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.
Articles tagged with: Ebru Ustundag
How people engage with their families, communities, governments and environments, as well as each other, helped inspire the exciting and diverse research recognized at the annual Celebration of Excellence in the Social Sciences.
Held at Pond Inlet on Jan. 29, the event was an opportunity to recognize achievements on both sides of the education spectrum, celebrating both teachers and learners.
“Although the Celebration of Excellence is focused on individual accomplishments, I want to acknowledge the collective effort that goes into supporting each of those individuals,” Ingrid Makus, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences (FOSS), told the crowd of students, staff, faculty members and supporters who gathered for the event.
Makus was delighted to recognize the outstanding student research and writing happening within the Faculty and to formally announce two faculty honours.She thanked the many staff and faculty within FOSS, members of Brock’s service departments and the University’s senior administration for their support.
Professor Rebecca Raby from the Department of Child and Youth Studies was presented with the Distinguished Researcher award. Raby serves as the Director of Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute (SJRI) and is affiliated with master’s programs in Social Justice and Equity Studies and Sociology.
“It is an honour to receive this award,” Raby said. “It reflects the shared creativity, commitment and hard work of incredible faculty and student collaborators that I have been able to work with, as well as excellent mentorship, most notably from Jane Helleiner in Sociology and from all of the past and present members of the SJRI’s Faculty Steering Committee.”
Nicole Goodman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, received the Untenured Researcher of the Year award.
Goodman was humbled by the honour.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunities and support provided to me by the Department of Political Science and the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock, which has allowed my research to have a bigger impact in the communities it serves.”
The two faculty awards were created to recognize FOSS members with consistent records of outstanding research achievements as reflected in the quality and quantity of refereed publications, grants awards and other research activities.
The Distinguished Researcher award for tenured faculty considers accomplishments from the last five academic years. The Untenured Researcher of the Year award considers accomplishments within the previous academic year.
Associate Dean Graduate and Research Dawn Zinga presented certificates to graduate students in the Faculty who exhibited exceptional research or writing skills in the past year.
Alexandra Perna, a master’s student in Geography, was among the recipients of a Graduate Student Research Excellence award.
Perna said the faculty and staff in Geography and Tourism were a big factor in her success.
“As much as it’s my award, this is really a reflection of my whole department,” she said. She credited her “amazing” supervisor, Associate Professor Ebru Ustundag, with “making me feel that I can accomplish anything.”
Perna is now thinking of pursuing a PhD, something she said she wouldn’t have considered without Ustundag’s encouragement.
According to Perna, the most significant benefit of the award may be the feedback from the adjudication committee.
“Getting feedback was so awesome,” she said. “It shows their dedication in reading all these proposals. They aren’t just skimming through them. They’re actually helping the students learn in a different way and become better.”
Lisa Michelle Whittingham, who calls herself a community-based researcher, also received a Research Excellence award. The master’s student in Child and Youth Studies was grateful to have her work validated by the Faculty.
“I feel this shows they have faith that my research can make positive impact on the community,” she said.
During the event’s closing remarks, Tim Kenyon, Vice-President Research, marvelled at the breadth and depth of the research represented in FOSS.
“What particularly impresses me is that your research and scholarship address a range of challenges we face as individuals, a society and a global community,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate those who were recognized today and extend my appreciation to all faculty, students and staff for creating such a dynamic community that makes a difference.”
The Celebration of Excellence program listing all award recipients is posted on the Faculty of Social Sciences website along with a PDF of the Powerpoint presentation that accompanied the event. Photos of the event are available on the BrockUFOSS Facebook page.
Story reposted from The Brock News.
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!
This long weekend, three Geography and Tourism Studies students and Associate Professor, Dr. Ebru Ustundag, are off to the University of Montréal to participate in a feminist geography conference.
Co-organized by Dr. Ustundag, this two-day conference is hosted by the Canadian Women and Geography (CWAG) specialty group of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) and the International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Gender and Geography.
The conference theme this year is Feminist Geographies in/during Troubled Times: Dialogues, Interventions and Praxis, a theme that fits well with the research interests of Geography and Tourism Studies students Jennica Giesbrecht, Katelyn Pierce, and Jennifer Williamson. All three will be presenting in sessions this Sunday, August 5.
