Articles by author: Milica Petkovic

  • CPCF mourns the loss of Professor Emeritus William “Bill” Hull

    The Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film mourns the death of Professor Emeritus William “Bill” Henry Nelles Hull, who passed away Wednesday, Nov. 2 at the age of 93.  

    In the early 1980s, Hull was one of the founders of the Interdisciplinary Program in Communication Studies from which the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film (CPCF) evolved following a merger with Film Studies more than two decades ago.

    Hull retired from Brock’s Department of Politics, as it was then known, in 1995. He was a major scholar in Canadian and Comparative media policy, especially in the area that used to be known as “broadcasting policy.”

    To learn more about Bill Hull and his impact on Brock University, please read The Brock News article.

    His funeral will take place on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. in St George’s Anglican Church in St Catharines. Reception to follow.

    Categories: News

  • Communication grads credit experiential learning for quick career success

    Ben Skippen (BA ’20) is one of several graduates from Brock’s Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film (CPCF) translating theory and skills training from their degrees into growing careers.

    The Media and Communication Studies alumnus returned to campus for Wednesday’s legacy Convocation ceremony, travelling from Ottawa, where he began working shortly after graduation.

    A woman in a blue robe sits in front of a blue background holding red flowers.

    Media and Communication graduate Kristal Lee (BA ’22)

    Skippen landed full-time work as an army public affairs officer, first at the Royal Canadian Navy Headquarters and presently on the Military Personnel Command public affairs team at the National Defence Headquarters.

    “My degree was useful and relevant to the work I do,” Skippen says. “Homework examples like creating a communications plan, social media, news articles and presentations are all skills I use on the job.”

    He isn’t alone in crediting the experiential side of his education with his career success.

    Media and Communication grad Kristal Lee (BA ’22) now works in Hong Kong as a Digital Content Executive managing search-engine optimization, content creation and performance assessment of different platforms to assist her marketing team.

    “I think the best course and the course I have gained the most from is COMM 4F00, which gave me a chance to gain experiences before graduation,” says Lee. “This was a very precious opportunity for me to get what I wanted to learn and try to put the knowledge to work.”

    A woman in a white shirt stands in front of a grey background.

    Business Communication graduate Claire Terrio (BA ’21)

    Claire Terrio (BA ’21) majored in Business Communication and converted her CPCF internship at Framar in Niagara Falls into a job as a Social Media Specialist for the company, marketing to 1.1 million followers across platforms through creative content creation. She says she learned how to integrate marketing in CPCF.

    “Having a marketing mindset when approaching every task I’m assigned at work has helped me immensely to think strategically with the brand’s identity, positioning and goals in mind,” says Terrio, who is now pursuing a master’s degree in Professional Communication at Toronto Metropolitan University. “This marketing background has given me an edge and made my transition from working on assignments to working on real marketing campaigns fairly seamless, which I am grateful for.”

    Donnicia Ellis-Dawson (BA ’21), who majored in Business Communication and minored in Tourism, says she didn’t know how well her degree had prepared her until she was on the job.

    “What I loved about the Business Communication program is that it’s so broad, you have the chance to study multiple different career paths like marketing, human resources and event planning all within your four years,” says Ellis-Dawson, who now works as an assistant in the unscripted content department at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). “Not only that, but Media Communications overlaps with the program, allowing you to learn about journalism, public relations and more.”

    A woman in a beige blazer and black shirt stands in front of a beige background.

    Business Communication graduate Donnicia Ellis-Dawson (BA ’21)

    Adjunct Professor Kate Cassidy has helmed the CPCF internship course, COMM/FILM/PCUL 4F00, for the past six years. She says that a greater need for communication professionals has given Brock CPCF grads a chance to shine in the job market.

    Indeed, this year, many were hired even before graduating.

    “During the pandemic, the shift to remote work and digital channels significantly increased the need for tech-savvy employees with strong communication skills,” says Cassidy. “Graduates with expertise in business communications, media and film are in high demand.”

    She also believes the networking, professional skill-building and reflective practice connected to experiential learning helps students stand out to potential employers.

    “As hiring has gotten more competitive recently, I have had employers reach out to me to help them get in touch with my CPCF students,” says Cassidy. “They’re seeking out grads who have communication skills along with workplace experience.”

    Categories: News

  • 2022 Grant Dobson Case Competition – Open!

