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Updated: 32 min 30 sec ago

Brock scientist’s patented compound is turning out to be a cancer killer

5 hours 43 min ago

See Cathy Majtenyi's story on Dr. Tomas Hudlicky," Brock scientists's patented compound ... turning out to be a cancer killer". Read more by clicking

Brock scientist’s patented compound is turning out to be a cancer killer

Wed, 2017-03-22 13:33

MEDIA RELEASE: 22 March 2017 - R00062
A leading Canadian scientist has developed a synthetic compound that appears to be capable of killing cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact.
Brock University chemist Tomas Hudlicky has created and patented several variations of the compound pancratistatin, which has been tested on 20 different types of cancer cells by a research team at the University of Windsor. The team’s paper, “Cancer Cell Mitochondria Targeting by Pancratistatin Analogs is Dependent on Functional Complex II and III,” appeared in the February issue of Scientific Reports.
Scientists have known for some time that pancratistatin (PST), a substance found in the spider lily, causes cancer cells to die. But the low rate of natural production (a kilogram of spider lily produces less than 2 mg of PST) is a major challenge to research and clinical advancement.
Hudlicky is the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in biocatalysis — the use of biological methods to manufacture chemicals — and one of North America’s top organic researchers. His previous breakthroughs in green chemistry have led to more efficient and environmentally conscious ways to create synthetic versions of morphine and other natural drugs.
He has spent more than 25 years researching PST’s chemical structure and constructing molecules that had similar structures and functions.
“The aim is to make the new and active derivatives available for the manufacture of anti-cancer drugs,” says Hudlicky, a Professor of Chemistry at Brock.
A key part of the construction of new drugs involves manufacturing what are known as “unnatural derivatives” of natural compounds such as PST or narciclasine, a congener of PST that is more available from natural sources. These derivatives are available through chemical synthesis from Hudlicky’s laboratory. What Hudlicky and other chemists do is to artificially enhance a natural compound’s properties through synthesis of derivatives.
The Windsor research team found that Hudlicky’s PST derivatives target a cancer cell’s mitochondria, a structure within a cell responsible for respiration, energy production and cell apoptosis (or programed cell death). Current cancer treatments tend to attack DNA in both cancerous and healthy cells, but mitochondria is specific to each cell and can therefore be more precise as a target.
Hudlicky says it’s still not clear how and why PST brings about cell death, but said some of the new synthetic derivatives made in his laboratory “are actually more potent and more bioavailable than the natural compounds.”
‘Bioavailability’ measures how much of a substance such as a drug is absorbed into a living system and how quickly it is absorbed.
Hudlicky is continuing with research on discovering and manufacturing anti-cancer compounds that can be used in drugs to treat the disease. With funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and a Canadian pharmaceutical company, he is developing derivatives of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids, some of which are isolated from daffodils and snowdrops.
Hudlicky has also formed a partnership with McMaster University chemistry professor James McNulty to develop more compounds that can be used in effective cancer treatment, efficient pro-drug design, and other commercial uses.
McNulty has developed techniques for the isolation of naturally occurring compounds in high yield and also semi-synthesis from natural intermediates and total synthesis of selected alkaloids. In addition to the discovery of compounds that exhibit potent anticancer activity, the Amaryllidaceae framework has allowed the discovery of congeners with potent and selective antiviral activity, for example to herpes viruses (HSV-1 and VZV) and one of the most active compounds reported to date against the Zika virus.
McNulty and Hudlicky together have more than 50 years of experience in the isolation, synthesis and modification of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids. The discovery of other valuable biological activities is under active investigation including many other biomedical and agrochemical applications.
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970
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On Display: In Troubled Times, Knowledge is Power

Wed, 2017-03-22 11:25

There seems to be a lot of political, national and social upheaval around the world these days.  With any weighty issue, it's always good to be knowledgeable of similar actions, historical context, and expert research.  Look to the Brock University Library for resources that can help you understand the root causes of this upheaval, and make sense of the world.

The books on display are just a small sample of resources available to you.  Visit the Library to discover more.

In Troubled Times, Knowledge is Power runs until Friday March 31st at the Thistle entrance to the Learning Commons. 

