Member Showcases

  • November Member Showcase – Cullum Brownbridge

    Background:

    I have lived in Niagara for over 12 years now. In 2017, I graduated from McMaster with a Bachelor of Science in their Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior (PNB) program. Following that, I began my masters here at Brock, where I worked with Dr. Curtis Fogel on looking at risk literature in football and rugby, in terms of the use of protective equipment and the risk compensation effect. I played both rugby and football when I was in high school. I know I was not as confident when it came to engaging in contact in rugby, but when I was playing football and had the equipment on, I felt more protected. So, I wanted to see if this was a shared phenomenon with others and see if there were consequences for this increased sense of safety (for example, engaging in riskier behaviour such as a bigger, more forceful hit).

    In terms of esports, it was something that I’d been following since my first year at McMaster, mostly just watching it as a fan. It was only towards the end of my master’s and the start of my Ph.D. that I was thinking about where I wanted to go in terms of my research goals and objectives. Esports is still quite young, it’s in its infancy, and so I figured I might as well jump at this opportunity to learn more about the industry. I want to see if I can add to the literature and discourse around various topics in esports.

    Current Projects:

    The esports webinar with the Centre for Sport Capacity was one of the big projects that we up a couple weeks ago, and I’m looking to do another webinar next semester in March or April around a specific topic within esports. For my doctoral thesis, I am looking at how esports teams and programs are structured and governed in Canadian colleges and universities, whether they’re run by students at the club level, merged into university athletic and recreation departments, or some other model. I hope to talk to relevant stakeholders who are involved in these esports programs to ask them about their programs and how they are structured and organized. Hopefully, the research can act as a blueprint for Canadian colleges and universities to integrate esports into their athletic, recreational, and/or academic programming.

    Additionally, I’m working with my supervisor, Dr. Curtis Fogel, where we’re looking at gender-based virtual violence in live gaming and live streaming. We will be presenting some of our preliminary findings at the inaugural Esports Research Network Conference from December 9-10, which we’re both looking forward to as an opportunity to not only present our research, but also to see what research projects are currently being conducted in esports. I am also collaborating with Dr. Nathan Hall from the Kinesiology Department at Brock on a project looking at leisure time physical activity and its correlation to video games. It’s a lot of projects on the go, but it keeps me busy and allows me to jump between projects whenever I hit a mental wall.

    Ice Breakers:

    – What clubs/organizations are you involved with?

    Well, the first, would be the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) and where we worked together to put on the esports webinar. The other major group I’m a part of it is the Esports Research Network (ERN). They are having their inaugural conference in December, which I’m going to help present at with Dr. Fogel. There are currently just over 200 members from across the world, I’m one of the few Canadians that is a part of it. It is a growing group of scholars and I am thrilled to be a part of this network.

    – What is your favorite TV show right now?

    I just finished Arcane on Netflix, which was produced by Riot Games who developed popular games like League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, and Valorant. I thought they did a great job introducing characters and environments from the lore, and will hopefully get people interested in trying out their games. The next show that I want to watch is Loki on Disney Plus, just haven’t gotten around to that yet. I’m also excited for the second season of The Witcher to come out in December.

    – What are your current hobbies?

    If it wasn’t obvious already, I enjoy playing video games. I tend to jump between games, but I’ve been playing a lot of Halo: Infinite and I’m looking forward to playing more during the holiday season. I also like to cook a lot. I’m starting to make more vegetarian meals because my girlfriend is vegetarian, so I’ve been experimenting with dishes that contain things like tofu, beyond meats, lentils, and anything else I can get my hands on. I also like going to the gym, even if it doesn’t look like it! Being able to workout in a gym again after being put on hold during the pandemic has been something I look forward to each week and adds some stability to my life.

    Future Desires:

    It’s kind of hard to think about the future to be honest with you because I’ve got so much going on, which is kind of a good thing! I have multiple projects that I have an interest in learning more about and it’s allowing me to stay in the present and diversify my workload. So, I haven’t thought all too much about where specifically I want to go in the future.

    I’m just kind of working on the research and these projects, trusting in myself and the people I’m working with. Then see where the dominoes fall from there, whether I stay in academics or work elsewhere in the esports industry. I’m leaving myself open to everything. I don’t want to channel myself directly into one avenue right now. Attending conferences, doing multiple projects, and continuing my professional development will allow me to keep my options open and allow me to explore multiple career pathways.

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • October Showcase – Dr. Michael Van Bussel

    Dr. Van Bussel is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Sport Management at Brock University. Dr. Van Bussel has over 18 years of academic, administrative, and service experience in sport management. His educational background includes a PhD focusing on Sport Law and Policy Studies from Western University. He has won awards in teaching and coaching and was named OUA (USPORT) Provincial Coach of the Year on two separate occasions with the Western University Women’s Soccer Program. His research interests include Sport Law, Risk Management, Governance and Policy, and Coach and Athlete Communication.

    Background: 

    It’s been a long journey throughout. I started intending to go to law school and I was accepted but at that time coaching and sport management became a big part of what I wanted to do. I went back and did my first masters in coaching education at the University of Victoria. Worked with our National Coaching association with the National Coaching Institute in in Victoria and worked with Canada soccer. I worked with U19’s that were preparing for the World Championships in Edmonton. I also worked in a camp with athletes that were under 10 years old all the way to professional athletes. It was a great experience for me, I got to coach my own teams and work with them. And that’s where I fell in love with graduate work, I went back and got a second masters in sport management at Western University. Then my PhD which focused on sport management in sport law, I worked with Dr. Greg Dickinson at Western again. After that, I had the opportunity to go to Jacksonville University, I taught there and worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the PGA and a number of different of organizations in the Jacksonville area. 

