Articles by author: Samantha Morris

  • New International Student Ambassadors ready to represent Brock

    FROM THE BROCK NEWS | by 

    As the Brock community readies for the start of the Fall Term, 10 students from around the globe are preparing to share their love of Brock University with the world.

    Each year, the University selects up to 10 recipients for the International Student Ambassador Award, with each student exemplifying the mission and vision of Brock University due to their academic achievements and engagement both on and off campus.

    Brock’s 2021-22 International Student Ambassadors include Laveena Agnani from the United Arab Emirates, Sharifa Sadika Ahmed from Bangladesh, Chimerem Amiaka from Nigeria, Mishrka Bucha from Mauritius, Hamed Karagahi from Iran, Sumin Oh from South Korea, Ximena Paredes from Mexico, Arshdeep Singh from India and Faryal Zehra from Pakistan.

    Aiden Luu from Vietnam, who previously served two years as an ambassador, will also join the group as a mentor. Luu will take on added leadership responsibilities throughout the year and guide new ambassadors through the ins and outs of their new role.

    The ambassadors work with Brock International throughout the year by interacting with prospective and current international students. Through their involvement in various events, ambassadors share details about why they chose Brock, living in Niagara and how studying at Brock is helping them prepare for their careers.

    Despite all the ambassadors making Niagara their new home away from home, participation in many of this year’s activities will continue to be virtual due to ongoing public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Last year, our ambassadors demonstrated the impact they can have on international recruitment and student services despite being virtual,” said Camille Rutherford, Vice-Provost, Strategic Partnerships and International. “I look forward to seeing them share their passion for Brock and connect with students from around the world.”

    Biographies of each International Student Ambassador are available here, with details of each member of the group also shared on Brock International’s Instagram page and newly launched TikTok account over the next two weeks.

    Recipients of the International Student Ambassador Award have their international tuition fees reduced to the domestic rate.

    Students interested in sharing their passion for Brock with the world can apply in early 2022 to be an International Student Ambassador for the 2022-23 academic year. Information about the next round of applications will be posted online as it becomes available.

    This year’s ambassadors include:

    Laveena Agnani, United Arab Emirates
    Thanks in part to a strong partnership between the two institutions, Laveena Agnani transferred from the Canadian University Dubai to Brock University during her second year. The fourth-year Business Administration student had nearly all her credits transferred and received immense support from Brock faculty and staff. From the support systems available to the campus beauty, Brock “offers everything I want to experience in a university,” Agnani says.

    Sharifa Sadika Ahmed, Bangladesh
    Entering her fourth year in Accounting, Sharifa Sadika Ahmed brings an abundance of experience to this year’s ambassador group. She has been a Goodman Ambassador at the Goodman School of Business, a University Liaison at the Brock University Accounting Conference (BUAC) and President of the Brock Bangladeshi Students’ Association. After completing her undergraduate degree, Ahmed plans to pursue her CPA designation and work as an auditor, eventually transitioning to consultancy and/or advisory.  

    Chimerem Amiaka, Nigeria
    This year’s sole master’s student, Chimerem Amiaka, is entering her second year of graduate studies in Kinesiology. She chose Brock University because of the institution’s devotion to experiential education, which allows students to apply theoretical learning from the classroom to the real world. Preparing for the workforce through Brock’s experiential opportunities, Amiaka plans to pursue a career in physiotherapy after graduation.

    Mishrka Bucha, Mauritius
    As a first-year Tourism and Environment student, Mishrka Bucha loves Brock’s safe, fun and vibrant atmosphere, which will aid in her academic and social growth. One of the main reasons she chose Brock was its location. The University’s main campus is in Niagara, a region highly regarded for its tourism, attractions and hotels. An aspiring hotel manager, Bucha believes she will benefit from Brock’s proximity to a world-renowned tourism industry. Ultimately, she hopes to give back to the Brock community by earning her PhD, becoming a professor and teaching at Brock University.

    Hamed Karagahi, Iran
    Returning as an ambassador for a second straight year, Hamed Karagahi has jumped at the opportunity to get involved during his early years at Brock University. The third-year Public Health student is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization, a second-place finalist for the IDeA National Competition, and a Peer Assistant for Brock’s Human Rights and Equity office (HRE).

    “My great work environment at Brock University is one of the things that I will always cherish,” said Karagahi. “I recommend any future Brock student to try to work within the University and on campus to fully experience everything that Brock has to offer.”

