You are here

Brock News

Subscribe to Brock News feed
Updated: 13 min 40 sec ago

Brock’s CCOVI partners with industry to produce certified clean grapevines

Wed, 2019-06-19 15:45

MEDIA RELEASE: 19 June 2019 – R00109

Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has partnered with the grape and wine industry to produce certified, clean grapevines.

The Government of Canada recently committed $2.3 million in funding over the next three to support the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN) as it develops certified vines for grape growers. As part of the project, CCOVI will be the national testing provider.

“This funding will give nurseries a jump start to providing domestically certified clean plant material to the grower community across Canada and allow the industry to be less reliant on imported material,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “Nurseries will have the opportunity for lower-cost virus testing by cost sharing with the CGCN. We’re looking forward to working closely with the industry to make sure growers are starting out with clean plants to assist the long-term viability of the Canadian grape and wine sectors.”

CCOVI will catalogue and assess vines used for plant propagation from nurseries and grape growers across Canada. This will ensure that only vines testing negative for targeted viruses are used to generate new plants receiving the CGCN certification, which will help keep Canada’s vineyards virus-free.

“Canada’s vineyards have become an important part of our national economy,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti as he announced the government’s commitment to the project. “With this funding, the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network will help ensure that growers have access to high-quality, locally-sourced grapevine stock to keep their fields healthy and prosperous.”

CGCN Vice Chair and grape grower Bill Schenck said announcement is the next step in the creation of a clean plant network for grapevines in Canada.

“We have been working closely with researchers at CCOVI and this funding will expand what we can do as far as testing our grapevines,” he said. “This will allow us to work more closely with nurseries as we try to clean up vines in the ground and help growers plant healthy vineyards.”

The CGCN is also leading national research initiatives for grape and wine, receiving funding through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and industry partners of more than $11 million last year to establish the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster. The cluster is a collaborative project which includes researchers at Brock and other universities across the country as well as AAFC scientists, grape growers and industry partners in Ontario, B.C., Quebec and Nova Scotia.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Britt Dixon, Communications Officer, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Brock University bdixon@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4471

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock research urges Niagara agribusiness to collaborate with other sectors

Tue, 2019-06-18 16:02

MEDIA RELEASE: 18 June 2019 – R00108

When asked what Niagara is known for beyond the famous Falls, many people say vineyards,  fruit trees, wineries and greenhouses that grow flowers and vegetables year-round.

But that thriving agribusiness sector — which runs from basic operations to high-end commercial products — could be even stronger if there was closer co-operation with sectors such as manufacturing, tourism, government and institutions conducting research.

This is one of the findings of “Niagara’s Agribusiness Sector: Towards a More Resilient Innovation Cluster,” the latest policy brief from Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) in collaboration with the Niagara Region’s Economic Development division.

“Niagara’s agribusiness sector should link more closely to the manufacturing and tourism sectors so that the region’s economy can better adapt to change,” says NCO Director and policy brief author Charles Conteh, who presented the brief on Tuesday, June 18 at the Meridian Community Centre in Pelham. “Research and innovation are among the tools that could increase Niagara’s resiliency in this way.”

Niagara agribusiness categories that generate the most jobs are farming as well as beverage and food manufacturing.

Valerie Kuhns, the Niagara Region’s Acting Director of Strategic Economic Initiatives, Economic Development, called agribusiness “a critical component to Niagara’s economy, contributing more than $1.4 billion to regional GDP.”

“We continue to see new investment and economic opportunity across many agribusiness industries,” she said, “however, there are challenges in the sector that we must better understand.”

One concerning trend is the “modest to weak showing” of jobs in areas such as agricultural machinery manufacturing and equipment merchant wholesalers.

The policy brief identifies three looming challenges in the sector’s pursuit of greater resilience and adaptability. One is “lock-in syndrome,” being stuck in a cultural rut with few fresh ideas and resistance to change. As a remedy, the authors suggest that agribusiness operators “build conduits of research and innovation” with manufacturing, tourism and other sectors, which would add value to all stages of agribusiness from farming and harvesting to the creation of products and processes.

Another challenge is “organizational thinness,” or the lack of platforms or networks to create broader development through innovation and adaptation.

The brief lists several institutions — including Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Niagara College’s Agriculture and Environment Innovation Centre and Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, among others — that could form an “innovation infrastructure support system.”

“This means building an infrastructure of knowledge generation and mobilization that is well aligned with the needs of not only particular industries but also the sector as a whole across the value chain of activities,” says the brief.

A third challenge is “internal fragmentation,” or lack of a shared understanding of  agribusiness among farmers, entrepreneurs, workers, industry associations and educational institutions.

The brief says such a common understanding is “a prerequisite for strategic information flows between research centres and industry groups and across the industries that make up a sector’s value chain.”

Niagara’s agribusiness sector covers more than 215,000 acres of farmland and around 22 million square feet of greenhouse area. There are more than 1,800 farms, about 200 greenhouses, nearly 100 wineries and more than 112 food processing companies, says the brief.

 

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Top VQA wine promoters honoured at Experts Tasting

Tue, 2019-06-18 15:25

MEDIA RELEASE: 18 June 2019 – R00107

More than 120 wine writers, educators and industry professionals gathered at Brock University on Tuesday, June 18 for the 30th annual Experts Tasting, which promotes Ontario VQA wine and celebrates individuals who have helped grow and promote the grape and wine industry.

Organized by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the 2019 tasting focused on Riesling, from sparkling to Icewine. Five flights showcased a total of 35 wines with industry experts guiding guests through the tasting.

“The Experts Tasting has been designed for the trade — primarily media, product consultants, sommeliers and wine educators who promote VQA wines,” said event organizer Barb Tatarnic, Manager of Outreach and Continuing Education at CCOVI. “This event allows guests to taste and learn alongside their peers in the industry. This tasting showcased multiple vintages and styles of Riesling and clearly showed what this variety can bring to the Ontario industry year after year.”

The event also honours outstanding achievements and contributions by presenting VQA Promoters Awards to individuals who advance the industry through promotion or education.

The Sparkling Winos — wine bloggers Jeff Graham and Michal Matyjewicz — were recognized for promoting and raising the profile of VQA wines in the promoter-at-large category.