    Winners of this competition are recognized by fellow students and industry professionals as possessing superior creativity, and demonstrating excellent presentation skills.

    Start putting your teams together!

    To learn more click here.

    Categories: Events

  • Oct. 22 – Essential Cinema Series at The Film House

    NEW this year!

    Presented by The Film House in collaboration with the Brock University Communication, Popular Culture, and Film Student Society (CPCFSS), Essential Cinema brings student-lead programming to the Niagara Region. The Essential Cinema program has allowed Brock University students the opportunity to compile their list of must-see movies. These are films that fall across many genres, time periods, and cultures, but have one thing in common — they should be seen at least once in our lives. Every month, two films from this curated list will be screened at The Film House in downtown St. Catharines, and will be preceded with a short presentation by the student programmers.

    October features:
    An American Werewolf in London
    Sat., Oct. 22, 2022 6:00 p.m

    Sat., Oct. 22, 2022 9:00 p.m.

    Categories: Events

  • Film students zoom in on festivals for experiential education project

    Fresh off the media circus of Venice and the Oscar buzz of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), a group of third-year Brock film students is about to get elbow-deep in the film festival landscape.

    The students in Assistant Professor Jon Petrychyn’s Issues in Canadian Cinema course this semester will not only learn about the rich history of Canadian film festivals but also pitch their own festival and complete a mock grant application for funding using the expert advice of industry professionals.

    A raft of 10 guest speakers from festivals and funding bodies will provide insight into the triumphs, challenges and inner workings of the film festival landscape from Vancouver to St. John’s — knowledge that will inform students’ projects in the course as well as their future forays into the industry.

    Petrychyn is a film festival researcher and organizer who is currently in the throes of a research project on queer, feminist and antiracist film festivals in Canada in the 1980s and ’90s that aims to “trace the history and relationship between activist movements and broader changes in the media arts sector.”

    He believes the experiential components of the course will help bring both the history and the current scene to life.

    “We talk a lot about how festivals get organized, how they get funded and how these activist groups intersect with each other, too,” he says. “I think it’s easy for us to see that there are identity-based media arts organizations and identity-based activist groups and not think about how they overlap, so we look at that specifically through festivals as a lens.”

    Fourth-year Film major Arielle Hounsham-Lalande, who is also completing an internship placement through the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film in the Film Programming office of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, says she feels like the course was “made for” her.

    “This course is specifically about Canadian film festivals, which some may say seems very niche,” says Hounsham-Lalande. “But there’s actually a wealth of knowledge you can get specifically from that, because Canada has some of the oldest film festivals in North America.”

    She adds that hearing from guests is one of her favourite aspects of the class.

    “Not only is it networking and experience with Q&A, but we’re also learning so much from industry professionals and getting different perspectives, depending on the size and the location of their festival,” she says. “Doing it on Microsoft Teams is excellent because it allows people from all over to come and speak to us.”

    Petrychyn says the skills students will build in preparing their assignments will carry forward, whether they are interested in working with festivals or not.

    “These are very transferable skills — learning how to collaborate, learning how to pitch an idea or a project,” says Petrychyn. “There are opportunities here for students to learn and hone different skills, different types of writing and different types of collaboration.”

    As the current President of the student-run CPCF Society, which organizes professional, cultural and social events for students in the department, Hounsham-Lalande can already see how she might draw on this experience now and in her future.

    “The pitch is encouraging you creatively, and then it pairs with the mock grant application, which really drives home the idea that almost everything in the arts in Canada specifically is government-funded to a certain extent,” she says. “It lets people know what funding is out there, the process to get it and the skills that you need — and you can take those skills with you wherever you go.”

  • August 24 – 27: Mighty Niagara Film Festival

    The 2022 edition of the Mighty Niagara Film Festival (MNFF) is upon us, and this year one of the featured artists and honoured guests will be St. Catharines’ own Richard Kerr, a filmmaker and installation artist who first studied filmmaking at Sheridan College in the 1970s, and whose filmography dates back to 1976.

    Kerr began as a documentary filmmaker working in the observational style, but over time his work became more narrative-based, and eventually highly experimental – quite literally so: many of Kerr’s projects involve experiments with the materiality of film’s technologies.

    Kerr’s The Demi-Monde is a media installation that will screen nightly during the duration of the MNFF, August 24-27, beginning at sunset at the old Towne Cinema in downtown St. Catharines (280 St. Paul Street).

