Articles tagged with: awards

  • Research award winners to share findings at upcoming event

    Research on sustainability, decolonization and child safety will be featured the upcoming annual public Faculty of Social Sciences (FOSS) Research Colloquium.

    This year’s virtual event takes place Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and will include presentations from both recipients of the 2021 FOSS Early Career Researcher of the Year Award, as well as three winners of the FOSS Student Research Award.

    • “Water resilience for a rapidly changing world” — Associate Professor Julia Baird, Geography and Tourism Studies and Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
    • “Empathy and Equity for the World’s Oceans” — Assistant Professor Jessica Blythe, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
    • “A Holistic Approach to Mapping Priority Sites for Low-Impact Development” — Jillian Booth (BSc ’20), Sustainability Science and Society
    • “Tracing the Colonial Dimensions of ‘Special Education’: History, Disability and Settler Colonialism” — Alec Moore (BA ’20), Child and Youth Studies
    • “Evaluating Video Prompting to Teach Prospective Parents and Caregivers Correct Installation of Child Passenger Safety Restraints” — Niruba Rasuratnam, Applied Disability Studies

    Baird, Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water and Water Resilience, says being recognized with the Early Career Researcher Award jointly with her colleague Jessica Blythe was a thrill.

    “It is an honour, and I think it helps raise the profile of the research being done by my lab and the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) more broadly, especially with both Jessica and I receiving this award in the same year,” says Baird. “I am so appreciative to the Faculty of Social Sciences for this award.”

    Blythe agrees, saying she felt both incredibly honoured by the recognition and pleased to be named alongside Baird.

    “It is especially exciting to know that the kind of applied, interdisciplinary and solution-oriented research we do as sustainability scientists is being recognized by the Faculty,” says Blythe. “While this award recognizes individuals, the work we do isn’t possible without an incredible team of people, including faculty and staff at ESRC, collaborators, students, and partners to name a few.”

    Baird is also grateful to have worked with several partners as part of her work, which she purposely designs to have real-world impact.

    “I am fortunate to have worked with excellent, sustainability-oriented partners and collaborators in my research as a faculty member, including the Niagara Parks Commission, WWF-Canada, and the Town of Lincoln, along with many amazing academics and students,” says Baird. “Nothing I do happens in isolation and I’m so grateful to those who have mentored me and collaborated with me to reach this point.”

    Both Blythe and Baird say they look forward to sharing their work and engaging in conversation at the upcoming event. Baird is also looking forward to celebrating graduate student research at the Colloquium, including that of Master of Sustainability student Booth, whom Baird supervises.

    “My research is focused on using Nature-Based Solutions such as Low-Impact Development (LID) to build more resilient socio-ecological communities,” says Booth. “Findings will be applied to the Prudhommes Landing development located in the Town of Lincoln, but the lessons learned from this case study can be shared with other leading jurisdictions and governments looking for innovative ways to encourage sustainable development.”

    Booth used her FOSS Student Award funding to commute to the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, where she was able to use the laboratory and equipment to collect and analyze soil samples collected at Prudhommes Landing throughout the summer.

    Moore, an MA student in Child and Youth Studies, will present on his research into the connection between conceptualizations of disability and the forces of settler colonialism in Canada, outlining his project to analyze the Ontario First Nations Special Education Review Report.

    “Being able to contribute to a critical and emerging body of literature that discusses disability and settler colonialism is extremely rewarding, as there is a significant need for more critical work in this area,” says Moore. “It is also very rewarding to play a very small part in continuing the ongoing effort of Decolonization, particularly in regards to Disability Studies.”

    Moore used the funding from his FOSS Student Research Award to scale back on work hours and purchase research materials. He says he is excited to take part in the event next week, and credits his supervisor, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director Hannah Dyer, as well as committee members Assistant Professor Chelsea Jones and Professor Richard Mitchell, with helping him get to the point of being ready to share his research plan.

    Rasuratnam of the MA in Applied Disability Studies also emphasizes the role her supervisor, Associate Professor Kimberly Zonneveld, has played not only in this research but in her academic path overall. After graduating with a degree in Life Science from McMaster, Rasuratnam completed a post-graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Sciences at Seneca College, which then led her to the graduate programs in Brock’s Department of Applied Disability Studies. She started out in a coursework stream but was inspired to undertake research by Zonneveld.

    At the upcoming event, Rasuratnam will present some of this work for the first time to an audience outside of the Zonneveld lab.

