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Brock partnering in Learning Beyond Borders campaign

Thu, 2017-02-23 13:46

MEDIA RELEASE: 23 February 2017 - R00041

Brock University is going the extra mile to alert students to learning opportunities and enrichment experiences that exist outside of Canada.

The University has joined a national initiative called Learning Beyond Borders that encourages more students to take advantage of educational experiences abroad.
 
As a partner, Brock will contribute to a national communications campaign that promotes the value of overseas learning by sharing stories about the impact and outcomes of international experiences.
 
The Learning Beyond Borders initiative, launched by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), supports the University’s strategy to increase international learning opportunities for students, said Christina Bosilo, Brock’s Manager of International Learning Programs.
 
CBIE is a not-for profit organization that works closely with a membership of more than 150 education providers from all levels nationwide. Established in 1966, the national organization strives to raise awareness of global learning opportunities.
 
Bosilo said hundreds of students participate each year in the Brock Student Exchange Program and other global education opportunities, but for many, the international experience still seems beyond reach.
 
“We hear from students who would like to incorporate an international experience within their studies, however there are various factors that keep them from going overseas as part of their academic program,” Bosilo said.
 
Financial barriers, and uncertainty about whether overseas courses will transfer to a degree back home, are some of the biggest reasons that affect participation in international study programs. Bosilo said this is a Canada-wide issue, which is why a national conversation is important.
 
“It’s great to see the discussion move to a national level. My hope is that we can start to break down the barriers that hold our students back from participating in Exchange and Study Abroad programming.”
 
Reports indicate that each year about 3.1 per cent of full-time Canadian undergraduate university students participate in an educational experience abroad. That number is even lower for full-time college students, at only 2.5 per cent.
 
Students who participate in overseas experiences often describe them as transformative, having an impact on their academic and career achievements while also enhancing communications skills, self-awareness and adaptability.

“As a dynamic post-secondary institution, Brock University aims to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals within the Brock community and around the world,” said Tom Dunk, Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “Positive student experiences of internationalization on the Brock campus and through foreign travel and exchanges is pivotal to realizing this goal.”

The University, he said, is “enhancing international learning and mobility program opportunities for students.

“We are making great strides and our current involvement in CBIE’s Learning Beyond Borders initiative demonstrates our continued commitment to internationalization and our confidence that it will lead to even greater global opportunities and experiences for our students.”
 
Karen McBride, President and CEO of CBIE, said Canada faces a challenge of getting more students to take advantage of educational opportunities abroad.
 
“It is time to leverage the leadership role of education institutions in a concerted and co-ordinated effort,” said McBride, “to give our generation of young leaders the knowledge, skills and global outlook they will need to thrive in our interconnected world.”
 
The Learning Beyond Borders initiative will be discussed and promoted on the CBIE website, including a landing page showcasing content created by the organization and its partner institutions.

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

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Study finds habitat flooding caused by climate change is threatening vulnerable wood bison

Thu, 2017-02-23 10:41

OTTAWA, February 23, 2017 – New research from scientists at the University of Ottawa, five partner universities and the Government of the Northwest Territories shows climate change is causing extensive lake expansion and landscape flooding in the southern Northwest Territories, affecting the protected habitat of the Mackenzie wood bison herd. Wood bison are listed as “threatened” under Canada’s Species At Risk Act and the Mackenzie herd plays a key role in efforts to conserve and increase wood bison populations in the Northwest Territories.

“The Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary, on the north shore of Great Slave Lake, is home to an important population of wood bison. Observations over the last decade by local land users and wildlife managers suggested the lakes of the region have expanded, flooding large areas of sedge meadows. We set out to assess these changes to better understand their impact on bison populations,” says co-lead author Dr. Jennifer Korosi, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at York University, who completed the work while a Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Ottawa.

The team measured the area covered by water in a 10,000 km2 section of the region using satellite images taken between 1986 and 2011. Their findings show that the lake surface nearly doubled over that period. The expansion of water on the landscape is disproportionately flooding essential bison habitat by inundating sedge meadows that were prevalent in previously dry lake basins.

“Surveys of the bison population at the same time indicate that, as the lakes have expanded, the Mackenzie herd appears to have abandoned the former core of its range within the protected area of the sanctuary in search of forage” explains co-author Dr. Michael Pisaric, professor of geography at Brock University. Bison movements, caused by habitat changes, have led to a higher risk of collisions between bison and vehicles on the highway in recent years.

The study relied on information preserved in a dated core of sediment taken from the largest lake in the area to track lake surface changes over the last few centuries, before satellite imagery became available. Sediment cores record the history of changes to the lake and its surrounding area, based on the analysis of materials deposited over time at the lake bottom. The team recorded increases in chemical markers that are produced exclusively by land plants, tracking inundation of the surrounding landscape over the last ~20 years that is unprecedented in more than 200 years of history in the area.

“The results of our study, both from the satellite imagery and lake sediments, point to recent climate change as being the primary driver of lake area expansion in this region” says Dr. Joshua Thienpont, co-lead author on the study, and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa. Thienpont notes there are various mechanisms by which lakes can expand or decline with climate change across the vast northern landscape, which are currently being studied.

