• Brock Graduate Students In The News

    Graduate students were making news headlines over Brock’s week-long Spring Convocation ceremonies.

    Robin Guard, who at 93-years-old was Brock’s oldest-ever graduate, became a national media sensation. He was met with a standing ovation when he walked across the Convocation stage on Friday, June 9 to receive his Master’s of Arts in History. Robin also had the pleasure of seeing his friend and a fellow student, 74-year-old Allan Edgington, graduate as part of the Class of 2017.

    You can read more about Robin online at the CTV website and Brock News.

    Here are some other graduate students who shared in news coverage:

    • Grant Yocom (PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities) and Jessica Vickruck (Master’s of Science, Biological Sciences) received the Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award for for their hard efforts on and off campus to demonstrate leadership, innovation, courage, inspiration and community involvement. Read the full story here.
    • Brandon and Cherise Dear, who met as undergrads in the Faculty of Education and got married last July, walked across the stage together to receive their master’s degrees.  Read the full story here.
    • Brock’s Assistant to the Registrar, Diana Panter, who serves as ceremony co-ordinator during Convocation season, transformed from event emcee to proud graduate as she received her Master’s of Business Administration degree.  Read the full story here
    • Leona Yiu, Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock graduate student award winner for the Goodman School of Business, graduated with an MBA degree. Read the full story here.
    • Aidan Smyth, who graduated with a Master’s of Science in Applied Health Sciences and was recognized with Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award, has strived to leave the University better than he found it. Read the full story here.
    • Applied Health Sciences PhD graduate Lindsay Cline received the Governor General’s Gold Medal for academic achievement. She maintained a 97 per cent average, the highest grade for the 433 graduating class of master’s and doctoral students. Cline was among six recipients of doctoral degrees awarded by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences — the largest number of PhDs awarded in one ceremony in the history of the Faculty. Read the full story here.
    • Christopher Ventura, who received a Master’s of Education degree and was recognized with the Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award, applied his personal mantra of “Building Better Badgers” as he worked at becoming a true leader in the University community. Read the full story here.
    • Joseph Robertson who received his Master’s of Applied Disabilities Studies, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), said being selected for the Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock Award signified validation for following his passion and being part of a community. Read the full story here.
    Post Categorie(s): Brock Community, Graduate Student Spotlight
  • How to contact a prospective research supervisor

    A new year means new grad students and Brock University is excited to welcome new and prospective students to campus!

    If you are a new or returning student, you know how important it is to secure a research supervisor before starting your graduate program. If you aren’t sure what to do, the process can seem daunting and overwhelming which means it often gets left to the last minute.

    If you’re a 3rd or 4th year student and you are thinking of applying to graduate studies at Brock, take a note from the students who have come before you and start contacting supervisors now!

    To help make this process easier for you, the Faculty of Graduate Studies have put together a list of guidelines to follow when reaching out to potential supervisors.

    1. Subject line: Be clear and concise in your subject line. This is your first opportunity to grab the professor’s attention and to let them know that you are interested in studying with them. For example: “Prospective PhD student seeking to study XX”.
    1. Address them professionally. Use “Dr. (insert last name)” or “professor (insert last name).
    1. Introduce yourself briefly. Include your name, background, and your research interests.
    1. Know their research. Mention a few things about their research (from their papers) that you found interesting which align with your research interests. Make sure you summarize their research in your own words to avoid plagiarizing and be sure to include why working with them would be beneficial to your research.
    1. Tell them what you bring to the table in terms of skills and outline a research project you would like to work on in graduate school (this shows you understand how to design a research project).
    1. Ask if they are available to meet in person or by phone to further discuss the possibility of working with them for your masters or Ph.D. program

    What do you do if they do not respond?

    Don’t take offence – professors are very busy individuals! Wait a week before following up. In your follow up email, keep it short.

    Ex: Hi Dr. XX, I understand you’re extremely busy. Just following up regarding my previous email. I would love to further discuss your research over coffee. Are you available next week?

    Give them a few different times that you’re available to make it easy for them. If you do not hear from them try reaching them by phone.

    Following up demonstrates that you are truly interested in working with them and are eager to secure them as a supervisor.

    For more information please visit our Future Students website.

    Post Categorie(s): Future Grad Students, Grad Student Success
  • 3 Steps to Better Time Management

    Brad Æon is a PhD researcher at Concordia University who studies the science of time management.

    In a recent article published in University Affairs,  Æon says that “structuring your time is the single most important step you can take to alleviate your anxiety, preserve your mental health.”

    He draws on the literary classic, Robinson Crusoe, to illustrate his point.

    “…the first thing Robinson Crusoe did after getting shipwrecked was etch marks on a wooden cross to create a calendar,” writes Æon. “But many people don’t have what I call the Crusoe reflex – the habit of structuring one’s time.”

    Æon offers several concrete steps to develop a Crusoe reflex — in a nutshell:

    • Adopt a fixed-schedule system
    • Time-block your day
    • Structure your time around social hours.

    He has more to say about each so be sure to go to the story for more tips and advice.

    “Treat your own schedule as if it were externally imposed, as if your job depended on it. (To a large extent, it does.),” writes Æon. “Having your own time structure will do wonders for your stress, anxiety, and work-life balance.”

    Post Categorie(s): Current Grad Students, Future Grad Students, Grad Student Success
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  • Annual awards recognize research excellence

    Each year, the FGS provides awards of $1,000 to outstanding Master’s and Doctoral graduate students in a research-based program from each of Brock’s Faculties.

    The 2017 recipients of the Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards have been chosen from within their Faculties for pursuing exciting and bold directions in research – they stand out for projects that are highly original and are addressing significant questions.


    Angel Phanthanourak, MSc, Applied Health
    Angel examines how individuals prepare for upcoming physical movement. This preparation is known as anticipatory postural adjustment – APA for short. She’s bringing new insight about APAs in relation to fall risk and advanced age.

    Aly Bailey, PhD, Applied Health
    Aly’s dissertation puts her at the forefront of body image research. She is among the first to investigate body image from a positive perspective. Her project provides a unique approach to the promotion of well-being in diverse populations.


    Sheri Mallabar, Master of Education
    Sheri’s thesis is a rich analysis of a peer-mediated model designed to develop social skills in children with autism spectrum disorders. She is the first to embed this teaching intensive model in the wider context of whole-class instruction.

    Jennifer Brant, PhD in Educational Studies
    Jennifer’s dissertation is a rich, deep account of Indigenous women’s responses to Indigenous Maternal Pedagogy, which connects maternal pedagogies with women-centred indigenous epistemologies to provide holistic supports for students.


    Helen Hsu, MA, Classics
    Helen’s research focuses on the characterization of sex labourers in the comedies of the Roman playwright Plautus, writing at a time of socio-economic change. Her research aims to break the traditional binary view of the women that dominates the secondary scholarship on these plays.

    Jill Planche, PhD, Interdisciplinary Humanities
    Jill’s research project investigates the present and potential role of contemporary theatre in postapartheid South Africa where the social architecture of apartheid persists in its socio-economic, political and cultural conditions.


    Eric de Hoog, Master of Science, Biological Sciences
    Eric’s studies are based on the examination of the neural effects of the Vitamin A metabolite, retinoic acid, on adult neurons. Retinoic acid has long been known to play an important role in the development of the nervous system, enhancing the outgrowth of nerve processes.

    Van Hung Mai, PhD, Chemistry
    Van Hung Mai carries out comprehensive studies on the reactivity of a chemical catalysis that serves as a key chemical phenomenon that contributes to 25 per cent of GDP of industrialized countries. He is contributing to advances in green chemistry to develop more economical and cleaner methods.


    Taylor Heffer, MA, Psychology
    Taylor’s thesis examines coping and adjustment among university students over time. Her research encompasses a much broader investigation of coping and adjustment, with a specific interest in understanding how to promote positive adjustment.

    Mark Hoffarth, PhD, Psychology
    Mark’s thesis is truly original. He is investigating how religious attendance shapes attitudes toward gay rights, for example marriage and adoption. This project has the potential to be a game changer.


    Luciano Lapa, MSc, Management
    Luciano is studying the potential benefits of offering a suitable mobile commerce experience to customers. His research has far-reaching contributions to the rapidly growing mobile commerce industry across the world.

    Post Categorie(s): Current Grad Students, Grad Student Success, Research Excellence
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  • Student Spotlight – Andrews Moses MBA

    PODCAST: From international student to local entrepreneur

    Andrews Moses has followed his own advice about dreaming big to launch two Niagara businesses, CloudChoice and Make 2 Order Apps.

    “Everyone talks about dreaming big and following your passion,” says the 2011 Goodman School of Business MBA graduate. “You have to make that switch into putting that dream in to action. You have to act upon it or else it’s going to stay a dream forever and you’re going to regret it later.”

    With a background in engineering, Andrews came from the south of India to begin studies at Brock in 2009. From the moment he arrived, it was clear that Niagara was where he wanted to make his dreams happen.

    Andrews is the founder of CloudChoice, a customer consulting firm, and Make 2 Order Apps, an online order management solution company for small businesses. He regularly hires Brock students through part-time and co-op opportunities.

    You can hear more from Andrews about his experiences as an entrepreneur as part of the Conversation with Goodman podcast series.

    Post Categorie(s): Grad Student Success
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  • “Bravo” — three grad students receive 2016-17 President’s Surgite Award

    President’s Surgite Award winners honoured

    Congratulations to Christopher Paul Yendt, Master of Education, Administration and Leadership in Education, Leona Yiu, Master of Business Administration, Business Analytics, and Joshua Black, PhD candidate, Psychology, Social/Personality.

    They were among 10 students awarded the 2016-17 President’s Surgite Award.

    The annual award recognizes students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in a student club, organization, association or team; done something exceptional that helped to advance Brock’s academic reputation; made a significant contribution to student life at Brock; or provided a valuable service to Brock or the Niagara community.

    Interim President Tom Traves recently thanked the award winners, saying it was important for the University to recognize leadership among the student body and to show appreciation for outstanding efforts.

    “It’s about saying, ‘You’ve really done something special. You’ve contributed to the development of the University. You’ve contributed to the quality of student life at the University and bettered the lives of those in the Brock and broader community,’” he said. “We want to recognize that work and say ‘Well done. Bravo.’”

    Post Categorie(s): Current Grad Students, Grad Student Success
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  • Class of 2017 — share your Brock experience

    The University has put out a Call for Videos to Brock students who will graduate at Spring Convocation.

    You have until May 19 to submit a 30- to 60-second video in which you share your thoughts and experiences about being a Brock student as well as advice for new students.

    The submissions will be featured in a Convocation video to be shown during the June graduation ceremonies.

    If you are interested, here’s what you need to do:

    Use a mobile device to film a 30- to 60-second video of yourself and include the following introduction at the beginning:

    • First and last name
    • Where you’re from (hometown)
    • What program you’re graduating from

    Email a video file or a link to download the video to ctalaue@brocku.ca. One video per graduate.

    For more information, visit the Brock social media web page.

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Community, Current Grad Students
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  • Student Spotlight – Pascal Michelberger (MA in Comparative Literatures and Arts)

    Being an international student can be challenging. Navigating a new country and culture, learning a new language and a different school system can seem overwhelming to some students.

    Master of Arts in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts student, Pascal Michelberger has experienced firsthand these challenges since coming to Canada from Germany to begin his studies and has set out to support other international students at Brock.

    “Pascal has been with us this year as a GTA in our introductory Spanish course and has demonstrated an outstanding sense of academic professionalism paired with an incredible dedication to promoting a globalized and international perspective to student involvement and participation. He not only serves as a role model for our own Canadian students and ambassador for future international students,” said Professor Cristina Santos, Michelberger’s supervisor.

    Michelberger wants to help other international students with their transition to life at Brock through the power of conversation which is how he came to form his Spanish Conversation Circle “parlanchín”.

    “In my Spanish for beginner’s class, I often had students coming up to me asking about opportunities to practice their Spanish outside of the classroom,” said Michelberger.

    “I decided to form a Spanish conversation circle for both international student and students studying the Spanish language – through this group we are able to connect as equals and we continue to support each other despite our differences.”

    During international week Michelberger also organized a cooking session and movie screening where students were invited to try some authentic Spanish cuisine while taking in a movie.

    Born and Raised in Germany, Michelberger attended the University of Mannheim where he studied Hispanic studies and Business. While at University, he had an international roommate from Canada who studied at Brock University. As their friendship grew, Michelberger learned more about Brock and the opportunities available to international students.

    “Since joining Brock University I have been welcomed with open arms. I have met people of all different backgrounds and have made many new friendships.”

    “Being an international student isn’t a barrier – everyone in my program is eager to help and encourage me and my colleagues to think critically and to speak up when we have a question or idea that we would like to pursue.”

    Michelberger hopes to encourage other international students to step outside of their comfort zone and to connect with other people on campus and in the community.

    His advice to incoming international students is to take advantage of all the opportunities on campus available to students.

    “Don’t be afraid of approaching people – ask questions and explore. You will be surprised how easy it is to make connections with Faculty and fellow students.”

    After completing his degree, Michelberger hopes to stay in Canada for another year and to continue parlanchín and support fellow international students.

    Post Categorie(s): Grad Student Success
  • Student Spotlight – Lindsay Smith (MA Applied Health Sciences)

    The Faculty of Graduate Studies is shining a spotlight on one of our very own graduate students, Lindsay Smith.

    After graduating from Brock University’s Sport Management program in 2015, Lindsay Smith travelled to the Pacific Island nation of Samoa, as part of a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program, to work at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

    This international multi-sport competition, held over two weeks in September in the nation’s capital city of Apia, was eye opening for Smith.

    Being part of the workforce for an international multi-sport competition gave Smith a firsthand perspective of employment within the major games industry and, in particular, the vital role of employees in the organization and operation of major game events such as the Olympics, Pan Am Games and the Commonwealth Games.

    Smith’s experience at the Commonwealth Youth Games now frames her research direction as a Master of Arts student under the supervision of Professor Kirsty Spence.

    She is at the early stages of a study to better understand the impact of leadership on the development of employees’ perceived workplace fulfillment in the major games industry.

    “Major games are extremely high intensity and are prone to change with little to no notice given to its employees,” says Smith. “After being exposed to the workings of major games myself, I became interested in exploring how employees feel when there is so much chaos in their jobs and how different leadership styles can impact them in these situations.”

    The impact of Smith’s research is rooted in discovering the experience that major game employees have at work. While much of our time is spent in the workplace, Smith seeks to discover if employee needs can be met in a broader sense – where meaning developed at work transcends the workplace, nourishing the personal lives of employees, and if this is important to employees lives both inside and outside of the work context.

    Major games leaders will benefit from Smith’s research as it seeks to provide increased insight into the potential needs of employees. Additionally, her research may have direct implications to sport organizations and major games events, as employees who experience workplace fulfillment are said to be more productive, a factor that contributes to overall organizational productivity and success.

    In May, Smith will be presenting her research at the Canadian Congress on Leisure Research (CCLR) conference in Waterloo, Ontario, and the North American Society of Sport Management (NASSM) conference in Denver, Colorado.

    Post Categorie(s): Current Grad Students
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  • 5 Steps to a Successful Graduate School Application

    Applying to graduate school can seem like an overwhelming task to students unfamiliar with the process. Between selecting the “right” potential mentor, the “right” references, and preparing an initial contact and/or portfolio, it is easy to get lost in the process.

    “It’s natural for prospective students to worry about their grad school application,” says Craig Ireland, Graduate Officer (Applications & Admissions) at Brock University. “It’s important to remember that there are several steps you can take to ensure that you submit a strong, competitive application to the Graduate School of your choice.”

    With that in mind, The Faculty of Graduate Studies at Brock University has come up with a list of tips for potential grad students to help them through the application process.

    1) Do Any Necessary Pre-Application Networking

    In many/most disciplines, most notably for research-based Graduate Programs, prior contact with a potential supervisor is all but essential to securing a placement. If you haven’t looked at the literature and talked with your current mentors about appropriate future mentors, get on it now. There is nothing like a solid personal contact to get the ball rolling to a successful outcome.

    Connections go a long way. If you are serious about attending a certain graduate program, try reaching out to current faculty to discuss your research interests and to learn more about the program. Perhaps even try to contact a successful graduate of the program, but be constructive and professional –  not everyone will respond or respond positively. Be polite and direct but do not push the matter if you don’t get a response.

    Making a direct connection in the program early on in the application process demonstrates your passion for the graduate program and can help separate you from a pool of applicants. Again, some programs also require you to have a supervisor firmly identified before applying to the program. Be familiar with all the program requirements and realize that they differ from program-to-program.

    Need help contacting a potential supervisor? Read our tips and guidelines here.

    2) Start Your Application Early

    Meeting application deadlines may seem like a no-brainer but it is important to remember that completing all the requirements for a Grad School application can take time. You may be asked to submit results from exams such as the GMAT, GRE, IELTS or TOEFL (for international students), write a letter of intent, provide examples of your work as well as transcripts.

    Every Graduate School will have a different application process so it is important to read over the requirements several times to ensure you have all the required documents and meet the minimum admission requirements. Having an identified potential mentor is only part of the process – make sure you cover all your bases and get your school of interest all the information they need to efficiently process your application. Remember, submitting a Grad School application can take as long as two weeks or more.

    *Most programs will accept applications after the deadline until the program is full. Check in with the program before applying after the application deadline.

    3) Differentiate Yourself In Your Statement of Intent

    Most Graduate Schools will require you to submit a statement of interest. This is your chance to make yourself stand out from the other applicants. Tell the admissions committee about your career aspirations, future plans and how the program will help you achieve them. Briefly outline your past experience and what you will bring to the program – in other words this is your chance to “sell yourself”. While you want to make sure you are putting your best self forward don’t be overconfident. Make sure you stick to the facts and be honest about the work you have done.

    If you are applying to a research-based program, tell the admissions committee about your specific research interests and what exactly you want to research in your graduate studies. Demonstrating creativity and your understanding of how to design a proper research study tells the committee that you are prepared for a research-intensive program. If your program to date has provided you with some experience in critical reviewing and/or grant applications, make that clear.

    Show them that you are serious about completing graduate studies at their institution by linking your research interests to the research being conducted in the department you are targeting. One way of doing this is to reference a faculty member’s paper when describing your research interests and the background research. Mentioning a specific paper and how it captured your interest and imagination is useful as well.

    Remember to be clear and concise! Your statement of interest should only be around two pages (maximum). Check the program-specific admission requirements to see if the program has outlined any specifications for your statement of interest.

    4) Choose Your Referees Carefully

    Choosing the right references is a critical part of the application process. It is important for you to select people who are familiar with your work, who can convey your strengths and accomplishments, and who’s recognized experience and expertise carry sufficient ‘weight’ in the field. Also, be sure that these referees have clear experience writing such letters of support, in particular for the sort of position you are applying for. This is critical.

    It is also potentially important to have both academic and professional/industry/employment references available to you. If you have been out of school for a number of years and have lost touch with your alma mater try volunteering as a research assistant or with an organization in the field to make new connections. Find those in your current environment who have experience writing successful reference letters in terms of the path you are choosing to pursue.

    Always refer to your program-specific admission requirements to confirm how many references are required.

    5) When You Think You Are Ready To Submit…

    Proofread every last word and have a half dozen folks help with that. They don’t necessarily have to understand everything you are proposing to work on, but they should be able to read it all without finding a single spelling or grammatical error. A single example suggesting that you take this process lightly in any manner can mean the difference between success and waiting for another letter of offer. Remember this for your future Postdoc and job applications as well!

    Good luck!

    For information regarding our Brock University’s 49 Master’s and PhD programs, please visit our website.

    Post Categorie(s): Future Grad Students
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