• Walking and Talking with Patrick Foster

    A Day in a Life Banner

    Written by: Sabrina Jancsi

    What has influenced your journey so far?

    When I was in high school, I was always enrolled in applied classes. I have a learning disability called dysgraphia where I can’t write coherently – I always get too ahead of myself – which would always hinder my ability academically, preventing me from doing university level classes. Then in grade 12 I did a mission trip to Guatemala which influenced me and opened up my eyes. It definitely changed who I was a person – as every experience should – but because of this, I decided consciously that this is something I wanted to continue doing. I returned to high school to do Grade 12B and ground away through some academic classes so that I could get into university, and that’s how my university journey began. I wanted to take something that would allow me to make an impact in the world and so I felt that Political Science would allow me the opportunities to do that.

    What triggered your involvement with UNICEF Brock?

    My buddy Saumik, founder and former president of UNICEF Brock, got me involved this past year, and after he left I had a vision and the energy to take UNICEF Brock to a whole other level, setting it up for future years. I knew I had the networks to make it ‘poppin’ and I truly think that now with our upcoming Walk2TO fundraiser, a walk for the Syrian refugees, everything will come together as I envisioned.

    Whos your role mode?

    I don’t have a role model because I don’t aspire to be like anyone else – just being true to myself. There are people, however, that have qualities that I admire and try to adopt as I go. If I had to choose one person that I find admirable is Zyzz (Australian body builder). I’ve always looked up to him and tried to adopt his enthusiasm and energy by passing it onto others.

    Were you always a heavily involved student?

    No, actually I wasn’t. Throughout my first and second years I didn’t get involved, as I didn’t really know where to start, but in the back of my head I always knew that after university I wanted to work for the Canadian embassy, a charity like UNICEF, or something along the lines of distributing aid in peace keeping missions. I knew if I got involved in university first, it would definitely help facilitate that and give me the experiences to get there. So that’s part of why I got involved with UNICEF Brock. I knew that this club was a great group of motivated individuals and I thought I would be a great asset to their team too and couldn’t wait to get started. Even if it’s for a year or two, I wanted to set UNICEF Brock on path to becoming a great club that creates impact through awareness. I want future UNICEF Brock presidents to look back and become motivated to create something similar or bigger in order to raise money and donating it back to those in most need, like we are doing with the Syrian refugees.

    How has your university experience shaped who you are?

    My university experience has shaped me in so many ways. First of all, when you come into university there are 18,000+ people in contrast to high school where there are maybe 2,000 people (at least in St. Catharines). This alone has allowed me expose myself to different ideas and cultures, so when I interact with these individuals, I learn through them and with them. It has been through these interactions and experiences that I am who I am today. I always try to throw myself into as many things as possible – whether it’s going to a vegan club meeting, being a part of the African and Caribbean Society and the Brock East African Student Association, joining UNICEF Brock and Playmakers, whatever it may be – I just see that the more I do things, the more experiences I have, the more I grow as a person.

    So whenever I leave university, I know it has prepared me for how to deal with certain obstacles in life. It has given me the confidence to believe more in myself because I am now able to collaborate with a higher caliber level of people than I was in high school, where I don’t believe the talent pool I should have been surrounded with existed. The people I am now friends with, they’re not very similar to me, but they all do focus on excellence and they’re all trying to focus on making it big. It’s great to meet and be surrounded by people with this type of attitude. On days when I feel down and don’t believe I am going to make it, being around these individuals definitely brings me back up.

    Where do you see yourself after all this?

    I want to get my masters in criminology – I love analyzing crime and I hope to one day get involved with CSIS or something similar. I would love to potentially move to the Middle East, South America, or Africa and do security, surveillance, or something along the lines of crime. However, if we’re honest, I didn’t even know I was going to be where I am today, so I try not to think too far ahead, since anything can change from one day to the next.

    What advice would you give your fellow badgers?

    The best advice I could give any badger is to network as much as possible. I’ve learned more from people than I have in a classroom. So go out there, and talk to those around you! You never truly know where a friendship can lead you.

    Patrick Foster is a fifth-year Political Science student at Brock University. He is currently the Co-President of UNICEF Brock and a clerk at General Brock. You may remember him best from his previous advocate accomplishments in bringing shawarma and more microwaves on campus. His quest: to diversify and influence.