    “My research entails creating a video-prompting model to help prospective and current caregivers correctly install a car seat and harness an infant,” she says. “There’s still such a high prevalence of death and injuries that occur from motor vehicle collisions that, if caregivers learn how to correctly install car seats, this risk could be reduced by 70 to 80 per cent.”

    Rasuratnam used the funding from her FOSS Student Award to complete the Child Passenger Safety Technician certification to develop her video prompting procedure. She says there are currently only six applied studies on the topic of training, so the research could have far-reaching impacts if the techniques of applied behaviour analysis are shown to improve outcomes in the area of car-seat installation.

    Dawn Zinga, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences, says the event is an opportunity to showcase top faculty researchers while also highlighting the exciting research of graduate students.

    “The Faculty has wonderful diversity in the research that is undertaken across the various departments and programs,” says Zinga. “This event illustrates that breadth and depth.”

    The FOSS Research Colloquium is open to the public and intended for a general audience. Please register to receive a link to the Lifesize livestream.

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  • Brock research teams awarded federal funding for community partnerships

    Three Brock University teams have received a boost in funding for projects that aim to help Niagara organizations meet the needs of women and children during the pandemic and provide opportunities for Indigenous communities in the region’s tourism industry.

    The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has awarded the researchers a total of $57,477 through the Partnership Engage Grant (PEG) program, which provides short-term support for partnered research activities that respond to immediate needs and time constraints facing public, private or not-for-profit organizations in non-academic sectors.

    With the funding, Political Science Professor Charles Conteh and his Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) group are working with the YWCA Niagara Region to raise awareness of the need for safe and affordable housing for women locally and to identify systemic barriers facing under-represented women.

    Assistant Professor of Educational Studies Monique Somma and her team are partnering with the not-for-profit forest school Nature School and Education Centre in Lincoln to get a better understanding of how forest schools impact students’ mental health and well-being.

    Professor of Geography and Tourism Studies David Fennell and colleagues have teamed up with the Niagara Regional Native Centre to develop new tourism opportunities for Indigenous people through the Niagara Peninsula Aspiring Global Geopark, an initiative that explores how the region’s unique cultural and Indigenous heritage has been influenced by the peninsula’s underlying geology.

    Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon says the PEG awards are a testament to Brock’s effectiveness in forming dynamic community research partnerships.

    “The projects headed by Dr. Conteh, Dr. Somma and Dr. Fennell are powerful examples of how researchers and community organizations can come together to create positive change,” he says. “Each partner brings valuable knowledge to the table that, when combined, can make a tremendous difference in the lives of those around us,” says Kenyon.

    “Brock has long seen success with the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) version of these grants, between science researchers and industry partners,” he says. “With the advent of PEG awards for social science and humanities research, we are seeing the breadth and intensity of Brock researchers’ engagement with the wider community.”

    The NCO and YWCA formed a partnership last year following an NCO presentation on research dealing with affordable housing. The YWCA executive director was a panelist at that event.

    “The co-applicants, Joanne Heritz, Kathy Moscou and myself determined that an NCO-YWCA partnership to advocate for affordable housing would provide an excellent opportunity for the YWCA to advance its goals for affordable housing set forth in its strategic plan for 2019-2024,” says Conteh.

    The team aims to produce evidence-based research that would bring about policy changes to ensure that vulnerable women — particularly those who are Indigenous, racialized, seniors and low-income, among others — have access to emergency, transitional and affordable housing.

    “Further, the YWCA-NCO partnership aims to provide policy options to address housing needs resulting from poverty and worsened by the economic disruption of COVID-19,” says Conteh.

    He says that in 2020, 607 women, 55 men and 51 children in Niagara found sanctuary in YWCA emergency shelters and 120 women, 10 men and 78 children accessed YWCA transitional housing programs.

    Somma’s work with the Nature School and Education Centre follows up on earlier research that the two pursued from the time their partnership formed in 2017. Those results revealed “an increasing need for more focused inquiries on mental health and well-being,” says Somma.

    Forest schools are full- or part-time educational programs conducted in a variety of outdoor contexts, environments, age groups and climates. The programs take a ‘learner-centred’ approach in which children learn through playing, exploring and experimenting in woods or other natural settings.

    “Given the strong connection between time in nature and mental health benefits, outdoor nature programming is touted as one possible way forward to address some of the mental health challenges coming from the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Somma.

    Past research has shown that children aged six and younger have shown improvements in their overall health and well-being, increased motivation, concentration, confidence, knowledge of the natural environment and compassion by participating in forest schools, she says.

    The Nature School and Education Centre is seeking research on the impact of forest schools on older children to help the organization shape its programs and plans, says Somma. The Centre plans to offer about 10 tuition-free spots one day a week to new students and parents who would find this education approach helpful.