“This is something that we do purely as a hobby. This isn’t a full-time job,” said Graham. “We invest so much of our time and effort into Sparkling Winos, so it means everything to be recognized for that from our peers and other industry professionals we admire.”

The social media influencers say they are passionate about educating people about VQA wine.

“There is so much going on in this area, so many quality wines and such a focus on quality winemaking,” said Matyjewicz. “I think that is what makes it a unique wine region and makes it a really easy sell for us to help spread the word about sparkling and other VQA wines.”

The lifetime achievement award was presented to Helen Fisher, retired viticulture research scientist at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, who was recognized for her groundbreaking work in the vineyard and her research into wine grape selections for cool climate regions.

The 2019 VQA Promoters Award winners include:

  • Retail: Meg McGrath, Retail Manager, Hidden Bench Winery
  • Hospitality: Maribeth Mckey, Food and Beverage Manager, Inn on the Twenty
  • LCBO: Victor Borja-Sheen, Product Consultant, LCBO
  • Education: Ron Giesbrecht, Professor, Niagara College
  • Promoter-at-Large: Jeff Graham and Michal Matyjewicz, The Sparkling Winos
  • Lifetime Achievement: Helen Fisher, retired researcher, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

* Britt Dixon, Communications Officer, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Brock University bdixon@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4471

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock partners with seven Niagara municipalities to tackle climate change

Mon, 2019-06-17 15:52

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 June 2019 – R00106

Whether it be flooding in Ontario or forest fires in Alberta, the impacts of climate change are on the minds of Canadians. Brock University this week is launching Niagara Adapts, a new partnership that aims to reduce the risks associated with climate change in the region.

Local government is on the front line of both climate change impacts and responses. Municipalities engage with their residents showing leadership on the issue, and are well-positioned to design and implement local programs that make a big difference.

Universities can also play a critical role in tackling climate change through the contribution of scientific expertise, research and innovation.

“The challenges brought by climate change require that we all must work together,” said Brock University President Gervan Fearon. “As part of Brock’s new Strategic Plan, we are committed to collaborating with our local municipalities to enhance the life and vitality of Niagara region. Together we can better tackle the challenges of climate change and build a more sustainable future for our local communities and beyond.”

Niagara Adapts is an innovative partnership that brings together seven Niagara municipalities — Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, St. Catharines and Welland — with Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) to address what has been called the defining issue of our time.

The partnership is motivated by the shared interest in building climate resilience in Niagara through a collaboration that can be more efficient through shared resources and expertise than if municipalities went it alone.

Some of the participating cities and towns were successful in securing staff grants through the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

By the end of the partnership, all municipalities expect to have produced a climate change adaptation plan that provides recommendations to build climate resilience, from flood-proofing homes to increasing climate awareness throughout Niagara.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be engaging in research grounded here in Niagara that will directly benefit local communities,” said ESRC Associate Professor Jessica Blythe. “It’s the kind of partnership we dream about.”

ESRC Director Ryan Plummer said these sorts of partnerships are grounded in reciprocity.

“They embody the spirit of sustainability science and are integrated into the research and service of the ESRC, profoundly impacting our students, staff and faculty,” he said. “At the same time, immense benefits are gained by our partners in terms of capacity building, evidence-based decision-making and leveraging expertise to address sustainability challenges and opportunities.”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock University’s 105th Convocation comes to a close

Fri, 2019-06-14 15:49

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 June 2019 – R00105

The final of Brock University’s nine Spring Convocation ceremonies was held Friday, June 14 in front of a packed house inside Ian Beddis Gymnasium.

Nearly 400 graduating students from the Faculties of Humanities and Mathematics and Science crossed the stage to receive their degrees. It brought to an end a week of Convocation ceremonies at Brock that included 3,500 students graduating across seven Faculties.

Delivering the Convocation address Friday was Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures Nigel Lezama, who told the students the physical degree they were about to receive holds deep meaning.

“Think back to who you were five years ago. Think about what you knew and what you thought you knew,” Lezama said. “Your degree symbolizes this intellectual growth.

“That piece of paper is a symbol of your potential to continue challenging yourselves and the systems that govern your lives,” he said.

Lezama, the Faculty of Humanities recipient for the Excellence in Teaching award, told the grads they were on the cusp of the best time of their lives.

“Many will tell you that life is short and to start your career as soon as possible,” he said. “But you’re young, you have lots of time to settle down into a career. Make the most of your freedom and the plethora of choices your education has given you.”

Friday’s ceremony included the awarding of one of Brock’s highest academic honours. Adam Tonet received the Governor General’s Gold Medal Award, given to the graduate student with the highest academic average for 2018-19. The Niagara Falls native finished his master’s degree in Computer Science with a 96 per cent overall average.

The ceremony also included an emotional presentation of a degree posthumously to the family of Jennifer Popescu, who died suddenly last month. Popescu was 21 years old and had just completed her four-year Biomedical Sciences program. She was set to begin a master’s degree at Brock this fall.

All nine Spring Convocation ceremonies are available to view online at brocku.ca/livestream Additional photos are also available upon request.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock research explores strengths and challenges in Niagara’s agribusiness sector

Fri, 2019-06-14 12:06

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 June 2019 – R00104

The agribusiness sector in Niagara runs the full spectrum from basic operations to high-end industrial processes and from world-renowned viticulture to cash crop, dairy farms and greenhouses growing flowers, fruit, vegetables and, more recently, cannabis.

The region’s $1.4-billion annual agribusiness sector is world-class by any standard when looking at its assets and strengths.

But Niagara shouldn’t be complacent about past successes, says new research coming out of Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) in collaboration with the Niagara Region Economic Development Division.

“Key to a sector’s success is the ability to link to other sectors through research and innovation,” says NCO Director Charles Conteh. “Synergies among Niagara’s agribusiness, manufacturing and tourism sectors will enhance Niagara’s economy, ensuring that the region is resilient and adaptable in the face of change.”

Conteh is the author of the NCO’s latest policy brief, “Niagara’s Agribusiness Sector: Towards a More Resilient Innovation Cluster.”

The brief provides a portrait of recent trends in the sector in Niagara relative to similar mid-sized regions elsewhere in southern Ontario. It then discusses how to further leverage the potential of agribusiness and address existing problems in pursuit of greater resilience and adaptability.

