Student profiles

Meet our current students in the Master of Arts in Geography program, where they came from, what they’re researching, and why they chose Brock.

Current Students

Lina Adeetuk

Thesis stream

Hometown: Sandema, Upper East Region, Ghana
Degree held: Bachelor of Arts in Geography

Supervisor: David Butz
Thesis title: Rural Youth’s Perspectives on the Significance and Impacts of New Roads: The Case of Kaasa- Zogsa Road, Builsa North District, Ghana
Research interests: My research interested is situated broadly on ‘Geographies of Development.’ Specifically, I am interested in investigating the politics of mobility, food security, and rural development with a regional focus on Africa.

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? I was attracted to the MA Geography program at Brock due to the rigorous training and small nature of the program which is very useful for my career path.

Fortune Addae

Major research paper stream

Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Degree held: Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana

MRP working title: Emotional geography and experiences of international students in Ontario
Research interests:

  • Emotional Geography
  • International Student Integration
  • GIS and Remote Sensing

Daniel Kumi Anane

Major research paper stream

Hometown: Dormaa Ahenkro, Ghana
Degrees held: Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Resource Development,  University of Ghana; Master of Science in International Business, University of Ghana

Supervisor: David Telfer
MRP title:
 An analysis of community participation in rural tourism in Ghana
Research interests:

  • Natural resource governance
  • Community participation
  • Rural development
  • International trade

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? The diversity and the rigorous nature of MA Geography at Brock attracted me. Brock offers me a team of faculty members with diverse research interests and backgrounds that align with mine.

Jared Balla

Thesis stream

Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
Degree held: Bachelors of Arts (Honours) in History, Brock University

Supervisor: Phillip Mackintosh
Thesis title:
“Don’t Immanentize the Eschaton”: The Decline of Postmillennial Eschatology on the Twentieth-Century North American City
Research interests: I am interested in how discussions around utopianism—more specifically the eschatology of Gnosticism—has influenced the trend of urban planning over the past century.

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? First, I believed the program would help me to grow as a student and push me to new academic heights. Secondly, the program allowed me to follow my interests in neoliberalism and neoconservatism—and how these political and cultural ideologies are manifested historically and geographically. Finally, it provided me the opportunity to work under my current supervisor Phil Mackintosh.

Joshua Boadi

Major research paper stream

Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Degree held: BA Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana

Supervisor: Atsuko Hashimoto
MRP title: Content Analysis of the Impact of COVID-19 on Tourism and Government Interventions; A case of Ghana
Research interests:

  • Sustainable tourism
  • Crises Management
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Climate change

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? The critical nature of geography at Brock fascinates me so much. More so, Brock University is the perfect location to study geography. It is one of the few Canadian universities to be located within a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve. This privileged location coupled with the Niagara Escarpment provides the institution with a unique mandate to pursue sustainability.

Elena Campbell

Major research paper stream

Degree held: Bachelor of Business Administration, Specialist in Management & Finance, University of Toronto

Supervisor: Chris Fullerton
Research interests:

  • Public transit ridership demographics
  • Student U-Pass programs
  • Increasing safety in public spaces

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? I choose the MA program at Brock because it offers me the ability to research public transit and work with Dr. Chris Fullerton. I am looking forward to investigating ways that transit can become more accessible and sustainable.

Rebekah Casey (Kraulis)

Thesis stream

Hometown: Grimsby, Ontario
Degree held: Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Tourism and Environment, Tourism Management Stream, Brock University

Supervisor: Chris Fullerton
Thesis title: There’s No Place Like (Rural) Home: Why People Choose Rural Despite Decline
Research interests: My research is focused on rural communities across Canada that are facing decline and/or hardship, and why residents choose to stay in the community despite decline. I am also interested in how this attachment and commitment to place impacts sustainable, community-based development in rural communities.