Querying ‘the future of work’ 3: Rethinking Care and the future of work (Jennica Giesbrecht, Master of Arts in Geography Candidate; 1:30 – 3:00pm in room B-3245)
Bodies and Embodiments (Katelyn Pierce, Master of Arts in Geography Candidate; 10:45am – 12:15pm in room B-3255)
Spaces and Places 1: Cities (Jennifer Williamson, Bachelor of Arts in Geography Candidate; 1:30 – 3:00pm in room B-3255)
In addition to these presentations, Dr. Ustundag will be participating in and moderating three roundtable discussions:
- Geo-humanities, Intimate Narrations and Art Praxis 1: Conceptual Interventions (Roundtable participant; Sunday, 1:30 – 3:00pm in room B-3260)
- Geo-humanities, Intimate Narrations and Art Praxis 2: Dialogues on Art Praxis (Roundtable moderator; Sunday, 3:15 – 4:45pm in room B-3260)
- Dialogues in Feminist-Queer Geographies Panel (Roundtable organizer/moderator; Monday, 10:45am – 12:15pm in room B-3255)
The feminist geography conference precedes the 2018 International Geographical Union and Canadian Association of Geographers meetings, which will be held in Québec City from August 6-10.
For more information, please visit: https://feministgeography.org/.
MA in Geography thesis defence scheduled for July 24: “A Domestic Geography of Money” by Adam Fischer
Adam Fischer will defend his MA thesis titled “A Domestic Geography of Money: How Mortgage Debt, Home Prices, and Toronto’s Condominiums “Prop up” the Canadian Economy” on July 24, 2018 from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. The defense will take place in MC C-407 and is open to the public.
Adam Fisher’s Examining Committee includes Dr. Alan Walks from the University of Toronto (External), Dr. Philip Mackintosh (Supervisor), Dr. Jeffrey Boggs (Committee Member), and Dr. Christopher Fullerton (Committee Member).
The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate Dr. Ebru Ustundag on being awarded the 2018 York University Geography 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
According to the award letter:
“The committee felt that, despite having many more years ahead to make significant scholarly contributions to the discipline of geography, that you [Ebru] exemplify the critical human geography championed by York University through your involvement in action research. In addition, you have made exceptional contributions to the discipline of geography in a very short time, and you have been previously recognized for your sustained and serious commitment to innovative pedagogy at the undergraduate and graduate levels, collegiality, multidisciplinary research and community activism.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
Story from The Brock News
Many students spend the spring and summer months completing extra courses or taking a well-deserved trip. Anthony Montagano did both — at the same time.
The 20-year-old Niagara Falls native recently returned from a weeklong Geography and Tourism field course (GEOG/TOUR 3Q93) in Vancouver, B.C. The experiential learning opportunity brought a class of Brock University students to the city to learn about the historical geography of the region, as well as its social and cultural processes.
For Montagano, the diversity of Vancouver’s landscape could not have been fully grasped in a classroom.
“It’s good to hear about certain destinations, but to see things first-hand is really helpful,” said the second-year Tourism Management student. “It’s easier to identify common trends, like gentrification and high-density housing, and you can use your own observations rather than just lecture notes to help form an opinion.”
This lesson was made clear when the group, which included students from each of Brock’s Faculties, encountered the diversity that Vancouver offers in its many neighbourhoods.
“We travelled around to the different areas of Vancouver and determined what would cause the price of home ownership to go up or down, while also evaluating what services were available in each area,” Montagano said. “It was cool to see the urban core, Olympic sports venues and small fishing docks all within the same city.”
While exploring Canada’s third-largest city, Montagano and his classmates were encouraged to learn about the social history of the region as well.
“I was unaware of the tragic historical exploitation of the Asian communities in Vancouver,” he said. “I now understand a little more in history that many people may still be ignorant to.”
Though the group was only together in Vancouver for eight days, Montagano learned that it was easier to bond with his classmates while outside of the lecture hall.
“When you are in a new setting, you tend to make bonds right away,” he said. “I met some great friends and everyone got along really well.”
In addition to the new friendships and cultural discovery that came with the trip, Montagano was also appreciative of other aspects of participating in a spring experiential field course.