World Water Day: Brock prof says reclaimed wastewater is one answer to shortages

Tue, 2017-03-21 14:58

MEDIA RELEASE: 21 March 2017 - R00061

Research by Brock University Professor of Economics Diane Dupont has shown that reclaimed wastewater can be a reliable source for water that is more resilient to climate change fluctuations.

This alternative method for water supply is the theme of World Water Day on Wednesday, March 22 with UN-Water encouraging the population to reduce and reuse wastewater rather than leaving it untreated to pollute the environment and go to waste.
After the collection, treatment and disinfection, subsequent uses of wastewater include flushing toilets, agricultural irrigation and cooling of buildings.
Dupont’s study, “Water use restrictions or wastewater recycling? A Canadian willingness to pay study for reclaimed wastewater,” established that a large proportion of Canadians are willing to consider the use of reclaimed wastewater in these instances.
“These results indicate that Canadian consumers are aware of the value of wastewater for uses they find acceptable, and are willing to include wastewater as part of their household water supply as a means of more consistent water flows,” says Dupont, Director of the Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network (WEGPN). “This finding underscores how water utilities and other water managers can incorporate reused water feasibly.”
A new study, “Canadian Water Attitudes,” confirmed Canadians value our water and see our lakes and rivers as a vital part of national identity; but the study also revealed a troubling carelessness with our most valuable resource.

Canada is a water-rich country with seven per cent of the world’s reliable flow of freshwater and many of the world’s largest rivers. But the country still faces a number of significant water-related challenges, including the steady rise of water shortages and reduced reliability of traditional water supplies due to climate change.
Reusing water has been recommended as a way to mitigate the increasing challenges on the water system caused by seasonal shortages and droughts.
Dupont’s most recent book co-edited with the late Steven Renzetti, Water Policy and Governance in Canada, marks a major contribution to related research approaches to issues of water governance and management in Canada, and includes research from several Brock researchers, including Timothy Heinmiller, Associate Professor of Political Science and WEGPN researcher. 
“Canadians tend to take water for granted, most of the time; but, when water resources are threatened, water becomes highly salient and intensely political,” says Heinmiller. “Some of the most protracted political conflicts in Canada have been about water, particularly in water scarce areas like the southern Prairies.”
In his recently published book, Water Policy Reform in Southern Alberta, Heinmiller explores how water is allocated among competing uses in one of the most water-scarce areas of Canada.

The WEPGN is a Canada-wide research initiative that has been headquartered at Brock since it was founded in 2012. The network connects researchers and partners to facilitate meaningful and urgent research into the social, economic and political dimensions of water and develop new knowledge to improve the management of water resources in Canada and abroad.
For more information on World Water Day and recycling water, visit

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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Alex Finlayson (BA French Studies/BED) received the 2016-17 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Endowment Fund for Studies in a Second Official Language!

Tue, 2017-03-21 11:30

Congratulations to Alex Finlayson (BA French Studies/BED) on receiving the 2016-17 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Endowment Fund for Studies in a Second Official Language! 

Read the full story in the Brock News

Brock students sleep outside to raise awareness of youth homelessness in Niagara

Tue, 2017-03-21 09:45

MEDIA RELEASE: 20 March 2017 - R00060:

Monica Gola-Macdonald has never been homeless, but she has a lot of compassion for those who are.

The first-year Brock University accounting student is part of a group who will be sleeping outside this week as part of the national 5 Days for the Homeless campaign to raise funds and awareness for homelessness, particularly among at-risk youth.

“A lot of people walk by homelessness and don’t think about it but we’re trying to bring to their attention how prevalent of an issue this is in our community,” Gola-Macdonald said.

Students participating in the campaign give up necessities and comforts such as shelter, proper sleeping arrangements, access to food (except what is donated to them), heat, lighting and showers.

With the exception of using technology for homework and sharing their experience on social media to promote the 5 Days for the Homeless campaign, students will give up their smartphones and laptops while continuing to attend class throughout the week.

“These students are willing to give up their luxuries to help us raise awareness on campus of these issues and we’re so grateful to them for stepping up to participate,” said Karen Lau, a fourth year business student and the Vice President of Human Resources for the Goodman Business Students’ Association (BSA) who is taking a lead role in planning Brock’s involvement in the campaign.