    This will be followed by two screenings of Kerr’s work – one focusing on early works like Canal (1981) – which deals with Kerr’s memories of his childhood along the Welland Canal – and one focusing on Kerr’s most recent film, Field Trip (2022).

    Part One of this retrospective will take place Friday the 26th of August at the RiverBrink Art Museum (116 Queenston St, Queenston, ON L0S 1L0), beginning at 7:00 pm.

    Part Two of this retrospective will take place Saturday the 27th of August at the Film House (250 St Paul St, St. Catharines, ON L2R 3M2) at 4:00 pm, with a Q & A hosted by Anthony Kinik, Associate Professor, Film Studies to follow at Mahtay Café, across the street, immediately following the screening.

    Categories: Events

  • August 16: Author Talk with Emily West

    Author Talk – Emily West

    Tuesday, August 16
    2:00pm – 3:00pm

    Join us as we welcome Emily West to discuss her book, Buy Now: How Amazon Branded Convenience and Normalized Monopoly.

    Dr. Emily West is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research on digital platforms, consumer culture, and media appear in multiple academic journals and books, and she is co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Advertising and Promotional Culture (2013). After growing up in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Emily West attended McMaster University and earned her PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Signed copies will be available for $30 cash.

    To learn more and register click here.

    Categories: Events

  • Canada Games Research Spotlight: Duncan Koerber

    Assistant Professor of Communication, Popular Culture and Film Duncan Koerber’s research focuses on the teaching of writing skills and the theory of crisis communication. In crisis communication, he is particularly interested in understanding why public crises develop in social media, and why social media crises have become so common and so damaging to organizations’ images and people’s careers. He also studies media and journalism history.

    Koerber is one of 11 Brock researchers and scholars who received funding under the 2020-21 round of the VPR Canada Games Grant program. Here, he discusses his research project titled “Social Media and Large Sporting Events: Social Media Crisis Monitoring of the Niagara 2022 Canada Games.”

    Please give a brief overview of your research project

    This project is about how crises during large sporting events are sparked or amplified by social media users on Twitter. I’m also interested in researching best practices for dealing with crises that occur on social media.

    Part One of the project, now completed, saw a Brock student produce a literature review report of previous studies on the use of social media during large sporting events. Part Two of the project will see a Brock student use public relations industry software to monitor Canada Games-related Twitter posts during the event in August. What’s uncertain is that we obviously don’t know if a social media crisis will occur during the Canada Games. But we’ll be ready, capturing all the Games-related tweets. If a crisis happens, we can use the tweets as our primary source material for analysis on many different levels.

    What do you expect will be the outcome of your research?

    This project will generate new research on social media content during one large sporting event. As well, Part One of the project, the literature review, found that very little research has been done in this specific area. Instead, researchers in different fields have been studying slightly different topics. I hope this study will bring together these streams of research and push them forward in a new direction. With the Canada Games as a central case study, the project will offer insights into social media, crisis communication and large sporting events.

    How will this contribute to knowledge, or understanding, of the Canada Summer Games? 

    This project is a case study of one Canada Games, which will provide analysis and advice for social media managers of future Canada Games. But it will also link this major Canadian sporting event to others like the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games. Researchers and practitioners studying those events will be able to build on the analysis and advice from the Canada Games.

    How did you become interested in this research?

    For the past three years, I’ve been working on a book about social media and crisis communication. The study of social media in crisis situations is a relatively new research area. Even less research has been done on sports and social media crisis. I’m a big sports fan too, so this project brings these interests together.

    How do you plan on sharing your research? 

    The research will be disseminated in a journal article, likely in the area of communication studies or public relations.

    Categories: News

  • Documentary filmmaker Courtney Montour to speak at upcoming virtual event

    Courtney Montour, award-winning Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) filmmaker from Kahnawake, will discuss her documentary film, Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again, at a special online event.

    On Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m., the Brock University community is invited to join in on a virtual conversation with writer and director Montour, whose documentary tells the story of Mary Two-Axe Earley, who fought for more than two decades to challenge the sex discrimination against First Nations women embedded in the Indian Act and became a key figure in the women’s rights movement in Canada.

    Montour’s previous films include the documentaries Sex Spirit Strength and Flat Rocks, as well as episodes of the documentary series Mohawk Ironworkers and Skindigenous. She also co-created and co-ordinated McGill University’s Indigenous Field Studies course, held in Kahnawake, for eight years.

