News

  • Kevin Turner promoted to Associate Professor

    Group photo of Kevin Turner with his family and co-workers

    Kevin Turner and his family celebrated his promotion to Associate Professor with Department of Geography and Tourism Studies Faculty, staff and students earlier this week.

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Kevin Turner to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2018.

    “It is exciting to see Kevin reach this milestone in his career,” says Department of Geography and Tourism Studies Chair, Michael Pisaric. “His research program has blossomed during the past five years and he has contributed significantly to the Department and the University through his numerous service and teaching assignments. This is well deserved, and we look forward to his continued contributions.”

    Turner holds a PhD in Geography from Wilfrid Laurier University and a post-graduate certificate in GIS (Application Specialist) from Sir Sandford Fleming College. He joined Brock’s Department of Geography in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. Since then, he has become a member of the Department of Earth Sciences and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, and co-founded Brock’s Water and Environmental Laboratory.

    Turner’s research focuses on identifying the impacts of climate and landscape changes on the hydrology and chemistry of lakes and rivers in northern Canada.

    In 2016 he was awarded federal research funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Discovery Grant and Northern Research Supplement and in 2017 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

    His commitment to northern research has led him to serve as a board member for the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies since 2010 and the Chair of the Brock University Northern Studies Committee since 2013. In addition to these roles, Turner is also an affiliate of the NASA-ABoVE program.

    Learn more about Kevin Turner and his research.

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  • MA in Geography thesis defence scheduled for July 24: “A Domestic Geography of Money” by Adam Fischer

    Adam Fischer will defend his MA thesis titled “A Domestic Geography of Money: How Mortgage Debt, Home Prices, and Toronto’s Condominiums “Prop up” the Canadian Economy” on July 24, 2018 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. The defense will take place in MC C-407 and is open to the public.

    Adam Fisher’s Examining Committee includes Dr. Alan Walks from the University of Toronto (External), Dr. Philip Mackintosh (Supervisor), Dr. Jeffrey Boggs (Committee Member), and Dr. Christopher Fullerton (Committee Member).

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  • Dr. Kevin Turner returns from fieldwork in northern Yukon

    Dr. Kevin Turner and graduate students, Joe Viscek and Brent Thorne, recently returned from completing fieldwork in northern Yukon where they’re investigating the influence of changing climate and landscape conditions (fire and erosion) on lakes and rivers. Here are some photos from their time in the field. Learn more about Dr. Turner’s research.

    Kevin Turner working in the field

    Kevin Turner doing fieldwork in the Yukon

    Joe Viscek doing fieldwork in the Yukon with Kevin Turner

    Brent Thorne doing fieldwork in the Yukon with Kevin Turner

    Kevin Turner - fieldwork photo from the Yukon

    Photos by Kevin Turner and Brent Thorne.

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  • Brock prof’s book explores how cities were built for hurry

    Architectures of Hurry — Mobilities, Cities and Modernity is a collection of 12 historical essays co-edited by Brock Associate Professor of Geography and Tourism Studies Phillip Gordon Mackintosh.
    Story from The Brock News
    June 25, 2018

    Hurry up and wait. It’s a way of life in society today.

    We weave in and out of traffic, sprint toward closing subway doors and run up and down escalators, but in the end we usually end up at a bottleneck being forced to do what we were trying to avoid: wait.

    This is the central insight of Architectures of Hurry — Mobilities, Cities and Modernity, a collection of 12 historical essays co-edited by Brock Associate Professor of Geography and Tourism Studies Phillip Gordon Mackintosh.

    The book examines the development of transportation modes and infrastructure as facilitators of hurry — as opposed to speed — in cities across the world, including London, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Toronto and Montreal, throughout the 1800s and 1900s.

    The goal of this development was not only to increase the range, scope and speed of travel, but also to abet the modern urge to hurry, which often results in the opposite of hurry.