    It was a great experience, but I wanted to come back to Canada. Thankfully, Fanshawe College offered some opportunities to do that. I was a chair at Fanshawe College for awhile and then the opportunity came up to be here at Brock. Since then, it’s been a wonderful fit, I feel like I’m home here in the Brock sport management community. It’s been a fantastic adventure working with a number of different sports organizations and many wonderful researchers along the way. 

    With the Centre for Sport Capacity, it’s been a great opportunity working together with Dr. Julie Stevens and Cole McClean and looking at different initiatives right out of the gate. I talked early along with Dr. Michele Donnelly and Dr. Hilary Findlay about creating a conference on safe sport and they were integral in creating that experience. We had a great team of student leaders that we were able to work along in helping develop the conference; having it as a great educational experience for them. It was great to get involved with the student experience here and to have outreach. I think that our safe sport conference was essential in terms of creating a connection. Kind of first of its kind especially in a virtual environment and being able to have outreach to too many different organizations across our country, as well as internationally was a great addition. 

    Teaching: 

    I had the opportunity to teach the second-year law classes early on when I came to Brock. It was an engaging topic, and it was great to be involved with that right away. I created the new governance course that we have here on campus, around three years ago now. It allows individuals to engage in aspects of governance across organizations and looks at how governance has a significant impact on our sport community. Students are also able to do analysis of governance on an international level. They are asked to dive into different sport organizations that they are interested in and work with their peers to find out information, potentially opening some doors for them to work in those organizations in the future as well. So those were exciting opportunities to start with.  

    I also taught the intro course for first-year students during the pandemic, so that was a major shift from in class to online and having an impact on them. We still maintained some synchronous components with seminars, which was great and hopefully our first years had a great experience with that. In addition, I taught the negotiations course for fourth-year students. Presently, we’re looking at different types of interactions and looking at the science and the art of negotiations, making sure we can have success in our negotiation environment in the future. My goal is to try to engage students and change up my teaching on occasion so they can have different experience in the classroom. Hopefully, they learn some tools that they can put their toolbox and take with them on their journey in their sport management careers. 

    Research works/projects: 

    My dissertation research dealt with safe sport and looked at relational risk management between coaches and athletes. It took a proactive approach to leveling the playing field and having reciprocal conversations between athletes, coaches, and administrators, to be able to identify relational risks and being wary of the situations that can happen. It also included these so we lso being able to adjust and grows so that they don’t spiral out of control that we’ve seen in some of those past experiences. You know, in Canada, United States, we want to make sure that we have an impact on on safe sport. 

    And it generate new ways of thinking of how we can promote safe sport so that athletes are engaged in the process that administrators and coaches are engaged in the process and that there’s costs of communication that goes on. So the development of the Safe Sport Conference was. It was a key, Part 2 that we wanted to not only have the conference, but have some legacy items that went along with that, and it started off. We were lucky to receive a grant from here from Brock, a Explore grant RA in exchange. 

    Icebreakers: 

    • What clubs or associations are you involved with? 

    I’ve been a board member on some of our local soccer clubs here in London, ON. I have been consistently involved in the coaching community, running clinics and different things. I’m also assisting Boler Mountain with some of their coaching and teaching development. And they’re two and then also having an opportunity to look at. I’ve also been involved with other local sport organizations, such as youth baseball and football organizations. Whether it be in a coaching, administrative or an advisor capacity, I’m always looking for those opportunities.  

    I also have some great connections with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. Dr. Kirsty Spence and I are doing some studies looking at the True Sport Clean program, and its development. I am also assisting in leadership development with a sport and strategy law group. Lastly, I have my connections to Team Canada Soccer, I look to maintain all these relationships going forward and continue fostering many relationships in our sporting environment. 

    • What is your favourite TV show at the moment? 

    I watch a lot of sports, so that’s you know I’m a big NFL fan, so I watch a lot of a lot of NFL. I’m starting to watch Ted Lasso now as well. It’s always good to have some lighthearted comedy and some different things that come forward as well. So there there’s some great miniseries and different things on. I’m also a history buff, so I like some historical type of shows that that have a great connection too as well. So that’s some of my favourites at the moment 

    • What is your favourite sports teams? 

    My family lived in the Jacksonville area for awhile, so we are Jags fans which hasn’t been easy. Being the last place team last year and going through the bumps and bruises; but the skies are looking brighter in terms of our quarterback situation there. So excited to cheer on the on the Jags! From a soccer perspective, I’ve always been a Chelsea fans. But my original team is PSV Eindhoven, which is in Holland. That’s where my family is from before they moved to Canada. So, I have a great connection with the PSV and enjoy cheering  them on. Obviously for hockey, basketball, and baseball, I have the Toronto connection with the Maple Leafs, the Raptors and the Blue Jays; all great representatives of our Canadian sport environment. 

    Awards/Achievements: 

    My sport journey started off with coaching, when I was maybe 16 or 17 and I really fell in love with it. I was always an athlete; I played football and soccer, so to me coaching was my way to give back to sport. I was fortunate enough to be an assistant coach at Wilfrid Laurier University with the men’s soccer program and then eventually took over. As well, I was an assistant coach at Western University and eventually head coach of the women’s soccer program there. I was humbled to be honored as the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) coach of the year for 2 years in a row. Our team was ranked number one in Canada for those two years and went to nationals. All the credit goes to that fantastic team with the women’s soccer program. They not only love to play together on the field, but they also loved to be around each other, and they had the task and social cohesion at its maximal level. That was a great experience and a great shoutout to that incredible group. I owe them lots of credit for those awards as well.

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • September Showcase – Dr. Kirsty Spence

    Our September Member showcase is… Associate Dean of Teaching and Undergraduate Studies at Brock University, Dr. Kirsty Spence

    This month we learned about Dr. Spence’s path to her current role, her favourite thing about being a part of the Brock Community and some future plans she’s looking forward to.

