# Articles tagged with:alumni

• ## Mapping Wins and Losses on the Rink: A GIS Approach to Ice Hockey Analytics

Story from the Esri Canada Blog, November 1, 2018

Contributed by Kyle Rankin (Brock GEOG ’18), Associate GIS Analyst, Esri Canada

Like many Canadians, I like to watch Hockey Night in Canada every week, which is where I got the idea of applying GIS to analyze hockey. In the months that followed, not only did I apply spatial analysis to hockey games, but I also submitted this analysis to apply for the Esri Canada Higher Education GIS Scholarship at Brock University.  Find out what made this a winning project.

November 14 is GIS Day, celebrated by geographers, cartographers and GIS users everywhere. At Brock University, GIS students celebrate with a project competition sponsored by Esri Canada. The winner receives an Esri Canada Higher Education GIS Scholarship, which includes funding, software, training and networking opportunities to help students continue to develop their GIS skills and interests. I decided to work on a project applying GIS analysis to hockey games and submit it for the competition.

As Canadians, we all know what hockey means to us: passion, athleticism, power and toughness––a hockey player is as Canadian as the maple syrup. For many people, myself included, the game of hockey doesn’t mean advanced regression models and mathematical formulas. However, this changed for me when I realized there was an opportunity to apply the power of GIS and Esri’s spatial analysis tools to analyze hockey.

Every hockey team wants to understand how they can score more goals than their opponent and win more hockey games. If you are a hockey player, you’d more than likely agree this has as much to do with location on the ice during a game as an individual player’s talent. As a young hockey player, I was constantly taught where to skate to, where to shoot from and where to defend from. That’s applying the science of where to hockey!

Locational understanding on the hockey rink is clearly evident. So, I formulated the basic question for applying spatial analysis to player and team performance: what datasets are needed and can be analyzed to help hockey teams increase their goal-scoring and ultimately improve their chances of winning a match?

To expand on this, three questions came to mind:
a) What kind of data would be easiest to collect and yield the best quality result? (Shot locations, player locations, puck location, etc.)
b) How could I define areas on the ice that are associated with higher likelihoods of scoring?
c) How can the fast and fluid game of hockey be analyzed using hard-defined areas?

Armed with these questions, I approached the Brampton Beast professional hockey team’s manager of hockey operations, who showed great interest in my project and agreed to collaborate with me. Together, we set out to study the location where shots were taken on the ice to conduct statistical analysis. The report I created were not only easy to read and understand, but also provided meaningful insight into the team’s games.

### Data-Driven, Evidence-Based Reports

Using data collected from the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) online game centre , I digitized 705 points representing the location of shots for and against Brampton during 10 of their games. I relied on ArcGIS ModelBuilder to create a repeatable workflow for querying and analyzing the data. This allowed for reports to be created with ease, as the model pulled data that matched certain criteria and then performed analyses, such as kernel density, to highlight hot spots in shot-activity on the ice. I created several reports that were based on individual player performance, single games, certain opposing goalies and comparison charts of games won versus games lost.

The team’s staff used these reports to gain a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their strategy and to adjust their game-day strategy accordingly. Such reports can enhance coaching practices with data-driven and evidence-based strategies. Especially knowing how fast-moving and fluid hockey is––for example, while nobody can tell Sidney Crosby the exact coordinates of where he should shoot from, if you give him a map showing that he scores more often from the middle section of the ice than anywhere else, then he’ll be out there in the next shift doing just that. Using these reports to interact with players can help them better understand their statistics and the analysis of their play––looking at a cool map is a lot easier to understand than numbers on a spreadsheet.

The home plate is right at the centre of the ice in the attacking zone, where most goals and high-quality scoring opportunities occur. Shots from the home plate are more likely to result in goals, which implies that if teams focus on shooting from here, they are more likely to win. The Beast’s staff identified this as a significant revelation––they decided to concentrate on making offense from the home plate, while also channelling their defensive strategies on preventing opponent shots within this area inside the blue line.

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• ## Geography and Tourism students put skills to the test in central Ontario

A crisp fall breeze and the smell of pine recently welcomed Daniel Marshall into a different type of learning environment.