Conteh will be presenting the brief Tuesday, June 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the Meridian Community Centre in Pelham. Registration for the event is sold out but it is open to the media.

What: Presentation of NCO policy brief “Niagara’s Agribusiness Sector: Towards a More Resilient Innovation Cluster”

When: Tuesday, June 18 from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Where: Dr. Gary and Mall Accursi Room, Meridian Community Centre, Pelham

Who: Charles Conteh, Director of the Niagara Community Observatory; Ian Tate, Senior Relationship Manager, Farm Credit Canada; Lyndon Ashton, Centre Manager, Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation Centre; Darren Ward, Manager, Business Planning and Commercialization, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre; Bradley Mclean, Associate Director, Innovation and Commercialization, Brock University

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

‘It makes my heart happy,’ says Stanley Cup winner Reggie Leach while receiving Brock degree

Mon, 2019-06-10 16:15

MEDIA RELEASE: 10 June 2019 – R00103

With a Stanley Cup ring on his finger and a Philadelphia Flyers-coloured orange shirt under his ceremonial graduation robe, the Riverton Rifle was awarded an honorary doctorate from Brock University Monday, June 10.

But it was as much for what he has done for Indigenous youth since retiring from his record-setting hockey career that earned Reggie Leach the honorary degree from Brock.

Leach, who is of Ojibwe descent and a member of Berens River First Nation in Manitoba, now lives on Manitoulin Island, where he has become friends with Brock Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo. It was an emotional Cheechoo who awarded Leach with the Doctor of Laws degree.

“He has worked so hard,” she said. “When a person starts at a very young age like he did, it’s overwhelming to know that a child can progress like that. It will help me in my work to know that these kids I work with have so much potential. He represents that.”

Saying he feels like the ‘luckiest guy in the world,’ Leach said it was a huge honour to receive the doctorate.

“It makes my heart happy because I’m being recognized for the work that I love to do,” he said. “This means even more to me now because I’ve seen these young people graduating and I see the atmosphere.”

As a member of the dominant Philadelphia Flyers squad in the late 1970s, Leach was a potent goal scorer and earned the Riverton Rifle moniker for having one of the hardest shots in the history of the National Hockey League.

He helped the Flyers win their second-straight Stanley Cup title in 1975, and earned the playoff MVP honour a year later when he set Philadelphia’s all-time single-season scoring record of 61 goals, a mark that still remains today.

Leach now works with Indigenous youth, encouraging them to make wise life decisions and take responsibility for their actions. It was a message he also conveyed to the graduating Brock students Monday during his Convocation address.

“My goal in life is that I want every young person to be successful,” said Leach, who was named to the Order of Manitoba in 2016. “Your life is just starting. It’s up to you to decide what you want your life to be. Whatever choices you make, you own those choices, good or bad.”

Throughout his career, and even today, Leach has never forgotten the support he got from the 500-resident community of Riverton, Manitoba. He encouraged the graduates to do the same.

“Never forget who supported you to get to University,” he said. “I grew up in a First Nations family among a community of people from all different nations, but they all supported me. I still support the town today because of what they did for me when I was 10, 11 and 12 years old. You never forget that.”

Leach’s address came during the first of nine Spring Convocations taking place at Brock’s Ian Beddis Gymnasium this week. Monday’s morning and afternoon ceremonies were for students in the Faculty of Health Sciences. They will be followed by Convocation ceremonies for Social Sciences (Tuesday 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.), Education (Wednesday, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.), Goodman School of Business (Thursday, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.), Mathematics and Science (Friday, 10 a.m.) and Humanities (Friday, 10 a.m.).

All of the Convocation ceremonies are free to attend and no tickets are required. Parking is free for guests throughout the week. Free Wi-Fi is also being provided to guests throughout Convocation week. The BrockEvents Wi-fi network can be accessed using the username: BROCKGRAD and password: welcome2brock!

Note: Media are welcome to attend Brock’s Spring Convocation. Interviews can be arranged in advance with any of the graduands, honorary degree recipients or faculty members. Photographers shooting from directly in front of the stage are asked to wear a Convocation gown, which can be arranged though Media Relations Officer Dan Dakin.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock University set to celebrate 105th Convocation

Thu, 2019-06-06 16:01

MEDIA RELEASE: 6 June 2019 – R00102

The exams have all been written, the final assignments graded and returned. Now, more than 3,500 Brock University students will cross the Convocation stage to close the book on the latest chapter of their post-secondary education journey.

Brock’s Spring Convocation will run from Monday, June 10 until Friday, June 14, with 3,100 undergraduate and more than 400 graduate students receiving their degrees in one of the nine ceremonies set to take place in the University’s Ian Beddis Gymnasium.

Brock University’s 105th Convocation will kick off at 10 a.m. Monday when Reggie Leach, a Stanley Cup-winning retired National Hockey League player, will receive an honorary doctorate during the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences’ ceremony.

Leach is one of the most prolific goal scorers in Philadelphia Flyers history, but in the years since he retired, he has been recognized for his efforts encouraging Indigenous youth to make wise life decisions.

Now living on Manitoulin Island, Leach will deliver the opening Convocation address Monday morning and will be followed throughout the week by speakers from both within and outside of Brock.

With the University known as a comprehensive post-secondary institution home to groundbreaking research, it’s no surprise that graduate students make up more than 13 per cent of the Class of 2019.

In addition to the hundreds of students set to receive master’s degrees, 14 students will graduate with a PhD next week. At Brock, PhD recipients have the honour of remaining on stage to sit with Faculty members, President Gervan Fearon, Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo, and other administrators and guests.

Among the graduands set to receive their degrees, 112 are student-athletes representing 36 teams and six academic Faculties. Among this group are Brock’s Male and Female Athletes of the Year, wrestlers Emily Schaefer (Education) and Jevon Balfour (Social Sciences).

All of the Convocation ceremonies are free to attend and no tickets are required. Parking is free for guests throughout the week. Free Wi-Fi is also being provided to guests throughout Convocation week. The BrockEvents Wi-fi network can be accessed using the username: BROCKGRAD and password: welcome2brock!

Below is a schedule of this year’s Convocation ceremonies along with some of the highlight stories:

Monday, June 10, 10 a.m. — Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

  • Retired NHL hockey player Reggie Leach to receive honorary doctorate and give the Convocation address.