“Youth homelessness is real and it’s not something that should be overlooked. People often do not realize how fortunate they are to live under a roof and to have meals every single day,” she said. “Sometimes we have to take a step back from our own situation in order to help a cause like this that is very real in our community.”
The Goodman Business Students’ Association partners annually with Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold on 5 Days initiative, which saw donations of more than $7,500 last year. This year’s team has set a fundraising goal of $10,000. 

The student group is collecting donations — both monetary and non-perishable food — to support Community Care’s Housing Help program, which Catherine Livingston says will have a big impact on the local community.

“Any initiative to bring awareness to the public is vital and has significant impact,” said Livingston, Manager of Housing Help for Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold. “Youth homelessness is on the rise, so the discussion and the issues need to be kept in the forefront.”

“The awareness created by this initiative articulates the issue of homelessness nationally,” said Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold.

“Having these young people tell the story of homelessness through their eyes is very impactful. I commend their concern and commitment to community.”

Students will be set up outside along McKenzie Chown A Block starting at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 20 and will be accepting non-perishable food and cash donations from March 20-24. Online donations are also being accepted at throughout the month of March.

There is a Music Trivia Night at 6:30 p.m. on March 20 and Karaoke Night on March 22 at 8 p.m. in support of the initiative. Both events will take place at Skybar Lounge.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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Brock students to present tree-planting recommendations to Niagara Region

Mon, 2017-03-20 15:13

MEDIA RELEASE: 20 March 2017 - R00059

Cutting down a tree? Plant two to replace it.

That’s the recommendation from students in the Brock University Environmental Assessment class, which will be presenting its “Two-for-One Trees” policy proposal to Niagara Region on Wednesday, March 22.

“We see tree planting as one of the easiest efforts we can undertake to combat the issue of global warming,” says Alyssa Davis, Master’s student in the Department of Earth Sciences who will be leading the presentation.

Davis will be highlighting the class’s research on forest cover in the region and the country, Canada’s carbon dioxide emissions and more details of the proposal.

“We hope that each municipality within the Niagara region will be inspired to act with this "Two-for-One Trees" policy on tree replacement, if they haven't already done so,” says Davis.

Among the reasons the Environmental Assessment students give for why Niagara’s 12 municipalities would want to come on board:

•    Trees remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Earth’s atmosphere. Too much carbon dioxide — mostly from human activities — is a key contributor to global warming. Increasing the number of trees will take some of this carbon dioxide out of circulation.

•    Trees add to the aesthetics of a place. Research has shown that quality of life improves with exposure to natural environments and green spaces.

•    Trees make excellent snow fences, wind breakers and other barriers.

“We were thinking that the Region and its municipalities would be in the perfect position to introduce the planning policy because they’re in charge of maintaining roadways, parks and other public land,” says Kristen Shaver, also a Department of Earth Sciences Master’s student.

Also at the meeting Wednesday will be the class’s supervisor, Professor of Earth Sciences Uwe Brand, who came up with the idea for the research project after noticing a lack of trees on his daily commute to Brock.

The presentation will take place at the Planning and Development Committee meeting Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the council chambers at Niagara Region Headquarters in Thorold.


For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

* Cathy Majtenyi, Research Communications/Media Relations Specialist, Brock University,, 905-688-5550 x5789 or 905-321-0566

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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Brock University condemns actions of some students on St. Patrick’s Day

Mon, 2017-03-20 15:12

MEDIA RELEASE: 18 March 2017 - R00058

Brock University takes pride in being a community partner in St. Catharines and, as such, it is disappointed by the actions of a small portion of its student population Friday.
A large group of people, including Brock students, gathered on a residential street near the Pen Centre on St. Patrick's Day. The gathering was shut down by the Niagara Regional Police later in the day.
The University is aware of the situation and is fully co-operating with the investigation by the NRPS. In addition, a group of student and staff volunteers went to the area Saturday morning to assist in cleaning up garbage left on the street from the unfortunate actions of some students.

Brock University officials are also committed to meeting with the City of St. Catharines and the NRPS in the coming weeks to discuss how this type of incident can be prevented in the future.

“These deplorable actions do not reflect Brock University's culture or values and this group, both from Brock and elsewhere, do not represent our student population of almost 19,000,” said Interim President Tom Traves.
Leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, Brock University staff canvased numerous high-density student residential areas to give a reminder about the importance of being responsible citizens, and to hand out garbage bags and tags, responsible drinking guides, taxi numbers and other information.
Brock also worked with the NRPS to have extra officers on hand both on campus and in these neighbourhoods.
“On behalf of the Brock University Students' Union, we would like to apologize for what took place Friday,” said Curtis Gadula, Director of Student Life and Communications for BUSU. “We pride ourselves on the many students who give so much back to our community, and we find it embarrassing that students were involved in this incident.”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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Brock Department of Music to add string orchestra

Fri, 2017-03-17 15:42

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 March 2017  - R00057

A new string orchestra coming this fall will help attract new students and community musicians to Brock University’s Department of Music.

For the first time in its 47-year history, the Department of Music will offer String Orchestra as part of its ensemble bank starting in September. The addition will make the Department’s programs more appealing to potential students, as it brings a much stronger string presence to its activities.

“We have been trying to attract quality string students to the Department, and our lack of in-house orchestra has definitely been a detriment,” says Department of Music Chair Karin Di Bella.

The string group will be added to the existing ensemble roster of the Brock University Choirs, and the Brock University Wind Ensemble.

The String Orchestra has been developed to serve two key needs: filling a need in the Department’s curriculum; and providing a place for community string players to share their talents.

“We have appreciated a partnership with the Niagara Symphony Youth Orchestra and the community-based Mercredi Musique in the past, but incoming students really want their ensemble experience to be housed at the University,” says Di Bella.

Based on the successful model of the Wind Ensemble, the String Orchestra will work as a partnership between the Department and the community, welcoming community members to the group to fill out the numbers needed for the ensemble to be viable.

Mercredi Musique is a key partner in the development of this new ensemble. Following the loss of their long-time music director Paul Van Dongen, the group ceased activity at the end of the 2015-16 season.

“We are enthusiastic in our support of this endeavour. It’s an ideal direction for both the community and the University,” says Chris Thorne, former concertmaster of Mercredi Musique.

Community string players are welcome to audition for the new Brock University String Orchestra. Auditions will be held this summer, with information posted on the Department website in the coming months. Auditions for an ensemble conductor will also be held. Any string specialists interested in applying for the conductor position should check Brock’s Human Resources listings, and let the Department know of their interest.

The String Orchestra will rehearse during the academic year from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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Cuvée 2017 to celebrate the best in Ontario VQA wine

Fri, 2017-03-17 15:42

MEDIA RELEASE: 17 March 2017 - R00056

With local VQA wines celebrating a banner year among consumers, there’s no better place than the upcoming Cuvée 2017 to discover the best wines the region has to offer.

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario recently revealed that domestic wine is king on its store shelves — with sales of local wines up more than seven per cent since last year. The wine industry is also a major contributor of the provincial economy, generating more than $4 billion annually in revenue, tourism and job creation.

The 29th annual Cuvée, which kicks off Friday, March 24 with the Grand Tasting at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, has played a critical role in celebrating local wines for nearly three decades.

Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute
(CCOVI), Cuvée helps attendees discover Ontario’s best VQA wines while also raising thousands of dollars to fund academic scholarships and research. Through the Cuvée Legacy Fund, the event helps the next generation of grape growers and winemakers to continue their studies in order to someday make their mark in the industry.

“Cuvée has always been a strong supporter of the local wine industry and continually showcases the finest VQA wines to consumers at the Grand Tasting,” said CCOVI director Debbie Inglis. “Not only do we celebrate the fantastic wines we produce here in the Niagara region, but Cuvée also helps the multi-billion dollar industry continue to grow into the future by funding valuable research and scholarships.” 

Cuvée has partnered with 48 local VQA wineries and celebrated regional chefs this year to offer the best in food and wine to more than 800 expected guests.

Attendees are encouraged to dress to the nines as they spend their evening sampling best-in-class wines that have been hand-selected by each of the participating winemakers. The wines will be complemented by signature culinary dishes prepared exclusively for the event at live cooking stations.

The night ends with the Après Cuvée after party featuring a live band, icewine, sparkling wine, cider and local craft beer.

The local wine tribute continues throughout the weekend with the Cuvée en Route
program. Participants get an electronic passport that lets them visit up to 38 wineries
across the Niagara region March 25-26. The passport allows them to sample exclusive flights from each winery’s collection and to learn more about the wineries operating right in their own backyards.

Tickets that include both the Friday night Grand Tasting and the weekend-long en
Route passport are available online at for $200 per person. Tickets for the
en Route passport only are $30.

Parking at the Scotiabank Convention Centre is free, and a shuttle will be available to bring guests from their car to the front door.

For more information, to request media credentials for the event or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970


Brock student overcomes injury to win national grant

Thu, 2017-03-16 14:38

MEDIA RELEASE: 16 March 2017 - R00055

Alex Finlayson knows what it’s like to get knocked down — and to fight to get back up again.
The third-year Brock Concurrent Education student began a long road to recovery after suffering a serious concussion during a hockey game in late 2015. Through the headaches, memory loss and difficulty concentrating, Finlayson pushed forward and continued to work toward her goal of becoming a French-language educator.
As a result, the 20-year-old Etobicoke native was recently recognized with a coveted national grant given to only three people annually across the country.
Finlayson was chosen for the 2016-17 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Endowment Fund for Study in a Second Official Language, a $7,000 national bursary to support her continued education.
“To apply and be chosen while working through the concussion is something I’m really proud of accomplishing,” Finlayson said. “I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get my application in on time because of the headaches I was experiencing and other symptoms.”
The application process required several writing components outlining Finlayson’s background, love of teaching and involvement of French in her future career. The concussion caused her to struggle, but her drive to succeed pushed her past the obstacles the injury left in her way.
Finlayson has never been one to shy away from a challenge. As a child, she decided to pursue French immersion schooling later than most, despite having no background in the language.
“I was in third grade,” she said with a laugh. “I thought it was so cool to be able to speak another language. It was something no one in my family could do, so I wanted to.”
Finlayson hopes to someday pass her passion for French along to her students.
“I want to help kids see what’s so great about French and what the benefits are of studying another language,” she said.
The grant money will support her tuition costs, with a portion also set aside to aid in future travel to France.
“I’m planning to do a teaching placement there so I can simultaneously work and develop my French language further,” she said.
Finlayson was able to rejoin Brock’s hockey team in November after an extended period off the ice. She credits the support of her teammates, coaches, family and friends for helping to make her comeback — in the rink and in the classroom — a reality.
“It was a long process,” she said. “I’m grateful to have been able to make such a strong recovery.”
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970
Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.
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Goodman School of Business celebrates launch of business analytics centre

Thu, 2017-03-16 13:36

MEDIA RELEASE: 16 March 2017 - R00054

Big data is having a big effect on the business world.
Responding to the growing need for graduates with business acumen and analytical expertise, Brock University’s Goodman School of Business introduced the business analytics specialization to the MBA in 2014.
This year, Goodman took it one step further by creating the new Centre for Business Analytics.
The new interdisciplinary research hub will allow the Business School to connect with other disciplines and the business community to make a meaningful impact on Niagara.
Though it launched in September, the Centre for Business Analytics will have its official grand opening Thursday, March 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Scotiabank Atrium of the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex at Brock University.
Lori Bieda, Vice President of Business Analytics and Insights at BMO, will deliver a keynote address on how the field of analytics has changed and become much more prolific in recent years.
The sheer amount of data that organizations can use to their advantage is staggering and is pointing to a shift in data-driven decisions based on insights gained from analytics.
Since launching in September, the new Centre has built partnerships with many Brock departments including History, Mathematics and Statistics, Sport Management, Health Sciences, IT Services and Brock Institute for Scientific Computing, as well as several external organizations including Canadian Tire Bank, Environics Analytics, IBM, John Deere, Meridian Credit Union, Pentavere Research Group Inc.,, SAS and The Co-operators.
Representatives from some of those departments and companies will be on hand at the launch event next week to demonstrate how they’re using the power of big data to make business decisions.
With support from the Goodman School of Business, the Centre is led by Professor Anteneh Ayanso.
“We have spent the last several months establishing the Centre for Business Analytics and this is our opportunity to celebrate its launch as we look ahead to what the future of big data holds for us,” said Ayanso.
Brock’s Co-op Student of the Year award will also be presented at this event to MBA Business Analytics student Paul Frosina for his outstanding contributions to his co-op employer, The Co-operators.
Media interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP in advance. Prof. Anteneh Ayanso and Lori Bieda will be available for interviews.
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970
Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.
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Brock reminding students to be smart, stay safe on St. Patrick’s Day

Thu, 2017-03-16 09:31

MEDIA RELEASE: 15 March 2017 - R00053

Brock University is taking a proactive approach to keeping students safe on St. Patrick’s Day.

For those who choose to partake in March 17 festivities, several campus departments and community groups have procedures in place to ensure students are celebrating responsibly.

The Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU), Campus Security, Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, Student Life and Community Experience, and Residence will have all hands on deck with extra security, first-aid personnel, and student health and consent educators.

Free pizza, water and Gatorade will also be provided in various locations throughout the day.

“We want students to stay safe, be responsible and watch out for one another,” said Curtis Gadula, Director of Student Life and Communications for BUSU.

Brock’s community efforts will be amplified in high student-density areas through a partnership with the Niagara Regional Police, providing additional officers both on and off campus.

“We’re ensuring an enhanced police presence in areas that are known to be of concern,” said Darryl Veld, Manager of Student Affairs.

“Brock students and staff members will be canvasing neighbourhoods with a high volume of students to drop off garbage tags, recycle and garbage bags, taxi numbers, responsible drinking information and emergency contact numbers.”

Brad Clarke, Director of Student Life and Community Experience, met with the City of Thorold and City of St. Catharines recently to provide an overview of Brock’s strategic community plan for the day.

Among the highlights are extra security staff and Brock staff members available to address concerns within the community, as well as key messaging encouraging safe consumption and responsible citizenship running on official university social media accounts.

“We’re taking the steps to prevent any harm to our students and being really proactive about their safety,” said Gadula.

University Road East in front of Isaac’s Bar & Grill patio will be closed for a St. Patrick’s Day event. Doors open at 10 a.m. and will close at 5 p.m. BUSU security, campus security and the NRP will be on site throughout the day.

Questions and concerns from the community can be directed to the Off-Campus Living and Neighbourhood Relations office at 905-688-5550 x3721 or emailed to

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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Brock University closed Tuesday due to weather

Thu, 2017-03-16 09:30

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 March 2017 - R00052

The late-winter storm hitting the Niagara and Hamilton areas has forced the closure of Brock University on Tuesday, March 14.
Driving conditions throughout the area are dangerous and will continue to worsen Tuesday morning due to additional snow and heavy winds in the forecast.
All classes and activities planned for Brock University’s main campus, as well as those at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the Hamilton campus are cancelled Tuesday.
The buildings are closed for the day and only essential services, such as dining for students in residences, will be provided.
Watch for updates on when the regular schedule will resume.
For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970
Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.
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Panel discussion to focus on data privacy and how to protect your information

Thu, 2017-03-16 09:14

MEDIA RELEASE: 9 March 2017  - R00051

Data privacy, or the lack thereof, is back on the forefront this week after the leak of classified CIA documents showing everything from cellphones to smart TVs can be accessed.

A panel of data privacy experts will be discussing the significance of online data privacy and what we can do to protect ourselves on Wednesday, March 15 during a forum at Brock University.

“It is important to create opportunities for citizens to consider the data that organizations collect and then analyze about us,” says Karen Louise Smith, Assistant Professor of Communication, Popular Culture and Film. “There are many unseen algorithms that process our data and shape our experiences online, but they operate opaquely and are difficult to understand.”   

Smith will join fellow panelist Natasha Tusikov, Adjunct Professor of Sociology, and keynote speaker Andrew Hilts, Executive Director of Open Effect, at the event.

Hilts conducts research and designs software systems to empower citizens to exercise their digital rights. During his talk at Brock, Hilts will share insights from the design of Access My Information, a website that engages users to request their personal data from organizations ranging from the Canadian government to online dating services. Hilts will also share his experiences in making privacy issues understandable and relatable for the general public.

Smith’s research explores the tensions between openness, privacy and participation in a digital world. She previously led a Privacy Badges co-design project with Hive Toronto, and is a collaborator on The eQuality Project to examine issues of privacy and cyberbullying facing youth. Her talk will explore the development of digital policy literacy with youth.

Tusikov, author of the recently published book, Chokepoints: Global Private Regulation on the Internet, will be examining the informal practices and policies by internet firms and the sharing of personal information with third parties.

“Internet companies like eBay routinely share their customers’ personal data with third parties such as law enforcement agencies,” says Tusikov. “However, few people likely realize that these third parties also include private security companies.”

Tusikov says these security companies are in the market of brand-protection — monitoring marketplaces to track down people selling counterfeit goods.

The discussion is being hosted by the Transmedia Research Network within the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University and is funded by the Council of Research in the Social Sciences within the Faculty of Social Sciences. It will be held in Brock’s Welch Hall Atrium and is open to the public. Free registration is available on Eventbrite. 

What: Data Privacy Activism: A panel discussion on data privacy, digital rights and emerging activism
When: Wednesday, March 15 – 3 to 5 p.m. with reception to follow
Where: Welch Hall Atrium, Brock University  
Who: Privacy experts Andrew Hilts, Executive Director at Open Effect; Natasha Tusikov, Adjunct Professor of Sociology; Karen Louise Smith, Assistant Professor of Communication, Popular Culture & Film; Moderator Marian Bredin

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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Desktop Computer Survey

Wed, 2017-03-15 12:46

Do you use the desktop workstations in the Gibson Library and Learning Commons? If the answer is yes, please consider taking our desktop computer use survey. One lucky respondent will win a $50 Brock Card.

The survey is available @ until March 22.






Libraries Closed Today

Tue, 2017-03-14 09:10

The Gibson and Map, Data & GIS Libraries are closed today. More details @

On Display: The Cannabinoids

Mon, 2017-03-13 14:01

Brock University faculty have a long history investigating marijuana and cannabis-related issues. Research has involved a wide array of social science, health and science-related areas of inquiry including: substance abuse policies, government regulation, risk-related and healthy behaviours, sensation seeking, synthesis of cannabinoids, and synthetic organic chemistry alternatives. 

This month, the Library display cases feature an exhibit of books and resources related to the cannabinoids, medical marijuana, and policy issues around legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Thanks to Professor Paul Zelisko and Alison Smart from Math and Science Stores for their contributions to the exhibit.


Brock hosting milestone PALS conference

Fri, 2017-03-10 10:07

From The Brock News

When the Ontario-Quebec Paleolimnological Symposium (PALS) marks its 10th anniversary in May, it will do so on Brock’s campus.

The conference, focused on the fields of limnology and paleolimnology, is being hosted by the University May 24 to 26.

Organized by a group of Brock WEL (Water and Environmental Lab) graduate students, the event provides undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, the opportunity to present their research related to lakes and other bodies of inland water.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the symposium, an event that was literally born out of notes on the back of a napkin,” said WEL Co-Director Michael Pisaric.

“The PALS symposium continues to grow and flourish each year, as does the relevance of the science that will be explored and discussed at PALS 2017. From acid rain to the impacts of the oil sands, paleolimnology provides a powerful tool to monitor and disentangle many of the most complex environmental issues affecting the world today.”

PALS is annually attended by students and researchers from across Ontario and Quebec. This year, Brock has also invited researchers from neighbouring institutions in New York state.

The conference will feature three keynote speakers: Elizabeth Thomas (University of Buffalo), Fredric Bouchard (Université Laval) and Francine McCarthy (Brock University).

“As graduate students, we are excited to have the opportunity to welcome fellow academics to Brock and to showcase current research in the paleolimnology field,” said Zachary Harmer, WEL graduate student and PALS organizer.

In addition to networking with researchers and connecting with potential mentors, students participating in the conference will have the chance to present their research through oral or poster presentations.

WEL Co-Director Kevin Turner called it an honour for Brock to be hosting the milestone event that encourages further research and discussion in a critical field.

“Paleolimnological analyses of lake sediment provides vast insight of past lake and landscape environmental conditions in areas where no direct measurements have been made,” he said.

“It is important for researchers to continue exploring this issue.”

For more information on the symposium or to register online, visit

From The Brock News