“I gained some great experience for my resumé and you can save some time by having to take less courses during the year,” he said.
Now home, Montagano has finished a 12-page paper about his experiences to complete the course’s final assignment. The reflective exercise has helped him to share why others should participate in similar classes going forward.
“I would really encourage people to consider these experiential field courses,” he said. “I know the trips might cost a bit more than a normal course, but now is the opportunity to travel and gain valuable experience at the same time. These courses will set you apart at Brock and help prepare you for your career.”
Story from The Brock News
June 15, 2018
On May 8, 2018, Master of Arts in Geography student Marina Nikolovski successfully completed her major research paper titled “Examining governance, risks and human rights of water in Canada”. Marina’s MRP was supervised by Dr. Ebru Ustundag and committee member, Dr. Chris Fullerton. Congratulations Marina, we wish you all the best!
On April 10-14, our graduate students and professors travelled to New Orleans for the 2018 American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting. At this AAG Annual Meeting, Master of Arts in Geography student Jennica Giesbrecht was awarded the Glenda Laws Paper Award for her paper “Posthuman and Material-Discursive Examinations of the Geographies of the Dead Body”. Congratulations Jennica!
Read more about the papers and sessions by Geography and Tourism Studies professors and students:
By: Drs. Nancy Cook and David Butz (Geography and Tourism Studies)
Over the past decade numerous authors have called for the development of “mobile methods” (Büscher, Urry & Witchger, 2011) and the identification of suitable “methods for mobilities research” (Sheller & Urry, 2006), and a number of innovative approaches to studying mobilities have emerged. These often involve some form of embodied or kinaesthetic researcher involvement in the mobile practices and contexts of the social groups or in the spaces under investigation. More recently, mobilities and transport scholars have begun to trouble some of the claims and assumptions underpinning the turn to mobile methods on epistemological (e.g., Merriman, 2014) and ethical (e.g., Warren, 2017) grounds. Our presentation contributes to this methodological discussion by suggesting the notion of epistemic justice as a basis for assessing the adequacy of particular methods for conducting mobilities research. We argue that epistemic justice is a significant aspect of mobility justice itself, and should be an important consideration in the conduct of mobilities research. We develop our argument with reference to a self-directed photography project we conducted with members of a small community in the mountains of northern Pakistan in the wake of a locally-important road construction project.
By: Drs. Emmanuel Kyeremeh and Jeffrey Boggs (Geography and Tourism Studies)
The English-language press promotes a thesis of an incompatibility between workers’ ‘skills’ and employers’ needs, a condition variously called skill(s) gap(s), horizontal (and vertical) mismatch, or over- (and under-) education. However, no single unambiguous definition exists which encompasses these terms in a unified framework. Furthermore, these concepts frequently conflate credentials, skill-level, skillset and habit. Given the implications of these claims for labour force policies in English-speaking countries, this ambiguity is problematic. Furthermore, scholarly literature finds claims of skills-mismatch to be inconsistent with existing data in Anglophone countries. With that said, what we collectively term a ‘skills-mismatch’ exemplifies Markusen’s (2003) ‘fuzzy concept.’ While our re-conceptualization of the skills-mismatch as a concept consisting of three analytically-distinct components (credential-mismatch, skill-level-mismatch, and skillset-mismatch, all as distinct from habits) provides a starting-point for investigating the existence and extent of a skills-mismatch in a given context, a larger popular discourse already frames the contemporary discussion about an alleged skills-mismatch. Regardless of its problematic empirical foundations, this larger popular discourse frames universities as the cause of a ‘skills-mismatch.’ Irritatingly, this discourse downplays or ignores the role of employers in training workers, especially given declines in-house training budgets. In term of public wealth, advocates of the skills-mismatch thesis call for the restructuring of public universities to provide “workforce-ready” workers at the expense of turning out well-rounded students, and ignore the repercussions of this putative solution which further externalizes firms’ training costs onto society at large.
