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Brock to screen award-winning Cheechoo film Friday

Brock News - Mon, 2019-03-18 14:22

MEDIA RELEASE: 18 March 2019 – R00043

A special screening of the award-winning film, Moose River Crossing, by Brock University Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo will take place on campus Friday, March 22.

Cheechoo, who was appointed to a second term in her role with the University last June, will begin the evening by reading a passage from her play about residential schools, and will follow the film screening with a question-and-answer session with the audience. Drummers from the Niagara Women’s Drum Group will also perform.

Moose River Crossing examines the residential school system through the eyes of six fictional former students who meet at a train station to head to a reunion. They flash back to the troubling times they experienced at the residential school and aim to answer the question of whether or not time heals all wounds.

Cheechoo wrote the movie based on her own experience growing up in residential schools.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, with the question-and-answer session and drum performances following at 9 p.m.

Cheechoo is an award-winning Cree actress, writer, producer, director and visual artist. She has been Brock Chancellor since July 2015, and was recently awarded the Order of Canada.

She is also the founder and executive director at Weengushk Film Institute, a not-for-profit film and television training centre on Manitoulin Island that helps Indigenous and at-risk youth develop career skills or return to school.

The event, which is open to the public, is hosted by Brock’s Student Justice Centre in partnership with the University’s Office of Human Rights and Equity.

Admission is free and no advance tickets are required.

Free parking is available in Zones 1 and 2 beginning at 6 p.m.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

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Government funding to aid Brock researchers with studies on brain function and health in aging

Brock News - Thu, 2019-03-14 11:49

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 March 2019 – R00042

It’s a common notion that people seem to become more forgetful as they get older, leading many to conclude that memory declines with age.

But Brock University Assistant Professor of Psychology Karen Campbell aims to counteract that view by showing that something else is happening in the brain that mimics memory loss.

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Rebecca MacPherson is concerned about rising rates of obesity and how diet and exercise — or lack thereof — affects people as they age.

To aid in their investigations, MacPherson and Campbell will be purchasing state-of-the-art equipment thanks to funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).

On Wednesday, March 13, Federal Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announced JELF grants of more than $39 million at 43 universities across Canada. Brock University received $241,708 for the equipment purchases.

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund has been giving excellent support for Brock’s cutting-edge research over the years,” says Tim Kenyon, Brock University’s Vice-President, Research. “These latest awards will open up new understandings in two key areas of great significance to society: what underpins age differences in memory; and the mechanisms of obesity and related diseases.”

Campbell, Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging, challenges conventional laboratory tasks that test older participants’ ability to remember things or make new associations, such as pairing a name with a face. Her research shows that age differences in attentional control — the ability to focus on relevant information and block out distraction — may be at the heart of what looks like memory loss.

“Older adults pick up on more distracting information than younger adults, and this can both help and hinder their memory performance on a later task, depending on the nature of the task,” says Campbell.

She will be acquiring an electroencephalography (EEG) system and an eye tracker to study, among other research goals, how this distracting information is encoded in the brain and whether it affects memory for events in everyday life.

For her part, MacPherson warns of the approaching “silver tsunami,” where a quarter of the population will be 65 years and older by 2036.

“The current increase in life expectancy and our ever-expanding waistline goes hand in hand with the emergence of common age-related chronic diseases,” she says.

To better understand the interactions between metabolism, diet and exercise, and what causes metabolism disturbances that lead to disorders like obesity, Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, MacPherson will be studying rodent physiology.

She will purchase equipment that measures rodents’ activity levels, food and water intake, how much oxygen they take up and the level of carbon dioxide they expel. Researchers want to know if measures such as changing the fat type or content of their diet, installing exercise wheels in cages or using dietary supplements will affect their metabolic rate.

“The studies would give us an idea of whether any of these treatments or interventions would potentially work in humans,” says MacPherson, explaining that animal and human physiologies are similar enough to make such comparisons.

 

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

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Founder of global #ErasingHate movement to speak at Brock

Brock News - Tue, 2019-03-12 16:24

MEDIA RELEASE: 12 March 2019 – R00041

For many years, Brock alumnus Corey Fleischer (BA ’06) struggled to determine what he wanted to do with his life.

But all that changed one fateful day on his way to a power-washing job in the suburbs of Montreal.

“I was sitting in my truck at a red light when I noticed a swastika spray painted on a cinder block,” Fleischer recalled. “I had all the tools necessary to remove the graffiti, but I didn’t. I just went to my job. The second I drove by it I knew I was doing something wrong and that I made a mistake.”

An hour into the job, unable to silence the nagging voice in his head, Fleischer dropped everything. He sent his employees home and drove back to the vandalized intersection to remove the graffiti with his power washer.

“My quest for a deeper meaning in life has led me to take action and turn a pastime into a life mission,” Fleischer said. “The 15 seconds it took to remove that swastika was the feeling I had been looking for my whole life.”

He channelled that energy into the creation of #ErasingHate, which targets and eliminates hate graffiti anywhere in the world for free. The movement has grown considerably online and around the globe since its inception.

“I erased 50 instances of hate graffiti in the first five years and now #ErasingHate removes 50 pieces a day,” Fleischer said. “This isn’t just a movement, it’s my life’s mission.”

Fleischer was first introduced to the power-washing industry through his roommate at Brock University, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree and spent three years on the men’s hockey team. He described himself as the protector of his teammates, a role that now manifests in his quest to end the cycle of hate around the world.

For the first time in more than 10 years, Fleischer will return to Brock’s main campus on Tuesday, March 19 to present a talk about his journey creating the global #ErasingHate movement.

The presentation will be hosted in Isaac’s by the Brock University Alumni Association (BUAA) and Brock University Students’ Union from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event will feature a complimentary dinner sponsored by the BUAA and is open to all members of the Brock community. Registration is required through Eventbrite.

Fleischer is the 2018 recipient of the BUAA’s Community Engagement Award, which recognizes a Brock graduate who has made outstanding contributions to their community and in doing so, has enriched the lives of others. The award honours one extraordinary graduate who has made a significant contribution as a volunteer to their community.

 

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

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