Monday, June 10, 2:30 p.m. — Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

  • Kinesiology Professor and Research Excellence award recipient Baraket Falk to give the Convocation address.

Tuesday, June 11, 10 a.m. — Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Brock Badgers rower Laura Court will graduate with a degree in Psychology. Court was the first coxie to win an Ontario University Athletics Female Athlete of the Year award in rowing and made history on the national stage when she was named Outstanding Female Athlete at the Canadian University Rowing Championships

Tuesday, June 11, 2:30 p.m. — Faculty of Social Sciences

  • Brock Badgers wrestler and 2018-19 Male Athlete of the Year Jevon Balfour will graduate. Balfour is the top-ranked wrestler in the country for his weight class (74kg) and is graduating having won five consecutive individual provincial and national titles.

Wednesday, June 12, 10 a.m. — Faculty of Education

  • Delivering the Convocation address will be Associate Professor of Educational Studies Dolana Mogadime, who served as the inaugural Visiting Scholar at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and is the Chair and Co-ordinator of the Teaching Nelson Mandela Advisory Committee.

Wednesday, June 12, 2:30 p.m. — Faculty of Education

  • Graduating from the Master’s Preparation Certificate in Education program will be Esther Wainaina, who came to Canada from Kenya in 2018 with her three children in order to study for a career in human resources. While her husband remains in Kenya to work, Wainaina will continue her education at Brock in September in the Master of Education program.

Thursday, June 13, 10 a.m. — Goodman School of Business

  • Tek Thongpapanl will give the morning Convocation address as the recipient of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Thursday, June 13, 2:30 p.m. — Goodman School of Business

  • Delivering the Convocation address will be Mishka Balsom, President and CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.
  • Graduating with a Bachelor of Business of Administration is Olivia Poulin, a Spirit of Brock recipient, outstanding student leader, entrepreneur and mentor. She represented Brock on the world stage, finishing in the Top 5 out of 204,000 applicants from around the world at Adecco Group’s Global CEO for One Month program.

Friday, June 14, 10 a.m. — Faculties of Humanities and Mathematics and Science

  • Adam Tonet will receive the Governor General’s Gold Medal Award, which is given to the graduate student with the highest academic average. Tonet is receiving his MSc in Computer Science and finished with a 96 per cent average.
  • The first students to complete their entire four-year degree at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts building downtown will cross the stage. The state-of-the-art facility housing the Departments of Music, Dramatic Arts, Visual Arts and the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture opened in 2015, thanks to an unprecedented $15-million gift from the late Marilyn I. Walker, famed fibre artist and philanthropist. The graduating class of 2019 includes 64 students.

Media are welcome to attend Brock’s Spring Convocation. Interviews can be arranged in advance with any of the graduands, honorary degree recipients or faculty members. Photographers shooting from directly in front of the stage are asked to wear a Convocation gown, which can be arranged though Media Relations Officer Dan Dakin.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock sees significant increase in first-year student applications

Thu, 2019-06-06 10:19

MEDIA RELEASE: 6 June 2019 – R00101

After Brock University attracted record enrolment last fall of more than 19,000 full- and part-time students, indicators for this September suggest more Ontario high school graduates than ever are choosing Brock.

The numbers are now in from Monday’s deadline for Ontario secondary school students to accept their university admission offers, and again this year the increase in applicants to Brock exceeds the average growth rate for Ontario universities.

While the provincial average sees an increase of 3.1 per cent in first-year confirmations, Brock has received a 13 per cent increase in high-school applicant confirmations, and a 20 per cent increase overall from this time last year.

The data released this week by the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC), which processes all applications for incoming secondary school students, shows Brock has more than 3,500 high school applicants confirmed for first-year undergraduate studies this fall. Overall, there are more than 4,400 students looking to start their University studies for the first time in September.

In addition, the number of students accepting their letters of admission after selecting Brock as their first choice on the OUAC application (when they’re able to rank their top schools), is up by 14.5 per cent.

“This steady growth in demand for admission to Brock is happening because more and more people — be it students, their families or their guidance counsellors — are becoming aware that we are a national leader among universities our size and we are meeting the needs of students right here in the beautiful Niagara region,” said Brock University President Gervan Fearon.

He said word is getting out about the Brock advantage.

“Our academic excellence is being matched by growing research, scholarly and creative activities that support student education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Fearon said.

While some programs are now completely full, there are still some open spaces and the admissions process is ongoing.

Brock is seeing increases in applications across the University, but the biggest surges include Concurrent Education and the Faculty of Mathematics and Science, which are both up significantly. The University’s highly rated co-op education programs also continue to be in demand with another year-over-year increase in admission confirmations.

Continuing its trend of being a university with global appeal that remains rooted in the Niagara community, Brock is seeing another large contingent of high school students from across the region who have accepted their admission offers for the upcoming year.

Around the world, Brock attracts students from more than 100 countries. The number of international students confirming their attendance through the OUAC system is up from last year. Overall international student confirmations are up from 2018-19 by a remarkable 62 per cent, and that number will continue to rise as more students confirm their attendance in the coming weeks.

“Whether students are from Ontario, across Canada or around the world, they know Brock University can offer them a safe, affordable and high-quality post-secondary education experience that provides them with career-ready skills,” said Jamie Mandigo, Vice-Provost for Enrolment Management and International.

Brock set an enrolment record in 2018-19 with more than 19,000 full- and part-time students across its seven Faculties. For more information about enrolling at Brock, contact futurestudent@brocku.ca or visit brocku.ca

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Families needed to give international students a home away from home

Wed, 2019-06-05 16:55

MEDIA RELEASE: 05 June 2019 – R00100

Julie Popovich knows first-hand what an enriching experience it can be to open your home to an international student.

And now, the St. Catharines mother of three is hoping to encourage other Niagara families to follow in her footsteps.

Popovich is sharing her experience with Brock’s Homestay program, through which she has welcomed many students from around the world into her home since 2012.

The long-standing University initiative connects Canadian families with incoming international ESL students as they adapt to the lifestyle and demands of studying in Canada.

Popovich, a licensed insurance advisor, learned about the program at an ideal time her life — just after her children moved out of the family home.

“I’ve been a mom for 33 years, so I’m used to having people around and providing instructions and guidance on getting through life,” she said.