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? I chose the MA in Geography program at Brock because I felt that after my four years in the department during my undergraduate degree that I wasn’t done! I love the staff and faculty in our department so much, and knew I still had so much to learn from them. I also discovered my love for all things rural late in my degree, and wanted a chance to really explore that passion.

Sarah Coose

Thesis Stream

Hometown: Boise, Idaho USA
Degree held: Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Boise State University

Supervisor: David Fennell
Thesis working title:
Scaling justice in animal-based tourism
Research interests: My interests include sociocultural dynamics of human-wildlife coexistence and conflict, wildlife ecotourism, wildlife ecology and conservation, sustainable ecosystems, sustainable development, and land use.

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? I chose Brock for the opportunity to work with Dr. David Fennell. As an expert and pioneer in the field of ecotourism, it’s an honor and privilege to get to collaborate with and learn from him.

Aaron Geraghty

Thesis Stream

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Degree Held: Honours Bachelor of Arts, Architecture, University of Toronto

Supervisors: Mike Ripmeester and Phillip Mackintosh
Thesis working title: Defining and Describing Social Democratic Public Space
Research interests:

  • Public Spaces
  • Social Justice
  • Urban Geography & Planning
  • Architecture

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? Having previously done my minor in Human Geography, I knew it was a field that I wanted to pursue further in graduate school, and the MA in GEOG program at Brock presented the perfect opportunity for me to immerse myself in the vastness of the discipline and finding my fit, while also offering that extra flexibility during the research process. Between the faculty, the program structure, the online infrastructure, the academic resources, and the development opportunities, the commitment to students’ academic success was paramount and coherent. What makes this program especially remarkable is in the values they uphold and their clear devotion to personal and professional growth.

Jennica Giesbrecht

Supervisor: Ebru Ustundag

About: “I have lived most of my life in St. Catharines and have been involved in various communities and networks here. I have just completed my undergraduate degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock. I am interested in the application of critical intersectional feminist thought to all subjects, and am excited to consider human geography through this lens. I am interested in lots of different research areas, but I am particularly interested in investigating the relationship between emotional and health geographies. I would like to consider how various institutions impact individuals’ experiences and understandings of their bodies, health, and subjectivities. I am excited to get started and to meet you all!”

Vincent Kwadwo Konadu

Major research paper stream

Hometown: Asamankese (Eastern Region of Ghana West-Africa)
Degree held: Bachelor of Arts in Geography (minor specialization in Economics), University of Education, Winneba (Ghana)

Supervisor: Michael Ripmeester
MRP working title: Geographic Demand and Supply of Affordable Housing in Inner Cities: A case of St Catharines, Ontario
Research interests:

  • Economic Geography
  • Remote sensing
  • Water Quality Analysis
  • Social and Economic welfare of the urban poor

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? The critical approaches, philosophical dimensions, and integrated nature of the MA Geography program at Brock University has a greater propensity to imbibe me with all the experience, skills and knowledge I need in my professional and academic discourse, while upholding my utmost excellence.

Quinn MacDonald

More info coming soon!

Nikki McIntyre (She/Her)

Major research paper stream

Hometown: Clachan, Ontario
Degrees held: Bachelor of Arts, Geography and Sociology Double Major, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Certificate in Criminology, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Supervisor: Chris Fullerton
MRP working title: Tourism, Logging, and Community: Finding Balance in South Algonquin and Algonquin Provincial Park

Research interests:

  • Resource management
  • Community development
  • Sustainability
  • Rural geographies

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? I chose the MA program at Brock for the opportunity to work with Dr. Chris Fullerton.

Master of Arts in Geography student Lisa Mercier

Lisa Mercier

Thesis stream

Degrees held: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) History, University of Saskatchewan; Certificate in Collections Management, University of Victoria

Supervisor: Mike Ripmeester
Research interests: Lisa has spent 10 years in the public-heritage sector working for a variety of institutions gaining a host of skills, while also identifying gaps in historical understanding. It comes as no surprise that Lisa’s keen interest lies in the notions of memory and forgetting relative to material culture. Diving into the interdisciplinary notions of what it means to remember and forget, Lisa finds great fulfillment in understanding the selective methods by which history has been understood. In turn, applying theoretical concepts and philosophic understandings to tasks associated with historic acquisitions, object preservation, and the construction of monuments.