    Fennell says his work with the Niagara Regional Native Centre is looking at ways Indigenous people can “build new, cutting-edge tourism economies” connected to the Niagara Peninsula Aspiring Global Geopark.

    A ‘geopark’ is defined by the Global Geopark Network as an area that has ‘exceptional geological heritage’ that has scientific value, is rare, good for education or is particularly attractive.

    Opportunities for Indigenous communities exist in ‘smart tourism,’ which is the application of information and communications technologies to enhance tourism experiences and increase competitiveness, says Fennell. One example could be “personalized, interactive real-time tours,” he says.

    “The development of these new economies provides an opportunity to strengthen Indigenous tangible and intangible cultural and ecological heritage, through the telling of stories and celebration of historical connections with the Niagara region.

    Fennell says the research is meant to support the Niagara Regional Native Centre’s goal for Indigenous Peoples’ economic growth through principles and practices of sustainable development and is an “initial step” in developing a longer-term smart tourism project.

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  • Authors explore contested monuments at workshop led by Brock researcher

    FROM THE BROCK NEWS | by 

    In the wake of the murder of George Floyd in the spring of 2020, a global movement led to the toppling of hundreds of monuments commemorating historical figures and events.

    The trend fascinated Professor Michael Ripmeester in Brock’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, who, along with Associate Professor Russell Johnston in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, has been studying memory and the ways in which people engage with the landscape since about 2003. Ripmeester says that while the act of removing or destroying monuments to affect public memory is nothing new, the wave of reckoning with landscapes that spread around the world last year was different.

    “People have been toppling monuments since ancient times, often related to regime changes — so, for example, statues of the former leader get destroyed and replaced with statues of the new leader,” says Ripmeester. “But over the last year, there has been a global recognition of the legacies of colonialism and racism, and that has sparked a massive reconsideration of monuments all over the globe.”

    To delve deeper into the movement, Ripmeester teamed up with colleague Matthew Rofe of the University of South Australia to collect essays that critically engaged with how landscapes are contested by individuals, groups and institutions for a future special issue of the journal Landscape Research.

    But when response to their call for papers quickly outsized the available space in the journal, Ripmeester and Rofe decided to explore the possibility of a book project.

    To that end, they hosted a virtual authors’ workshop in late July entitled “Global Iconoclasm: Contesting “Official” Mnemonic Landscapes.” Using funding from the Council for Research in the Social Sciences (CRISS) and Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI) to support participants, they invited 10 authors to share their contributions and provide constructive feedback on each other’s essays.

    Some of the landscapes discussed during the workshop included monuments to fascism that remain standing in Italy, the contrast between monuments to British history and local usage of the heritage site at Victoria Falls in Africa and the Tsunami Museum in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, which doubles as an emergency shelter for future disasters while memorializing the 2004 tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people.

    “Something that came out in a number of papers is how we need to ensure that we don’t go back to what we did before,” says Ripmeester. “Moreover, the papers explore how we can help people understand structural and systemic racism in ways that both acknowledge the harm done and allow people to move forward with a sense of seeking justice for people who have been marginalized by collective memory.”

    He explains that monuments and other historic sites are places where memory is stored, just as memory is stored in archives, museums and school curricula. Their authoritative weight as well as the intertextuality of the narratives they represent tell a common story about identity — but historically, they are rarely inclusive.

    “Those with time and political, cultural, social and economic power determine what monuments are created, so when you look at a monument or you look at a historic site, you’re looking at a very specific manifestation of power,” he says. “Some groups have been completely left out of contributing to public identity, but we’re starting to see that change. For example, in Vancouver, Jim Deva Plaza was built and named in honour of one of the pioneers of LGBTQ rights in the city.”

    In addition to co-hosting the workshop, Ripmeester also presented a paper co-written with Johnston about the contested memorial to Pte. Alexander Watson at St. Catharines city hall.

    Ripmeester and Rofe were also recently awarded funding to support their research into a virtue-based approach to landscape management and their efforts to, as Ripmeester describes it, “build a network of scholars, artists and practitioners who have interests in thinking about collective memory, reconciliation and healing” — a theme that emerged in many of the workshop’s papers.

    He points to one author from Australia who wrote about a prison site where Indigenous men and boys had died and been buried in unmarked graves far from their home territories, violating their ancestral burial practices of being interred in one’s own country and a familiar landscape.