She has since enjoyed having Brock students as part of her household.

In February, Popovich was matched with Ayaka Maeda, a Level 2 ESL student from Doshisha University in Japan, who came to Canada to improve her English-speaking skills.

While Maeda spends most of her days in classes increasing her language proficiency, she often spends her evenings with Popovich. The pair have dinner together, prepare lunch for the next day and share stories about Japanese and Canadian culture.

“She always asks me about my day,” Maeda said. “We talk about assignments and what I did after school.”

Popovich and Maeda, who will live together until December, have also spent time shopping at local outlet malls and plan to head to Niagara Falls for Canada Day to watch the fireworks display.

More than 400 students participate in Homestay each year, and Brock is always looking for new host families. The program offers a chance for St. Catharines and Thorold residents to learn about other cultures while also giving back to the community.

The program is not only rewarding, but also easy to navigate, Popovich said, as assistance is available for students and hosts every step of the way.

“It’s one of the best things that’s happened in my life,” she said. “Having students in my house has been eye opening. You really gain an appreciation for other cultures.”

Host families are also compensated with $800 per month to cover the additional cost of food and electricity throughout the student’s stay.

Most stays are 14 weeks in length and start in January, May and September, although a number of short-term opportunities, some as little as three weeks, also exist.

For instance, a recent agreement with Mexico through a government-funded program will see 150 Mexican learners attend Brock between July and November for a four-week program. Each student will require a Homestay host.

More information about becoming a Homestay family is available on the Brock University website. To apply, residents must complete an online application, followed by an orientation session, criminal records check and a home inspection to determine if the program is a good fit.

Questions about the Homestay program can be directed to homestay@brocku.ca or 905-688-5550 x5029.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock summer camps offer kids an abundance of options

Tue, 2019-06-04 16:19

MEDIA RELEASE: 4 June 2019 – R00099

Whether children want to spend the summer immersed in science, enhancing their sports skills or honing their creativity, Brock has a camp to meet their needs.

The University’s activity-specific camps offer the ultimate combination of fun and learning during July and August.

They have become a popular choice for parents looking to engage their children in outside-the-box learning activities during the summer break, said Michelle Leone, Program Manager, Youth Programs.

At the heart of these camps are Brock University students, who are selected for their drive to make a difference in kids’ lives, contagious enthusiasm and expertise in their respective field of study.

“Our Brock student instructors are what sets us apart,” said Leone. “They are compassionate, enthusiastic and eager to share their love of Brock with the young people of Niagara. They come from Faculties across the University and inspire our campers to see themselves as university students one day.”

Brock Youth University camps are crafted by professional educators who employ emerging trends and the latest methods of teaching in their curriculum.

The camps run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a week-by-week schedule from July 2 to Aug. 30.

Campers participate in hands-on experiences related to their chosen camp, while also partaking in recreational activities such as climbing the 30-foot challenge course or swimming in the Brock pool.

In addition to favourites such as robotics, game design and science, Brock offers an array of sport and art camps.

For children who’ve completed senior kindergarten to Grade 6, art camps are held at Rodman Hall Art Centre. Participants explore artwork and techniques from all over the world such as ancient and medieval arts to the classics and surrealism of the 20th century.

Athletes in Grades 1 to 12 looking to sharpen their skills can sign up for Badgers Sport Camps. These sport-specific camps are designed to inspire and train young athletes to rise to the next level in basketball, hockey, volleyball, soccer, golf, baseball, fencing, rowing and cheerleading.

Teenagers can enrol in Leaders in Training camps and also receive a certificate for 30 hours of volunteer service.

Brock’s three types of summer camps include:

Sport Camps (Grades 1 to 8): Including athletic activities such as floor hockey, basketball, volleyball, handball and racquet sports. Afternoons are dedicated to outdoor recreation and swimming.

Aquatics Camp (Grades 1 to 8): Featuring activities in Brock’s aquatics centre with diving, lifeguarding, aqua-sport or synchronized swimming lessons. While also fun-filled, this camp is focused on technical improvement.

Youth University (Grades 2 to 8): A creative environment that explores invention and outdoor education. Campers will dive into the Makerspace and get creative with art. Afternoons include outdoor recreation and swimming.

To register, visit brocku.ca/kids. For help with online registration, phone 905-688-5550 x4060 or visit the Walker Sports Complex Welcome Desk.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Grade 4 students learning the business of lemonade

Mon, 2019-06-03 16:21

MEDIA RELEASE: 3 June 2019 – R00098

Local elementary students received a sweet introduction to entrepreneurship this spring while planning lemonade stands with the help of Brock University’s Goodman School of Business.

Goodman Lemonade is leading Grade 4 students from Glynn A. Green Public School in Fonthill through the process of building a for-profit business. After being guided through the entrepreneurship basics, the students have been designing lemonade stands that will be set up at Brock University from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6 in Jubilee Court.

This is the third year the University has hosted Goodman Lemonade. Previously, Grade 4 students from Cardinal Newman Catholic Elementary School in Niagara Falls and Power Glen School in St. Catharines participated in the initiative run by Goodman Group Venture Development (formerly BioLinc) and student club Brock Innovation Group.

“We want to introduce the concept of entrepreneurship at a young age,” said organizer Cassie Price, Goodman Group Venture Development Co-ordinator. “It’s also a great opportunity to have our student leaders work with the community.”

Divided into seven teams, the students will compete to see which group can make the most profit with the $50 seed money they were given. The students will use the market research they completed to customize their product and stand to maximize their returns.

For Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes, the event represents a chance to introduce basic business skills to young students early and get them exposed to what goes into running your own company.

“The creativity and energy that comes from children who are having their first experience with an entrepreneurial venture is inspiring,” he said. “It underscores the importance of presenting alternative career options, such as running your own business, as early as possible.”

The activity ties into the Grade 4 curriculum well, reinforcing concepts students have learned in class this year, including measuring volume, using decimal points, plotting data and making graphs.

Dierk Mueller, one of the teachers participating this year, said he’s surprised at how much his students have enjoyed participating in Goodman Lemonade.

“I knew they would like it, but they have taken it far more seriously than even I anticipated,” Mueller said. “My students ask me every day if they can work on their signs, the advertising and the planning.”

