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.
Articles tagged with: graduate studies
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.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS) has named the five recipients of the annual FGS Awards, which were delivered the news in a virtual format for the first time in the awards’ nine-year history.
The awards, typically handed out at the Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Conference in April, celebrate the accomplishments and excellence of members of Brock University’s graduate community.
“Despite not being able to recognize our winners in-person at this time, handing out these awards is still an important and meaningful celebration of the outstanding graduate culture that Brock has worked hard to grow,” says Diane Dupont, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies. “Our winners have all greatly contributed to making Brock an excellent place to pursue graduate education.”
Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award
The Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award, which recognizes a faculty, staff and students for their work and leadership in developing and/or enhancing graduate studies and the graduate student experience for students, was presented to Rachel Yufei Luan.
“To me, leadership is all about inspiring people,” says Luan, a second-year student in the master of Business Administration International Student Program. “It’s not only what you say you and do, but how you say and do it. People with good leadership skills can influence their community every day.”
Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Award
The Michael Plyley Graduate Student Mentorship Award normally awards two Faculty members for their outstanding mentorship of graduate students, one in the category or mentorship of only master’s students, and one in the category of mentorship of both master’s and PhD students. However, this year the adjudication committee was unanimous in their decision to name four award winners.
Michael Pisaric, Professor in the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, and Karen Fricker, Associate Professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts, were awarded the Mentorship Award in the master’s only category.
Pisaric says receiving the award was “easily one of the highlights of my career.”
“When my students approached me about the nomination, I was touched that they thought of me in such regard as to nominate me. To actually receive the award, however, is humbling. Graduate students are at the heart of my research program. Without my amazing students, my research program would not be nearly as successful. We are creating the scientists and leaders of tomorrow ,and my goal is to ensure they are well prepared for whatever path they follow when they leave Brock.”
Pisaric says one of the most important aspects of being a mentor to his students is cultivating a thoughtful and supportive experience for his students in the same way he received while he was a student.
The award is equally as meaningful to Fricker, whose advice to other mentoring graduate students is to “seek out opportunities and giver ‘er. Such mentorship is one of the deepest rewards of academic life.”
As there are currently no graduate programs in Dramatic Arts, the opportunity for Fricker to supervise graduate students is small. Working with her current student in the master of Arts in Popular Culture has been educational and helped her stay on her own theoretical and critical game.
In the category of master’s and PhD students, the recipients of the awards were Madelyn Law and Miriam Richards.
Law, Associate Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, was touched that her students thought highly enough of their experiences with her to nominate her for the award.
“I don’t do things to win awards — I just always focus on improving the way I work with students based on listening and understanding their research and educational goals,” says Law. “Receiving this award has allowed me to see that this approach is appreciated and making a difference for these students lives, which is all I could ask for.”
Richards, a Professor of Biological Sciences, said the award was a great boost during an uncertain time. She also comments that being a good mentor is as beneficial for her, as for her students.
“Research and academia are challenging, fascinating and sometimes very difficult,” says Richards. “Research is a team activity and for science students, is basically an apprenticeship. It’s not really something you can do by yourself. Supervising grad students is one of the best things about my job.”
When asked to provide advice and insight to others on effectively mentoring students, all winners felt similar in that there was no perfect recipe, but touted open communication, understanding and kindness.
The full list of this year’s FGS Awards recipients are below.
Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award
Rachel Yufei Luan
Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Award
Michael Pisaric (Geography and Tourism Studies)
Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards (at least one recipient from each Faculty)
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
Talia Ritondo, MA, Applied Health Sciences
Nigel Kurgan, PhD, Applied Health Sciences
Faculty of Education
Monica Louie, MEd, Education
Susan Docherty-Skippen, PhD, Education
Goodman School of Business
Ardalan Eyni, MSc, Management
Faculty of Humanities
Simone Mollard, MA, Classics
Brett Robinson, PhD, Interdisciplinary Humanities
Faculty of Mathematics and Science
Scott Cocker, MSc, Earth Science
Parisa Abbasi, PhD, Chemistry
Faculty of Social Sciences
Madeline Asaro, MA, Applied Disability Studies
Megan Earle, PhD, Psychology
STORY FROM THE BROCK NEWS
It’s a simple, logical way to cut down on air and noise pollution.
Electric buses don’t emit carbon or use fossil fuels, are low cost to maintain and, by the silent way they operate, reduce noise pollution compared to conventional buses.
But replacing current buses with electricity-powered ones is easier said than done, says master’s student Tasnuva Afreen.
Afreen recently wrapped up an eight-month internship with the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) to collect and interpret information related to transit authorities’ transition to electric buses.
“Now we’re trying to connect the dots,” says Afreen, who is in Brock’s Sustainability Science and Society program. “We hope to bring out what Canadians think of electric buses and identify the main barriers to bringing electric buses to transit authorities’ fleets.”
Mitacs partners with academics, private industry and governments to conduct research and training programs related to industrial and social innovation. The organization funds a number of research projects at Brock University.
During her internship, Afreen organized consultations with industry representatives, transit authorities, government officials and academic researchers.
She and her CUTRIC colleagues asked participants a series of questions about transit authorities’ experiences and challenges of experimenting with electric buses and the knowledge they need to acquire and integrate hydrogen fuel cell vehicles into their fleets.