    The various essays explore the evolution of transportation from horse and buggy to bicycles, automobiles, buses and subways, as well as the development of infrastructure such as street layouts, surfaces, rail routes and buildings to support new modes of mobility in a hurrying world.

    There have been some unexpected innovations that helped facilitate travel. For example, one of the essays looks at the creation of a hotel industry in 19th century Montreal.

    “This enables people to find home anywhere,” says Mackintosh. “You can now hurry around the world and find temporary shelter in any city. But this also means you’re waiting, often frustrated, in lines to check-in or check-out of hotels or airports, dropping off or collecting luggage, waiting for transport or transit.”

    Another essay discusses the rapid appearance and disappearance of business exchanges in Lower Manhattan during the late 1800s.

    “The buildings themselves live according to what geographers talk about as ‘geographical mobility,’” says Mackintosh. “We forget that many buildings have short lifespans, that the solidity of bricks and mortar can be fleeting. The only certainty is the land they sit on. Some buildings come into and slip out of existence with such remarkable ease, we can think of them as having a similar mobility as their occupants.”

    Weaving the essays together is the central theme of hurry, perhaps the motivator of speed and efficiency. It reflects — and perhaps incites — our “pursuit of quality of life, convenience, comfort, power, security, consumption and accumulation,” says the book’s closing essay.

    “We distinguish between speed and hurry,” Mackintosh says. “Speed is likely the implementation of hurry, which may well be instinctual, but is certainly part of the human geographical imagination.”

    Mackintosh says the ‘hurry’ impulse that propelled cities’ interest in infrastructure development is still with us today. He says it’s fascinating that what we call “traffic generation” and “traffic volume” are measurable consequences of hurry.

    “In North America, we knew over a century ago how to generate traffic. We chose to generate it with cars, but we could have just as easily generated it with public transit systems. For reasons good and bad, we didn’t,” he says.

    This is probably because we don’t give enough thought to hurry.

    “Everybody hurries, yet we rarely consider why beyond our immediate instrumental concerns. Part of our desire to hurry grounds to the urban capitalist imperative, but hurry isn’t modern. Hunter-gatherers hurried, so did early seed-sowers and classical Romans. Hurry predates capitalism and modern cities,” says Mackintosh.

    We train ourselves to privilege our own hurry above others’. The result, he says, is that people caught up in traffic jams or line-ups become anxious and take out their frustrations on each other through road rage, swearing or other anti-social behaviours, increasing stress levels all around.

    The phrase “Architectures of Hurry” comes from E.M. Forster’s 1910 novel Howard’s End, and was the inspiration for Architectures of Hurry — Mobilities, Cities and Modernity.

    At one point in Howard’s End, the character Margaret Schlegel calls the modernizing London street, in the new automobile age, an ‘architecture of hurry.’ She worries that the only point of urban life is the accommodation of hurry.

    Following their “Architectures of Hurry” conference sessions at the Royal Geographical Society in 2015, Mackintosh and co-editors Richard Dennis, Emeritus Professor of Geography at University College London, and Deryck Holdsworth, Emeritus Professor of Geography at Pennsylvania State University, were approached by an editor from Routledge Publishing who thought that a collection of essays exploring ‘hurry’ would make a good book. The 247-page volume is now available in the James A. Gibson Library.

    Story from The Brock News
    June 25, 2018

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  • Dr. Catherine Nash spends eight weeks in Ireland as visiting scholar at Maynooth University

    Dr. Catherine Nash has just returned from spending eight weeks as a visiting scholar at Maynooth University in Dublin, Ireland. Here are some of her photos from a visit to the countryside. Learn more about Dr. Nash and her research.

    Sheep in a field in Ireland. Photo by Catherine Nash Ireland cliff with castle. Photo by Catherine Nash

    Ireland countryside. Photo by Catherine Nash Ireland countryside. Photo by Catherine Nash

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  • Emmanuel Akowuah awarded the 2018 Distinguished Graduate Student Award

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate Emmanuel Akowuah on being awarded the 2018 Faculty of Graduate Studies Distinguished Graduate Student Award. The Distinguished Graduate Student Award is presented to one student from each program, who has achieved the highest overall average.