    Driven by his work experience with HRE, he also recommends international students learn about Canadian laws and policies that protect them and their rights.

    Sumin Oh, South Korea
    Accounting Co-op student Sumin Oh has not hesitated to become an active member of the Brock community. Although she’s entering her first year, she has already gotten involved with the Goodman Business Students’ Association as Director of Student Engagement. Oh is a firm believer in how extracurricular activities elevate the experience of international students. Involved in more than 15 extracurricular activities during her four high school years in Canada, she met many unique individuals, expanded her English language skills and learned about Canadian culture.

    Now at Brock University, Oh appreciates the welcoming environment focused on diversity and inclusion, and students’ health and well-being. She looks forward to expanding her professional knowledge in a nurturing academic environment and participating in numerous extracurricular activities, contributing to her long-term goal of achieving her CPA designation.

    Ximena Paredes, Mexico
    Second-year Psychology student Ximena Paredes learned through Brock’s ExperienceBU workshops how diverse people from around the globe can share passions and come together to help create a better world. Through a workshop called ‘The Body Project,’ Paredes met empowered women and learned more about Brock’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC), which inspired her to volunteer with SWAC’s mental health division for the rest of her first year. This passion for helping others translates into Paredes’ career goal of becoming a psychotherapist and/or a scientist.

    Arshdeep Singh, India
    A third-year Computer Science Co-op student, Arshdeep Singh chose Brock University for his post-secondary studies because of the University’s outstanding co-op program. He recommends all students embrace the co-op opportunity to gain practical work experience and discover new personal strengths and skills. With the work experience Singh obtains in Canada thanks to Brock’s focus on experiential education, he plans to drive the development of the IT sector in his home country, India.

    Faryal Zehra, Pakistan
    Returning for her second year as a Brock Media and Communications student and International Student Ambassador, Faryal Zehra is one of many students who, despite being a returning student, has never been to campus for in-person classes. Her experience as an online student means she’s well versed in the resources Brock provides its students and her advice for new Badgers is to leverage what’s available as much as possible.

    She recounts one of her most memorable experiences at Brock: hosting the Pakistani virtual Culture Fest in collaboration with Brock’s Pakistani Students’ Association.

    “I really enjoyed enlightening other Brock students about Pakistan and its culture,” said Zehra.

    The Brock community can look forward to more Culture Fest events during the upcoming academic year, which will be posted on Brock International’s ExperienceBU page.

    This year’s mentor is:

    Aiden Luu, Vietnam
    In his third consecutive year of ambassadorship, Aiden Luu returns in a mentorship role. His journey as a Brock International Student Ambassador started in 2018 with ESL Services. He received a conditional offer into the Bachelor of Business Administration program and graduated from ESL Services’ Intensive English Language Program (IELP) to complete the English language requirements before starting his undergraduate career.

    Over his eight months in the IELP program, Aiden says he had the opportunity to improve his English, get to know Brock, learn about Canadian culture and meet new people from around the world.

    STORY FROM FROM THE BROCK NEWS

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  • New paper by Dragos Simandan: “Confronting the rise of authoritarianism during the COVID-19 pandemic should be a priority for critical geographers and social scientists”

    Abstract:

    The aim of this paper is to encourage critical geographers and social scientists to take a stronger, more explicit, and more intellectually rigorous anti-authoritarian stance against the problematic public response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To do so effectively, what is urgently needed is to contribute to the emerging body of academic research documenting the devastating political economy of lockdowns and other non-pharmaceutical interventions, and arguing for a more proportionate pandemic response. This necessitates a genuinely critical approach that (a) avoids the tunnel vision of minimizing only one specific form of harm (COVID-19 deaths and illnesses) and (b) cultivates instead a more encompassing sense of solidarity, grounded in the careful documenting of the multiple, long-term, harms caused by that tunnel vision.

    Citation:

    Simandan, D., Rinner, C., and Capurri, V. 2021. Confronting the rise of authoritarianism during the COVID-19 pandemic should be a priority for critical geographers and social scientists. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. Read the full paper here.

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  • Julia Hamill successfully defends MA Geography thesis

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate Master of Arts in Geography student, Julia Hamill, on the successful defence of her thesis titled “‘Molida’, That’s Shimshali Food: Modernization, Mobility, Food Talk, and the Constitution of Identity in Shimshal, Pakistan” as well as on the successful completion of all requirements for the MA in Geography.