    Background:

    My current role is the Associate Dean (AD) of Teaching and Undergraduate Studies for the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAHS). I look at this position as encapsulating many of my strong interests, as through my work in this role, I focus on preserving the high quality of teaching across various programs within the five departments of the FAHS. As my home base is the Department of Sport Management, I continue to complete Sport Management research projects and teach SPMA students in addition to integrating many of my responsibilities while working in this administrative role.

    In my Undergrad years, I studied within the Bachelor of Kinesiology program at McMaster University and while there, I fell in love with the sport administration field, which was an earlier name for sport management. Through that early passion, I honed my interest in management and administration and upon graduation, I entered the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) program at the University of Toronto to become an elementary school teacher. After graduating, I taught for eight years, from 1991- 1999 in elementary schools in Canada, Russia and Taiwan. During that time, I also taught a variety of subjects and grades, from Kindergarten-aged children through to Grade 8 aged students. Aside from teaching, I volunteered a fair amount of time as a coach of many sports teams in these educational institutions. Those early years of my career certainly set the stage for a love of teaching and learning. In 1999, I returned from teaching in Taiwan, having decided to enrol in the Master of Human Kinetics (M.H.K.) program at the University of Windsor to deepen my studies in Sport Management. I have since seen the threads of teaching, management and leading through my sport management academic career in research, teaching and service activities. All of that has served to provide me with a rich career that started in the early 90s and allowed me to teach students from Kindergarten through to Ph.D. level contexts.

    My specific academic work in leadership development speaks to helping people develop their capacity as leaders, whether through research projects, teaching students as future industry leaders, or coaching organizational leaders. So, joining the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) was an easy decision for me. When I first came to Brock in 2004, the Canada Sport Policy had already been developed in 2002 around four pillars including enhanced participation, enhanced excellence, enhanced capacity, and enhanced interaction. When I thought about my research area of leadership development and then later, my work as a certified leadership coach with Integral Coaching Canada®, I wanted to work with sport leaders to help them enhance their developmental capacity, a value I felt was implicitly encompassed in Canada’s Sport Policy. I feel that this is largely what we’re working with here at the CSC, helping people in sport organizations increase their capacity so that more effective outcomes are possible for them and their organizations.

    Teaching:

    I typically teach first year undergraduate students in SPMA 1P92 and graduate (M.A.) students in a Leadership and Organizational Behaviour course. For me, these two courses are bookended, as I get to see students experience both their first year in the undergraduate and then their first year in the M.A. program. What really excites me about teaching first-year students is at its simplest form, I can welcome and be a friendly face to students who are new to Brock University. When I think about teaching students representative of a large age spectrum as I have, I believe very similar qualities or principles of being an educator apply, regardless of students’ ages. Qualities such as trust and respect, as well as the educator’s actual love of teaching and learning are the same, regardless of age. What excites me the most is just the ability to be a part of that welcoming process in any way. I can be a piece of that greeting committee, to say, Hey, welcome to Brock! Welcome to sport management, you’re going to have a great experience here. I want to try to be as best as I can be so that students can be as best as they can be in starting the program. Beyond that first-year introduction, to see students’ growth through their journey in the program is monumentally exciting. I have very much enjoyed seeing students walk across the stage during graduation, it’s unbelievable to see how much they’ve developed as people and I am gratified knowing I was a part of that in a small way.

    Research Work/Projects:

    There are a couple of research projects happening, but one exciting research project is happening alongside Dr. Mike Van Bussel, also a CSC Member and an alumna of our Master’s program, Dina Bell-Laroche. We’re collaborating on a Canadian leadership development program for sport leaders, called the Sport Leaders Retreat, Virtual Edition; it’s a first of its kind in Canada. As the facilitator, Dina is a leader of leaders and we are tracking her leadership facilitation through the program and the impact of the leadership development program on both participants’ personal leadership and on their sport organizations. It’s really exciting to see somebody putting this kind of curriculum into action to help impact the development of Canadian sport leaders and their capacity. This project represents the work that I felt needs to be done within the sport management discipline. It’s really inspiring to me that we’ve come to a place in time where all conditions are right to make this project happen.

    Icebreakers:

    • What’s your favourite TV Show right now?

    Well, I have to say, Ted Lasso. It’s an all-around awesome show, which is very funny and that in my opinion, demonstrates effective leadership and management in the context of a Premier League (European Football) sport organization. I enjoy seeing shows that have an organizational lean to them. I feel it’s an uplifting antidote to some of the darker news we are facing in today’s world.

    • What is your favourite sport or sports team?

    Do you have to even ask this? Of course, the Toronto Maple Leafs!!

    Achievement/Awards:

    I’ve been fortunate to receive several awards focused on University teaching and learning. Most recently, I received the Brock University Distinguished Teaching Award in 2019, where I was recognized for teaching excellence and educational leadership within the Brock community. I also very recently received a Best Reviewer Award from the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, for my work as a reviewer for conference abstracts. I mention this award as I was happy to know that my review efforts, which were in service to another person’s research work, were recognized as strong and helpful. We are fortunate as academics to engage in interesting work and receive recognition occasionally in various ways and I have appreciated being recognized for my work in the past.

    Future Plans/Desires:

    My future plans would include continuing my efforts to integrate areas of interests, for which I feel passion into my job, including equity, diversity, inclusion, leadership and human development interests. My desires are really centered upon serving other folks and helping them become better students, staff, or faculty, however they define “better.” That’s the great thing about working within the A.D. position, I can help serve other people and their development and I am happy to continue to be a part of that.

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases, Uncategorized

  • August Member Showcase: Sarah Ane

    Our August Member Showcase is…Associate Director of Recreation and Culture at the Town of Lincoln, Sarah Ane!

    We learned more about Sarah’s background, her past teaching, a recent research project, and some of her personal interests/hobbies.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work? Can you tell us why you wanted to join the Centre for Sport Capacity and what you’ve gotten out of being part of the Centre so far?

