teacher since graduating from my MA. I
had previously completed my teaching degree.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I completed my undergraduate degree in CHYS and had a very positive experience. I
thoroughly enjoyed my classes, seminars and professors. It was actually because of the
professors in the department that I decided to pursue an MA in CHYS. Their research and its impact on the local, national and global community was, and still is, inspiring. I
wanted to be part of the culture of change.

What was your research focus?

My research explored how girls in Ontario learn about sex and how this knowledge has
influenced their sexual narratives.My findings highlight that there is a gap between what girls and young women are learning and what they are experiencing. Overall, my thesis advocates for a meaningful and appropriate sex education that provides students – and girls, in particular – with the knowledge they need to make healthy sexual choices.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

The program helped me develop my views and opinions on the world and who I want to
be in it. It inspired to become part of the culture of change; currently, I practice this by teaching my students to be respectful and mindful global citizens.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

Get involved! Join a sport, club or committee. If a professor is working on a research
project that you feel passionate about, approach them about working with them. Doors
will not open for you unless you go knocking, Seek opportunities, it will really broaden
and brighten your entire university experience.

Lindsay Booker

Year of graduation: 2008
Hometown: Ajax, Ontario
Currently lives in: Calgary, Alberta

Thesis title

An Assessment of Autism Knowledge in the Medical Field

Advisor

Tricia Vause

What are you currently doing?

I graduated from Brock’s Master’s in Child and Youth Studies program and went on to complete my PhD in School Psychology at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. I completed my pre-doctoral internship at the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where I chose to stay and complete my post-doctoral fellowship the following year. I started my career in Nebraska with the same organization as an Assistant Professor. My primary focus was on clinical work in the area of integrated primary care, providing psychological services to children and their families within their medical setting with a goal of providing comprehensive care. After almost 10 years in Nebraska, and following both my marriage and the birth of my two boys, my family and I made the decision to relocate to Calgary, Alberta.  I accepted a position in a group child psychology private practice. I continue to provide outpatient psychological services to children, adolescents, and young adults (and their families) through both treatment and assessment. The transition to private practice has allowed me to find a great balance in doing the work I love and spending time with my family. We have quickly grown to love the breathtaking landscape and all that Calgary has to offer.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Brock in Child Health and knew I wanted more experience in the field. I made many great relationships with the faculty in the child and youth studies department and appreciated the breadth of research and vast opportunities the department provided. Staying at Brock to complete my Master’s was an easy choice and a natural next step that allowed me to develop closer relationships with faculty, gain more research and teaching experience and eventually provided me with great networking opportunities for the next step of my education and career.

What was your research focus?

My research focused broadly in the area of autism spectrum disorders. I had always had a strong interest in the medical field and was able to combine these research interests for my Master’s thesis.

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

The CHYS Master’s program was absolutely the stepping-stone to my career. My Master’s thesis advisor provided networking opportunities that led me to my PhD program in School Psychology and  I even ended up completing my pre-doctoral internship at the same place she did. The CHYS Master’s program also prepared me tremendously for success in my doctoral program, not only with knowledge it equipped me with, but direct experience and preparation in the areas of research and teaching.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

The multidisciplinary focus of the CHYS program really helped me confirm the area of the field that I was most passionate about. It is amazing to hear all the different educational and career opportunities that graduates of our program pursue.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

Build strong relationships with faculty and colleagues. Seek out opportunities and take advantage of the breadth of knowledge in the program and get involved in projects and take advantage of opportunities to travel to conferences and collaborate with other professionals in the field. Networking will come in handy in the future. Ask questions. Commit yourself to the program but take care of yourself too. Never avoid asking for help.

Please let us know you favorite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program? 

The collaboration and comradery of the program, both with students and faculty, will continue to stick out to me as one of the programs biggest strengths.

 

Tauhid Khan

Year of graduation: 2018
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangledesh
Currently lives in: Waterloo, Ontario

Thesis title

Young Men’s Experiences and Views of Sex Education in Bangladesh: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis

Advisor

Rebecca Raby

What are you currently doing? 

I am doing a PhD in public health and health systems at The School of Public Health and Health System, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada. I hope I will be researching the health and safety issues of Bangladeshi working children, using critical sociological lenses.

Why did you choose the Child and Youth Studies program?

As I was interested in studying the issues of children and young people, I chose this program hoping for rigorous training in theoretical and children/young people-focused methodological approaches. In addition, I was interested to learn qualitative research/design, and I came up with some amazing qualitative researcher. I learnt a lot about qualitative research design, including data analysis, and dissertation writing, which were incredible scholarships indeed.

What was your research focus?

How young men did receive sex education during adolescence, in navigating sex and sexuality?

Generally speaking, how has the CHYS program affected where you are currently?

This is my second MA aiming at preparing myself for a PhD. program. I believe my expectations have been accomplished, which provided me with rigorous training in terms of a wide range of theoretical foundations (e.g., socio-cultural and psychological), a diverse methodological approach, as well as qualitative research design. I believe this strong background attracted many seasoned professors from the reputed Canadian schools of social sciences, including sociology, anthropology, public health, gender studies, education, and many more when I approached for PhD. admission.

More specifically, how have the multi-disciplinary/ trans-disciplinary focuses helped you in your current situation (work, further studies, etc.)?

School of public health and health system, University of Waterloo offers interdisciplinary PhD program, I believe they pondered over my interdisciplinary background.They had confidence that I would be a better fit as I had experience with interdisciplinary approaches.

Advice for future students in the Child and Youth Studies program:

Other than academic aspects, BrockU and Chys is a family, where all students, faculty members, and staff maintain amicable and familial relationships. The department really cares for its graduate students indeed!

Please let us know you favorite memory, experience, course, or “other” that stood out to you while studying in the CHYS program?

I enjoyed the conferences and colloquia organized by the department.

Other???

Overall, amazing experiences I had at Brock, and in CHYS