    Congratulations and thanks to Julia’s supervisory committee: Dr. David Butz (Supervisor), Dr. Mike Ripmeester (Committee Member) and Dr. Nancy Cook (Committee Member).

    Many thanks as well to Julia’s External Examiner, Dr. Hasan Karrar (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Pakistan) and Defence Chair, Dr. Rosemary Condillac.

    Wishing you all the best with your future endeavours, Julia!

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  • Students help WWF-Canada with fresh approaches to sharing water research

    FROM THE BROCK NEWS | by 

    When students in Julia Baird’s Research Themes in Water Resources class recently undertook a project to collect and share current research about freshwater, they had three very different audiences to impress: Baird, a curious public and the World Wildlife Fund of Canada (WWF-Canada).

    It wasn’t the first time students in the fourth-year Geography and Tourism Studies course worked with WWF-Canada on such a project, thanks in part to the WWF-Canada—Brock Partnership for Freshwater Resilience led by Baird, which officially launched last June.

    But this time around, students had access to funding to support their work-integrated learning (WIL) through Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada’s Innovation Hub (iHub), funded in part through the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiative (IWIL).

    Students used a stipend to finance innovative projects that could help a target audience understand different issues related to freshwater resilience. The top projects also received a cash prize.

    “Students were given a list of potential questions they could answer, which WWF-Canada and I developed together,” explains Baird, an Associate Professor in Brock’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) who also holds Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience. “They were then asked to choose one question and take on three tasks that, together, provided a range of knowledge mobilization products, from scholarly products such as an annotated bibliography of relevant literature to creative products intended for an audience of their choosing.”

    Baird co-developed the project with WWF-Canada to ensure that both the organization and the students reaped the maximum benefits from their work-integrated learning.

    During a Research Themes in Water Resources class, Lyndsay Bott created an infographic on salt marshes and mitigation measures that can be taken to protect them.

     

    “WWF-Canada accesses foundational and current research on specific issues of interest and students gain knowledge about water issues and skills in identifying relevant research and translating it for a partner and also for another audience of their choosing,” says Baird. “It’s a project that, for me, ticked a lot of boxes in terms of learning outcomes.”

    To keep everyone on the right track, students were encouraged to communicate with a key contact at WWF-Canada throughout the semester to ask questions and touch base.

    Emily Bowyer (BSc ’21), who majored in Biology and Geography before graduating from Brock last month, says that working directly with WWF-Canada had a strong impact on her project, a series of TikTok videos about Riparian zones and restorations.

    “My biggest takeaway from the experience was working with an organization like WWF-Canada and learning from their expertise,” says Bowyer. “It was a great opportunity to build lasting connections with professionals in my field as a student.”

    Lyndsay Bott (BSc ’21), who will start a Master of Sustainability degree at Brock in the fall, agrees.

    “It was great to see how far an organization such as WWF-Canada stretches and how passionate the staff we had as contacts were,” says Bott. “It was overall just great to be involved in the community and gain experience this way.”

    Bott’s project focused on the interactions between freshwater and coastal ecosystems and resulted in an infographic about strategies for dealing with freshwater pollutants and how they can affect coastal salt marshes.

    Baird says students exceeded her expectations with their work on the projects, whether they were building on existing strengths or taking the opportunity to try out something new, as well as the final results, which included social media pieces, high school lesson plans, short videos and ArcGIS StoryMaps.

    Carol Ng (BA ’21), who also graduated last month, decided to appeal to kids with a cartoon-based Instagram post on beavers and freshwater quality, featuring an original character, Billy the Beaver.

    “It was targeted to children, and it was just such an engaging series. Billy looks for a new home and finds one that is not quite right but by building a dam it benefits not only him but also some fish friends he meets,” says Baird. “It’s cute but also takes rather complex research results and shares them at an entirely appropriate level for children.”

    Anugraha Udas (BA ’21), who created an educational video on Riparian restoration project monitoring, says the assignment provided a unique way of showcasing skills outside of the typical academic environment.

    “Through my experience in drone videography and contemporary videography, I was able to create an educational video that everyone could understand and enjoy,” says Udas, who will start a master’s degree in spatial analysis at Ryerson University in the fall to pursue research interests that were crystallized in the recent Brock course. “This is something that a typical essay would not be able to recreate.”

    Cara Krezek, Brock’s Director of Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, as well as President of CEWIL Canada, says Brock has become known for these types of course experiences.