    I have worked in the parks and recreation sector for the majority of my professional career for various municipalities. I completed my studies in Sport and Business Management and early on I was fortunate to have experiences working for a variety of sport organizations in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Through these experiences I learned the importance of sport development at the community level. If we don’t support sport at this level, we don’t produce future Olympians, professional athletes or promote sport for life. This fueled my desire to work in local government to focus on creating supportive environments, facilities and policies for sport development and encouraging lifelong participation.

    Can you speak about a class (or classes) that you are teaching this semester/a class you taught previously/one that you will be teaching soon? What about this class/these classes excites you? Is this a new class that you are/will be teaching? Or a class that you’ve taught in the past?

    Previously, I’ve taught at Niagara College in the Recreation and Leisure Studies program about the Role of Government. I find this subject matter very exciting as often students do not understand the vital role that local government plays in shaping many of the everyday programs and services we benefit from in the communities we live. I have also taught courses on community development approaches to recreation planning.

    Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you’re excited about? What inspired you to want to get involved in your topic of research? Was this research work partnered with a community partner in the sports industry or any other industry?

    Most recently, I was fortunate to collaborate with Brock faculty through the Centre for Sport Capacity and Niagara Community Observatory to develop a policy brief that examined the critical and essential role of parks and recreation services during the pandemic.

    The policy brief illustrates the value of the parks and recreation sector to Niagara residents during the pandemic and includes discussion and recommendations of how the sector can move forward post-pandemic, using a health equity lens to ensure parks and recreation services remain at the forefront of future regional and municipal policy discussions.

    What’s your favourite TV show right now?

    I don’t watch a lot of TV on a regular basis – mostly news and sports. However, I have been known to binge on a Netflix series periodically. I also love a good docuseries.

    What are your current hobbies/interests?

    One of things I enjoy the most is supporting my 7-year-old son in his sport and recreation pursuits. I’ve quickly become the loudest, overzealous, cheering parent in the stands or on the field. There is nothing I enjoy more than watching him try his hardest and watching him cheer on and encourage his teammates.

    What’s your favourite book?

    My favourtie genre of books to read are biographies. Some favourites I’ve read over the years that are specific to sport that I’ve really enjoyed have been “Open” by Andre Agassi, “Mamba Mentality” by Kobe Bryant and “Shoe Dog” by Phil Knight. Most recently, I read “Crossroads” which was written by Kaleb Dahlgren, a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.

    What’s your favourite sport or sports team?

    In terms of professional sport, I am a loyal Ottawa Senators fan. Not only are they my hometown team, I was fortunate to work for the organization during the season they made it to the Stanley Cup finals against Anaheim. Although they didn’t win, I learned a lot from the experience about the importance of working in a supportive corporate culture and how much I valued that moving forward in my career.

    There is nothing I enjoy more than watching amateur sport competitions! I am a huge fan of all things Olympic Movement. I was honoured to be one of 12,000 torchbearers for the 2010 Winter Olympics as the torch made its way from Olympia, Greece to Vancouver, B.C.

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • July Member Showcase: Dr. Laura Cousens

    Our July Member Showcase is…Associate Professor in the Department of Sport Management at Brock University, Dr. Laura Cousens!

    We learned more about Dr. Cousens’ research background, what she enjoys about teaching, some of her research projects, and some of her personal interests/hobbies.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work? Can you tell us why you wanted to join the Centre for Sport Capacity and what you’ve gotten out of being part of the Centre so far?

    When I first started, I looked at professional sport and I actually put the SPMA Pro Sport course on the books because I felt it was essential with so many of our students looking to get into pro sport to understand more than just the box scores. My thesis and my PhD were all done on pro sport but when Sport Canada introduced the Sport Canada Research Initiative Grant in 2007, to encourage professors to do research on sport participation, I submitted an application, and we were awarded a grant in the very first year. I had published some articles on network analysis in the past, so what we decided to do was use a network perspective to look at community sport organizations. One of the things I am most proud of is, we did a panel discussion for NAASM expecting no one to show up presenting this data, and the room was full with only standing-room space left for attendees. From here, we decided to do a special issue on community sport because there was clearly a lot of interest and we wanted to get the research out in the public. When I went on sabbatical, we began this special issue for the Journal of Sport Management and expected to get 20-25 submissions and received over 70. Only being able to include eight in the special issue, the rest were to be published in subsequent issues of the Journal of Sport Management. For a couple years, I really focused on getting all of this data out into the public, until the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver. When I attended, I heard there was 40-50 of our students in volunteer roles at the games, so I took some time to go out and visit them and thought that there are so many jobs in major games, there should be a course for it. So, I created the Major Games course for the Sport Management department. It is an experiential course where students are put in roles within major games and the one thing that I realized is that students do amazing work when they are put in these roles. I also teach the strategic alliances course, which is how I have tied in my networks research with my teaching. This was, at the time, one of the only courses in North America dealing with inter-organizational relationships and there was no publications in sport speaking to this. To ensure students had material within sport for this course I did another special issue for the International Journal of Sport Management on my next sabbatical. We still use these articles to this day, and they are fantastic for the students. A number of years ago now, I partnered with Right to Play to create the SPMA 3P93 Sport for Development course and as much as it is a lecture-based course, it really is experiential because the students are learning through play. In the Sport for Development field course, we have gone to Turks and Caicos and hope to go to the Barbados in the future to work on sport for development projects and provide a sustainable development commitment to the people there.