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  • Professors visit high school students in Japan

    On June 19, 2018, Drs. Atsuko Hashimoto and David Telfer gave a lecture and workshop to Hokkai Gakuen Sapporo High School students in Japan on ‘Global Risks’. The students are in the Global Program and attend Brock University ESL for one month every year.

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  • Ebru Ustundag awarded the 2018 York University Geography Distinguished Alumnus Award

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate Dr. Ebru Ustundag on being awarded the 2018 York University Geography 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

    According to the award letter:

    “The committee felt that, despite having many more years ahead to make significant scholarly contributions to the discipline of geography, that you [Ebru] exemplify the critical human geography championed by York University through your involvement in action research. In addition, you have made exceptional contributions to the discipline of geography in a very short time, and you have been previously recognized for your sustained and serious commitment to innovative pedagogy at the undergraduate and graduate levels, collegiality, multidisciplinary research and community activism.”

    We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

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  • Learning from Vancouver landscapes

    Story from The Brock News

    Vancouver field course
    Brock student Anthony Montagano visited Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge during a weeklong Geography and Tourism field course in the city.

    Many students spend the spring and summer months completing extra courses or taking a well-deserved trip. Anthony Montagano did both — at the same time.

    The 20-year-old Niagara Falls native recently returned from a weeklong Geography and Tourism field course (GEOG/TOUR 3Q93) in Vancouver, B.C. The experiential learning opportunity brought a class of Brock University students to the city to learn about the historical geography of the region, as well as its social and cultural processes.

    For Montagano, the diversity of Vancouver’s landscape could not have been fully grasped in a classroom.

    “It’s good to hear about certain destinations, but to see things first-hand is really helpful,” said the second-year Tourism Management student. “It’s easier to identify common trends, like gentrification and high-density housing, and you can use your own observations rather than just lecture notes to help form an opinion.”

    Vancouver field course

    Brock student Anthony Montagano stopped at Vancouver’s Olympic cauldron
    during a weeklong Geography and Tourism field course in the city.

    This lesson was made clear when the group, which included students from each of Brock’s Faculties, encountered the diversity that Vancouver offers in its many neighbourhoods.

    “We travelled around to the different areas of Vancouver and determined what would cause the price of home ownership to go up or down, while also evaluating what services were available in each area,” Montagano said. “It was cool to see the urban core, Olympic sports venues and small fishing docks all within the same city.”

    While exploring Canada’s third-largest city, Montagano and his classmates were encouraged to learn about the social history of the region as well.

    “I was unaware of the tragic historical exploitation of the Asian communities in Vancouver,” he said. “I now understand a little more in history that many people may still be ignorant to.”

    Though the group was only together in Vancouver for eight days, Montagano learned that it was easier to bond with his classmates while outside of the lecture hall.

    “When you are in a new setting, you tend to make bonds right away,” he said. “I met some great friends and everyone got along really well.”

    In addition to the new friendships and cultural discovery that came with the trip, Montagano was also appreciative of other aspects of participating in a spring experiential field course.

    “I gained some great experience for my resumé and you can save some time by having to take less courses during the year,” he said.

    Now home, Montagano has finished a 12-page paper about his experiences to complete the course’s final assignment. The reflective exercise has helped him to share why others should participate in similar classes going forward.

    “I would really encourage people to consider these experiential field courses,” he said. “I know the trips might cost a bit more than a normal course, but now is the opportunity to travel and gain valuable experience at the same time. These courses will set you apart at Brock and help prepare you for your career.”

    Story from The Brock News
    June 15, 2018

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  • Brock employees among grads receiving degrees

    Christine Alic, Administrative Assistant for Custodial and Grounds Services, was one of eights Brock employees who graduated this Spring. Alic graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography.

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to extend congratulations to Christine Alic for graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography this Spring! Christine has worked very hard over the last 7 years to earn this degree. Read more about her story and the other Brock employee grads in the Brock News Story below.