“Our findings clearly indicate that increases in lake size, as a result of climate change, have directly impacted the use of the land by threatened wood bison,” explains Dr. Jules Blais, co-author, and professor of biology and environmental toxicology at the University of Ottawa. “This represents an additional challenge for the conservation of wood bison herds that have also been affected recently by diseases like anthrax and tuberculosis as well as forest fires.”

Read the study in Nature Communications.

Members of the research team
Dr. Jules Blais (University of Ottawa), Dr. Joshua Thienpont (University of Ottawa), Dr. Jennifer Korosi (York University), Dr. Michael Pisaric (Brock University), Dr. John Smol (Queen’s University), Dr. Myrna Simpson, Ms. Jamylynn McDonald (University of Toronto), Mr. Peter deMontigny, Ms. Joelle Perreault (Carleton University), Dr. Steve Kokelj (Northwest Territories Geological Survey), and Dr. Terry Armstrong (Environment and Natural Resources, Government of the Northwest Territories).

Funding
Funding for the research was provided by the Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (Government of the Northwest Territories), the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Media inquiries:
Amélie Ferron-Craig
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Cell: 613-863-7221
aferronc@uOttawa.ca

Brock student examining impact of Scotties tournament on Niagara

Thu, 2017-02-23 09:54

Media Release: 23 February 2017 - R00040

Economic impact studies are important, but they don’t tell the whole story of how major sporting events impact their host communities.

A Brock University Sport Management master’s student is collecting data this week at the Meridian Centre in St. Catharines that will be used to examine what economic, environmental and social impact the 2017 Scotties Tournament of Hearts had on Niagara.

“A lot of major games focus on just the economic impact data, but I think this gives organizers a bit of a different view of the local community and what the overall impact is,” said Chris Charlebois (BSM ‘11). “I think this is potentially the start of a new trend.”

Charlebois has a table set up on the concourse level of the Meridian Centre where curling spectators can use iPads to answer a survey about their perceptions of the impact of the overall event.

“It’s all psychographics and behavioural data of what they think of the event rather than just straight economic data,” he said.

So far the effort has netted around 100 respondents ranging from local fans to those who have travelled across the country to cheer on their respective provincial champions.

“We’re trying to do an analysis of which type of demographics have different perceptions of the overall impact on the community,” said Charlebois.

A partnership with Curling Canada on the research project allowed him to run the survey at the Scotties event in exchange for the master’s student providing the organization with an initial round of data once the championship has wrapped up.

From there, he’ll examine the data collected to put together his master’s thesis this summer.

Charlebois is available for interviews during the Scotties tournament.
 
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

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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Black History Month at Brock wraps up with Black Lives Matter discussion

Thu, 2017-02-23 09:54

MEDIA ADVISORY: 22 February 2017 - R00039

A panel discussion will be held next week at Brock University to discuss the racism that exists in the labour movement.

The Centre for Labour Studies and the Brock Social Justice Research Institute are hosting “I Can’t Work if I Can’t Breathe,” Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Thistle 240.

The discussion will be moderated by Assistant Professor Simon Black and will include panelists: Yusra Khogali, Black Lives Matter Toronto; Idil Abdillahi, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Ryerson University; Azuhura Msofe, student activist, Brock Labour Studies; and Mark Brown, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

Black said he hopes the event will continue the conversation about racism that exists within the labour movement.

“Black workers face racism on the job and in the community,” he said. “Our event hopes to further the conversation between trade unionists, labour studies students and scholars, and anti-racism activists about how we build a labour movement and society free from racial oppression and inequality.”

The Feb. 28 event is open to everyone in the Brock community and there’s no cost to attend.

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

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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Badgers basketball fired up for big home playoff games

Thu, 2017-02-23 09:52

MEDIA RELEASE: 21 February 2017 - R00038

Brock Badgers women’s basketball coach Ashley MacSporran is tired of hearing people say this was a rebuilding year for her team.

The proof that isn’t the case will come Wednesday night when the Badgers host the first women’s basketball playoff game at Bob Davis Gymnasium in three years.

“When you have girls who buy in and believe, some great things happen. I believed in them all along. We’re very talented,” MacSporran said Tuesday after her team’s final practice before hosting the Lakehead Thunderwolves Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.

The first-round matchup is the first in a pair of Ontario University Athletics playoff home games for Brock Sports this week. The Badgers men earned a first-round bye, but will host a quarter-final contest against a yet-to-be-determined opponent Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

MacSporran is hoping for a loud home crowd when Lakehead rolls into town.
Both games come during Brock’s reading week, when most students are off campus, but minor basketball players from across Niagara have been invited to watch the games.

Both Brock and Lakehead posted 8-11 records this season. They also split their two head-to-head matchups, Brock winning 92-84 on Jan. 13 and Lakehead winning the next night 71-47.

“Our first game against them up there we played really well,” MacSporran said. “The second night their zone was a big problem for us. We struggled to score and became very stationary. (But) we needed a loss like that for us to come back and refocus. We became tougher in that moment and we’re excited to redeem that game, especially against Lakehead.”

Wednesday’s winner will advance to the OUA quarter-finals Saturday night. The Critelli Cup women’s basketball championship tournament, named after Brock Sports Assistant Director Chris Critelli, will be held March 3-4.

The men’s OUA final four championship will also be held that weekend. To get there, the Brock Badgers must win their quarter-final game at home this Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

The Badgers men, ranked fourth in the country with a 15-4 record, earned a first-round bye and will host the winner of the first-round matchup between fifth-ranked Toronto (11-8) and 12th-ranked Lakehead (6-13).

Saturday will be Brock’s first quarter-final at home since 2008, which was the last time they won the national crown.

Coach Charles Kissi said his team has been preparing for either opponent.

“We’re still continuing to focus on us. We have a lot to improve without having to worry about someone else right now,” said Kissi, whose team beat Toronto and split its two-game series against Lakehead this season.

Because of the reading week break, the Badgers are able to spend more time practising than usual.

“We’re encouraging our guys to stay caught up (with school) and not completely shut down, but it helps in terms of practice. If anything, reading week helps them be more dialed in,” Kissi said.

Carleton, Ottawa and Ryerson — the first-, third- and fifth-ranked teams in the country — are hosting the other quarter-final playoff games Saturday. The 2017 men’s national championships will be held March 9-12 in Halifax, where the Brock Badgers won their first national title 25 years ago.

Tickets for both Badgers basketball home playoff games are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and non-Brock students. Tickets are free for Brock students and can be picked up at the Walker Complex welcome desk in advance.

Free parking will be provided at Brock University for both games in Parking Lots B and S.
 

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

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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University mourns the loss of Steven Renzetti

Wed, 2017-02-22 07:40

From The Brock News
February 3, 2017

People across the Brock University community were stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the death of colleague and scholar Steven Renzetti, who passed away Friday Feb. 3 after a brief illness.

A service to celebrate his life and work will be held for friends and colleagues in the spring. Details will be announced at a later date.

A Professor of Economics whose research made him an internationally-renowned thought leader on fresh water resources and conservation, Renzetti was known on his own campus as a reassuring friend and confidant who made an indelible impression on colleagues and students.

“This is a sad, sad day,” said Tom Dunk, Interim Provost and Vice-President Academic. “Steven was a fantastic scholar and a great member of the Brock community. But more importantly he was a wonderful person. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”

Having joined Brock as a Lecturer in the Department of Economics in 1988, Renzetti was appointed Assistant Professor two years later, then received tenure in 1993 and promotion to Associate Professor. He was made a Professor on July 1, 2002.

In an era when Brock was building a reputation for research, Renzetti became a go-to reference for government agencies and news media across Canada, who sought his counsel on topics ranging from the sale of public water as a commercial commodity, to using residential water meters to reduce consumption.

Parallel to his stream of academic accomplishments, leadership would play a role in shaping Renzetti’s career. In January 2016 he agreed to serve as Brock’s Associate Vice-President of Research for Humanities and Social Sciences, then in August 2016 was appointed as the University’s Interim Vice-President of Research. He stepped down three months later due to illness.

One of his biggest legacies was helping create the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, a Brock transdisciplinary hub, working alongside fellow researcher Ryan Plummer, who was mourning his close friend.

“It was such a privilege to work with him,” said Plummer. “Steven’s commitment to scholarly excellence was unwavering. He embodied what it means to truly be an academic — internationally recognized for his expertise in water resource economics, dedicated to the enterprise of higher education, and devoted to service in Niagara and the Canadian water community. Brilliant, ever approachable, humble and generous, the impacts of his contributions will continue to shape Brock University and the field of water resources in Canada and beyond.”

Renzetti specialized in environmental economics, which seeks to understand the two-way relationship between the economy and the natural environment. His primary area of research was the economics of water resources, which he has published widely in leading peer-reviewed journals.

His significant achievements also included:

  • helping create Brock’s Sustainability Science and Society graduate program;
  • being appointed by the International Joint Commission(IJC) to the Science Priority Committee of the Great Lakes Science Advisory Board;
  • securing a $2.3-million SSHRC Partnership research grant to set up the Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network, a national research and policy group formed to address Canada’s pressing water issues; and
  • serving on numerous editorial boards, government commissions and panels.

From The Brock News

 

Lincoln and Brock sign MOU to focus on community priorities

Wed, 2017-02-22 07:34

From The Brock News
February 16, 2017

Brock University and the Town of Lincoln formalized an agreement that could help the municipality and the school identify joint projects that enrich Brock’s educational opportunities while advancing the town’s economic, social and community development.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton and Brock Interim President Tom Traves on Wednesday, Feb. 15 is the latest venture to see the town and university collaborate on initiatives that support the strategic intentions of both parties.

This helps build communities but also strengthens Brock and makes it increasingly valuable to the entire region as a key resource for education and knowledge.

The MOU will see the two partners create a joint steering committee that explores ways of moving forward by matching the University’s areas of expertise with the Town’s needs and opportunities.

Traves said Brock is committed to supporting the development of local communities, especially in ways that benefit both partners.

“For the University, initiatives like this typically lead to work-integrated experiential learning opportunities, while advancing cutting-edge research and transferring Brock’s innovation into our host communities, supporting social and economic needs,” said Traves.

This new genre of collaboration between universities and municipalities allows for community co-research models, where the town is an active partner who not only helps define the scope of a project, but participates in research whose outcomes are specific and can be realistically implemented by a local municipality.

Easton said the MOU provides the knowledge and expertise of Brock faculty and students, bringing “a much broader perspective that can only assist us in our vision of a future, sustainable Lincoln.”

“This collaboration serves as a local think tank with focus and expertise,” said Easton, “a relationship to benefit Council, our community, and our staff.”

From The Brock News

Library Hours over the Family Day Weekend and during Reading Week

Fri, 2017-02-17 16:37

The James A. Gibson Library will be open regular hours this weekend:
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Library will be closed on Monday in observation of Family Day.

On Tuesday (Brock President's Day),we will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For the remainder of Reading Week, our hours will be  8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Regular hours resume on Saturday, 25th.  Hours for departments and the Map, Data & GIS Library.

We hope you have a great break! 

 

On Display in the Library: Freedom to Read Week

Fri, 2017-02-17 14:36

Freedom to Read Week (February 26 to March 4), encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

The week is organized by the Book and Periodical Council's Freedom of Expression Committee, a group committed to promoting intellectual freedom in Canada. Since 1978, the Freedom of Expression Committee has worked with educators, librarians, publishers, writers, booksellers, advocacy groups and the community at large to provide information that addresses censorship and book and magazine challenges in Canada. 

On display, are a selection of titles which have been challenged, censored and in some cases banned outright. Take a look at the exhibit which runs to Friday, March 3.

The 16th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition Preliminary Competition - Toronto Final

Fri, 2017-02-17 14:24

 The purpose of the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition is to provide a stage for young Chinese language learners to display their language proficiency, to create a platform for mutual learning and exchange, to stimulate students’ Chinese learning interest and enthusiasm and to promote Chinese language and the understanding of Chinese culture. The 16th “Chinese Bridge” competition Toronto Final is sponsored by the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto and will be hosted by the Confucius Institute at Brock University.

Competition Theme:  

“Dreams enlighten the future”

Time & Location:

Date: March 18, 2017

Time: 10:00 – 13:30

Venue: Global Commons (IC104), International Centre, 573 Glenridge Ave, St. Catharines, ON, L2T 4C2

Candidacy:

Contestants must be current university or college students in Ontario or Manitoba (Ottawa region excluded) between the age of 18 and 30, and yet of non-Chinese nationalities, neither born nor raised in China, nor speaking Chinese as first language. Finalists to the competition last year in China may not participate.

Contents

        ● Speech: Each candidate is required to give a speech for no more than 3 minutes based on the given theme.

        ● Talent show: Each candidate is required to present a talent show related to Chinese culture for no more than 3 minutes, including Chinese songs, music, dancing, opera, acrobatic, instrument, calligraphy, drawing, paper-cutting, Kung Fu and so on.

Prizes:

One student for First Prize, one student for Second Prize, three students for Third Prize, and a few Awards of Excellence.

The Education Office, Chinese Consulate-General in Toronto will select winning contestants based on their overall performance in the competition to attend the semi-final and final rounds of the competition to be held in China.

Registration:

Students interested in attending the event are required to submit the attached registration form before Mar. 3rd to xyuan@brocku.ca. Invitation letters will be issued to those considered qualified by the Organizing Committee and the students will be requested to submit speech articles and some supplementary materials.

Contact Information:

Contact: Xiufeng Yuan

Tel: 1-905-688-5550 ext. 6013

Email: xyuan@brocku.ca

Website: http://www.brocku.ca/confucius-institute

 

 

Education Office, Consulate-General of P.R.C. in Toronto

Confucius Institute at Brock University

Donations to the Richard W. Parker Travel Scholarship matched until March 4, 2017

Thu, 2017-02-16 10:27

Help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Department of Classics and the upcoming retirement of Prof. Richard W. Parker by donating to the scholarship established in his name. The Richard W. Parker Travel Scholarship is awarded annually to a major in the department who is studying Classics and/or ancient Greek language to support his/her travel to the Mediterranean. More details about the award can be found via the OneApp on the SAFA website. Until the BUAS Scholarly Symposium on March 4, all donations to this award will be fully matched. 

Lincoln and Brock sign MOU to focus on community priorities

Thu, 2017-02-16 09:32

MEDIA RELEASE: R00037 - 16 February 2017

Brock University and the Town of Lincoln formalized an agreement that could help the municipality and the school identify joint projects that enrich Brock’s educational opportunities while advancing the town’s economic, social and community development.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton and Brock Interim President Tom Traves on Wednesday, Feb. 15 is the latest venture to see the town and university collaborate on initiatives that support the strategic intentions of both parties.

The MOU will see the two partners create a joint steering committee that explores ways of moving forward by matching the University’s areas of expertise with the Town’s needs and opportunities.

Traves said Brock is committed to supporting the development of local communities, especially in ways that benefit both partners.

“For the University, initiatives like this typically lead to work-integrated experiential learning opportunities, while advancing cutting-edge research and transferring Brock’s innovation into our host communities, supporting social and economic needs,” said Traves.

“This helps build communities but also strengthens Brock and makes it increasingly valuable to the entire region as a key resource for education and knowledge.”

This new genre of collaboration between universities and municipalities allows for community co-research models, where the town is an active partner who not only helps define the scope of a project, but participates in research whose outcomes are specific and can be realistically implemented by a local municipality.
 
Easton said the MOU provides the knowledge and expertise of Brock faculty and students, bringing “a much broader perspective that can only assist us in our vision of a future, sustainable Lincoln.”

“This collaboration serves as a local think tank with focus and expertise,” said Easton, “a relationship to benefit Council, our community, and our staff.”

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

* Carrie Beatty, Senior Communications Advisor, Town of Lincoln cbeatty@lincoln.ca    905-563-2799 x230 or 905-401-5707

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Brock profs win two of 10 prestigious national 3M teaching awards

Thu, 2017-02-16 09:32

MEDIA RELEASE: 15 February 2017  - R00036

Brock University professors have won two of this year’s 3M National Teaching Fellowships. Considered Canada’s most prestigious prize for teaching excellence at the university level, only 10 are given out nation-wide each year.

Tim O’Connell is a Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies, and Nicola Simmons is an Assistant Professor of Education.
 
O’Connell was humbled by the honour, but quickly acknowledged the work of his students, colleagues and Brock’s administration for their contributions to his classroom success.
 
“It really is a group effort,” he said. “I don’t think you can be a good educator without having great people to work with. There are a lot of people behind this.”
 
O’Connell, who joined Brock in 2006, has received significant praise for co-founding the BaseCamp leadership program, where novice students with little experience in outdoor recreation are teamed with senior students for five days of hiking, canoeing and rock climbing that help foster student success and confidence. It’s a model that has been adopted as a best practice by other Canadian universities.
 
Simmons, in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education, has also made her mark on the country’s educational landscape. She established Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Canada, chaired the Educational Developers’ Caucus, and served as vice-president for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
 
Simmons, who began her post-secondary teaching career in 1986, continues to use innovative methods to engage students. Her approach may lead students to rewrite a course reading as a free verse poem, build with Lego in order to consider the connection between theory and practice, or examine the learner experience by participating in a martial arts class.
 
While both winners like to take unconventional approaches in the classroom, they said it’s their campus support systems that allow those innovative methods to succeed.
 
“You can’t teach or lead if there aren’t people willing to come along with you,” Simmons said. She feels the 3M Award also celebrates the trust shown to educators in the classroom.
 
Anna Lathrop, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Teaching, Learning & Student Success praised Simmons and O’Connell for their outstanding contributions to the University.
 
“It’s clearly a reflection of not only their dedication within the classroom, but also how they have enriched the culture of teaching across the Brock campus, thereby contributed to the scholarship of teaching and learning both provincially and nationally,” she said.
“I can’t think of two more eminently deserving faculty members.”
 
The selection of two of Brock’s faculty to win this award in a single year clearly demonstrates Brock’s emphasis on teaching excellence and student-centred learning, Lathrop said.
 
“Ensuring a fantastic student experience is a key goal at Brock and great teaching is central to that end,” said Tom Dunk, Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic.
 
O’Connell and Simmons are “keeping Brock’s tradition of pedagogical excellence alive and well,” he said. “We are all extremely proud of them and grateful for their dedication and commitment to their craft.”
 
Since 1989, Brock faculty members have won 11 of the 3M Awards, ranking in the top 5 among all Ontario universities.

The 3M National Teaching Fellowship awards will be presented at the June STLHE conference in Halifax. The recipients will gather again for five days in Quebec in November to discuss teaching strategies and to potentially champion a project together.
 
“This is just such a gift,” Simmons said, excited to work with her fellow recipients. “It’s a gift rather than an award.”
 
Brock University 3M Fellows
2017: Tim O’Connell, Recreation; Nicola Simmons, Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
2010: Zopito Marini, Child and Youth Studies
2007: David DiBattista, Psychology
2004: Lorne Adams, Physical Education and Kinesiology; John Mitterer, Psychology
2003: Maureen Connolly, Sport Management
2001: Anna Lathrop, Physical Education
2000: Barry Joe, Communications, Popular Culture and Film; Germanic and Slavic Studies
1991: Donald Ursino, Biological Studies
1989: Clarke Thomson, Geography
 

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

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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Provincial championships on tap for Brock Sports this week

Thu, 2017-02-16 09:31

MEDIA ADVISORY: 14 February 2017 - R00035

It’s a busy week for varsity sports at Brock University.

The Ontario University Athletics season wraps up for both figure skating and men’s fencing with the championship events being held in Niagara. The provincial championships are also being held for curling this weekend, and there are late-regular-season games for basketball and volleyball, and playoff games for hockey.

FIGURE SKATING
The OUA Figure Skating Championships got under way at the Gale Centre in Niagara Falls Tuesday with the final day of competition set for Wednesday. Tickets are $5 at the door while children, youth and Brock students get in free.

The host Brock Badgers hope the home crowd can help lift them to a podium finish this week. Earlier this season at the Queen's Invitational, the Badgers finished second overall thanks to three gold medal-winning performances. Katie Desveaux (North York) won gold in the Open Solo Dance, while Sydney Vanderveen (Belleville) finished first in the Novice Short program. Desveaux also combined with Laura Holbrough (Ilderton) to capture gold in the Open Short Dance.

The Badgers are coming off a third place finish at the OUA Winter Invitational where just three points separated them from the gold medal-winning Varsity Blues. Just like at the Queen's Invitational, Desveaux and Vanderveen both won gold in their events, while Lauren Collins (Minesing) and Kristen Dortono (Niagara-on-the-Lake) finished first in the Senior Silver Similar Dance event.

Wednesday’s OUA Championship schedule runs from 8 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. at the Gale Centre with the overall championship trophy and banner, as well as individual medals, presented at the end of the day.

FENCING
On Saturday and Sunday, the men’s fencing OUA Championships will be held in Ian Beddis Gymnasium at Brock University. The Brock men will be led by Logan Wilford (Ajax) and Malcolm McLeod (Beamsville) who both medalled earlier this season. In front of a hometown crowd, the Badgers will look to medal as a team.

CURLING
Both the Brock Badgers men's and women's varsity curling teams are off to OUA Provincial Championships running Thursday until Monday in Oshawa. The championships are being hosted by UIOT. The Brock men's team won the Brock Invitation tournament it hosted at St. Catharines Curling Club Jan. 21-22.

HOCKEY
In men’s hockey, the Badgers head to Guelph to play the Gryphons in Game 1 of their best-of-three first-round playoff series. A fan bus is headed to the away game to cheer on the Brock squad. Game 2 is back in Niagara at the Seymour-Hannah arena Saturday at 7:15 p.m. If necessary, Game 3 is back in Guelph Sunday night.

The women’s hockey playoff picture is yet to be determined with Brock playing at Queen’s Friday at noon and at University of Toronto Saturday at 7 p.m. in the final two regular season games of the year.

BASKETBALL
The Badgers women’s and men’s basketball teams each have two games left in the regular season before the playoffs get underway. The two teams head to London to play Western Wednesday night and then round out the season Saturday afternoon at McMaster.

The men’s team has secured a home playoff game Saturday, Feb. 25, while the women’s playoff picture is still yet to be finalized.

VOLLEYBALL
The regular season is still in full swing for the men’s and women’s volleyball teams with the Badgers hosting McMaster Saturday at 8 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.

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

* Shawn Whiteley, Sports Information & Marketing Coordinator, Brock University swhiteley@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4506
 

Beam signing event at Brock Thursday for expanded Goodman School of Business building

Tue, 2017-02-14 13:40

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 February 2017 - R00034

Brock University is giving the community a chance to leave its mark on the Goodman School of Business construction project.

A beam signing will be held in front of Schmon Tower Thursday, Feb. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. where students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the Goodman School of Business can autograph what will be the final steel beam installed in the faculty’s $22-million expansion project.

Permanent marker in hand, community members will be able to leave their mark on the beam and include their names with those that will be embedded on the business school’s structural support for years to come.

There will be a separate opportunity after the Feb. 20-24 Reading Week to watch the signed beam being raised and installed in a topping out ceremony which will mark the completion of the construction project’s steel framework.

This $22-million Goodman School of Business expansion project will feature:
•    79,000 square feet of new, renovated and existing space
•    Six new and nine refreshed classrooms
•    An interview room with the latest technology
•    A Bloomberg research lab
•    A large new boardroom
•    Additional seminar rooms and faculty offices

For regular updates and photos from the project, visit the Goodman Expansion website.
 

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

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’s Hamilton campus to host high school maker challenge

Tue, 2017-02-14 13:40

MEDIA ADVISORY: 13 February 2017  - R00033

The challenge issued by Brock University’s Faculty of Education was clear: identify an accessibility issue and then research, design and build a product or device to help individuals with disabilities overcome the barrier to everyday living.

Now, teams of shop class students from six high schools in Niagara, Peel and Stratford will put their concepts to the test in a battle for bragging rights and a $2,000 top prize in the Brock School Maker Challenge.

The competition will be held during the Brock University Faculty of Education’s ninth annual Teaching with Technology Showcase Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Hamilton Campus.

“It’s impressive and inspiring to see the kinds of everyday living problems the school teams have discovered and the resourcefulness they’ve shown in coming up with creative, practical and working solutions,” Tony DiPetta, the Maker Challenge co-ordinator and associate professor in the Faculty of Education.

“When people wonder where society’s entrepreneurs and tradespeople are going to come from, I suggest they look at the work these shop class teams have done and they will realize the value of school High Skills Majors programs and the new ICE (Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship) initiative.”

The winners of Wednesday’s Brock School Maker Challenge will be selected by a judging panel of industry and community leaders and technology experts. The winning team will earn $2,000. Second wins $1,500 and third, $500.

The competition is part of Brock’s Tech Showcase taking place at the Hamilton Campus. The Showcase provides a chance for practicing teachers, teacher education candidates and university faculty members to learn about the latest innovations available to the education community and a forum to discuss how new technology is being used.
 
 

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

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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10 years later, Brock’s grape & wine lectures are food for thought around the world

Mon, 2017-02-13 16:23

MEDIA RELEASE: 13 February 2017 - R00032

It began in 2007 as a way to get timely research out of the lab and into the hands of Ontario grape growers and winemakers.

Today the annual lecture series by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) has a global reach. Since introducing live webcasting in 2012, and creating an online archive of the presentations by leading scientists and industry experts, the videos have had more than 7,000 views from 43 countries worldwide.

It all starts up again this week as the 2017 series of weekly lectures takes place on Wednesday.

“The series started as a way to get our research out to the growers and winemakers in our own backyard,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “Taking the series online has been a real game-changer allowing us to share our industry-driven research across Canada and around the world.”

Topics for this year’s series span the grape and wine value chain examining areas from sparkling wine production, to the effect wine ratings have on prices, and how climate change is impacting Ontario’s wine industry. The series will also bring in two Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers from British Columbia to share their latest findings.

The free lectures start a 2 p.m., except for Feb. 24, and will take place in room H313 of the Mackenzie Chown complex at Brock University.

To watch the live webcasts or archived videos, go to brocku.ca/ccovi

Lineup and dates for the 2017 CCOVI Lecture Series:
•    Feb. 15: Belinda Kemp, CCOVI Oenologist, Brock University
“A comparison of clones from Champagne and Burgundy grown in Ontario for sparkling wine production”

•    Feb. 24, 10 a.m.: Kevin Usher, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
“The effects of pre-bloom, fruit set and veraison leaf removal on yield, composition and wine quality in the Okanagan Valley”

•    March 1: Wendy McFadden-Smith, Tender Fruit and Grape IPM Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
“Sour rotted grapes: Managing your preharvest breakdown”

•    March 8: Don Cyr and Lester Kwong
Professor of Finance, Operations and Information Systems and Associate Professor of Economics, Brock University
“The application of copula function modelling to Bordeaux en primeur wine ratings”

•    March 15: Tony Shaw, Professor of Geography, Brock University
“Climate change and the evolution of Canada's wine appellations and emerging areas: Challenges and benefits”

•    March 22: Jim Willwerth, CCOVI Viticulturist, Brock University
“The potential impact of climate change on grapevine dormancy and cold hardiness”
•   
•    April 5: Gary Pickering, Professor of Biological Sciences, Brock University
“Proselytizing pyrazines: How to avoid and remediate greeness in wine”

•    April 12: Andrew Reynolds, Professor of Biological Sciences, Brock University
“Opportunities for remote sensing by unmanned aerial vehicles to map variability in Ontario vineyards”

•    April 26: Tom Lowery, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
“Epidemiology and management of grapevine virus diseases”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
 
* Kaitlyn Little, Marketing and Communications Officer, Brock University, klittle@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4471

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

Libraries are for Everyone

Mon, 2017-02-13 09:15

In the coming weeks you may notice a series of graphics on our walls, screens and on our website with the message (in different languages) that "Libraries are for Everyone".  Why these messages, and why now? 

 

In one sense, this message is timeless.  Libraries have always been a vital hub, a place to explore and learn in an open and inclusive environment.  Diversity, inclusion, intellectual freedom and access to  information are core values and can be found enshrined in library policies (eg. here and here).  The James A. Gibson Library is no different. We strive to empower our students, staff, and faculty to create, share ideas and access knowledge without fear or judgment.  

 

At the same time, the recent events in Quebec and in the US serve to remind of us of the vital relevance of these values to the world we currently live in.  Many libraries in Canada and the US have responded to these recent events by making the connection to the values we embody.  The University Library remains a safe and inclusive space for all members of our community regardless of citizenship, gender, sexuality, religion and ethnicity. Values such as diversity and intellectual freedom are inherent in the very nature of our work, and we are committed to being a welcoming and inclusive community that supports discovery, exploration, and creation.   

 

This message is reflected in the posters appearing throughout the Library, created by Hafuboti.  Over the coming weeks we will also be featuring these themes in book displays.  We hope these images and resources will resonate with you, as they have with us.  

 


New funding helps Brock add new online alternatives

Sat, 2017-02-11 09:50

From The Brock News

Brock University is getting nearly $430,000 from the Ontario government to help develop content for new online courses.

A $330,000 eCampus Ontario grant will let the University create an online four-year bachelor’s degree program in Adult Education, while a separate grant of nearly $100,000 supports development of open course modules associated with the University’s Environmental Sustainability in Practice course in the Environment Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC).

The Adult Education expansion builds on the success of Brock’s existing three-year bachelor’s degree program — the first fully online degree program introduced by the Faculty of Education in 1999.

“It makes a direct contribution to the University’s strategic goals when it comes to online learning,” said Associate Professor Camille Rutherford in the Department of Teacher Education.

New courses will be developed over the coming year in partnership with Niagara College as a supporting institution.

The program’s fourth-year option is expected to launch in September 2018.

Work will be done in conjunction with Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation to look at best practices for online learning and how to incorporate them into the program’s technical design.

“Most highly engaging online courses aren’t just text,” Rutherford said, adding there’s an opportunity to include the effective use of audio, video and various digital activities.

With the grant money, Brock can work with videographers, digital editors and multimedia specialists to develop a stimulating online experience.

“The Ministry (Advanced Education and Skills Development) has given us the resources to be able to do this and to do it in a high-impact way,” Rutherford said.

The intent is to develop strategies and templates for online courses that can be used across the University.

Rutherford said online learning is crucial for people who require a flexible approach to post-secondary education. For instance, most students in the Adult Education program have day jobs, and need a work-around as they endeavour to improve their teaching skills.

“We have a large number of learners that teach within the college system, people in social services, health care, in instructional roles in the military and a large cohort at the Bruce Nuclear Plant,” Rutherford said, adding those students enrol from across the province.

“This gives them an opportunity to engage in those learning experiences regardless of their location. It fits into their work life.”

The expansion, she said, will allow Brock to “continue to distinguish ourselves as a desired place to be, a leader in e-learning and supporter of future-ready skills.

“This will be an exemplary program, not just here at Brock, but across the province.”

The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC), one of Brock’s five transdisciplinary hubs, also has plans to share its grant-funded work once its new Environmental Sustainability in Practice course is created.

The course, set to launch in September, will be available to students in various undergraduate programs looking to take a minor in Environmental Sustainability.

Once the modules are completed, they will be made available to institutions across the province for incorporation into various undergraduate programs.

“This is a chance to create something that is special to Brock,” said ESRC Director and Professor Ryan Plummer.

“The fact that our proposal was successful is a real nod to what we have in terms of talent and expertise here at Brock. We’re creating materials that can be used throughout Ontario.”

The project shows the University is “making it a priority to respond to learners of the 21st century and rethinking how we do some things in terms of our innovative pedagogy,” Plummer said.

“This is allowing us to realize some of the dreams that we have of how we ideally want to engage learners. It allows us to push the boundaries of what we can actually do online.”

The funding will allow for content development using multimedia professionals, advanced audio and video techniques.

“The University is absolutely delighted to see these successful eCampus Ontario grant proposals in online course module, program development and research and innovation categories,” said Vice-Provost Anna Lathrop.

These projects, she said, will add to Brock University’s reputation as an institution that prioritizes 21st century learning in forums that integrate technological fluencies and personalized learning.

Brock University offers 72 online courses across all Faculties, including 27 within Adult Education.

While Adult Education was once the University’s only fully online undergraduate program, that recently changed with the introduction of the Masters of Public Health program.

Brock has previously succeeded in obtaining eCampus Ontario funding for development of online courses in human geography, diversities in actor training and history.

The non-profit collaborative centre of excellence in technology-enabled learning acts as administrator for a web portal that houses more than 13,000 online courses from post-secondary institutions across the province.

From The Brock News

Collaboration planned between ESRC and Posthumanism research Institute

Sat, 2017-02-11 09:39

From The Brock News
By: Lydia Collas
 

Two research centres at Brock have signed an agreement to improve their collaborative efforts.

The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) and the Posthumanism Research Institute (PRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently that will lead to the two centres pursuing joint research projects, workshops and conferences over the coming year.

“These two research collectives at Brock ask ‘How do we relate to the world around us? And, how is this relationship changing now and into the future?’ These are fertile areas of research often requiring transdisciplinary approaches to scholarship,” says Interim Vice-President Joffre Mercier. “The ESRC and PRI complement each other and this initiative to co-operate more formally highlights the transdisciplinary strengths and openness of Brock’s researchers. We look forward to the fruits of this co-operation.”

The ESRC undertakes research investigating the challenges that arise from the interaction between humans and the environment, and opportunities to shift society to a more sustainable way of life.

Posthumanist research explores what being ‘human’ means and questions the notions of progress, enlightenment, human nature, truth and happiness. In a world facing major crisis owing to humanity’s impact on the environment, Posthumanist thinking intersects with the research of the ESRC.

Ryan Plummer, ESRC Director, is excited about the added dimension this collaboration will give to the Centre’s research.

“Our ongoing dialogue revealed research questions of mutual interest, especially pertaining to the Anthropocene. Given our shared commitment to transdisciplinary research and scholarly excellence, the agreement provides a good basis for moving collaboration forward,” he said.

Christine Daigle, PRI Director, added “Many posthumanist thinkers tackle issues related to sustainability and the environment as part of their inquiries into the human being as entangled in the natural world. It is imperative to engage in dialogues and exchanges with researchers that examine the scientific aspect of such issues in order to push the reflection forward.”

The two centres have already made plans for their first joint venture.

“A short term goal is to hold a joint event in which we discuss the Anthropocene and what it means to be posthuman in this epoch,” Daigle said.

From The Brock News

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