    If you wish to get involved with UNICEF Brock, reach out to us!
    Email us at: unicefbrock@busu.net
    Like us: www.facebook.com/brockunicef
    Join the conversation: www.facebook.com/groups/115635741920004/
    Follow us: @unicefbrock

    Post Categorie(s): A Day in a Life, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…November 20, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    I absolutely love this time of year for many reasons – one of these is the number of festivals and events to attend as the holiday season creeps closer. This week brings plenty of variety, holiday related and beyond:

    Get crafty with local vendors:

    • Mahtay Cafe Artisan Market – Friday-Sunday, November 20-22 (Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am-4pm). Visit the community room at Mahtay Cafe (downtown St. Catharines) for local vendors and don’t forget to bring a non-perishable food donation for Community Care to help make someone else’s holidays a little happier.
    • Pop-Up Craft Arts Market -now until December 19 at 7 James St., St. Catharines . Swing by and support local artists this holiday season (check the link for vendors appear here each week)!
    • 22nd Annual Christmas Arts & Crafts Show – Saturday-Sunday, November 21-22 from 10am-4pm daily at Thorold Secondary School ($2). Enjoy more than 80 juried artisans from across Ontario as they display and sell their goods.

    Get active and participate in Sports Day in Canada:

    • Friday, Nov. 20 – Free skating from 4 to 6 p.m. at Bill Burgoyne Arena
    • Saturday, Nov. 21
    • Free skating from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. at the Garden City Arena Complex
    • Free swimming from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre

    Get festive by catching a Santa Claus Parade in the area:

    • Catharines – Sunday, November 22 at 2:30pm. Visit the link for the route, and don’t forget Canada Post will be collecting letters to Santa!
    • Welland – Saturday, November 21 at 4:00pm
    • Fort Erie – Saturday, November 21 at 12:00pm

    Get to the Falls:

    Also, over the next two months, don’t miss the Winter Festival of Lights. This great season kicks off Saturday, November 21 and runs until January 31st. See the Niagara Parkway transformed into a wonderland of lights, catch fireworks over the Falls every Friday at 9pm, take a drive to see areas of Niagara Falls that won awards for their sparkling light displays last year, and even grab the Festival of Lights mobile app to find out more about events happening this season!

    Have a great week, enjoy the season (even if we’re lucky enough not to be in winter coats just yet!), and get out to #ExploreNiagara.

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • Challenge Yourself to Help Others


    Written by: Olivia Hubert

    University comes with many challenges: managing a heavy course load, making new friends, even just making dinner without setting off the smoke detectors! I want you to think about adding one more challenge: pushing yourself past what you think you are capable of to make a difference in someone’s life.

    When I started at Brock, I thought that volunteering would be a great way to give back, and maybe build my resume. I flipped through volunteer listings to find positions I thought that I could do easily. I would contribute my time to a cause, without really going out of my comfort zone. Sure, there were some awesome opportunities, but I didn’t have the skills to do them well.

    Then I was asked to organize a fundraiser. I started off the same way as I had before: thinking I was unqualified and unprepared. But for some reason, I said yes. I figured it out as I went, and had a great team to support me all the way through. And by taking on this challenge, I learned that nobody expects perfection. I have learned so many valuable skills from this opportunity, becoming more and more qualified as I went through the process. That challenge made me so much more confidant to take on other challenges: charitable, academic, social, etc.

    The best part was that the funds raised from this event made a huge impact on people in need in the Niagara region.

    So fellow Badgers: apply for that position you don’t think you’re 100% qualified for. You will surprise yourself with your ability to learn and adapt. And if you’re truly unqualified for it, the worst they can say is no.

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Bucket List, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…November 13, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    We never seem to be without great things to do in our region, which I’ve been grateful for over the past few weeks. This week check out:

    • Handmade Market: Friday – Sunday, November 13-15 at Honsberger Estate Micro Winery in Jordan, ON (4060 Jordan Rd. – 1 minute from Jordan Village. Park and take free shuttle).     Find 7000 sq. ft. of covered outdoor space with 80+ artisan vendors featuring artisans offering jewellery, hand-sewn bags, fashion accessories, preserves and food items, natural bath + body products, original art, home decor, leather goods, hand bound books, live music, wine and beer by the glass and more! Also enjoy fresh baked pizzas from Honsberger’s outdoor wood fired pizza oven.
    • Niagara Falls Santa Claus Parade – Saturday, November 14 at 11:00am. Join more than 12,000 people who come out to see this parade and line the streets (route and more information available through the link).
    • Albino Rhino Beer Festival – Saturday, November 14 from 12:00-7:00pm at the Sanctuary Centre for the Arts – Home of the Brimstone Brewing Company (209 Ridge Rd. North, Ridgeway, ON). This beer festival focuses on small and local, from the breweries involved to the food vendors with proceeds supporting Prostate Cancer Canada. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door.
    • Grand Opening of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre – Sunday, November 15 from 2:00-7:00pm. Participate in guided or non-guided tours and a chance to explore our community’s inspiring new state-of-the-art facility. Niagara Sings! connects six Niagara-based choirs and over 300 voices that will perform throughout every room in the PAC. Chorus Niagara will be joined by Womenchant, Queenston Ladies Choir, Choralis Camerata, Robert Wood Singers, and Sing Niagara. These skillful vocalists will also be simultaneously tuning each performance venue. The event culminates with a grand finale massed choir in Partridge Hall at 5pm. Check it out as we celebrate this grand opening and take part in exciting happenings, prizes and giveaways throughout the day!


    Have a great week getting out for some unique experiences in the region and #ExploreNiagara

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • 3 Tips Towards Self-Care

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    Written by: Jonathan Fletcher

    Alright Badgers, take a seat and let your buddy Jon give you some advice about how to make your Brock experience a little bit easier and a lot more enjoyable.

    If you felt like there should have been more than one reading week this semester, you are not alone. Taking some time away is very beneficial for putting things in perspective and getting that second wind to carry you till the end of the semester. I have heard countless stories of students explaining the stresses they are faced with due to the work we’re always doing.

    If you ever feel like it’s too much, Brock offers many services for students to use, with trained professionals that want to help with any big or small issues you may be dealing with.

    Personal Counselling at Brock: 905-688-5550 x4750

    But if you want some amateur advice from one Badger to another, I’ve got a few tips on how to mitigate the stress while maximizing enjoyment:

    1. Develop effective time management skills.
    This is at the top of my list because I believe it’s the base of how to reduce stress. I’m university the deadlines are never ending, having a calendar when you can see everything ahead of time, writing things down in a journal or even using your calendar in your phone. You will be way more prepared and less likely to procrastinate… most of the time.

    2. Make time for yourself.
    Taking care of yourself is crucial in a high stress environment. If you have a hobby don’t forget about it. If you’ve been missing sleep take a well-deserved nap, watch some Netflix (don’t start a new season of a show though). Go to the gym if that helps spend some time with friends. It is super important to have positive aspects in your life that keep you motivated and balanced.

    3. Put things in perspective.
    Think about when we were in high school and we thought everything was the end of the world. We made it didn’t we? Keep that in mind when you are feeling a little bit low or stressed. Everything always works out. My friend used to use this quote when she was overwhelmed and I now I use it and I will pass it to you. “When life gives you dilemmas, make dilemondade”

    Until next time folks… I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their fall!

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…November 6, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    As we creep into November, a month that has been gorgeous so far, there is plenty happening and plenty of variety in the events around Niagara to take advantage of. This week check out:

    With today being Random Acts of Kindness Day across Niagara, happiness and positivity is radiating! It doesn’t need to take much time or cost anything to do something nice for another, stranger or friend alike. Take a moment today to do something nice or pay it forward! Don’t forget to use #rakday #rakdayniagara or post to the Facebook link above with what you did for someone else or what someone may have done for you!

    • First Fridays at the Museum: “Moustache Bash” – tonight, Friday, November 6, 7-10pm at the Niagara Historical Society & Museum.  The Museums of Niagara Association invites you to catch some culture after hours! As part of the First Fridays event series hosted by Niagara museums, this 19+ event features music, food and drink from the Smokin’ Buddha, activities and of course the current museum exhibits, this month hosted in Niagara-on-the-Lake. $10 per person at the door.  #FirstFridayNiagara
    • Real Canadian Craft Beer Festival – Saturday, November 7 from 1:00-9:00pm at the Scotiabank Convention Centre. After a rockin’ inaugural year for this festival in 2014, Canadian Craft Beer Festivals returns with its one-day fall session hoping to serve and entertain thirsty patrons. Come out to check out 25+ breweries, good eats and a fun day.
    • Momentum Choir: “A Year in the Life” Concert – Sunday, November 8 @ 3pm. Catch this amazing choir’s performance at Bethany Community Church (1388 Third St., St. Catharines, ON) and be completely inspired!  Check out the video on the link attached for an enthusiastic invitation! In their 8th season, Momentum continues to blaze a path into the arts community, breaking down barriers and successfully carving space for performers who live with a disability. After years of being the only choir of its kind in North America, Momentum Western New York has joined the scene this fall.
    • Hernder 22st Annual Craft Show: Friday – Sunday, November 7-9 from 10am-5pm daily. Check out two floors of vendors, wine tasting, homemade goodies such as strudel, fudge, gourmet pizzas, meats, and jams and jellies, stain glass, sewing, knit sweaters, purses, floral, Christmas items and decorations, painted glassware, jewelry, soy candles and much more! In lieu of admission, help a local family with non-perishable food items or a donation to Community Care (this could be a random act of kindness you do for the community!).
    • A Holiday Affair Vendor & Craft Show – Sunday, November 8 from 10:00am – 5:00pm at Crystal Ridge Community Centre (Fort Erie). See 25+ unique vendors and crafters.