Anthony Montagano

Thesis stream

Hometown: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Degree held: BA Tourism and Environment (Management Stream) with a Minor in Geography, Brock University

Supervisor: David Brown
Thesis title: Navigating Digital Heritage Landscapes: “Wander and Wonder”, Versus Linear Narratives
Research interests:

    • Mobility
    • Tourism consumption
    • Heritage Interpretation

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? After finishing my undergraduate studies in 2020, returning to a department like Geography and Tourism was very comfortable for me. I enjoyed my experience as an undergraduate student thanks to the opportunities I participated in. These opportunities included field courses in Canada, and in Europe which developed my confidence as both a student, and as an individual. The MA program was never part of my initial plan when starting my undergrad four years ago, but adapting my “life plan” to answer opportunities like this MA program is something I have learned is necessary to succeed. I enjoy learning, and the faculty in this department fulfill my desire to keep learning as I develop as an adult.

Bright Otchere Opare

Major research paper stream

Hometown: Juaben, Ashanti Region, Ghana
Degree held: BA Geography and Rural Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)

Research interests:

  • Waste Management
  • Economic Geography
  • Feminist Geography
  • LGBTQIA+ Studies

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? I chose the MA Geography program at Brock University because of the small class sizes which enable students to have one-on-one interactions with the professors.

Professor Jeff Boggs and MA in Geography student, Lauren Peddle posing with report

Lauren Peddle

Thesis stream

Degree held: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Economic Analysis, Brock University

Supervisor: Jeff Boggs
Research interests: Over the course of my undergraduate degree so much of my work involved different aspects of geography, whether it be in the expansion of railroads in a history of economics course, or the role of natural resources in economic development. I felt to do the discipline justice I needed to seek formal education on the subject. My work will focus on economic geography, particularly the study of industrial clustering and the videogame industry in Canada.

Alex Perna - profile photo

Alex Perna

Degree held: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Language and Literature with Minor in Geography, Brock University

Supervisor: Ebru Ustundag
Research interests: Interested in feminist and queer geographies, as well as the intersections of race, marginalization and privilege. Hoping to explore the relationship between these concepts within the confines of virtual and/or imaginative space(s).

Ishwinder Saraan

Supervisor: Chris Fullerton

Research interests: rural planning/development, focusing on South Asia

Maryam Shafagh Hir

More info coming soon!

Kate Stewart

Major research paper stream

Hometown: Mooretown, Ontario
Degree held: Bachelor of Health and Physical Education, Mount Royal University

Supervisor: David Fennell
Thesis title: Creating Sustainable tourism Within the Niagara Peninsula Global Geopark: A case study focusing on Indigenous Knowledge

Research interests:

  • Sustainable Tourism with Parks and Protected Areas
  • Ecotourism
  • Virtual Tourism
  • GIS technology

Why did you choose the MA in GEOG program at Brock? My undergraduate degree focused on the exploration of ecotourism and sustainable tourism within the contexts of recreation. I was attracted to the Geography and Tourism department at Brock University since it combines Human Geography application with tourism theory. I was also interested in working with Dr. David Fennell to explore sustainable tourism within Parks and Protected Areas.

Hannah Willms

Thesis stream

Hometown: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Degree held: Bachelor of Arts in Geography, Brock University

Supervisor: Mike Ripmeester
Thesis title: Airbnb in the age of a housing crisis: a case study of housing affordability and vacation rental regulations in Niagara Falls, ON

Research interests:

  • urban/community development
  • housing
  • local community life

Harriet Yeboah

More info coming soon!