    “These innovative, engaging experiences allow students to bridge their learning to meaningful work that is useable by industry,” says Krezek. “CEWIL Canada has invested in innovative WIL projects across the country and this project met the criteria for a grant as it used technology, was innovative and funded quality student experiences.”

    In the end, the projects had a strong impact on both the partners at WWF-Canada and the students, who learned about issues and gained crucial experience in the field.

    “Based on the feedback from WWF-Canada, they identified some new, innovative ways to communicate their messaging around freshwater issues from the student projects,” says Baird. “I’m grateful that WWF-Canada has been interested in and sees the value of maintaining this course-based project as part of our partnership.”

    STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS

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  • Social Sciences faculty members recognized for outstanding contributions

    FROM THE BROCK NEWS | by 

    Associate Professor Hannah Dyer in the Department of Child and Youth Studies (CHYS) is the recipient of this year’s Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    Dyer, who also serves as the Graduate Program Director for CHYS, says that she felt “honoured and overwhelmed” not only to receive the award, but also to be nominated by her colleagues. She was recognized as part of Brock’s Virtual Spring Convocation on Friday, June 18.

    “I was also immensely grateful when I read the supporting letters that students wrote,” she says. “It reminded of the important ways they contribute to intellectual communities at Brock and truly, make it a wonderful place to teach.”

    Dyer is a critical theorist of childhood with a concentration in art/aesthetics, social conflict, queer theory and psychoanalysis. In 2020, she published The Queer Aesthetics of Childhood: Asymmetries of Innocence and the Cultural Politics of Child Development.

    She first came to Brock in 2017, having previously worked as an Assistant Professor at Carleton University. She says that she polished her classroom skills while teaching at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College as a PhD student.

    “The pairing of these two teaching positions — being an instructor at a college and at a research-intensive university — offered me the opportunity to create curricular offerings that welcome many students into conversations that may otherwise be alienating,” says Dyer.

    She was attracted to Brock because of the CHYS Department’s large size and transdisciplinary approach, as well as the then-newly created PhD program.

    To enhance transdisciplinary thinking for her students, Dyer works hard to include media and cultural production in her courses, using critical analysis of everything from political campaigns to art exhibits to explore social commentary and symbolism.

    “In showing students how to treat film, digital media, music and novels with as much value as other scholarly texts and textbooks, I aim to assist them in making meaning and theory from their everyday experiences and relationships,” says Dyer. “The residue of these lessons is felt months after the course has ended, as is evidenced by emails from students who have read a book or watched a show that has then reminded them of our course and its theoretical foundations.”

    Dyer believes that teaching is an “ethical and urgent task that can usher in new and more just worlds,” and says the experience of transitioning courses to online delivery at the onset of the global pandemic showed just how fluid both teachers and learners need to be.

    “It reminded me that I am a continuous learner myself in a world that is being reshaped by crisis, and in the altered terrains of education that come in its wake,” says Dyer. “My syllabi are often framed by questions I’d like the class to consider while we move through the semester, and they are meant to provoke thought rather than resolution — to remind both teacher and student of the social and political urgencies that drive our critique.”

    As such, Dyer treats her classroom as a “site of reciprocal care” and is diligent about meeting the needs of her students.

    “I am concerned with the care needed to foster a supportive environment for students who are otherwise marginalized, so my assignments and modes of assessment take seriously the needs of students whose communities and subjectivities have historically been mistreated by institutions of higher education,” says Dyer. “My courses are imagined as both events and processes, whereby learning happens for both student and teacher. The teacher is tasked with an ethical duty to demonstrate why learning new things matters for both the student and the teacher.”

    Earlier this year, the Faculty of Social Sciences also awarded its top honours for research, the Distinguished Researcher and Early Career Researcher of the Year.

    Professor Andrea Doucet of the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies was named the Faculty of Social Sciences Distinguished Researcher for 2020. Doucet holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Gender, Work and Care and recently began work on a SSHRC Partnership Grant entitled Reimagining Care/Work Policies (2020-2027).

    The Faculty chose to name two Early Career Researchers of the Year for 2020: Assistant Professor Jessica Blythe of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC), the faculty lead on the Niagara Adapts Innovative Partnership, and Assistant Professor Julia Baird of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies and the ESRC, who holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience.

    Ingrid Makus, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, says the Faculty’s award winners have all continued to do extraordinary work in spite of the circumstances of this extraordinary year.