    The Centre for Sport Capacity to me is an opportunity for professional collaboration and it provides opportunities for its members to undertake projects and consulting that benefit our research, teaching and the students without being under academia. The CSC also allows the opportunity to be entrepreneurial with applying for grants and cultivating partnerships. The Centre is absolutely vital to providing this avenue to professors to work on projects which can involve individuals from all across campus. The CSC is like a “think tank”, being able to bring different ideas together from many different perspectives and disciplines

    Can you speak about a class (or classes) that you are teaching this semester/a class you taught previously/one that you will be teaching soon? What about this class/these classes excites you? Is this a new class that you are/will be teaching? Or a class that you’ve taught in the past?

    I’ve taught virtually everything in the sport management department and the course that is the biggest eye opener for students has got to be Sport for Development. So many students that come into our program don’t think about it and they say it is a game changer for them and that they see sport through a lens that will really help people. For the students that want to work in pro sport, we look at a lot of pro sport foundations and how you can blend sport for development and pro sport together. These foundations invest in community sport programs which is very near and dear to my heart and is exactly what these trips to Turks and Caicos and Barbados are doing. If you ask me for a second one, it would be Major Games because it has impacted so many students lives.

    Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you’re excited about? What inspired you to want to get involved in your topic of research? Was this research work partnered with a community partner in the sports industry or any other industry?

    In COVID you’re able to participate in all these meeting with people all around the world, so when I was on a call with a lot of people, I put in the chat if anyone knew of any Sport for Development programs in the Caribbean. I heard back about this award-winning program in Barbados that was started by a professor who was also on the Barbados Olympic Committee. The issue we were dealing with in the Turks and Caicos was the high dropout rate and the UN did a study and found that only 60-70% of kids in school there graduate. So what were were doing was working with the schools to improve that statistic through the power of sport, workshops, and presentations to get the kids to stay in school. So this program in the Barbados sets kids up with an internship in their last year of school in something they are interested in, and this has resulted in a near 100% graduation rate. The idea is to get kids out of the classroom to motivate what could be out there for them and inform their worldview. They also learn organizational skills and marketing skills from planning sports events and that is how sport is used to teach some of these hard skills that are then used in their jobs. That is what my research is focused on right now, because this is a model that could be used all around the Caribbean. The idea is that publishing this research will expand the impact of that work going on down there.

    What’s your favourite TV show right now?

    Game of Thrones would be my pick right now.

    What are your current hobbies/interests?

    Competitive equestrian, play tennis, distance swimming, spending time with my two kids and my family.

    What’s your favourite book?

    Murder mystery novels and suspense crime, Jo Nesbo is one of my favourite authors. I also love biographies because digging into the life of someone is so fascinating.

    What’s your favourite sport or sports team?

    We are a Raptors family and have a Raptors den with flags, banners, sweaters, and it’s all “kidded out”. I also love the Olympics and being able to watch all these different sports like Rugby and so many others. My favourite sports to participate in are Riding, tennis, swimming.

    Now’s your time to talk yourself up! You can talk about awards you’ve won, certifications you have, professional affiliations, personal achievements…anything your heart desires!

    I would say that the two special issues I authored were very special to me because they were very impactful in our field of sport management and I was the first person to publish an article on networks in our discipline. I have also won some awards for volunteering outside of Brock. I won the Ontario Bronze medal for volunteering for work I did with the Kidney Foundation where we created an event that has probably raised over $250,000 now. I am very proud of that work as many professors are focused on their publications, but for me its all about can I make an impact on a student’s life. Creating new courses like Sport for Development, Pro Sport, and Major Games and taking kids overseas have been some of my best memories. For me it’s fabulous to see the students have these personal growth opportunities while also providing a sustainable development commitment to others.

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • June Member Showcase: Cole McClean

    Our June Member Showcase is…Coordinator of the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) at Brock University, Cole McClean!

    We learned more about Cole’s path to the CSC, what he enjoys about his role, some of his research interests, and some of his personal interests/hobbies.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work? Can you tell us why you wanted to join the Centre for Sport Capacity and what you’ve gotten out of being part of the Centre so far?

    I was in a unique position when I took on the role as the coordinator of the CSC. I had just finished up my M.A. (Sport Management) here at Brock working with current member Dr. Shannon Kerwin. Upon completion of my degree, I was weighing next steps and decided to take on some Research Assistant (RA) roles to fill the unemployment void, as well as a chance to explore new areas and learn new skills. I knew I enjoyed research and wanted to explore a related role in the industry, rather than pursue a PhD right away. One of those RA roles was with a multi-department Experiential Education project at Brock with Dr. Julie Stevens and a few other Brock members. I actually hadn’t worked with Julie in my time at Brock, but after working with her on a couple of projects, the CSC Coordinator role opened up, it seemed like a great fit.

    As for what I’ve gotten out of my first couple of years with the CSC, there is too much to cover in one post. The first aspect that stands out are the meetings with community partners. I learn a lot from each group or individual we meet with and the process of understanding their needs as well as figuring out how to support them is rewarding.

    The other part is student engagement – over the past few years I feel the CSC has done a good job of providing students across various departments at Brock with valuable practical experience. We’ve really carved out some consistent roles as well so we’re always trying to offer students experiential education opportunities.

    Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you’re excited about? What inspired you to want to get involved in your topic of research? Was this research work partnered with a community partner in the sports industry or any other industry?

    There are a lot of projects that I am excited about in the Centre and I almost feel bad choosing only one. If I had to choose one at the moment though, it would be the 2020 U16 European Cup – Girls Hockey Participation project involving a number of national hockey federations. The purpose is to understand the issues girls playing the sport face and resulting high drop-out. In turn, the goal is to develop resources and support initiatives aimed at reducing barriers faced across particular age groups. This project is notable to me as it was the first major project I was involved in as the coordinator (Winter 2019), and while COVID-19 halted the project, progress is being made again.

    What’s your favourite TV show right now?

    It takes me a while to get through shows, but Billions is currently major one I’m working on. I also recently finished the Expanse, which I highly recommend as it filled the hole that Games of Thrones ending, left.