Alumni

MA in Geography alumni

Julia Hamill, graduate student in MA in Geography program. Standing in front of a gate with her bicycle

Julia Hamill

Thesis stream

Thesis title: ‘Molida’, That’s Shimshali Food: Modernization, Mobility, Food Talk, and the Constitution of Identity in Shimshal, Pakistan

Committee: Dr. David Butz (Supervisor), Dr. Mike Ripmeester (Committee Member) and Dr. Nancy Cook (Committee Member)

Previous degree held: Bachelor of Arts & Science in Cognitive Science and Linguistics, McGill University

Background: Julia received her undergraduate degree in Cognitive Science and Linguistics from McGill University, where she studied multilingual signage in the linguistic landscape of Montreal. After graduating, she spent several years cycling across Europe and parts of Asia, working in remote backcountry mountain lodges, and working in Tajikistan as a grant writing and reporting consultant for local NGOs. These experiences have led her to confront questions surrounding mobility, modernization, social change, and the role of development actors in mountain communities of northern Pakistan and Central Asia, which she plans to investigate through Brock’s Master of Arts in Geography.

Research interests:

  • Mobility (including infrastructure development, educational/labour migration, and tourism) and social change
  • Perceptions of and relationships between INGOs and local communities
  • Geographic focus: Central Asia and northern Pakistan

Iris Yap

Major research paper stream

MRP title: Sex and education?: Intersecting sex, education, and student activism

Committee: Dr. Ebru Ustundag (Supervisor) and Dr. Mike Ripmeester (Second Reader)

Previous degrees held: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Geography, Brock University; Bachelor of Education Teacher Education – Intermediate/Senior, Brock University; Diploma in Culinary Management, George Brown College

Research interests: I want to research how technology is shaping social relationships, in particular monogamy. I want to investigate whether monogamy is a social discourse our culture has created and deemed morally correct. More specifically, I want to look at how dating apps and all social media platforms have allowed communication between individuals to go beyond borders, and across oceans. I want to explore how our current generation’s fascination with online dating has affected monogamist relationships and in doing so determine if technology has created a culture in which individuals are more willing to be unfaithful to their partner.

Philemon Coffie

Major research paper stream

MRP title:
Strategies to Manage Plastic Waste in the Niagara Region

Supervisor: David Brown

Philip Dwomoh

Major research paper stream

MRP title: Geography of Food Deserts in the Niagara Region

Supervisor: Jeff Boggs

Previous degree held: Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana

Research interests: 

  • Water resources and water quality management
  • Environmental management and Disaster risk reduction
  • International student mobility and integration

About Philip
“Philip Ampofo Dwomoh is a native of Ejura in the Ashanti region of Ghana and has lived in Accra, since 1991. Currently, Philip Ampofo Dwomoh is a community volunteer providing educational assistance to students at the secondary and tertiary level. His cultural background and focus on community collaboration has led him to a number of volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. Philip Ampofo Dwomoh received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography and Resource Development with Dance Studies at University of Ghana, Legon.”

Chelsea Fields

Major research paper stream

MRP title: Detroit: Motor City or Creative City? The Alternative Media and the Politics of Citizenship

Supervisor: Michael Ripmeester

Jackie Gervais

Jackie Gervais, graduate student backpacking in forest

Thesis stream

Thesis title: Understanding Post-secondary Student Mobility and its Impact on Wellbeing

Supervisor: Chris Fullerton

Previous degree held: BA (Honours), Community Health, Brock University

Research summary: Numerous studies have identified the impact of transportation on one’s personal wellbeing (e.g., Stanley, Hensher, Stanley, and Vella-Brodrock, 2011), but fewer studies have addressed this topic as it pertains specifically to post-secondary students. The overarching goal of this research is to build our understanding of the roles that transportation plays in shaping the perceived wellbeing of post-secondary students. Through this case study of students at Brock University and Niagara College, located in Canada’s Niagara region, we aim to identify those aspects of transportation infrastructure and services that enable these students to achieve a personal sense of wellness and those that present obstacles or barriers to achieving wellness.