    “At a time when we are collectively being moved to reimagine the society around us, these exceptional faculty members have redoubled their efforts to expand and share knowledge around urgent issues,” says Makus. “Hannah Dyer’s creative and conscientious approach to teaching and the significant research contributions of Andrea Doucet, Julia Baird and Jessica Blythe have a clear, positive impact on the world around us. Their ongoing work is a source of great pride for the Faculty, and it is our pleasure to recognize them for their achievements.”

    STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS

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  • Public symposium to share Brock research on mental health

    Faculty, student and staff presenters from across Brock University will explore various aspects of mental health during a virtual public symposium on Tuesday, April 27.

    Mental health, including during the pandemic, will be discussed by Brock researchers from across the University at a public event next week.

    Perspectives on Mental Health, a free online symposium, takes place Tuesday, April 27 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

    The interdisciplinary event will feature faculty, student and staff presenters from the Departments of Child and Youth Studies, Geography and Tourism Studies, Education, Health Sciences and Nursing, as well as the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre.

    Researchers will offer their perspectives on a wide array of topics related to mental health, including:

    • experiences of nature for Canadian youth
    • perceptions of weight and bullying among adolescents
    • social and emotional learning in elementary schools
    • an urban mental health crisis at the turn of the 20th century

    Several of the presenters will focus on the various effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth, including:

    • the benefits of dog-walking to relieve pandemic stress in young people
    • perfectionism both before and during the pandemic
    • transitioning from high school to university during the pandemic
    • impacts of youth mental health on families

    Details on the presenters and a full list of presentations with descriptions are available online.

    Perspectives on Mental Health kicks off a new interdisciplinary symposium series hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences. It is intended to create more opportunities for members of the Brock and wider communities to learn about research and activities happening across the University related to various themes.

    Ingrid Makus, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, is eager to welcome visitors to these events, which are intended for a non-expert audience.

    “With this new series, we hope to explore topics from multiple perspectives,” says Makus. “This inaugural event, Perspectives on Mental Health, offers audience members and participants alike a unique opportunity to consider the theme of mental health through a variety of lenses.”

    Everyone is welcome to attend the live event. Registration is required. A link to join via Lifesize will be sent following registration.

    FROM THE BROCK NEWS

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  • Geography graduate students share their research at the 2021 MNK: GRADconnect Conference

    Three of our Master of Arts in Geography students shared their research at Brock’s 2021 MNK: GRADconnect Conference this week:

    • Lina Adeetuk “Rural Youth’s Perspectives on the Significance and Impacts of New Roads: The Case of Kaasa- Zogsa Road, Builsa North District, Ghana”
    • Julia Hamill “‘Molida’, that’s Shimshali Food: Modernization, Mobility, Food Talk, and the Constitution of Identity in Shimshal, Pakistan”
    •  Hannah Willms “Airbnb in the age of a housing crisis: A case study of housing affordability and vacation rental regulations in Niagara Falls, ON”

    Lina, Julia and Hannah did a fantastic job presenting at this virtual conference. We look forward to seeing their completed research in the coming months.

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  • New video on “Climate Politics and Science” by David Grimes

    On World Meteorological Day, March 23, 2021, David Grimes presented a virtual talk on “Climate Politics and Science: Obstacles, Relationships and Responsibilities”. Watch the video below:

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  • New video on “Water and Climate” by David Grimes

    In this talk, David Grimes presents on “Water and Climate: Uncertain Times, Inconvenient Realities”. Watch the full video below:

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  • MA GEOG speaker series – students present their research

    On March 5, 2021, the Department had the opportunity to learn more about some of the student research happening in our Master of Arts in Geography Program. A big thanks to Lina, Rebekah, Julia and Hannah for their excellent presentations.

    • Lina Adeetuk presented her research titled, “Rural Youth’s Perspectives on the Significance and Impacts of New Roads: The Case of Kaasa- Zogsa Road, Builsa North District, Ghana”
    • Rebekah Casey presented her research titled, “There’s No Place Like (Rural) Home: Why People Choose Rural Despite Decline”
    • Julia Hamill presented her research titled, “”Molida’, that’s Shimshali Food: Modernization, Mobility, Food Talk, and the Constitution of Identity in Shimshal, Pakistan”
    • Hannah Willms presented her research titled,””Airbnb in the age of a housing crisis: A case study of housing affordability and vacation rental regulations in Niagara Falls, ON”

    We look forward to reading your final research projects in the coming months.

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