The fourth-year Geography student can normally be found deep in the Mackenzie Chown Complex learning about physical geography. But, during this year’s fall Reading Week, an experiential education trip took him out of his comfort zone and into the field.

Along with 34 other participants from the Geography and Tourism Department’s Physical Geography and Human Geography and Tourism Studies field courses, Marshall took part in a weeklong experiential learning exercise in central Ontario. The annual trip is designed to connect in-class learning with practical on-site research skills that are necessary for all geographers.

“Sometimes in the classroom you lose focus on what you are actually studying,” Marshall said. “To be in the field and make the observations myself and get my feet muddy allowed everything to come full circle.”

While the human geographers and tourism students went into Peterborough to gather data, Marshall and his fellow physical geographers went further afield to places such as Lochlin, Ont., where they collected soil and water samples.

“We brought a specialized tool and took a sample from about four metres down,” he said. “We got a core that, if interpreted in a lab, could have given us 10,000 years worth of data about the area.”

The ability to conduct applied research and maintain detailed field notes is a skill Geography and Tourism Studies Department Chair Michael Pisaric considers invaluable.

“The field courses provide our students with hands-on experience that allows them to put their training and academic studies into practice by connecting first-hand the classroom learning they have done to the real world,” he said.

Longstanding teaching assistant Darren Platakis, who has worked with countless students in his 10 years helping with the trip, echoed the sentiment.

“Seeing the growth in their confidence, whether it’s conducting face-to-face interviews or using a new piece of equipment, is very satisfying,” he said.

Gaining practical experience with tools of the trade provides students with a leg up for when their studies are completed.

“Nobody wants to hire an advisor who has no field experience,” Marshall said. “An exercise like this makes you more marketable as a person.”

With days of working to develop useful skills came a sense of unity among participants on the department-wide trip.

“At the end of the day, we were all reunited as a large group and it was nice to be together,” he said. “We had a few large outdoor gatherings around the fire pits and shared stories of our day. It gave us the opportunity to become a close-knit group and contributed to the closeness of the department as a whole.”

The work of the students in the area has also led to lasting conservation efforts in the local community.

“Because of the work of previous classes from Brock, the Lochlin Esker and Wetlands site we visited has achieved Provincially Significant Wetland and Area of Natural and Scientific Interest status,” he said.

For Marshall, the most eye-opening portion of the week was seeing the way the concepts learned in the classroom actually existed in the environment.

“You can read as much as you want on a topic, but until you’re actually looking at that feature or talking to those people, there is a huge divide between what the textbooks say and the actual observations you make in the field,” he said. “It really worked for me to help close that gap and approach things in a more well-rounded way.”

As he prepares to use his newfound experience to take on a thesis and apply for master’s programs, Marshall hopes that others will consider studying Geography as well.

“Geography is everything and how it’s related,” he said. “Anyone who likes nature, the environment or being outside already loves geography. So, why not study it as well?”

Reposted from The Brock News.

• ## New research looks into the social world of female fly anglers

New research by Geography and Tourism Studies professor, Dr. David Fennell, and Tourism and Environment alumna, Meaghan Birbeck (’14), was published last month in the Journal of Gender Studies. Read more below.

Abstract
Bourdieu’s theory of habitus was used to determine if a comprehensive identity exists amongst female fly anglers. Past research has emphasised a need to address ‘doing gender’ and ‘gender performativity’ in sport and recreation to understand ideology surrounding male superiority and the marginalisation of women. Fly fishing is a traditional male-dominated and masculine sport, where women are slowly emerging as prominent figures. Fly fishing presents a setting to then understand the performance of gender and the influence of social norms. A snowball sample of female fly anglers (n = 63) was obtained from an online survey, which was administered between December 2015 and January 2016. Descriptive statistical analysis of a structured closed-category online survey was used to determine if a distinct symmetry and set of practices exist in defining the identity of female fly anglers. Results indicate that a separate habitus is emerging for these women built around adventure, being in nature, identity, freedom, lack of guilt, commitment, empowerment, independence, anti-control and anti-domination, and the maintenance of stereotypical feminine characteristics through participation in this activity.