    Story from The Brock News
    June 7, 2018

    It has been a big year for Christine Alic.

    In addition to celebrating her 50th birthday, the Administrative Assistant for Custodial and Grounds Services was one of several Brock employees who graduated this week.

    Seven years of balancing two courses per semester and working full time at Brock finally paid off for Alic when she graduated Tuesday with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography.

    “There were times I fantasized about quitting,” she said. “I worked longer hours at work so I could attend daytime classes and I was often up until two or three in the morning reading textbooks and writing papers. I was so tired and frustrated that my degree was taking so long, but I stuck with it.”

    As many Brock employees do, Alic took advantage of the University’s tuition waiver, choosing to study Human Geography because of her lifelong interest in how humans and the planet affect each other.

    “I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was younger, so I didn’t go to university,” she said. “When I read some of the course outlines for Human Geography, it sounded like a whole bunch of everything I was interested in — history, politics, sociology and culture.”

    As she crossed the Convocation stage, Alic felt a huge sense of accomplishment.

    “It was a good feeling,” she said. “For seven years, I put everything I had into my classes. I gave up a lot of free time for my degree. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m going to have to learn to spread out my activities — I don’t have to cram in everything I want to do all at once.”

    Along with Alic, several other Brock employees graduated this week.

    Marion Barbas, Admissions Officer with the Registrar’s Office, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Labour Studies. She was the recipient of the Distinguished Graduating Student Award — Labour Studies, which is awarded to the student with highest major average in the Department of Labour Studies.

    Barbas’ original plan of taking one general Humanities course quickly escalated after learning about Labour Studies.

    “I overheard a group of students talking about how great LABR 1F90 is and how everyone should be required to take it in first year,” she said. “I declared Labour Studies as my major before the course even came to completion.”

    Bryan Boles, Associate Vice-President, Ancillary Services, graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resources.

    Boles is thankful for the opportunity to continue his education in a university focused on experiential learning.

    “I’m a big believer in continuous learning and would encourage anyone with the opportunity to keep learning,” he said.

    Tyler Harrison, Club and Camp Co-ordinator for Brock Sports, graduated with a Master of Arts in Sport Management.

    As a student, Harrison was instrumental in engaging the Brock Sports fan base and the ‘We Are Ready’ campaign. When asked what he plans to do with his degree, Harrison said that he’s “looking forward to continuing to pursue my passion to work in intercollegiate sport here in Canada and abroad.”

    Daniel Lonergan, Senior Experiential Education Co-ordinator with Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, graduated with an MBA in Human Resources.

    Lonergan plans to use his experience from the MBA program to “continue strengthening the experience for current and future MBA students from an experiential learning point of view,” he said.

    Erin Plyley, Academic Advisor with the Faculty of Education and part-time instructor in the Teacher Education program, graduated with a Master of Education in Teaching, Learning and Development.

    Plyley is happy and proud to be a “Badger for life,” she said.

    “Starting as a Brock student and now having the opportunity to work with students on a daily basis is something I’m grateful for. I love what I do and the incredible students I have met.”

    Catharine Pelletier, Senior Platoon Supervisor with Campus Security Services, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She was the recipient of the Cara Chefurka Memorial Book Prize, which is awarded to the student with the highest graduating average in Psychology at Spring Convocation.

    Sarah Andrews, Communications Operator and Dispatcher with Campus Security Services, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

    Phil Alexander, Academic Advisor with the Student Success Centre, graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Adult Learning.

    Kristen Nilsen, Change Management Co-ordinator with Human Resources, graduated with a Bachelor of Education with a specialization in Administration and Leadership in Education.

    Henry Gerbrandt, Program Services Co-ordinator with the Student Success Centre, graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting with first-class standing.

    Gerbrandt says that he’s “thankful for all of the support I received as a student and staff member,” he said.

    Story from The Brock News
    June 7, 2018

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