Background: “Jackie Gervais is a health promoter for Niagara Region Public Health in Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention. Her work entails supporting policy change as it pertains to active transportation and the built environment though citizen and stakeholder engagement and partnership. Jackie’s experience in community mobilization has contributed to the development of numerous citizens’ groups in the Niagara region who have advocated and made changes within their own municipalities.

At the Regional level, Jackie is involved in numerous policy projects including the Niagara Region Transportation Plan, the Niagara GO Hub and Transit Study and the Brock District Plan. Jackie also provides input into Municipal Class Environmental Assessments and was instrumental in acquiring the Ontario Municipal Cycling Infrastructure Grant for the development of a multi-use trail along Merrittville Highway, from Decew Road to Sir Isaac Brock Way, which will contribute to improved safety for Brock students. At a Provincial level, Jackie was on the Minister’s Panel for the #CycleON: Ontario’s Cycling Strategy and regularly provides comment on provincial level documents.  She also participates in the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) Health and the Built Environment Workgroup where she supported changes to the driver handbook and the driver test questions to include examples of how motorists and cyclist should share the road. In Jackie’s spare time she is an avid outdoor enthusiast. Jackie can be found in her kayak, cycling, snowshoeing her favorite trails and camping in the back woods.”

Danielle Martineau

Major research paper stream

MRP title: The Systematic Examination of Significant Thematic Overlap between Digital Geographies Literature and Digital Educational Literature when Considering the ‘Smart Classroom’

Supervisors: Jeff Boggs and Catherine Nash

Previous degree held: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Geography with a Minor in Political Science, Brock University

Research interests: My research interest predominantly focuses on how the introduction of technologies within spaces can influence and change the dynamics and relations of such spaces. More specifically, I am exploring how the implementation of mass online courses in higher learning institutions are fundamentally changing how we understand both, learning and technology.

Nicholas Mindorff

Major research paper stream

MRP title: The Fearful Class: Depictions of Urban and Suburban Housing as an Indicator of Fear in Neoliberal Society

Supervisor: Phillip Mackintosh

Previous degree held: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Geography, Brock University

Dean Mizzi

Major research paper stream

MRP title: Conceptualizing queer online spaces as similar to privately-owned public spaces: Opportunities for geographers

Supervisors: Catherine Nash and Jeff Boggs

Aaron Nartey

Master of Arts in Geography student Aaron Nartey

Major research paper stream

MRP title: Return Migration of Ghanaian Immigrants: Drivers & Reintegration Challenges

Supervisor: David Butz

Katelyn Pierce

Thesis stream

Thesis title: Detached from Our Bodies:Representing Women’s Health and Wellbeing with Graphic Memoirs

Supervisor: Ebru Ustundag

Khuram Farrukh

Senanu Kutor

Stephanie Murray

Allie Rizzie

Daniel Amoak

Adam Fischer

Connor Dingle

Benjamin Kwao

Andrew McCartan

Alexandru Raileanu

Maame Achiaa Agyemang

Razu Ahmed

Michael Ayerh K. Ayerteh

Rick Epp

Denyelle Huellemann

Diana Owusaa

Paul Tayler

Cody Vinnai

Edna Abanga

Towfika Islam

Warren Jenkinson

Myda Khatcherian

Emmanuel Kyeremeh

Paolo Russumanno

David Szymanski

Micheal Boateng

Pushpa Hamal

Oscar Asiedu Kuffour

Tomasz Wierzba

Lisa Arblaster

Mert Coskan

Sara Epp

Kerrie Pickering

Heather Whipple

Jess Barber

Natalie Currie-Patterson

Richard Lagani

Meithili Mitchell

Raphael Atanga

Lisa Combe

Kayla Rell

Pius Siakwah

Victoria (Vickie) Tasker

Ian Wood

Ayure-Inaga Mark Anthony Agana

Katie Hemsworth

Anokye Owusu Kwarteng

Kirby Calvert