Last month, more than 150 guests, including graduate students, donors, and faculty and staff, gathered in Pond Inlet for the University’s annual Graduate Student Awards and Donor Recognition Reception.
This year’s event celebrated the success of more than 240 graduate students in winning a total of $2.5 million in internal and external scholarships and awards.
“This is one of my favourite days in Brock’s graduate studies calendar,” said Michael Plyley, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, at the outset of the event.
“As you leaf through the pages of the awards booklet you received when you entered, you’ll see the many reasons why we’re celebrating today,” he said. “Congratulations to all of our student award winners, many thanks to our generous donors, and a special thank you to our long-term donors who continue to support our students.”
“I also want to take this opportunity to thank our faculty and staff,” he added, “who do so much to support the students in their success.”
As part of the reception, graduate students had the opportunity to share their academic experiences with those in attendance. Award-winning students Naomi Johnson and Carly Cameron spoke about their research and the importance of graduate awards and scholarships in supporting their success.
Johnson is an MA of Applied Disability Studies student who works with Tricia Vause, associate professor of Child and Youth Studies. In her studies, she researches the effectiveness of a group cognitive behavioural therapy for children with high-functioning autism and obsessive-compulsive behaviours.
“Being involved with research has given me many unique experiences that I did not think possible before I entered the program,” said Johnson. “I was able to work as a therapist and provide potentially life-changing therapy to children and all of these families, and I was able to watch the impact that the program had on their lives.”
In support of her research, Johnson has received an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the Kathy Tweedy Memorial Award, and the Susan Tough Award.
“Receiving awards means that I do not have to worry about finding work to support my schooling and I can focus on my research and my school work,” she said. “It serves as a boost to my confidence to know that the donors, the faculty and the staff all feel that my work is important enough to deserve these awards.”
Carly Cameron, an MA student in Applied Health Sciences, also spoke at the event.
“During my undergraduate degree here at Brock,” said Cameron, “I fell in love with the small tight-knit and supportive university community that we have here.”
“When considering my options for future education, my incredibly positive undergraduate experience helped encourage my decision to continue studying at Brock,” she said. “Graduate students here are provided with a wealth of opportunities to submerge themselves in the research field while gaining personal and professional development skills.”
Cameron works under the supervision of Kim Gammage, associate professor of Kinesiology, and her research in exercise psychology looks at ideas of body image in an exercise setting. Her graduate research program has received support from the Vern and Donna Sutherland Memorial bursary.
Lee Belding, a PhD student in Chemistry and president of the Graduate Students’ Association for 2014-15, also spoke at the reception about internal and external funding support he’s received for his research at Brock.
For complete testimonials from all of the event’s grad student speakers, go to: brocku.ca/graduate-studies/faculty-news-3/celebrating-excellence