From one “newbie” to the next, Mike Plyley extended a warm welcome to about 150 new graduate students to Brock this week.
A little more than two months into his term as Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Plyley played host to new students, graduate program directors, and senior academic colleagues attending the Faculty’s annual New Graduate Student Orientation Breakfast on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Students attended from all of Brock’s 41 graduate programs. Plyley encouraged them to see themselves as part of a broad graduate community of close to 1,600 students — a community that offers support and opportunities to create new knowledge in a spirit of collaboration.
“One of the hallmarks of the Brock model for graduate education is people working together — a collectiveness of different theories brought together to answer one question — and out of that will come a richer analysis and experience,” Plyley said to the gathering at Pond Inlet.
Murray Knuttila, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, emphasized in his remarks to the group that Brock graduate students have a central role to play in the University’s teaching and scholarship mission.
“In the last decade, Brock has reaffirmed its commitment to graduate education,” Knuttila said. “Our programs have grown tremendously in that time and through our graduate programs, the true mission of the University takes hold and gets traction.
“As a Brock graduate student, you are going to create new knowledge and understanding and make contributions to the knowledge base of our species.
“We believe that we will make a difference in your life and we know that if we are successful, you will make a difference in the lives of others.”
Plyley and Daniel Antwi-Amoabeng, president of Brock’s Graduate Students’ Association, invited students to participate in the annual Mapping the New Knowledges conference activities. This includes Research Café presentations on Nov. 15, 2011 and Feb. 8, 2012 and the all-day graduate research conference to be held April 11, 2012.
Plyley also announced a new Faculty initiative to present a monthly series of professional development workshops for graduate students. The series will begin later this fall and is being co-ordinated by Marilyn Rose, the former Dean of Graduate Studies. The workshops will focus on a broad range of professional skills such as communications, leadership, time and project management.
Following the welcome, students attended a marketplace on the the mezzanine level and spoke with representatives of 21 departments and services across campus.