Afreen also asked transit riders to share their opinions on and experiences with electric buses.
She then transcribed the consultation sessions and analyzed the comments. Afreen also gathered information on how to test electric buses in nine municipalities that expressed interest in becoming demonstration trial sites.
Although she and Fullerton are still analyzing the data, Afreen says her preliminary results show that there’s much interest in putting electric buses on the road.
But there are a number of barriers to overcome, she says.
“Municipalities have to redesign their infrastructure to provide electric lines so that buses can recharge very quickly,” says Afreen. “Also, the upfront expense is huge — a lot of transit agencies don’t have the money in their pocket to go for this.”
Fullerton, Afreen’s supervisor, says the research she conducted will lay the groundwork for CUTRIC’s efforts to encourage the adoption of electric buses across Canada.
“While it has already demonstrated clear environmental, social and economic benefits in other parts of the world, electric bus technology is still relatively new and adopting it represents a major funding commitment,” says Fullerton.
“Public transit agencies and other stakeholders, such as the various levels of government that provide subsidies for transit infrastructure, want to make sure that the technology is reliable and that their money is well spent,” he says, adding that Afreen’s work helps identify stakeholders’ concerns and information needs.
Afreen will share her Mitacs-supported internship experience at Brock’s Shift Conference Tuesday, April 30 and the Launch Forum Wednesday, May 1. Mitacs Director Rebecca Bourque and Office of Research Services staff will be join Afreen at Launch in the 10 to 11:30 a.m. session in the Cairns Atrium to explore how faculty member and graduate student teams can navigate Mitacs internship opportunities.
“Mitacs internships offer graduate students a valuable experience working with industry or community organizations,” says Industry Liaison and Partnership Officer Iva Bruhova. “It is a chance to apply their research skills and gain employment-ready skills.”
In addition to the Mitacs session, the Launch event offers two other sessions on how faculty and staff can support graduate students through designing individual development plans.
The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to congratulate our Master of Arts in Geography student, Aaron Nartey, on receiving a Faculty of Social Sciences Student Research Award for his proposed Major Research Paper project titled “Return Migration of Ghanaian Immigrants”.
When a group of researchers returned to Crawford Lake to continue the search for evidence of a possible new geological era, they came with a film crew to document the occasion.
Toronto-based Mercury Films joined the team of scientists, led by Brock’s Department of Earth Sciences, shooting footage during last month’s trip to the Milton site to collect samples.
The team is studying the lake as a possible location to define a new geologic epoch called the Anthropocene. It is one of 10 sites being captured by Mercury Films.
The production company’s most recent film,Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September and is part of a multimedia project that includes a major travelling museum exhibition of photographs, short films and augmented reality. It has been featured at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada, and will be on display in Bologna, Italy, in April.
In addition to the field work, Mercury Films will visit Brock to obtain footage of the laboratory analysis component of this research effort. As part of a project, contracted through the German government, they will highlight each site’s candidacy for type section — a location where evidence of a time period shift can be seen — and cover all the steps leading to the formal proposal of the Anthropocene epoch.
In order to receive this ‘golden spike’ designation, a proposal must be submitted to the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) for evaluation. If the AWG approves of this proposal, it will then be evaluated by the International Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, chaired by Brock University Professor of Earth Sciences Martin Head.
While the world is technically in the Holocene epoch, the group researching Crawford Lake, which also includes researchers from Carleton and McMaster universities as well as Conservation Halton, hopes their findings can convince fellow scientists around the globe to establish the start of the latest geological age.
Researchers suggest the Anthropocene began around 1950. While it hasn’t been officially adopted as a geological epoch, Brock Professor of Earth Sciences Francine McCarthy and her team are attempting to build a case for Crawford Lake.
To get a better understanding of the history that exists within Crawford, annually laminated sediments called varves are recovered through freeze-coring — a process that involves dropping a dry ice and ethanol filled-metal sampler into the lake.
“Over the next year or so, various types of analysis of the varves and the overlying water will be conducted, including radionuclide analysis to look for the ‘bomb spike’ and evidence of the Great Acceleration since the Second World War,” McCarthy said. “If a good radionuclide signature, including plutonium, is present in the sediments of Crawford Lake, the site will be a strong contender as the type section, with a ‘golden spike’ at around 1950.”
Faculty of Math and Science Dean Ejaz Ahmed commended team members for their efforts.
“I would like to send my congratulations to the team for their work on this matter,” he said. “They should be both proud of their research and excited by the attention it is receiving.”
There is still plenty of work to be done before the Anthropocene is recognized as a geological era. Progress reports from 10 candidate sites will be presented in April at the upcoming European Geophysical Union Meeting in Vienna. Additionally, supporters from each site will travel to Berlin in May to discuss the next steps that need to be taken to establish the Anthropocene epoch.
Story reposted from The Brock News.
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.
In January 2019, the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies published its inaugural annual newsletter highlighting departmental successes in 2018. The newsletter is available to download on our Departmental Publications page.
The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies would like to extend congratulations to Senanu Kutor and his committee for the successful defense of his Master of Arts in Geography Major Research Paper entitled ‘Wisdom and cross-cultural interaction: a geographical perspective’ on January 14, 2019.
Senanu’s research was supervised by Dr. Dragos Simandan and committee member, Dr. Jeffrey Boggs.
We wish Senanu all the best for his future endeavours!