With their menus finalized and pitches practised, it all comes down to the sale. The public and Brock community are invited to support these young entrepreneurs Thursday, June 6 at Brock’s Backyard BBQ in Jubilee Court from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Raptors’ success could change Canada’s sporting identity, says Brock expert

Fri, 2019-05-31 15:14

MEDIA RELEASE: 31 May 2019 – R00097

No matter what happens in the next two weeks, the fact the Toronto Raptors are in the NBA Finals could be a transformational moment in Canadian sports.

Brock University Associate Professor of Sport Management Julie Stevens says Toronto’s success could be what allows basketball to challenge hockey as the predominant sport of identification for Canadians.

“For a sport to become an ingrained part of Canadian nationalism, it must construct myths and stir imagination. Hockey had Paul Henderson’s goal in the 1972 Summit Series and now basketball has Kawhi Leonard’s Game 7 buzzer beater,” Stevens says. “The question is, what will come of it? Will it replace Henderson and become this generation’s lore? Will everyone remember where they were when Leonard made his shot.”

She says hockey has been lacking a magical moment that inspires the country.

“The most recent two examples are probably Sidney Crosby’s game-winning goal in the 2010 Winter Olympics or Marie-Philip Poulin’s overtime winner in 2014,” Stevens says.

While basketball’s popularity is on the upswing, hockey participation is decreasing, and Stevens believes the Raptors’ success could mean those trajectories continue for each sport in this country.

“Hockey is a bit selective and elite, where basketball has a strong social bond across different areas of class and race,” she says.

Where hockey is part of Canada’s national identity because of the physical nature of the country — think icy, cold winters — basketball is becoming part of the national identity because of what makes Canada special.

“The ‘We the North’ motto is about celebrating Canada’s diversity and boldness,” Stevens says.

Further, a recent Statistics Canada report showed the highest percentage of Canada’s youth are in either western or northern Canada, and that 25 per cent of them are visible minorities.

“That tells me that the Raptors’ reach through youth popularity is nationwide, not just in Toronto,” Stevens says.

Associate Professor of Health Sciences Julie Stevens is available for interviews on the issue.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

International Cool Climate Wine Symposium to highlight Canada’s wine industry

Fri, 2019-05-31 14:28

MEDIA RELEASE: 31 May 2019 – R00096

Canada will welcome the world to Brock University next summer for one of the most prestigious wine conferences, the International Cool Climate Wine Symposium (ICCWS).

From July 12 to 16, 2020, leading researchers, winemakers, grape growers, educators and media from across the globe will gather at Brock for the 10th instalment of the symposium, which takes place every four years.

Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) is planning the event alongside its research and industry partners across the country. This is the first time the conference has come to Canada and it will focus on how climate change is driving innovation in the grape and wine industry.

“This is an issue that impacts all cool climate wine regions,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “The ICCWS will give researchers from diverse fields the chance to showcase the cutting-edge work they are doing and discuss innovative practices that can help ensure the vitality of cool climate grape growing and winemaking.”

Brock is pleased to welcome Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Schmidt as the opening keynote speaker. Schmidt is an expert on issues of climate change and has his own cool climate vineyard and winery. He is also Vice-Chancellor and President of the Australian National University.

“The International Cool Climate Wine Symposium is where the world of science and industry gets together every four years to better understand how to make outstanding wines in cool climates,” said Schmidt.

“The climate is changing and changing rapidly. ICCWS 2020 is chance for cool climate winemakers, like myself, to get on top of the science and experiences from around the world to ensure they are relevant in this fast changing and highly competitive environment.”

Schmidt has joked on social media that he is looking forward to visiting Canada and meeting Niagara’s Brian Schmidt, winemaker at Vineland Estates, to cause some confusion.

ICCWS conference sessions will focus on viticulture, oenology, wine business and science communication. Each of the four themes will include a number of speakers, seminars, master classes and workshops.

Regina Vanderlinde, President of the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), has been named as the oenology keynote speaker and will talk about the global wine overview to climate adaptation and the challenges of adopting new technology in wineries.

As the viticulture keynote speaker, Elizabeth Wolkovich from the University of British Columbia will share her research on how climate change affects different wine grape varieties and how shifting varieties may help growers.

The science communication keynote speaker will be Kimberly Nicholas, Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden. Her research focuses on sustainable farming systems, the wine industry under climate change, and linking research with policy and practice to support a zero-emissions society.

In addition to the conference sessions at Brock, in the heart of the Niagara wine region, those attending will also have the opportunity to participate in pre- and post-conference programming that will showcase Canada’s wine regions from coast to coast.

International delegates will be introduced to Canadian wines and local culinary offerings through a number of special farm-to-table dinner options at local wineries, a Taste of Canada event and a banquet dinner at Brock University.

Abstract submissions for technical sessions and poster presentations as well as registration for the ICCWS opens in August. Learn more about the conference at iccws2020.ca.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Britt Dixon, Communications Officer, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Brock University bdixon@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4471

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

EXPERT ADVISORY: Brock prof available to comment on changes to beer sales

Thu, 2019-05-30 15:05

MEDIA RELEASE: 30 May 2019 – R00095

Buying a six-pack could become much more convenient for Ontario consumers if the purchasing of alcohol in corner stores is made legal.

On the heels of Monday’s announcement by the provincial government that it plans to end a 10-year contract with The Beer Store to open up where beer can be purchased, a Brock University expert on the history of liquor laws in Canada is weighing in on the issue.

Brock University Associate Professor of Health Sciences Dan Malleck is a leading researcher on the history of government control over liquor sales in Canada. He is the author of the book Try to Control Yourself: The regulation of public drinking in post-prohibition Ontario, 1927-1944.

He says the origin of The Beer Store is rooted in pre-Prohibition efforts to rationalize and centralize beer sales for the convenience of both customer and vendor.

“After Prohibition ended, the Ontario government permitted brewers to create co-operative warehouses in order to relieve pressure at liquor stores, where long lineups caused many complaints,” he says. “Warehouses also made it easier for brewers to deliver to stores and directly to customers.”

He says the relationship between the control agency and the brewers was less than friendly, with a system in place that was constantly adjusting to figure out the best way to allow access to liquor “while striking a balance between permitting, but also restricting drinking.”

“These seemingly contradictory impulses persist today, aggravated by varying perceptions of the rights of consumers, the needs to restrict based upon concerns about health and public disorder, and business expectations of a market in which government interference is as limited as possible,” Malleck says.

Associate Professor Dan Malleck is available for interviews about the topic this week.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Longtime smoking cessation initiative grew provincewide

Thu, 2019-05-30 13:32

MEDIA RELEASE: 30 May 2019 – R00094

After nearly two decades of providing tobacco control interventions to help thousands of young adults quit smoking or vaping, the Leave The Pack Behind program that has been funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is winding down and leaving a positive legacy.

An independent organization based at Brock University, the initiative was launched in 2000 by Brock Health Sciences Associate Professor Kelli-an Lawrance along with a public health nurse and a campus nurse. The trio received funding from the Government of Ontario to create a program to reduce smoking on six campuses across the province.

Leave The Pack Behind expanded across the province to include partnerships with 44 post-secondary institutions, 35 public health units, multiple health professional associations and many other organizations.

The program, which had been operating out of the Brock campus, is in the process of ceasing operations after the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care changed how it will provide smoking cessation services.

Lawrance said that since its inception, the program has provided support to help more than 40,600 young adults quit smoking. In 2018 alone, nearly 16,000 people aged 18 to 29 accessed its programs and services.

“When Leave The Pack Behind first started, young adults held the dubious distinction of having the highest prevalence of smoking among all age groups in Ontario,” she said. “I’d like to think that the lower rates we see today are due at least in part to the fantastic work of the program.”

It also laid the groundwork for provincial legislation restricting where smoking was allowed and where tobacco can be sold.

“I am immensely proud of the way Leave The Pack Behind made connections with young adults in all walks of life, right across Ontario, to help them resist, reduce or quit smoking or vaping,” said Lawrance. “Tens of thousands of young adults quit smoking or vaping with the genuinely respectful, compassionate and effective support of Leave The Pack Behind. That’s an amazing accomplishment.”

Brock University President Gervan Fearon said the entire University community benefited from the work done by the Leave The Pack Behind team.

“We thank them for their engagement here at Brock University and many of the gains they achieved will serve as a legacy to future generations of students, faculty and staff,” he said.

The provincewide program employed nine full-time employees, working out of the central office at Brock, as well as 18 part-time research assistants. Leave The Pack Behind will cease operations in June.

 

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Hockey great turned motivational speaker to receive honorary degree at Brock’s Spring Convocation

Thu, 2019-05-30 10:43

MEDIA RELEASE: 30 May 2019 – R00093

Reggie Leach played 13 years in the National Hockey League, won a Stanley Cup and is one of the most prolific goal scorers in Philadelphia Flyers history. But if you ask him what his greatest accomplishment in life is, he’ll tell you it’s the work he’s done encouraging Indigenous youth to make smarter choices than he did.

On Monday, June 10, the Riverton Rifle, as he’s known in hockey circles, will receive an honorary doctorate and give the Convocation address during the opening ceremony of Brock University’s Spring Convocation.

This year’s Spring Convocation will include nine ceremonies over five days from June 10 to 14 in the Ian D. Beddis Gymnasium at Brock University’s Walker Sports Complex. Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day except for Friday, June 14, when only a morning ceremony is scheduled.

“It’s quite an honour,” said Leach, who is of Ojibwe descent and a member of Berens River First Nation in Manitoba. “The things I have done over the years since I retired are about giving back and steering people in the right direction.

“I try to explain to kids about the mistakes I made as a teenager and young adult. It’s our responsibility to guide these young people in the right direction,” he said.

Leach now lives on Manitoulin Island, but it was during his time as a teammate of Bobby Clarke while playing with the Flin Flon Saskatchewan Bombers that his star first began to shine. After a stellar junior career, he was drafted by the Boston Bruins and played there and with the California Golden Seals before being traded to Philadelphia, the defending Stanley Cup champions, in 1974.

Leach helped the Flyers successfully defend their Stanley Cup championship in 1975, and nearly again in 1976, but they were beaten by the Montreal Canadiens. Despite the loss, Leach was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP after a season that saw him set Philadelphia’s all-time single-season scoring record of 61 goals, a mark that still remains today.

Leach was an NHL All-Star in 1976 and 1980, and was inducted into the Philadelphia Flyers, Manitoba Hockey and Manitoba Sports halls of fame. He was a recipient of an Indspire Award in 2008 and was named to the Order of Manitoba in 2016.

Today, Leach is a motivational speaker and plans to encourage the Brock University graduands to make the most of their lives.

“Life today is all choices,” he said. “For young graduates going into this big, big world, remember why you went to university. Keep that focus going in the right direction.”

He said young people today need to remember the power they hold to change lives.

“My biggest thing is to be kind and gentle to everyone. Treat everyone the way you want to be treated,” he said.

 

Brock University Spring Convocation 2019

Monday, June 10: Faculty of Applied Health Sciences

Tuesday, June 11: Faculty of Social Sciences

Wednesday, June 12: Faculty of Education

Thursday, June 13: Goodman School of Business

Friday, June 14 (10 a.m. only): Faculty of Humanities; Faculty of Math and Science

Convocation ceremonies are open to the public and tickets are not required. A reception for graduates, family and guests will follow each ceremony. Those unable to attend can watch a broadcast of each ceremony at brocku.ca/livestream

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Brock research highlights workplace concerns in fitness club industry

Wed, 2019-05-29 15:54

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 May 2019 – R00092

Nearly half of the respondents in an Ontario survey of workers in the multi-billion-dollar gym and fitness club industry reported not having any access to paid sick days, new Brock University research has found.

“There’s some irony in the fact that a gym industry promoting health and wellness seems to fall short when it comes to extending paid sick days to its own workforce,” says Professor of Labour Studies Larry Savage, co-author of the study “Work in Ontario Gyms and Fitness Clubs.”

In their study, Savage and student Curtis Morrison created a series of survey questions designed to shed more light on the working conditions faced by employees in the Ontario industry.

The anonymous survey, available online for three weeks in February and March of this year, collected the views of hundreds of group fitness instructors, personal trainers, customer service representatives, supervisors and others employed by a gym or fitness club.

Topics included job satisfaction levels, job concerns, relationships with supervisors, co-workers and clients, experiences with workplace injury and unpaid labour.

When asked about sick days being part of their employee contract, 51 per cent of the respondents said they do not have paid sick days, with another seven per cent being “unsure.” Of the 42 per cent who said they did have paid sick days, almost half reported that they have two or fewer paid sick days each year.

The survey results note that more than 75 per cent of workers who do get paid sick days are unionized, with only 30 per cent of non-unionized workers having access to paid sick time.

The Ontario government recently cancelled a requirement made by the previous government for employers to provide all workers two paid sick days a year. The current policy allows for a maximum of three unpaid days a year for personal illness, injury or medical emergency.

“The provincial government’s decision to repeal paid sick days is having a negative impact on the well-being of workers in gyms and fitness clubs,” says Morrison. “It also exposes clients to greater risk of contracting viruses if gym and fitness club workers decide to come into work sick in order to avoid loss of pay.”

Another concern identified by the survey is the issue of unpaid labour, with 68 per cent of the respondents saying that they put in extra hours without pay.

Common unpaid tasks include prep time before fitness classes, interacting with clients before and after classes, scheduling clients, recruiting members and planning fitness programs.

According to the survey results, gym and fitness workers generally feel respected by their colleagues and clients but not by management. Unpaid work, favouritism and the view that employers are more concerned about making profits at the expense of workers’ or clients’ welfare are some of the factors that account for this, says Savage.

“The survey findings reveal that gym and fitness workers’ overall level of job satisfaction is tied to a sense of accomplishment when they see others benefit from their efforts,” he says. “However, gym and fitness club workers are generally dissatisfied with wages and benefit entitlements and point to these issues as a major source of turnover in the industry.”

The report is being released in advance of a scholarly journal article authored by Savage analyzing successful efforts to unionize personal trainers at more than three dozen GoodLife Fitness locations in Toronto, Ajax and Peterborough in 2016. The article will appear in Labour/Le Travail later this year.

Savage and Morrison’s study outlines a number of challenges workers in the industry face. For instance, despite the physical nature of their jobs that increases vulnerability to workplace injuries, the industry is considered exempt from Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage.

The researchers make several recommendations, including:

  • Making WSIB coverage compulsory for gym and fitness clubs
  • Reinstating the two mandatory paid sick days
  • Ensuring that all work be paid
  • Reversing recent amendments to provincial legislation that make it more difficult for workplaces to unionize

The study cites a March 2019 IBIS World Industry Report, which states that the Canadian gym, health and fitness club industry is expected to grow to $5.6 billion in the next five years.

Professor of Labour Studies Larry Savage is available for interviews on the research.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

National town and gown conference coming to Brock

Wed, 2019-05-29 13:03

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 May 2019 R00091

Officials from municipalities and post-secondary institutions across the country will come together at Brock next week to discuss ways to strengthen the bonds that exist in their respective communities.

Hosted by the Town and Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO) in partnership with Brock University, Niagara College, the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and the cities of Thorold, St. Catharines and Welland, the Building Bridges 2019 conference will welcome more than 60 town and gown representatives to Brock’s main campus from Monday, June 3 to Thursday, June 6.

Town and gown committees bring together municipalities and post-secondary institutions to develop and grow relationships, policies and communications between administrators, students, the community and other organizations.

Conference co-organizer Tanya Bradley, Brock’s Manager of Student and Community Experience, said Building Bridges will allow town and gown officials to further their expertise.

“Participants will learn more about current issues and opportunities impacting campus and community relations,” she said. “Conference attendees will take away significant learnings they can apply to their respective areas.”

The conference has a dual focus that allows teams to swap notes and best practices with others in similar roles across Canada, said Brock’s Director of Student Life and Community Experience Brad Clarke, who is a TGAO board member, and a member of several of Niagara’s town and gown committees.

“This conference is intended to focus both on the ground-level neighbourhood relations-style issues we work with regularly, as well as higher-level issues that speak to city-building and dynamic partnerships between municipalities and the post-secondary institutions they host,” he said.

Clarke said the annual Building Bridges conference provides regular updates in an ever-changing field.

“While we continually make progress, the issues are also constantly evolving and we need to maintain ongoing dialogue to ensure best practices and open communication,” he said.

Topics to be discussed include supporting students living off-campus, studentification of neighbourhoods, active and alternative transportation in near-campus communities, and institutional responses to off-campus misconduct.

Further information about the conference and registration details a can be found on the Building Bridges website.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Collaborative partnership means more help for those who need it most in St. Catharines and Thorold

Tue, 2019-05-28 16:16

MEDIA RELEASE: 28 May 2019 – R00090

Each year, dozens of Brock University faculty, staff and students volunteer their time to help with one of the many services offered by Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold.

The collaborative partnership between Brock and Community Care was formalized today, Tuesday, May 28, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding at the community organization’s St. Catharines headquarters.

It will further strengthen an alliance between Community Care, which has been serving St. Catharines and Thorold for 100 years, and Brock, a local institution for more than half a century.

While many Brock students and staff volunteer at Community Care sites on an ongoing basis, students have also been involved in their own dedicated projects in support of the organization. The annual Trick or Eat Campaign involves students collecting canned goods each Halloween, while the 5 Days for the Homeless event sees students from Brock’s Goodman School of Business sleeping in the cold to raise money and public awareness about some of the most vulnerable members of the Niagara community.

“Strengthening this partnership will greatly enhance the services and supports to the agency, not only through experiential learning, but also through the active research component which will inform our future program delivery,” said Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold.

Every month Community Care helps about 2,000 households in St. Catharines and Thorold access food security. It also provides housing and utilities assistance, back-to-school support, ID replacement services, youth sports opportunities and many other supports.

Today’s development is the latest in a series of commitments by Brock to enhance its work with significant regional partners, such as Niagara Health and Pathstone Mental Health.

Brock President Gervan Fearon said the MOU is consistent with the University’s strategic priority of helping to advance the health and vitality of local communities.

“Indeed, this partnership enables us to make further contributions to supporting vulnerable populations in St. Catharines and Thorold,” said Fearon. “It will allow us to build on our existing partnership with Community Care and expand positive outcomes for the Niagara community.”

More of these Memoranda of Understanding between the University and community partners will be announced in the coming weeks and months.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

– 30 –

Pages