    “In trying to address this tragedy, the architects charged with designing the commemoration worked with Indigenous spokespersons and the communities of all the deceased to be respectful of not only local culture but also the cultures of the peoples to whom these men belonged,” Ripmeester says. “In the end, they built a site that includes a memorial garden that reflects the country. It’s a beautiful example of how Indigenous people and governments can work together to create a site that can lead to reconciliation through recognition of harm done and also toward overall healing.”

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  • 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.

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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.”

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  • MA in Geography student receives 2020 Graduate Student Research Award

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is pleased to congratulate Geography Master of Arts student, Rebekah Casey (BA Tourism and Environment ’19), who was recently awarded a Faculty of Social Sciences Master of Arts Student Research Award for her research, tentatively titled “There’s No Place Like (Rural) Home: Why People Choose Rural Despite Decline.” Congratulations also to Rebekah’s MA supervisor, Dr. Christopher Fullerton.

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  • MA in Geography alumna receives 2020 Best Graduate Thesis Award

    The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is pleased to congratulate Geography MA alumna, Katelyn Pierce (’20), who was recently awarded the 2020 Faculty of Social Sciences Best Graduate MA Thesis Award for her thesis titled “Detached from Our Bodies: Representing Women‘s Mental Health and Well-being with Graphic Memoirs.” Congratulations also to Katelyn’s MA supervisor, Dr. Ebru Ustandag.

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  • Social Sciences event to showcase faculty, student research 

    From lake bottom sediment to digital data, from hockey to health care, and from local actions to global implications, there’s no shortage of impactful research being done in Brock University’s Faculty of Social Sciences (FOSS).

    The University community is invited to hear about some of the compelling projects underway by faculty and students during the upcoming Social Sciences Research Colloquium taking place online Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 1 to 4 p.m.

    This annual event recognizes the outstanding achievements of FOSS researchers and gives award recipients an opportunity to present their findings to the Brock community and wider public.

    This year’s virtual colloquium will feature recent recipients of FOSS faculty awards that recognize consistent records of outstanding research achievements as reflected in the quality and quantity of refereed publications, grants awards and other research activities.

    Featured recipients include Michael Pisaric, Professor of Geography and Tourism Studies, who received the 2019 Distinguished Researcher award; Assistant Professor Karen Louise Smith from the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film, who received the 2019 Untenured Researcher of the Year award; and Nicole Goodman, now Associate Professor of Political Science, who received the Untenured Researcher of the Year award in 2018, but was unavailable to present until this year.

    In addition to faculty members, three winners of the Social Sciences Student Research Award were selected to present, including Pulkit Garg, who is pursuing a Master of Sustainability supervised by Professor of Biology Liette Vasseur; Jessica Falk, a Master of Arts candidate in Social Justice and Equity Studies, who is supervised by Margot Francis, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies; and Master of Arts candidate in Critical Sociology Appiah Bonsu, who is supervised by Associate Professor of Sociology Trent Newmeyer.

    This is the second Research Colloquium to showcase FOSS student researchers alongside faculty award winners. Combined, faculty and student presentations represent six FOSS departments.

    Winners of the 2020 FOSS faculty awards will be announced at the Research Colloquium, providing a preview of next year’s event.

    All are welcome to attend the free online event. For more information, including the draft agenda and login instructions, please visit the Research Colloquium website.

    What: Social Sciences Research Colloquium
    When: Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 from 1 to 4 p.m.
    Where: Lifesize
    Who: This webinar is free and open to the public.

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  • Geography and Tourism Studies Adjunct Professor named to the Order of Canada

    FROM THE BROCK NEWSTUESDAY, DECEMBER 01, 2020 | by

    A man well known to the Brock University community — and to the world for his critical climate change work — has received one of the country’s highest honours.

    Brock alumnus David Grimes (BSc ’75) was named to the Order of Canada on Friday, Nov. 27. He was recognized for his outstanding leadership in meteorology and for his pioneering development of a global strategy on climate change and disaster-risk preparedness.

    Grimes was the first Canadian to serve as President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a United Nations agency that co-ordinates international efforts to better understand the planet’s pressing weather, water and climate issues. He served two terms in the lead role from 2011 to 2019.

    He was among 114 appointments to the Order of Canada announced by Governor-General Julie Payette last week. Also receiving the honour was John Peller, a leader in Canada’s wine industry and a long-time supporter of Brock University.

    The Order of Canada recognizes Canadians whose service shapes society, whose innovations ignite imaginations and whose compassion unites communities.

    During his time at Brock, Grimes studied mathematics, and nuclear and quantum physics, ultimately graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physics.