Reference
Fennell, D. A., and Birbeck, M. (2018). Broads with rods: The social world of female fly anglers. Journal of Gender Studies, DOI: 10.1080/09589236.2018.1515068

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• ## Geography alumni share valuable insights with fourth-year internship students

From left to right: Myda Khatcherian (BA Geography ’12, MA Geography ’15), Ebru Ustundag, Ashley Northcotte (BA Geography ’09), Edward Stubbing (BA Human Geography ’09), and Rebecca Anello (BSc Geography ’14).

On September 21, four of our Geography alumni visited our honours internship course (GEOG/TOUR 4F99) to share their experiences in the program and the internship course, and life after university.

Where are they now?

• Myda Khatcherian, Case Manager, Ontario Works (BA Geography ’12, MA Geography ’15)
• Edward Stubbing, Senior Transportation Manager, AECOM (BA Human Geography ’09)
• Ashley Northcotte, Business Support Analyst, Niagara Region (BA Geography ’09)
• Rebecca Anello, Junior Meteorological Technologist, Environment Canada (BSc Geography ’14)

We’d like to extend a big thanks to Myda, Edward, Ashley, and Rebecca for coming back to Brock and sharing their valuable insights!

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• ## New research by Tourism and Environment alumna published in Ecological Restoration

New research by Tourism and Environment alumna, Katrina Krievins (’12), was published last month in Ecological Restoration. Read more below.

Abstract

Ecological restoration is a means of addressing the ongoing and pervasive degradation of ecological systems. Although the aim of ecological restoration is ecosystem recovery, efforts based on an oversimplified understanding of how complex adaptive systems behave often fail to produce intended outcomes. We explore how advancements made in understanding properties of complex adaptive systems, specifically social-ecological systems, may be incorporated into ecological restoration. We present a conceptual framework informed by tracing the evolution of perspectives in ecological restoration and synthesizing developments in social-ecological resilience. We then employ the framework in the context of freshwater systems to assess Trout Unlimited Canada’s stream rehabilitation training program and evaluate associated restoration initiatives in terms of social-ecological resilience. Findings from this case study indicate that the approach to restoration taught in the training program, along with the initiatives informed by the program, reflect principles for building resilience and were found to be positive. These findings provide encouraging evidence in support of a new approach to restoration informed by social-ecological resilience and initial confirmation of the usefulness of the framework. Valuable insights on the extent to which social-ecological resilience is currently reflected in restoration practices more broadly will come from future research exploring the application of the conceptual framework in a variety of restoration contexts and at a larger scale.

Reference:
Krievins, K., Plummer, R., and Baird, J. (2018). Building resilience in ecological restoration processes: A social-ecological perspective. Ecological Restoration, 36(3): 195-207. DOI: 10.3368/er.36.3.195

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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.

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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• ## Event offers students insider tips on tourism industry

In addition to getting their LinkedIn photos taken and hearing from industry professionals, students had the opportunity to try both roundtable and open networking at the Tourism Networking Event held at Brock University on April 10.

When Becky White (BA ’15, MS ’16) returned to her alma mater last week, she came prepared with industry insight and key tips to pass along to the next generation of tourism professionals.

The sales and membership co-ordinator at Niagara Falls Tourism was a guest speaker at Brock’s inaugural Tourism Networking Event, held April 10 in Pond Inlet.

Hosted by the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, in partnership with Co-op, Careers and Experiential Education, the event offered students the chance to mingle with and learn from industry professionals, several of whom were Brock alumni.

Alumna Becky White shared her combined expertise from her time as a student and a campus career advisor as well as her current work in the tourism industry.

For White, the day was an opportunity to open the eyes of students to the careers that exist within tourism.

“I hope that people will see that tourism isn’t just tour guides and travel agents,” she said. “It is a vibrant and engaging industry.”

The event’s guests and sponsors helped to affirm that sentiment as they spent time speaking with the roughly 30 students in attendance.

Representatives from the City of St. Catharines, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Venture Niagara, Vineland Estates Winery, CERF Niagara, Cycle-Logical Rentals, Destination Ontario Travel Information Centres, the Skylon Tower, Scotiabank Convention Centre, Mortgage Intelligence, and Hostelling International’s Niagara Falls Hostel showed the breadth and scope of the field, in addition to offering a showcase of some of Niagara’s top tourism employers.

Chris Fullerton, Chair of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, was pleased to see the event come together so well, and to receive positive feedback from both tourism industry professionals and students.

“Since this was our first time doing this, we really weren’t sure what to expect. But by all accounts, the evening was a great success,” he said.

“Our students got to meet with numerous tourism employers to talk about career opportunities and to get some useful career planning advice, while the employers got to learn a lot more about our programs, our experiential learning opportunities and the broad range of knowledge and skills that our students obtain while studying here at Brock.”

The April 10 event was the first of many that the department hopes to offer.

“For our students, making connections in the industry, learning from alumni and gaining networking experience are important factors for their successful transition into life after university,” said Samantha Morris, the department’s Academic Advisor and Communications Co-ordinator, and one of the evening’s organizers. “We look forward to working with industry partners to continue to develop opportunities to help our students and alumni thrive.”

White’s presentation, “My Life in Ten Minutes,” offered students an example of how their education and on-campus experiences can help them succeed.

She first came to Brock as a mature student studying Tourism and Environment, but then stayed to complete a master’s degree in Sustainability. She also worked as a career assistant and credits the on-campus job with having an enormous impact on her career.

White’s talk was part of a concerted effort on the part of organizers to help students and industry professionals connect the dots between the theory and practice of tourism, one of Niagara’s leading industries.

“We wanted to create an interactive experience for students to engage in meaningful career conversations with industry professionals, and to provide a venue to assist students with their career decision-making,” says Kara Renaud, Supervisor of Career Education.

“The setup of the event gave students a chance to ask their career questions, make connections and leverage the expertise of those who were once students themselves.”

Story from The Brock News.

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• ## Tourism event at Brock brings together students, researchers and industry

As Niagara prepares to welcome the bulk of its 14 million visitors over the coming months, Brock University’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, in collaboration with Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, is preparing to host its first Tourism Networking Event for students and the industry.

The networking event will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, when 20 industry sponsors, more than 50 students as well as Brock faculty and staff, will get together to discuss employment and research opportunities within the tourism industry, and identify local experiential education potential.

The evening will feature roundtable networking, vendor booths and a presentation by Becky White (BA ’15, MSc ’17), a graduate of the Tourism and Environment program at Brock, who now works at Niagara Falls Tourism. Students will also have the opportunity to chat with industry experts and get professional portraits taken for their LinkedIn profiles.

“The Tourism Networking Event will provide students with an opportunity to learn more about potential careers in the tourism industry and make important contacts that can help them to find internship or co-op placements this summer or sometime later in their studies,” says Christopher Fullerton, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies.

Fullerton said the event will also help industry partners “learn more about the high-quality education that our students receive, the important tourism research that our faculty members conduct and the many different ways they can work with our Department and Brock in general.”

The Department of Geography merged with Tourism and Environment Studies in 2016 and offers programs in Tourism Management, Tourism and Environment, as well as Human Geography and Physical Geography.

Industry guests at the Tourism Networking Event include representatives from the City of St. Catharines’ Tourism Services, the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, Venture Niagara, Destination Ontario Travel Information Centres and several Niagara-based tourism businesses.

What: Tourism Networking Event
Who: Department of Geography and Tourism Studies and Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, along with industry partners
When: Tuesday, April 10 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Pond Inlet, Mackenzie Chown J-Block, Brock University
Note: Student and sponsor registration for this event is now closed.

Reposted from The Brock News

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• ## Tourism and Environment alumna wins prestigious Co-op Student of the Year award

We would like to congratulate our Tourism and Environment alumna, Meghan Birbeck, on receiving Brock’s Co-op Student of the Year award! After finishing her BA in Tourism and Environment, Meghan moved on to the Master of Sustainability program at Brock, where she secured a co-op placement as a Sustainability Intern with the Town of Lincoln. Read more in the article below.

### Brock announces recipients of Co-op’s highest honour

Photo from The Brock News.

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