    What are your current hobbies/interests? (maybe something you picked up since we’ve all been staying home!)

    My healthy hobby that really got me through winter was daily walks to get away from screens and take my mind of things with a podcast or music. I never thought I’d be a person that could go for walks so often, but with the lockdowns the walks became

    To try and make weekends a bit more exciting, I usually attempt a new, interesting recipe that I’ve never done before. It’s been rewarding trying dishes that I honestly never thought I’d make myself.

    What’s your favourite book? (recently, or your all-time favourite)

    Recently, Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land as I’ve followed politics to some degree, but learning what actually goes on behind the scenes and the toll it takes is really interesting.

    What’s your favourite sport or sports team?

    If I were to pick one, it would have to be the Toronto Raptors. I love the sport and everything the organization has come to stand for. I also enjoy reading about Masai Ujiri as a leader, how he approaches his role, and the great things he’s done for the culture of the organization.

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • May Member Showcase: Dr. Pat Reid

    Our May Member Showcase is…Associate Professor with the Department of Sport Management at Brock University, Dr. Pat Reid!

    We learned more about Dr. Reid’s areas of academic interest, Sport Management courses that he has taught, a research project on the 1972 summer Olympic Games in Munich, and some of his personal interests/hobbies.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work? Can you tell us why you wanted to join the Centre for Sport Capacity and what you’ve gotten out of being part of the Centre so far?

    Over 40 years of management positions in various sport industry capacities. This included 17 years as a sport consultant with Sport Canada; vice-president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association before it morphed into Hockey Canada; director general of the Sport Medicine & Science Council of Canada; director of marketing with Natation Swimming Canada; director of sponsorship for Corel Corporation; director general of back-to-back Ontario Summer Games (Ottawa); executive director of the combative sports commission in Edmonton, during which time I picked up a Ph.D. in sport management at the University of Alberta. I then applied for, and was hired, by Brock University to teach sport management courses.

    Can you speak about a class (or classes) that you are teaching this semester/a class you taught previously/one that you will be teaching soon? What about this class/these classes excites you? Is this a new class that you are/will be teaching? Or a class that you’ve taught in the past?

    One of the strengths I bring to the department and the CSC is about 40-years of “hands on” management experience in sport. It makes for richer dialogue and student understanding. Industry experience provides you with applied knowledge such that you can successfully teach a myriad of subjects. Teaching out of a textbook without industry experience limits the value of the information, in part because the available texts are grossly slanted toward the USA market. Lecturing from the perspective of lived experience allows students to better appreciate what management in sport in Canada is really all about – both the good and the bad. With the electronic world we live in today, students already have access to written material about theory while actual industry experience is a sought after added value. I have taught courses in organizational behavior, sport policy, critical issues in managing sports events, ethics in sport, the business of hockey, the internship program, etc. It is not the course material I enjoy, it is communicating with the curious student, the high work ethic student that is really attractive for me.

    The Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) is an interesting initiative by Dr. Julie Stevens (also a U. of Alberta grad). I like the concept and was asked by Julie (and Cole McLean) to join the CSC. The CSC is a work in progress with some blue-chip members willing to work in cooperation and collaboration with each other. I hope I can make a contribution as well.

    Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you’re excited about? What inspired you to want to get involved in your topic of research? Was this research work partnered with a community partner in the sports industry or any other industry?

    I have always had an interest in research stemming from curiosity at a young age. I have published more than 25 articles in sport technical journals before writing 6 academic articles and was involved with two book chapters. I am pleased to be the first SPMA professor to

    present papers at the Academy of Management (AOM) and the European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS). Currently, my latest research is a historical piece on the 1972 summer Olympic Games in Munich where the PLO killed the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches. It was my first attended Olympic Games and I collected the available German newspapers each day and kept them in a scrapbook. It sat on a shelf for years. Just recently I had the articles translated into English. These newspaper articles are no longer available at source, so my collection is a rich secondary data set. I am in the process of interviewing a number of Canadian athletes, media, and officials who were in Munich, to obtain primary data. I want to publish a paper next year, the 50th anniversary of the tragedy, from a Canadian participatory perspective.

    I have a number of other research initiatives that bode well for collaboration with other CSC members. It just takes time to prioritize and follow through.

    Are you involved in any clubs/associations?

    As a senior age wise, I now value my time more than ever, so I am only volunteering to CSC because I fully endorse and support what Julie Stevens is attempting to do with CSC.

    What’s your favourite TV show right now?

    The Good Doctor & Blue Bloods.

    Best Netflix series?

    The Queen’s Gambit; Jack Ryan; Longmire; Shetland, Ozark, Justified.

    What are your current hobbies/interests?

    (maybe something you picked up since we’ve all been staying home!) Learning to play guitar, studying Aboriginal sport history.

    What’s your favourite book?

    I have a home library of over 75 sports books that expands regularly! Every book read or re-read can spark your curiosity and new ideas.

    What’s your favourite sport or sports team?

    From my coaching background and time spent with marketing guru Mark McCormack, I developed a preference to focus my time observing “individual talent” even in team sports like hockey: Connor McDavid, Marc-Andre Fleury, Alexsandr Ovechkin, Connor Hellebuyck, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, etc., rather than rallying behind one specific team. It allows for a wider appreciation of every game, of every sport.

    Now’s your time to talk yourself up! You can talk about awards you’ve won, certifications you have, professional affiliations, personal achievements…anything your heart desires!

    Achievements/Awards/Rewards

    I’ve received numerous “awards and accolades”. To date the two most significant would be receiving the University of Waterloo Alumni Achievement Award, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences and being inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame. In terms of “rewards”, I love and cherish my daughter Taylar and son Brett, and I am blessed with my life with Joanne, my wife. At a distant second (and materialistic) level, I am happy to have my three rings representing three IIHF world hockey championships, and my Olympic ring for being a head coach.