    Upon graduation, he joined Environment Canada, where he trained as a meteorologist and spent more than four decades fulfilling policy and management assignments. He also served as Assistant Deputy Minister and head of Environment Canada’s Meteorological Service from 2006 to 2019.

    Grimes was previously honoured by Brock, receiving the University’s Alumni of Distinction Award in 2012 and the Faculty of Mathematics and Science Distinguished Graduate Award in 2016.

    “I am very pleased to hear that David Grimes has been named to the Order of Canada,” said Ejaz Ahmed, Dean of Brock’s Faculty of Mathematics and Science. “It is a well-deserved honour.”

    “We are very proud of David’s unparalleled contributions to science and society.”

    Recipients of the Order of Canada will be invited to accept their awards at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

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  • Brock researcher awarded Fulbright Canada Research Chair

    Kevin Turner, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, has been awarded a Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arctic Studies at the University of Washington.

    Next winter, Turner — who is also cross-appointed to the Department of Earth Sciences, an Associate Member of the Department of Biology and a Co-Founder of the Water and Environment Lab at Brock — is set to spend six months teaching and researching the impacts of climate change on northern landscapes, lakes, rivers and wetlands.

    “As land and water adjust to changes in climate, we are presented with many questions of urgent global concern, particularly to northern stakeholders,” says Turner. “Changing landscape components, such as permafrost thaw, will influence global carbon cycles and climate-warming greenhouse gases. This is a far-reaching concern.”

    The Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arctic Studies recognizes Associate Professor Kevin Turner’s ongoing work in mapping Arctic lake and river responses to landscape disturbances caused by the changing climate, as shown in this photo he captured of a landslide due to thawing permafrost.

    Turner notes that there are also local concerns, including how landscape disturbance such as fire, landslides and lake drainage can affect water quality, ecology, infrastructure and travel. To address some of these issues, he will use the research component of the Chair position to “take inventory of the landscape changes and identify how they influence the hydrology and chemistry of lakes, rivers and wetlands.”

    “The research aims to enhance our knowledge of climate change impacts and feedbacks,” says Turner, who has been conducting fieldwork in northern Yukon for 14 years. “We do this by identifying linkages among landscape changes and lake and river biogeochemistry across the ecologically and culturally important landscapes of the Yukon River Basin.”

    The Fulbright Canada Research Chair also involves teaching for the University of Washington’s minor in Arctic Studies. Turner plans to share with students both remote sensing and field-based techniques for collecting landscape data, as well as teaching students how to analyze, synthesize and share their findings with broad audiences.

    Turner says he was honoured to be selected for the Fulbright Canada Research Chair.

    “There are several colleagues I look up to who have received it in the past,” he says. “I am grateful that I have this opportunity to extend my research program and collaborations across borders.”

    Turner is attracted to the University of Washington for several reasons, not the least of which is the chance to work more closely with colleagues whom he has met during his affiliation with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Arctic-Boreal Monitoring Experiment.

    He also notes that the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, where the position will be homed, is a “leader in advancing the understanding of and engagement in world issues.”

    “Several researchers and dignitaries from Yukon participate at their various forums, including Dana Tizya-Tramm, Chief of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation (VGFN; Old Crow, Yukon), who discussed impacts of climate change on Indigenous communities and their resilience during a meeting of the World Affairs Council,” says Turner. “The priorities of my research program have been guided by the vast knowledge that the VGFN have of their traditional territory and the observations they have made over generations.”

    Turner also has personal reasons to be excited about relocating to Seattle for the duration of the position.

    “As a past varsity rower, I’m interested in seeing where that 1936 crew came from on their way to gold in Germany,” Turner admits. “I should also mention that I’m a big fan of several musical artists who came from Seattle — top of the list would be Jimi Hendrix.”

    However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may interfere with Turner’s plans. The position is set to begin in January 2021, but a few pieces need to fall into place before then.

    “We are currently living in a world of virtual-communications and we are unsure of how this will change by the end of the year,” says Turner, adding that international visas were suspended by the U.S. Department of State until the end of 2020. “Fulbright is currently looking into these issues and will provide updates as they learn more. I have hope that things will change for the better as the new year approaches.”

    Turner also points out that “climate change will not pause for us, and there is a lot within that realm that we need to learn.”

    “Arctic and subarctic regions are undergoing climate warming at a rate twice above the global average, and changes in precipitation patterns occurring — less snow and more rain, for example — are having major impacts on these landscapes,” says Turner. “The processes that cause permafrost degradation are often triggered by warm and wet conditions, and since about a third of the world’s carbon is locked in permafrost, this has complex ramifications for the rest of the world.”

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