Articles tagged with: community

  • Faculty and students participate in Ontario Farmland Forum

    four students standing in front of an Ontario Farmland Forum banner

    Geography and Tourism Studies student volunteers at the Ontario Farmland Forum.

    On March 28, 2019, a group of Geography and Tourism Studies students travelled to Ball’s Falls Conservation Centre to volunteer at the 2019 Ontario Farmland Forum. This event was organized by the Ontario Farmland Trust, which is currently led by Executive Director, Kathryn Enders (Brock BA GEOG ’06).

    The Forum looked at different approaches to protecting farmland in broader landscapes, including the waterways, woodlots, hedgerows, and fields that make up farm systems. It featured presentations by Dr. Chris Fullerton, and Geography alumna Sara Epp (BA GEOG ’08; MA GEOG ’13).

    More details can be found on the Farmland Forum website.

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  • Brock-led poverty research project heads into second year

    A partnership between the Niagara Region and Brock announced last May is examining the Niagara Prosperity Initiative (NPI) and its impact on Niagara communities.

    Lori Watson, Director, Social Assistance and Employment Opportunities for Niagara Region, said the research project “will help the Niagara Region develop an updated report outlining the state of poverty in Niagara — an analysis on the impacts, outcomes and offer recommendations on best practices moving forward.”

    A Brock-led research project looking into poverty in Niagara is headed into its second year. Pictured are some of the researchers and students involved in the project.

    The three-year research project was funded through a nearly half-million-dollar grant from the Government of Ontario’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund and will culminate in a final report to be released in 2021.

    The NPI provides $1.5 million annually to support poverty reduction and prevention activities throughout the region. In its 10 years of operation, the NPI has funded some 365 projects delivered by 85 local agencies to help more than 100,000 individuals and families experiencing poverty across Niagara.

    Brock’s transdisciplinary research team is led by Jeff Boggs (Geography and Tourism Studies), Michael Busseri (Psychology), Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker (Teacher Education), Joyce Engel (Nursing), Tiffany Gallagher (Teacher Education), Kevin Gosine (Sociology), Felice Martinello (Economics), Dawn Prentice (Nursing) and Dennis Soron (Sociology).

    In 2018, the NPI evaluation team:

    • Formulated a communications strategy
    • Formed a community advisory team
    • Reviewed previous research, statistics and the landscape of poverty and poverty reduction efforts in Niagara and comparable regions
    • Interviewed people who were instrumental to the development and management of NPI, with a focus on NPI’s history and objectives
    • Spoke with NPI-funded project leads with a focus on the impact of NPI funding
    • Created a comparison of actual and expected outputs
    • Analyzed testimonials from NPI service users

    In 2019, the NPI evaluation team is aiming to:

    • Form a lived experience advisory group
    • Continue speaking with NPI-funded project leads
    • Measure the impact of NPI assistance on service user well-being
    • Survey a representative sample of Niagara residents affected by poverty
    • Evaluate NPI-funded literacy projects
    • Develop inclusive photo-reporting practices
    • Assess service user feedback mechanisms
    • Review the NPI request for proposal and review process

    The NPI evaluation team received contributions and support from a number of places, including Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute, which initiated the partnership and facilitated the grant application process, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the wider Brock community.

    Members of the Community Advisory Team, including Catherine Livingston, Diane Corkum, Jackie Van Lankveld and Jane LaVacca, reviewed and provided feedback on the project plan. Fourth-year Sociology students conducted 25 interviews with NPI-funded project leads. The Information and Analytics Team, a business unit with Niagara Region’s Information Technology Solutions division, identified and facilitated access to poverty-related data collected by the Niagara Region and its partners.

    For more information, visit the NPI Evaluation project website at brocku.ca/npi-evaluation.

    Story reposted from The Brock News.

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  • Jeff Boggs participates in the 2018 Niagara Economic Summit panel on Tomorrow’s Reality

    Profesor Jeff Boggs (third from left) participates in the Niagara Economic Summit 2018 panel on Tomorrow’s Reality. Photo by Brock NCO.

    On November 2, 2018, professor Jeff Boggs joined five other panelists to discuss “Tomorrow’s Reality — Trends to Watch For”. The panel explored the contemporary global demographic and economic trends and considered their implications for Niagara, most importantly their effects on our competitiveness in the global market.

    The Niagara Economic Summit brings together individuals from across the Region to celebrate shared successes, strategize the way forward for our regional economy, and increase collaboration. Participants from academy, senior ranks of government, economists, organizational leaders and business owners explore the importance and opportunities presented by diversification.

    More information about the event can be found at gncc.ca/economicsummit/.

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  • Employees, students and research add up to Brock’s significant impact on Niagara

    Nearly half a billion dollars. Even on the conservative end of the measurement scale, that’s the economic impact Brock University has on the Niagara region each year.

    It comes in the form of Brock’s 19,000 students living in the region and spending their money here. It comes from hundreds of millions of dollars in capital and operational expenditures. And it comes from Brock’s 4,800 part- and full-time employees receiving more than $200 million in payroll each year.

    “I encourage you to look beyond the numbers,” said Brock University President Gervan Fearon. “There are individuals directly tied to each of those dollar values. The values reflect the outstanding work our staff, faculty, researchers, students and partners are doing in contributing to economic and community activities across the region and province.”

    A new policy brief released by the Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) Wednesday, Oct. 10 gives an updated snapshot of the University’s economic impact locally and beyond. The brief is a pilot project that will lead to more wholesome economic impact studies, as well as research examining Brock’s social and community engagement impact.

    “One of the things this paper does is show how the University can be a catalyst and a partner in Niagara,” Fearon said. “Brock is a community-based university and what we’re celebrating here is not just our achievements, but the achievements of the entire community.”

    Brock Associate Professor of Geography and Tourism Studies Jeff Boggs and master’s student Lauren Peddle (BA ’18) co-authored the report after spending months researching and poring through data using two separate accepted methodologies.

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

    Professor Jeff Boggs and MA in Geography student, Lauren Peddle, present the findings from their study, The Brock University effect: How thousands of students and millions of dollars energize the economy of Niagara communities.

    Using conservative assumptions as the basis, one method estimates Brock’s impact in Niagara to be more than $436 million and the other more than $450 million. When student and related spending are considered, this number jumps to nearly $640 million.

    Brock has an annual operating budget of $320 million and a payroll of more than $212 million. It’s one of Niagara’s biggest employers, and nearly 80 per cent of its employees live in the region.

    Brock Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon said measuring and characterizing a post-secondary institution’s impact on its community is a “ferociously difficult challenge.” But Brock’s decision to take it on shows the University’s commitment to being a community partner.

    “What we learned is that the University affects the community, but the community also affects the University,” he said.

    He added that Brock’s more than $15 million in research grants received in the past year translates into equipment purchases, new hires and the enabling of research that positively impacts the community.

    The policy brief will become a foundation for future research and planning, said Fearon.

    “We’ll now be able to look at the numbers to say ‘how can we have the greatest financial impact at a regional level?’”

    Deputy St. Catharines CAO David Oakes, one of the panelists at Wednesday’s NCO event, said Brock’s impact on municipalities in the region is immense.

    “Brock is critical to the St. Catharines economy,” he said. “You look at something like the Steel Blade hockey game, where you have 5,000 students coming downtown — that has a direct impact on the downtown core that wouldn’t have been there otherwise.”

    Other panelists reflecting on the important role played by the University and the value added to Niagara communities included Mishka Balsom from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Rino Mostacci from the Niagara Region and Peter Tiidus, Dean of Brock’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

    Download the policy brief “The Brock University Effect” here.

    STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS

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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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