    Future Desires

    I’ve been involved with the 4F01/4F02 internship course each year and I have read the students self-reflection papers at the end of each term. Fourth-year students dislike working 450 hours for free. It is time for the program to take the next step and require employers to pay “something”, even $500/month, for students placed with their organization. I wish I had the time to contribute to taking this program to the next level.

    In addition, I would like to write a non-fiction book or two. Academically, we need more Canadian focused and Canadian relevant texts in sport marketing, sponsorship, management, etc. This brings me back to the necessity of the added value of professors having industry experience and imparting realistic knowledge of the management of sport in Canada to students preparing to work and succeed in the industry. It would be nice to partner with a few key colleagues and industry partners to create such texts. That is a significant benefit of the Centre of Sport Capacity.

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    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • March Member Showcase: Dr. Brad Millington

    Our March Member Showcase is…Associate Professor with the Department of Sport Management at Brock University, Dr. Brad Millington!

    We learned more about Dr. Millington’s areas of academic interest, a new class he is teaching called “Sport and the Environment,” a research project that he worked on about the use of bicycles in “development” initiatives, and some of his personal interests/hobbies.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work?

    My two areas of interest are sport media and technology, and sport and environmental sustainability. Ages ago I was at a video store (maybe Blockbuster … which I miss!) and a Nintendo Wii promotion caught my attention – I think the Wii was described as intuitive. I already had experience studying sport media. This seemed a new way of talking about technology that was worth thinking about in depth. It led to an interest in technologies like wearable tracking devices, exercise-themed video games, and fitness apps. My work on sport and the environment started from a project with my supervisor, Brian Wilson, when I was a grad student at UBC. We’ve worked together ever since. And, of course, it’s driven by the fact that the climate crisis presents enormous concerns.

    Can you speak about a class that you are teaching this semester/a class you taught previously/one that you will be teaching soon?

    I’m excited that I’ll soon be teaching a new grad class called Sport and the Environment. You might have seen the alarming images of orange skies over San Francisco’s baseball stadium during the wildfires on the American west coast in the summer of 2020. It was another stark reminder of how sport is often at the whim of the environment – and will continue to be in the years ahead. So, it’s worth discussing how sport impacts and is impacted by the environment, and whether and how sport can contribute to better environmental futures.

    Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you are excited about?

    I was fortunate to be part of a project with colleagues, led by Lyndsay Hayhurst from York University, on the use of bicycles in ‘development’ initiatives. The project was timely in that bicycles seem to have taken on heightened importance recently – for example, in the pursuit of sustainable transportation, in providing economic opportunities, and in promoting health and wellbeing. The pandemic has only propelled this thinking. Yet the project also identified lingering barriers for bicycle users (or would-be users), such as environmental conditions and infrastructure that isn’t conducive to cycling.

    speed round ice breakers

    What is your favourite TV show right now?

    I’m a big fan of watching cooking shows like Top Chef and The Great British Bake Off and then making my own (very) mediocre versions.

    What is your favourite movie?

    Too hard to choose. Field of Dreams is the first movie I rented (Blockbuster!). Do the Right Thing made me realize how meaningful movies can be. And A Few Good Men is the movie I’ve seen countless times.

    WHat is your favourite book?

    Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. The central idea – that the form of communication necessarily impacts the content – seems more relevant than ever in the time of social media.

    what are your current hobbies/interests?

    I’m quite enjoying tobogganing this winter, until we reach the inevitable point where I start carrying both my kids back up the hill.

    NOW IS THE TIME TO TALK YOURSELF UP! WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE PROUD OF (AWARDS, PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS, ETC.) THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

    Most of all, I love the range of different tasks that comes with life at the University. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in exciting collaborative research projects, to teach excellent undergrad and grad students, and to work with great colleagues on important administrative initiatives.

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    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • February Member Showcase: Dr. Kyle Rich

    Our February Member Showcase is Assistant Professor with the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University, Dr. Kyle Rich!

    We sat down (virtually) with Dr. Rich and learned about his educational background, a new class that he is teaching, a series of research projects that he is wrapping up about rural events, and a few of his personal interests and hobbies.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work?

    My background is in kinesiology. I studied my master’s at the University of Ottawa and I did my Ph. D. at Western. My focus was on sport and recreation policy as it relates to diverse communities, specifically rural communities. I had really good critical mentors who kind of pushed me in that direction and I got really interested in sport development. I’m from a small town so I think I always considered what that looked like in the bigger picture. And then that led me to this intersection of sport policy and rural development.

    Can you speak about a class that you are teaching/a class you taught previously/one that you will be teaching soon?

    This term, I am teaching Foundations of Leisure Studies. It is the course that everyone in the master’s program studying Recreation and Leisure takes. It’s a new course for me but it’s exciting because it’s my first grad-level course. In the class we cover classic and contemporary approaches to looking at leisure. I’m excited because it’s a small course, we get to cover some real research-focused content, and it gets in-depth about theory and research paradigms and things like that, not to mention that half of the class are students that I am supervising. So we’re a pretty tight group and it’s definitely going to be fun to work through that course with them.

    Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you’re excited about? What inspired you to want to get involved in your topic of research?

    I’m actually wrapping up a series of projects where I’m looking at rural sports events. One is called “The Battle of the Little Big Puck,” an event held in Maple Creek Saskatchewan. I just had a paper come out about it where we looked at settler-Indigenous relationships and how that is reflected in this event. It’s a super interesting event where The Ranchers play against the First Nations, so it embodies a contentious metaphor. In the last period the Ranchers wear chaps and hats and the First Nations come out in regalia and they engage in this really interesting performance of community.

