News and events

  • Brock students make mark at international leadership competition

    A team of six Brock students virtually participated in the international Collegiate Leadership Competition (CLC) on Saturday, April 10. The group met weekly and worked throughout Winter Term with Student Life and Success coaching staff member Kristen Smith to learn the CLC leadership curriculum and practise their leadership skills through a variety of experiential challenges. Although the team grew close over the term, geographically they were quite spread out, with members joining each week from Nigeria, United Arab Emirates and across the Niagara region. This was the first time the competition and full semester experience were offered entirely online. The international event saw Brock compete against 32 schools from across North America, finishing eighth overall. Earlier this week, the students, including Aishah Sonekan, Jessica Scott, Luca D’Amico, Krithika Chandrasekaran Iyer, Annilea Purser and Ashley Giroux, reconnected virtually to celebrate their success and reflect on their collective learning.

    Political Science student Annilea Purser shares her experience:

    “Over the winter semester, I have had the privilege of representing Brock University alongside 5 other students in the Collegiate Leadership Competition (CLC), an international leadership competition geared towards post-secondary students. Through weekly meetings, the team joined together to learn a series of leadership-related concepts as a part of the CLC curriculum. We then applied these concepts in real-world leadership simulation challenges, such as the IMPACT challenge which required the team to partner with a local non-profit organization to host a virtual event. The season ended off with the head-to-head competition day, where teams from around the world were challenged with two exercises (including a Mount Everest simulation and escape room), judging both our execution of the CLC curriculum and our ability to deliver results.

    Being able to represent Brock on the CLC team was an incredible opportunity. I was not only able to learn alongside highly motivated students within the Brock community, but I gained invaluable leadership skills. In particular, the curriculum related to leading a team through stressful situations, including the importance of celebrating small wins, will be highly applicable to leadership roles that I take on in the future. The CLC is a growing case study for U.S-based research on student leadership, and I can’t wait to see the findings that they release on the impact as I have truly seen improvement in my leadership capabilities!”

    Categories: News

  • Professor Livianna Tossutti in The Conversation

    Livianna Tossutti, Associate Professor of Political Science and Louis Volante, Professor of Education at Brock University, along with Don Klinger, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Te Kura Toi Tangata Division of Education; Professor of Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation at the University of Waikato and Melissa Siegel, Professor of Migration Studies and Head of Migration Studies at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and UNU-MERIT, United Nations University, had a piece recently published in The Conversation about factors outside school systems that affect schools’ capacity to meet students’ needs and support academic achievement.

    They write:

    There is a large body of research that underscores the importance of particular policies that can support low socio-economic students as well as policies that align with the most effective education systems globally.

    These areas include investing in quality early childhood education, providing adequate mental health and technology support to benefit children in primary and secondary school and funding for post-secondary students. Policy in all these areas can be considered social protection policies. According to UNICEF, such policy reduces “the lifelong consequences of poverty and exclusion.”

    Read the full article here.

    Categories: News

  • Crossing Borders Conference – Best Paper Award

    The Crossing Borders Conference was held at Niagara University on Saturday, March 27. Congratulations to Matt Beard who was recognized with the best paper award at the conference.

    Beard took part in a panel on Citizenship and Immigration in Canada and the U.S., moderated by Ibrahim Berrada, Niagara University/Brock University Therese Purcell (University at Buffalo, State University of New York).

    Below is his abstract:

    Citizens and Market Men: Civic Unity in the Twenty-first Century 

    The roles of populism and polarization in liberal democracies are often discussed in the literature, but a deeper question is less frequently asked— what is citizenship? And how do competing conceptions of it influence political life? This article examines two philosophical ideals of citizenship and uses them to evaluate civic unity in The United States and Canada. In the first conception of citizenship, human beings are political animals who become citizens by transcending the private realm and deliberating about the common good in public. In the second conception, human beings are a bundle of passions who become citizens by securing equality under the law and the right to private autonomous lives. While both strands of citizenship are necessary, this essay argues that the health of liberal democracies depends on a reinvigoration of that first Aristotelian conception of citizenship. For decades, an individualistic and market-based view has turned the “citizen” into a taxpayer and consumer. This essay will examine how civic republican thought aimed at the common good presents a viable alternative.

    Categories: Events, News

  • Panel discussion: Canada and the 2020 US election, Thurs., Oct. 22, 12-1 pm

    The US election on November 3 is shaping up to be an event of historic importance, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the US, Canada and the world.

    The Brock University Department of Political Science invites you to join us for an online discussion and Q&A session of the possible implications of the US elections. Our panel:

    Prof. Leah Bradshaw, Brock University
    Associate Prof. Charles Conteh, Brock University
    Assistant Prof. Will Greaves, University of Victoria
    Associate Prof. Blayne Haggart (moderator)

    For a link to the event, or for further information, please email

    The Brock University Political Science
    Department presents Canada and the 2020 U.S. Election, October 22, 12 pm-1 pm

    Categories: Events

  • Outstanding Young Alumni Award – Julie Rorison (BA ’10)

    The Department of Political Science congratulates Julie Rorison (BA ’10), a lifelong Niagara resident known across the region for her multifaceted approach to serving the community, on being recognized by the Brock University Alumni Association (BUAA) with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in recognition of her ambitious accomplishments in the first chapter of her thriving career.

    Watch the video here

  • Associate Professor Tim Heinmiller receives 2020 SSHRC Insight Grant

    Congratulations to Associate Professor Tim Heinmiller, recipient of a 2020 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant.

    Heinmiller, who will study “Major Policy Change in Canada,” is one of seven researchers at Brock awarded an Insight Grant from SSHRC

    “SSHRC funds research projects across the social sciences and humanities, which contributes to new understandings and supports the engagement of students across disciplines,” says Associate Vice-President, Research Michelle McGinn.

    “The decisions of money managers, strategies for language learners, the influence of policy changes and the work of murals. The breadth of topics funded in this round and their contributions to enhanced policies and practices is impressive. I’m also pleased to note that several projects adopt a historical lens. The lessons of the past are interesting and critically important for charting the way forward to a strong future.”

    SSHRC’s Insight Grants program provides funding for three to five years for research that accomplishes a number of goals, including building knowledge and understanding, supporting new approaches to research and providing training experiences for students.

    Categories: News

  • Brock co-led group offers plan for reopening Canada-U.S. border

    Charles Conteh, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Niagara Community Observatory at Brock University, co-led a bi-national group that made recommendations to Ottawa and Washington on opening the Canada-U.S. border. 

    Normally, more than $2 billion in trade flows between Canada and the United States every day.

    But for the past two months COVID-19 restrictions have limited border passage to the provision of essential services, with no indication of when it will open up.

    When that does happen, it has to be done responsibly and creatively so there’s a “seamless” flow of trade between the two countries.

    “We’re not pushing for the border to reopen: health comes first,” said Conteh. “All of our recommendations are framed within the context of ‘when it is safe to do so,’ ‘when it makes sense to do so,’ how we responsibly proceed, and how we can take a multi-phased approach tailored to specific regions.”

    The observatory, with the University at Buffalo and World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, led a workshop earlier this month looking at how current border restrictions are impacting industry in Canada and the U.S.

    Representatives from industry associations, economic development agencies, the public sector, corporations engaged in cross-border commerce, bridge operators, academia and the policy community gave input into reopening the border “in a responsible manner.”

    The resulting strategies are contained in a list of seven recommendations subsequently released by the Binational Prosperity Initiative, a partnership between the observatory and the University at Buffalo.

    Conteh said it’s important officials from both countries take a “tailored approach” moving forward.

    “We have to move from a one-size-fits-all opening of the border from coast to coast, to thinking in a more tailored way, because the Niagara-Buffalo region will have different needs and particularities than the Windsor-Detroit region, for example.”

    He stressed economic recovery campaigns urging people to “buy American” or “buy Canadian” shouldn’t be too exclusionary.

    “Canada and the U.S. are in the same sandbox together and make stuff together,” he said. “There is a complex value chain across different sectors of industry, so any ‘Buy American’ should have a Canadian exemption, which would be us saying essentially ‘Buy Canadian and American.’

    “Do not exclude Canada in any stimulus packages, because our economic destinies are bound together.”

    The recommendations have been sent to policy officials and politicians at the federal, provincial and state levels.

    They include:

    • Take a cross-border regional approach to reopening the border, which would rely on states, provinces and regional border operators to share information on plans, metrics and progress, reporting the same to federal officials who have jurisdiction over the border;

    • Canada and the U.S. should use one regulatory regime — the Regulatory Co-operation Council — to align COVID-19 regulations especially related to medical supplies, logistics and transportation;

    • When enacting economic stimulus packages, U.S. legislators should incorporate a Canadian exemption into “Buy American” legislation and Canadian legislators should incorporate a U.S. one into “Buy Canadian” legislation;

    • To aid economic recovery in both the U.S. and Canada, the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement should become active on July 1;

    • The U.S. and Canada should invest in border technology such as touchless thermometers to ensure border crossers are COVID-free;

    • The U.S. and Canada should expand the marketing of NEXUS as a solution to touchless processing at the border;

    • Border operators, such as the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority and Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, should receive government assistance to maintain operations.

    Categories: News

  • March 12: Private Guilt, Public Realm: The Politics of Past, Present and Future Guilt

    Categories: Events

  • Nov. 21: Panel on Civic Identity in Liberal Democracy

    Categories: Events

  • Congratulations to our MA graduates!

    All the best in your future endeavours. Remember to stay in touch!

    Categories: News