    Registrants for the free event will receive online viewing access to Mary Two-Axe Earley: I Am Indian Again five days prior to next Tuesday’s virtual conversation.

    American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

    The event is co-sponsored by the Faculty of Humanities Dean’s Discretionary Fund, the Department of Communication, Popular Culture, and Film, the Department of History, Indigenous Studies, the Centre for Canadian Studies, the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies and the Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement.

    The co-sponsors are grateful to Donna Cowan of the National Film Board for her assistance.

    What: A Virtual Conversation With Courtney Montour
    When: Tuesday, March 22 from 7 to 8 p.m. online
    How: Register online to gain access to this virtual event

    Categories: Events

  • Film fans yell ‘action’ on a double-feature wedding

    In 2013, Teagan Chevrier met Tyrell Lisson on Facebook, where the two began chatting in a group for incoming first-year students to Brock University and noticed they had similar interests: both were film studies majors and enjoyed listening to Fall Out Boy and Bring Me the Horizon. They agreed to meet up during the second day of orientation week to wander around campus – and ended up spending the next eight hours together. “We had so much in common, it was spooky,” Chevrier, a film editor, says. “The time just flew by.”

    Within a week and a half, they were officially an item.

    At first, Lisson, a film producer, was drawn to Chevrier’s punk aesthetic. And he quickly realized her temperament perfectly complemented his. “She’s the yin to my yang,” he says. “I can get pretty wound up about things, and she’s there to ground me.” Chevrier felt like she had finally met someone she could talk to forever.

    And they’ve been talking ever since. After six years of dating, Lisson decided to propose while in Hawaii on a vacation with Chevrier’s family. On the second day of the trip, while the rest of the family was watching hockey playoffs, Lisson suggested they take a stroll on Waikiki Beach. Choppy waves crashing onto the shore kept Lisson from getting down on one knee, but he clinched the “yes” regardless.

    They chose 10/10/2020 as their wedding date because Chevrier liked the symmetry and selected The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa in her hometown of Ingersoll, Ont. as the venue because, she says, “we didn’t want to do something that was ‘modern city,’ but we also didn’t want to go full-on ‘wedding in a barn.’”

    Due to pandemic restrictions, the Elm Hurst pushed their wedding into 2021, but rather than wait, the couple opted to keep the special date they’d already picked out. They cut down their guest list from 150 to 25 and hosted an outdoor wedding in Chevrier’s parents’ backyard. Chevrier sourced vintage mismatched glassware from flea markets and thrift shops to avoid drink mix-ups and served individual picnic baskets complete with a single serving of prosecco. Her Kleinfeld dress didn’t arrive in time, so Chevrier found a vintage 1970s wedding dress on Kijiji, which her grandmother altered into a two-piece set. Lisson wore an H&M suit he already owned, and the couple exchanged last-minute $70 rings from Mejuri. Though little went as planned, Chevrier says, “it turned into a perfect day with no stress because it was so low-key.”

    The highlight of the ceremony involved handfasting, an ancient Celtic tradition in which a knot is tied around the couple’s hands to signify their intent to marry. (It also happens to be the origin of the phrase “tying the knot.”) Chevrier was drawn to the tradition because of her Scottish heritage and because she “liked the idea that if the situation isn’t perfect, you’re doing this for now with the understanding you will revisit it and make it official.”

    On Oct. 30, 2021, a little more than a year later, the couple made it official, as their original invitees descended on the Elm Hurst. Their second wedding was almost a “carbon copy” of the first, says Lisson, with the same florist and photographer – only this time things went according to plan.

    At the second wedding, they employed an innovative way for the guests to request the bride and groom kiss without clinking glasses: answering movie trivia. Chevrier, who wrote questions for each table thinking there wouldn’t be much interest, didn’t expect the competitive showdown. “Tables were fighting other tables to get the answers,” she says.

    The wedding turned into an impromptu concert when groomsmen took turns playing songs by the Band and the Proclaimers. A friend wrote the couple a song as a wedding gift and performed it for the first dance – and had it pressed onto seven-inch vinyl so they could treasure it forever.

    Now, the pair can cherish double the nuptial memories. “We’re so lucky we got to have two weddings,” Lisson says. “People continually make the joke, When are you going to have a third?”

    By Isabel B. Slone, Special to the Toronto Star
    Feb. 27, 2022

    CPCF alumni stories
    Categories: News