    Another event is called the Heritage Cup that’s based in Barry’s Bay, Ontario. They have a really interesting settlement history along the Opeongo Colonization Road where different groups of settlers migrated. So they have different cultural groups in the area. In the tournament, the Irish, the Polish (Kashubian), the Algonquins, and the Germans make up the teams and they have a competition based on these ethnic groupings. The whole community comes out to the event dressed up and they have the four sections in the stands with all the colours from each team. It also embodies a lot of interesting symbolism and cultural practices that I don’t think people expect in small towns. So, there’s a lot of interesting elements of rural-ness and rural identity that are expressed. I’m just wrapping up those projects right now.

    Speed Round Ice Breakers:

    Are you involved in any clubs/associations?

    I play beer league hockey with a group of friends and I try to run a race every six months or so. I’m a bit of a weekend warrior with races. I’m there to do the race and have a good time and meet people.

    On the more professional side, I’m on the board for the Rural Development and Knowledge Mobilization Organization called the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation where we do lots of work with researchers and community members to try to build relationships and facilitate evidence-based decision making, knowledge translation, and all of those kinds of things.

    What is your favourite TV show right now?

    I don’t watch a ton of TV. I’m more of a binger where I’ll watch a show and then I won’t watch anything for a while. But if I were to pick my favourite show, I would have to say Vikings and a Spanish show called La casa de papel (Money Heist in English). It’s super interesting and I 100% recommend it!

    What are your current hobbies/interests?

    I jumped on the sourdough bandwagon and got a sourdough starter. I had a few successful and a few failed attempts but that was a new skill that I picked up during the pandemic. I also jumped into audio books recently. I never really read for fun because I read so much for work, so I usually don’t have much of a desire to pick up a book for a leisure read, but having the audio book option has made me much more inclined to just chill out and listen and not have to think about reading.

    What is your favourite book?

    This year I read a book called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. It was written in 2014 but it was set in Toronto after there had been a global pandemic, which is super interesting and fitting to our current situation. It’s a completely fictitious story, it wasn’t meant to be a premonition, but it was a really interesting book.

    What is your favourite sport or sports team?

    My favourite sport is hockey but I’m not really one for pro sports. I don’t follow anyone too closely but I do indulge in the Olympics when they come around.

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    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • January Member Showcase: Dr. Shannon Kerwin

    We announce to you: Member Showcases!

    Every month we will showcase one of our amazing CSC members.

    You will have the opportunity to learn more about our members, and they will be able to showcase some of the interesting things that they are involved in that make the Centre for Sport Capacity such a unique place.

    Our January Member Showcase is Associate Professor with the Department of Sport Management at Brock University, Dr. Shannon Kerwin!

    We sat down (virtually) with Dr. Kerwin and learned a little more about her educational background, her passion for Human Resource Management, current research projects she is involved in, and some of her personal interests.

    Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work?

    My passion for research started in my master’s program where I began to explore the dynamics that occur within volunteer boards of directors during decision making regarding sport programming. Over the years, I have come to realize the importance of understanding the people behind the governance of our sport system. This drive to uncover the mechanisms that foster productive, effective, and inclusive governance has continued to propel my research agenda moving forward.

    Can you tell us why you wanted to join the Centre for Sport Capacity and what you have gotten out of being part of the Centre so far?

    Membership with the CSC has provided me the opportunity to bridge my research with sport industry practice and enhance knowledge mobilization to the sport community.

    Can you speak about a class that you are teaching/a class you taught previously/one that you will be teaching soon?

    I teach Managing Human Resources in Sport Management. This is a third year class that introduces students to the broad array of HRM practices and policies they will encounter in the sport industry. The challenge of engaging students with the course content in this class really excites me. I understand the theory behind the work is not overly compelling, but I am also very passionate about the role that effective and compassionate HRM practices can have on the culture of a sport organization. I see the delivery of this content as my challenge to spark at least some thought in students to push them to be better. To push them to enter a sport organization and make their policies more inclusive; to challenge the status quo and increase internal communication to ensure more effective training and orientation; to understand the organizational-level benefits of creating thoughtful HRM strategies. If I can get at least 1-2 students to think differently about their role in sport because of the course, that “ignites my fire”.

    Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you are excited about?

    I am currently involved in two projects that are always a source of motivation for me. First, I am on a SSHRC grant with Dr. Dawn Trussell where we are embedded in sport Districts and learning about how each District governs their sport. We have a research team engaged in observations over a one year time period, which has allowed us to create invaluable connections with board members. The data, discussions, and connections we have collected and made are incredibly humbling. I am very privileged to work with this team and the participants.

    Second, my work with Canadian Women & Sport has opened my research to a formal connection as a Research Affiliate with e-Alliance: Gender Equity+ in Sport Research Hub. This work directly connects our academic research to movement towards enhancing gender equity in sport leadership and participation. This work is fulfilling for me personally and professionally.

    Speed-Round Ice Breakers:

    Are you involved in any clubs/associations?

    I coach both my children with Niagara United soccer.

    What is your favourite TV show right now?

    Lucifer on Netflix.

    What are your current hobbies/interests?

    I read a lot now. My favourite thing to do is sit with my 8 year old daughter at night and read side by side. I am currently reading Barak Obama’s book. It is great.

    What is your favourite book?

    I like the book just mentioned (although I am not finished it). I love the books by Chevy Stevens (a Canadian author).

    What is your favourite sport or sports team?

    My favourite sport to play is soccer. I grew up playing competitive soccer. My favourite sport to watch is basketball. Favourite team would be the Raptors.

    Now is the time to talk yourself up! what is something that you are proud of (awards, personal achievements, etc.) that you would like to share?

    I am not sure this is the right place for this, but I am honoured to have the job I have and work with the people I work with; both here at Brock and across the globe. The projects I have had the opportunity to work on have been fulfilling in their own right, but mostly because they have introduced me to wonderful individuals who have a passion for what I love – sport. These relationships that have been fostered are ones I will carry with me for a lifetime. I am most proud of these ‘achievements’.

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    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases