You are here

Brock News

Subscribe to Brock News feed
Updated: 29 min 18 sec ago

Brock University to hold 50th Fall Convocation Friday

Tue, 2019-10-15 15:39

MEDIA RELEASE: 15 October 2019 – R00159

More than 1,000 students are set to graduate from Brock University Friday, Oct. 18 during Fall Convocation.

Two ceremonies, at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., inside Brock’s Ian Beddis Gymnasium will mark the University’s 106th overall Convocation and its 50th Fall Convocation.

Twenty people graduated in the first Fall ceremony held atop the open-air podium beside Schmon Tower on Oct. 6, 1969. This time around, 647 undergraduate and 374 graduate students will be conferred. Among those, approximately 200 are international students and 30 are Brock Badgers student/athletes, including baseball player Alex Nolan, a Media and Communications student who was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays in June.

The morning ceremony will include students from the Faculties of Applied Health Sciences and Social Sciences. The afternoon ceremony is for students from the Faculties of Education, Humanities, Math and Science and the Goodman School of Business.

Among the awards being handed out Friday are the Governor General’s Silver Medals, awarded to the two undergraduate students with the highest academic standing of everyone in the class of 2019. This year’s recipients are Math and Science students Rachel Van Herk and Ashley Kapoor.

Also being awarded Friday are three Spirit of Brock medals to students who best represent the spirit of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock. Recipients include Media and Communication Studies student Sophie Hassanali, Social Justice and Equity Studies student Aniqah Zowmi and Education master’s student Larry Nie.

Convocation ceremonies are free to attend and no tickets are required. Parking is free for guests. Live broadcasts of the ceremonies will be available at Brocku.ca/livestream

Media are welcome to attend Brock’s Fall Convocation. Photographers shooting from directly in front of the stage are asked to wear a Convocation gown, which must be arranged in advance.

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

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

– 30 –

Brock to host Re-imagining Health Symposium

Fri, 2019-10-11 13:16

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 October 2019 – R00158

A first-of-its kind event at Brock University next week will bring together health-focused researchers, practitioners, educators, health industry leaders and policy makers to discuss the future of health care.

Brock, Niagara Health and Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Medical Services are collaborating with support from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to host the Re-imagining Health Symposium at Brock Wednesday, Oct. 16 and Thursday, Oct. 17.

More than 35 experts will highlight current evidence-based health-care practices with the goal of providing tangible skills for those in attendance to take back to their workplaces, says Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Dean Peter Tiidus.

“This event also provides a space for individuals who often work in similar areas, but rarely get the chance to be in the same room as their colleagues, to connect and expand their networks,” he says.

One of the goals of the Re-Imagining Health Symposium is to inspire innovation, create an environment of collaborative learning and improve health and well-being in the community.

“We are very proud of our increased focus on research and academics, and how it is enhancing the patient experience and attracting and retaining the best and brightest to work at Niagara Health,” says Angela Zangari, Interim President of Niagara Health. “We know we are stronger when we work together and deeply value these partnerships to create a healthier Niagara.”

The symposium will include capacity-building workshops focusing on topics such as knowledge translation, healthy communities, data in health care and new medical technologies.

Providing opening remarks will be Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner, Public Health Niagara Region.

“Since social factors are responsible for upwards of 50 per cent of health outcomes, we in Public Health strive to engage not just our health-care allies, but the entire Niagara community to the mission of improving health,” Hirji says. “By working with a multi-disciplinary institution like Brock University, we are able to explore innovations and opportunities to advance wellness across many different sectors.”

Other keynote presenters at the symposium include:

  • Andrew Best, Senior Director, Healthcare, RBC
  • Zayna Khayat, Future Strategist, SE Health
  • Anthony Levitt, Chief, Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program and Medical Director, Family Navigation Project, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Psychiatry Department

“In addition to showcasing the cutting-edge research taking place at Brock, we look forward to welcoming to campus many of our community partners and the alumni who work for these organizations,” says Tiidus. “Students have also been given the opportunity to attend at a special rate, as well as the option to present a poster and have their ideas reviewed by industry experts.”

