Faculty Highlights

As Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, I am endlessly impressed by the scholarship, creativity, and widespread impact of our students, professors, staff, and alumni, so it is truly a pleasure to welcome you to our Faculty Highlights web page. Here, we collect the many and varied achievements of the members of our Social Sciences community in the areas of teaching and learning, research, service, and community engagement.

Scholars in the Social Sciences at Brock University repeatedly show their willingness to confront and address the needs of our society. They adapt to ever-changing circumstances, assess multi-faceted issues from multiple perspectives, and remain clear-eyed and determined when seeking explanations and solutions. In this corner of our web site, you will find a sampling of the experiences, accolades, and impact that we in the Faculty of Social Sciences have been celebrating most recently. We hope you’ll join us in this celebration.


Dean Ingrid Makus

Faculty facts

The Faculty of Social Sciences is Brock’s largest faculty.
We are home to the following Departments, Centres, and Programs:

Applied Disability Studies
Applied Linguistics
Child and Youth Studies
Communication, Popular Culture and Film

Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice
Geography and Tourism Studies
Labour Studies
Political Science

Social Justice and Equity Studies
Social Sciences
Women’s and Gender Studies

Faculty complement

Learning options

New offerings in the Faculty 2022-23

New in September 2022 is the PhD in Sustainability Science. Housed in the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, the program is the first of its kind in Canada and Brock’s 10th PhD program.

Coming in September 2023 is the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Earth and Planetary Science Communication, a cross-disciplinary program offered by the Departments of Geography and Tourism Studies and Communication, Popular Culture and Film in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Department of Earth Sciences in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science.

Award Databases

Recipients of awards, scholarships, and grant funding from across the Faculty of Social Sciences can be found in these searchable databases.

Natalie Spadafora and Priscilla Burnham Riosa hold frame certificates

Three instructors in the Faculty of Social Sciences were honoured at the University’s Tribute to Teaching event earlier this winter. Associate Professor Priscilla Burnham Riosa (shown, right) in Applied Disability Studies received a 2022 Brock University Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty. Assistant Professor Kate Cassidy (not shown) in Communication, Popular Culture and Film received the 2022 Don Ursino Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Large Classes. Instructor Natalie Spadafora (shown, left) in Child and Youth Studies received the 2022 Clarke Thomson Excellence in Sessional Teaching Award. Read more.

Michael Pisaric conducts field work near a large tree in a forest

The link between ancient trees and 21st-century technology was recently explored in an international lecture by Professor and Chair Michael Pisaric of Brock’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies. He delivered his Fellow Lecture, “Old trees meet 21st technology — Tracking climate and environmental change in Subarctic Canada using emerging technologies in tree-ring research,” at Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald (the Alfried Krupp Institute for Advanced Study) in Germany, where he is currently a Senior Fellow while on sabbatical from Brock. Learn more.

lettered tiles spell out Thank You

The Faculty of Social Sciences was pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Distinguished Service Award for faculty members in early 2023. Congratulations to Assistant Professor Paul Gray in the Department of Labour Studies for receiving the junior faculty award, and to our two senior faculty award winners, Associate Professor and Chair Heather Chalmers in the Department of Child and Youth Studies and Professor Michelle Webber in the Department of Sociology, who is also the Director of the BA in Social Sciences. We are grateful to all of the recipients for their outstanding service.

three award winners against natural backdrop

Nwakerendu Waboso (above left) is a PhD candidate in Child and Youth Studies. At an event commemorating the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, she received a 2022 Accessibility and Inclusion Award. Read more.


This web site was launched for the 2020-2021 school year. In previous years, the Faculty of Social Sciences provided highlights in The FOSS Review, published annually each September.