By: Dean Mizzi, MA in Geography candidate, Brock University
LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) enclaves, also known as “gay villages” or “gayborhoods”, have been a subject of study by geographers for decades. Advancements in information and communications technology since the 1990s, particularly access to the Internet and later to mobile telecommunications, have changed the nature of LGBT communities. More interaction is taking place via online services, such as social networks or online discussion boards, in contrast to the traditional physical spaces associated with gay villages. Most current scholarship describes these new interactions in the context of their benefits such as increased accessibility of information, community-building for activism, or as a means of social support. In this study I present a review and analysis of literature both within and outside geography which contests the current liberatory discourse surrounding LGBT life online including reproduction of exclusions from physical spaces in online environments, the creation of “virtual closets” in the constant sharing environment of social media, and increases in mass surveillance and content restrictions. In addition, I examine several current conceptual frameworks used in virtual geographies: hybrid spaces, augmented reality, and mediated spatiality. The remainder of the paper is devoted to examining which conceptual framework(s) is/are most effective for geographers in articulating the critiques to the liberatory discourse of LGBT life online.
By: Stephanie Murray, MA in Geography candidate, Brock University
At present, numerous studies exist which focus on the practices and mobility of “snowbirds” and other RV nomads travelling within North America. And yet, moving alongside these nomads is another group of highly mobile vehicle-dwellers who seem to have gone unnoticed by scholars. United under the “vanlife” hashtag, these individuals refer to themselves as “vanlifers,” “vandwellers,” and “van nomads.” In order to learn about the meanings that these vandwellers assign to their mobility, and the ways in which that mobility might change the way that geographers conceptualize the scale of the home, I moved into my van and attended a number of van gatherings in Colorado and Washington State between July 1st and August 20th, 2017. This paper presents the findings from 9 weeks of participatory ethnographic research, during which 10 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with 7 couples and 3 single “vanlifers.” By employing a “mobile metaphysics” in my analysis of the resulting participatory and interview data, I hope to contribute to recent efforts to expand geography’s focus beyond an ontology of fixity and place, and draw attention to the practices and meanings embedded in the movements of American vandwellers.
Chair: Hilda Kurtz
Discussants: Jenna Loyd (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Punam Khosla (York University), Ebru Ustundag (Geography and Tourism Studies, Brock University), Hilda Kurtz University of Georgia)
This session is one of several organized for the purpose of providing grounded but critical discussion of public engagement and outreach opportunities, strategies, and challenges. Sessions build upon the experiences of panelists/facilitators and the sharing of perspectives from the audience to create a space where geographers can train each other, trade innovations and ideas, and negotiate practical and even political obstacles to public engagement in geography.
This panel approaches public engagement in terms of process pragmatism and public pedagogy, and frame our session around both the nitty gritty of teach-ins as a mode of public engagement and thoughts on why this work is important in 21st century higher education. Jenna Loyd (University of Wisconsin) will share her experiences with co-organizing a series of community workshops on policing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, called Transforming Justice. She will focus on creating shared knowledge and working with social movement organizers. Punam Khosla (York University) will speak to her experience doing workshops with women in low-income neighbourhoods in Toronto as well as a number of other public engagement/ outreach/ education workshops over the years in labour unions, anti criminalization gender based violence campaigns, and community radio. Ebru Ustundag (Brock University) will problematize what we understand as ‘public/community engagement’, inviting expanded institutional consideration of what community building and partnership might look like. Hilda Kurtz (University of Georgia) will consider public engagement in relation to public intellectualism as assemblage, and reflect on her work co-organizing a teach-in series on civic engagement called Solidarity Sundays.
The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate our Geography students Mackenzie Ceci (BSc. Geography candidate), Senanu Kutor (MA in Geography candidate), and Jerin Lubna (MA in Geography candidate) for being acknowledged for their extensive research work by Brock’s Faculty of Social Sciences.
“These inaugural Student Research Awards recognize the essential role our students play in knowledge generation, dissemination and application,” said Ingrid Makus, Interim Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. “We are very proud of their ongoing research accomplishments.”
Award recipients with Geography and Tourism Studies faculty. From left to right: Mackenzie Ceci, Jerin Lubna, Dr. Ebru Ustundag, and Dr. Kevin Turner.
Vice-President, Academic Tom Dunk (left, middle row), Acting Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research Dawn Zinga (far left, front row), Interim Dean Ingrid Makus (right, middle row) and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Students Angela Book (far right, front row) congratulate students from across the Faculty of Social Sciences departments and centres who received awards in recognition of their research contributions. Photo from The Brock News.