For more information and a full list of speakers, visit the conference website.

Note: Media are invited to attend the symposium but are asked to RSVP in advance.

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

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

– 30 –

Study on exercise and older adults seeking research participants

Thu, 2019-10-10 13:32

MEDIA RELEASE: 10 October 2019 – R00157

Older adults who exercise tend to do so in groups, but do they get something out of it? Could even a single class affect their health and mood?

Brock University master’s student Sarah Galway is aiming to answer these and other questions in a study she’s conducting on the effects of a brief exercise session on health and mood in older adults.

Research shows that getting out of the house and connecting with others has many benefits, says Galway, whose research is under the direction of Associate Professor of Kinesiology Kimberley Gammage.

“With older adults, you sometimes see things like isolation and loneliness, so having more of a social environment through group exercise tends to be really helpful,” says Galway.

However, most studies in exercise psychology tend to focus on younger populations and involve exercise classes that run for weeks, she says.

Galway is looking for men and women over the age of 60 who are able to complete exercise without the use of a mobility aid and have normal or corrected-to-normal hearing.

The research involves two visits to the Brock-Niagara Centre for Health and Well-Being. During the first visit, participants will fill out a questionnaire, while in the second visit, they will fill out more questionnaires and exercise in a one-hour class.

“We know that physical activity is important at any part of the lifespan, so it’s important to understand how we can get older adults to adhere to exercise,” Galway says. “As people age, they are more at risk for chronic conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease. Exercise is one of the best medicines out there.”

People interested in taking part in the study should contact Galway at sg13vl@brocku.ca or 905-688-5550 x4147, or Gammage at kgammage@brocku.ca

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

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

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

– 30 –

Panel discussions to demystify federal election

Thu, 2019-10-10 09:25

MEDIA RELEASE: 10 October 2019 – R00156

Two panel discussions hosted by Brock University’s Department of Political Science are aiming to demystify the upcoming federal election.

Each panel will designate time for experts in policy, labour, race, gender, immigration and municipal issues to offer general remarks before opening the floor to questions.

“The panels are a chance for people to hear from experts who follow these issues very closely from various perspectives,” says Blayne Haggart, Associate Professor of Political Science and organizer of the two events.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Associate Professor Charles Conteh and instructor Tim Fowler will be joined by Erin Tolley, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga, who is one of the country’s leading experts on elections and gender. The panel, titled “The 2019 federal election preview: The leaders, the issues, the stakes,” will examine what the election could mean locally and nationally.

“Whoever is in charge in Ottawa after Oct. 21 will help determine how a region like Niagara grapples with economic development, public health, social housing and policing,” says Conteh, an expert on public policy and economic development. “All of these issues are beyond the technical capacity or financial resources of any regional or local government to tackle alone.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, three more Brock experts will help make sense of the election results at “Unpacking the federal election: What happened, why and the future.”

Associate Professor Tamari Kitossa of the Department of Sociology will join Associate Professor Livianna Tossutti and Professor Emeritus David Siegel of the Department of Political Science for a breakdown of how the election played out and what the implications might be.

Tossutti, an expert in Canadian politics and immigration, plans to look at available polling data to see how issues, leaders and events resonated with the public in the pre-election and campaign period, and to review general turnout trends.

“Youth and Indigenous electoral mobilization played a big role in the Liberals’ majority victory in 2015,” says Tossutti. “I will be watching to see if that pattern holds in 2019.”

She’s also interested to see how election results affect representation of females and racialized minorities in the House of Commons.

Haggart says the department has a long tradition of offering public talks during election season, but that the 2016 U.S. presidential election showed how the follow-up discussion can be just as engaging as the pre-election speculation.

Both events will be held at 7 p.m. at the St. Catharines Public Library, which is co-sponsoring and hosting the panels. While they are open to the public, seating is limited. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to RSVP online for Oct. 16 and Oct. 23.

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

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

– 30 –

Policy brief strives to strengthen cross-border economies

Mon, 2019-10-07 09:44

MEDIA RELEASE: 4 October 2019 – R00155

If provinces and states along the Canada-U.S. border agree to pool resources, they could set up a cross-border fund for collaborative start-ups, says new research by Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO).

Academic researchers wishing to create joint research projects could also access this fund, according to the NCO’s latest policy brief, Cross-Border Innovation Corridor Dialogue: A conversation on how to support, strengthen and sustain cross-border economic innovation ecosystems. Released to the public this week, the brief looks at ways to increase regional economic growth between the two countries.

It notes that the U.S. has a “larger and more innovative” market with a greater labour force as compared to Canada, whose market is younger, faster-growing and more technically trained.

“Canada and the U.S. are stronger together not despite their differences, but because of them,” says the policy brief co-written by Kathryn Friedman, Research Associate Professor of Law and Planning at the University at Buffalo, NCO Director Charles Conteh and NCO Research Co-ordinator Carol Philips.

“Achieving economic growth and prosperity depends on the ability of multiple and interconnected actors — governments, entrepreneurs, the private sector, universities and the non-profit sector — to work together effectively in an environment we envision as being an innovation ecosystem,” says Friedman, who is the policy brief’s lead author.

The policy brief summarizes discussions that took place at the Cross-Border Innovation Corridor Dialogue event earlier this year, where representatives from the public, private, non-government and academic sectors examined ways to build innovation ecosystems in three cross-border areas: Vancouver, Seattle and Portland (known as the Cascadia Innovation Corridor); the Detroit-Windsor corridor; and the Buffalo-Niagara-Hamilton-Toronto corridor.

“One of the major themes was that cross-border economic integration is not the wonder work of a just few so-called champions,” says Conteh. “It is based on strong connections among post-secondary institutions, entrepreneurs, public sector officials and others to build trust, share ideas and formulate concrete goals.”

A number of recommendations on what can be done to support, strengthen and sustain cross-border economic innovation ecosystems outlined in the brief include:

  • Ensuring that a wide range of stakeholders from both countries participate strongly and come to agreement in cross-border planning
  • Aligning regulatory policies of the Canadian and American federal governments so that cross-border innovative ecosystems can develop, with high potential in the artificial intelligence, life sciences and advanced manufacturing sectors
  • Aligning educational standards and professional credentials to support access to talent
  • Setting up an office of staff whose role is to support and strengthen the cross-border innovation ecosystem

Sixteen per cent of U.S.-Canada truck and rail trade crosses the Buffalo-Niagara Corridor, whose key export to the U.S. was automobiles and main export to Canada was machinery and electrical equipment.

Interviews with the policy brief authors are available to members of the media.

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

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

– 30 –

Brock project aims to improve long-term care for veterans and brain injury patients

Thu, 2019-10-03 14:31

MEDIA RELEASE: 3 October 2019 – R00154

Two Brock University faculty members from seemingly unrelated disciplines have collaborated on a project aimed at improving the relations of those involved in long-term care.

Associate Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Colleen Whyte, and Professor of Dramatic Arts Joe Norris, were at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto Wednesday, Oct. 2 for the premiere of Understanding person-centred care: Finding dignity within the shadows.

Two years ago, Sunnybrook Professional Practice and Education Leader Leanne Hughes came to Whyte with a research idea about how to help staff and family deal with the challenges associated with two specific groups in long-term care: veterans living with dementia and patients recovering from traumatic brain injuries.

“I’ve known Leanne for 15 years and we’ve done research together in the past,” Whyte said. “She came to me and said: This is an issue we have. How do you think we could look at researching it?’”

“What we’re looking at are person-centred approaches,” said Hughes, referring to a growing emphasis in health care that invites patients and family members to be involved in decision-making and strategizing ways to care for individual patients from a wide-range of services. It’s a more collaborative care model than a traditional top-down medical approach to care.

In the fall of 2018, Whyte led research that included focus groups of those working in long-term care at the Toronto hospital such as doctors and hospital staff, as well as families of those in care.

“We interviewed people who are doing this every day,” Whyte said. “This research is about taking the principles of person-centered care and trying to see how they are translated on a daily basis, when all partners experience unexpected challenges.”

With the focus group data in hand, Whyte then turned to Norris, Chair of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, who worked with the student-run Mirror Theatre to translate the conversations into dramatic action, known as ethnodrama and applied theatre.

“We took the focus group transcripts, read them, analyzed them and created dramatic scenes,” said Norris. “The purpose is to evoke conversations.”

The result is a 20-part video series, each dealing with a different component of the long-term care experience. They range from something as simple the challenge of what to pack when a family member is moved into a new living situation to what to do when a patient whose mind no longer has much of a filter says something that crosses a line.

“It’s all about answering the question of ‘How do we treat each other with respect in stressful situations?’” Norris said.

He said the Dramatic Arts students who were acting the parts in the videos — including the patients who are represented as shadowed silhouettes rather than specific people — learned about more than just acting.

“Many cast members say they don’t only get extra-curricular experience with theatre, they get the experience of dealing with a range of topics. It’s like an extra class for them,” he said.

With the video series now complete, the next stage of the project is to create workshops for staff and families.

“It gives staff some insight and helps them think, ‘If I’m in this situation, let me strategize and be thoughtful about what options I have,’” she said. “It will equip new staff with possibilities and allow existing staff to be reflective about their approaches.”

Hughes said when the final videos were shown to those working with veterans suffering from dementia and patients dealing with brain injuries, the staff were impressed with how accurate they were in reflecting the situations they deal with.

“It has been an absolute pleasure to see students take this data and enact it,” Hughes said. “We were in awe of their ability. They did a fantastic job.”

The project, which was funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant and a Practice-Based Research and Innovation Seed Grant from Sunnybrook, will continue with the development of facilitator tools and training sessions. Those will be developed and led by Norris and Kevin Hobbs, a master’s student in Social Justice and Equity Studies, who directed the Finding dignity within the shadows series and incorporated the research into his master’s thesis.

“They’re training videos, but not in the sense of, ‘Here’s how you give a needle,” said Norris. “It’s more of a dialogic conversation where our audiences are invited to comment on the scenes and add their own insights and stories.”

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

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

– 30 –

Brock to celebrate namesake’s 250th birthday Friday

Tue, 2019-10-01 14:48

MEDIA RELEASE: 1 October 2019 – R00153

It’s an event a quarter millennium in the making.

On Friday, Oct. 4, members of the Brock community are invited to celebrate the 250th birthday of the University’s namesake, Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock, who was born on Oct. 6, 1769.

To properly mark the sestercentennial celebration, a birthday party is planned in front of Brock’s statue on the University’s main campus at noon on Friday, where partygoers will eat cupcakes, sing Happy Birthday and learn more about Sir Isaac.

Along with traditional touches the General would have recognized, such as presentations from Old Fort Erie historical site staff and retired History professor Wes Turner, as well as a proclamation from the St. Catharines town crier, there will also be more modern offerings at the student-led initiative, such as a visit from the cheerleading team and multicoloured chalk birthday messages written by students.

Student Life Assistant and fourth-year Political Science student Kailene Jackson said the birthday party helps students to learn more about Niagara and show their school spirit.

“It’s an important way to remember the life and legacy of our namesake and learn more about the history of the region as a whole,” she said. “We hope everyone comes out and joins in the fun.”

To commemorate the momentous occasion, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear red on Friday.

About Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock 

Isaac Brock was born on Oct. 6, 1769 on the Island of Guernsey, one of Britain’s Channel Islands. He earned a reputation for being studious, reading works on ancient history, science and military tactics. Estimated to be more than six feet tall, Brock was athletic and excelled in swimming and boxing. He entered the military at the age of 15.

Brock came to Canada when he was 33 years old. Within 10 years, he became commander-in-chief of the army, responsible for defending Upper Canada against the U.S.

When the War of 1812 broke out, Brock’s army was ready. Quick victories at Fort Mackinac and Detroit defeated American invasion efforts.

In the early morning of Oct. 13, 1812, American troops crossed the Niagara River and took the hill at Queenston Heights. In an effort to stop their progress, Brock led the charge on foot up the steep hill. However, his tall stature and distinctive British red coat and white trousers made him an obvious target. A musket ball struck Brock in the chest and he fell. His last pronouncement is reported to be “Surgite!” — Latin for “Push on!” — which was adopted as Brock University’s motto.

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

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

– 30 –

Brock launches drone certificate program

Fri, 2019-09-27 10:02

MEDIA RELEASE: 27 September 2019 – R00152

From grape vine crop assessments to forest fire monitoring, drones have become important tools across a wide range of industries.

To help introduce students and community members to the technology, Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre is now offering Introduction to Drones as a non-credit certificate program. Registration is now open for the first day-long course, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 30.

“The course presents a unique opportunity to acquire detailed knowledge and hands-on experiential learning about the safe and legal use of drone technologies for real-world applications,” said Marilyne Jollineau, Acting Director of the ESRC, adding that Introduction to Drones is the first in a series of non-credit certificate programs to be offered by the Centre.

Drone use in environmental sustainability has surged with uses ranging from performing air quality assessments to allowing researchers to map, monitor and evaluate inhospitable or inaccessible sites without disturbing fragile ecosystems.

“The benefits and opportunities afforded to us by drones also come with inherent risks,” Jollineau said. “In order to mediate these risks and promote responsible drone operation, proper training is essential.”

Jollineau and course instructor Gillian Dale are both certified drone pilots under Transport Canada’s new drone regulations.

In addition to important knowledge about the safe and legal operation of drones, students will learn about various types and applications, basic operating principles, licensing requirements and best practices for environmental and human safety. In-class instruction will be supplemented with experiential learning exercises where students fly micro-drone quadcopters.

Although the program is not intended to directly prepare students to take the Transport Canada Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems exams, they will learn knowledge-based and practical skills, and will be provided with information and resources needed to work toward the Basic Operation licence.

For more information on how to legally fly a drone in Canada, visit the Transport Canada website.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

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

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

– 30 –

From small towns to the big city, fall is recruiting season for Brock University

Fri, 2019-09-27 10:00

MEDIA RELEASE: 24 September 2019 – R00151

The school year may have just started, but the wheels are very much in motion to spread the word about Brock University to the next incoming class of post-secondary students.

With more than 250 faculty, staff and students from across the University in attendance, Brock will be well-represented at this weekend’s Ontario Universities Fair (OUF) in downtown Toronto.

Running from Friday, Sept. 27 until Sunday, Sept. 29, OUF is the biggest exhibition of post-secondary institutions in Canada, with more than 130,000 people expected to attend the free event.

Before they even arrive in the main hall at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, many OUF guests will have seen plenty of Brock branding downtown. The University is once again running its ‘Experience’ marketing campaign in the Skywalk area of Union Station, which links the transit hub with the major convention, entertainment and sports venues in the area.

“OUF represents the single largest opportunity to speak with prospective students and their parents,” said Matt Melnyk, Manager, National Recruitment at Brock. “This event is especially important for Brock, given our location and the fact that more than 40 per cent of applicants to the University come from the Greater Toronto Area.”

Inside the Convention Centre, Brock’s OUF booth has been updated with new larger digital screens and upgraded graphic towers. The booth is staffed by friendly and knowledgeable students, faculty and staff eager to answer questions about academic programs and the Brock student experience.

“We have some students who have never heard of Brock and are using OUF to explore their options at all of the Ontario universities,” said Kara Kelly, Manager, Recruitment Operations and Communication. “Others have thoroughly researched their programs and arrive with very specific questions about Brock. In both cases, we want the prospective students and their families to leave with the information they’re looking for to make an informed decision about their post-secondary future.”

Although OUF is the biggest event on the recruiting calendar, there’s plenty more activity happening across the country. Brock recruitment staff are now on the road and will visit more than 800 high schools before the end of November.

The University is also gearing up for Fall Preview Day, taking place Sunday, Nov. 3. That’s when thousands of students and their families will visit Brock for a tour of campus and to learn more about their specific programs.

There are also daily campus tours taking place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as on-campus visits aimed at specific academic interests such as Life Sciences Day, Humanities Day, Goodman Day and Social Sciences Day.

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

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

– 30 –

Hundreds take part in Brock’s messiest tradition

Fri, 2019-09-20 16:09

MEDIA RELEASE: 20 September 2019 – R00150

They jumped, they slid and they threw, but more than anything, they laughed.

More than 550 students took part in Brock University’s Grape Stomp Friday, Sept. 20 in Jubilee Court. The annual event kicked off the University’s homecoming festivities, and continued what University Affairs Magazine has called one of the best university traditions in Canada.

After some welcoming remarks and the first stomp by a group of kids from the Rosalind Blauer Centre for Child Care, the huge group of Brock students did their best to pulverize a metric tonne of Concord grapes. Surrounding the tarp-covered courtyard were hundreds more students, staff, faculty and community members who watched it all unfold.

“Between people taking part and those watching from the sidelines, I think this was the largest Grape Stomp we’ve ever had,” said Megan Brown, Community Engagement Co-ordinator for Student Life and Community Experience. “The weather was perfect and the students were excited to take part in such a fun University tradition. This event really brings people together to kick off Homecoming Weekend.”

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 

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

– 30 –

Interest soars as Brock launches new gerontology master’s program

Thu, 2019-09-19 13:38

MEDIA RELEASE: 19 September 2019 – R00149

As governments, health care and social service agencies continuously adapt to deal with an aging population — in the next decade, nearly 1 in 4 people will be 65 or older — Brock University is launching a new Master of Applied Gerontology program for students to play a positive role in the lives of aging Canadians.

Offered through the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, the one-year graduate program will launch in January. It will tap into the expertise of faculty members in four Brock departments: Health Sciences, Nursing, Kinesiology, and Recreation and Leisure Studies.

“There is a misconception that gerontology, the study of the social, cultural, psychological, cognitive and biological aspects of aging, isn’t an interesting career path for this generation,” says Master of Applied Gerontology Graduate Program Director Lynn McCleary. “The reality is that students really want this opportunity and have been making inquiries for months about the status of the program.”

Brock received approval for funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities on Friday, Sept. 13.

“Brock’s new Master of Applied Gerontology program is unique in Ontario due to the applied nature and health focus of the program’s interdisciplinary curriculum and practicum,” says Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Dean Peter Tiidus. “This program was developed through a formal consultation with stakeholders, businesses and agencies that provide health and social services to older adults. As a result, a new pool of highly skilled graduates with gerontological competences will soon enter the workforce.”

The purpose of the formal engagement process, which entailed conducting needs assessments for both urban and rural communities, was to ensure Brock’s program responds to the relevant needs of the Niagara community, while also being representative of North America’s aging population.

“There are definite gaps and challenges in health and social services for older adults,” McCleary says. “Growing gerontology at Brock will ensure our students are well-positioned to meet these challenges and improve the lives of older adults. They will graduate with advanced skills in planning and providing health services, recreation services, health promotion and more.”

One of the champions for the expansion of gerontology at Brock was Douglas Rapelje, a leader in seniors care across Niagara, Canada and internationally who received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2013.

“I don’t think this announcement could be better timed when you look at the increasing numbers of Canada’s aging population,” Rapelje says. “In March, Ontario announced that it will provide 15,000 new long-term care beds and expand home care over the next five years. As a result, a whole stream of education is required to train future gerontology graduates.”

According to Statistics Canada, more than six million Canadians were aged 65 or older in 2014, representing almost 16 per cent of the population. By 2030, that number is expected to jump to more than 9.5 million, accounting for 23 per cent of the population.

“This is another example of Brock moving into a new and important area,” Rapelje says. “In the past, it was the Goodman School of Business and the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Now it’s healthcare, and specifically gerontology.

“It is very exciting that students who are interested in aging can now go to Brock or stay there to obtain a specialized degree that will enable them to be our future leaders in the field of aging and enhance the quality of life for a growing older population in our country,” he says.

The full-time, one-year Master of Applied Gerontology program will include a 300-hour practicum course.

Interested students should contact Lauryn Carrick in Graduate Studies at radrecruit@brocku.ca to express their interest and be added to a list of prospective students, who will be notified when applications for the program have opened.

Visit Brock’s Master of Applied Gerontology website for more information.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

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

– 30 –