    Remember, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

    Have a great week and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, This Week In Niagara...
  • 5 Quick Tips to Being Well, Despite Student Stress

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    Written by: Megan Brown

    Between the long days spent balancing work and school, the stress of midterms and exam season approaching, and the pressure to finish assignments in every class, it is easy to overlook the little things in life that can help us to be better and do better physically, mentally, emotionally and academically.

    As a student who tends to stress over nearly all of the above, here are a few things that help motivate me to persevere and to strive to be better in the aforementioned aspects of life:

    1. A quick phone call: Whether it be home to family, or a close friend, they often know just the right thing to say to put it all into perspective and to give you the support you need to keep pushing forward.

    2. Me time: After a long week of work, exams and handing in that last assignment on Friday at 5PM, it is O.K. to take the night off to recharge those batteries so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the tasks for the upcoming week.

    3. Going for a walk/run: Getting out for some exercise and fresh air to clear your mind is always refreshing.

    4. Checklists: These are a great way to help you prioritize, stay organized and to keep track of your goals (which can also help you do better academically and eliminate stress). What’s more satisfying than having all the items on your to do list checked off?

    5. Having something to look forward to: Planning one enjoyable thing at the end of every month can give you the motivation you need to get through those stressful times. Maybe it’s going shopping, going out for dinner, or even just staying in to have a movie marathon; all are just examples of a few things that can help you to stay positive and to push forward!

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…October 30, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With the sun back out after a few stormy days, and it being Friday, the world is brighter today on a number of levels!

    On this note, I’d like to share something awesome that’s coming up throughout the Niagara Region that every single one of us can be part of without having to plan, go anywhere, spend any money, or take much time – Random Acts of Kindness!

    This is a one-day annual event across Niagara that is taking place on Friday, November 6th. Random acts of kindness can include almost anything, as long as it’s done with positive intent (see some great suggestions here). You can do something kind for a friend or stranger alike, and at Brock, participate in little stations that will be popping up around campus (watch for Boomer and give him a hi-five!), or go raking in local neighbourhoods to help those who could use a hand. Keep in mind though, that this doesn’t have to be contained to just one day! While it would be great to take some time this week to think about how you might like to be part of this movement next Friday, I would say our world could use more random kindness any day of the year. Take a moment and pay it forward and connect on social media @RAKDayNiagara or Facebook.com/rakdayniagara


    Have a safe and fun Halloween if you’re trick-or-treating or giving out candy, enjoy the weekend and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, This Week In Niagara...
  • Live Life Badger’s Through Alternative Reading Week


    Written by: Katherine Madden

    Reading Week is sadly over, but it’s okay because now is your chance to reflect on all the amazing memories you had over the break. Not everyone has the opportunity to go home and visit their families, but do not fear Student Life and Community Experience is here!

    Student Life offers Brock University students the freedom to volunteer with a variety of different organizations within the Niagara community and I was fortunate enough to be a part of this AMAZING experience. The three places that I had the pleasure of volunteering for were Canadian Blood Services, Community Living and Niagara Habitat for Humanity.

    Katherine's photo

    Canadian Blood Services allowed me and the fellow volunteers to engage with the public. Our role was to go out to certain locations in St. Catharines and recruit people to donate blood during one of the Blood Drive Clinics. Not only did I learn how to effectively communicate with people, but I also got to learn about the non for profit organization. I was enlightened by the motivation that the people at Blood Services brought onto our team. You never really realize how much people need blood, and how many blood donations it actually takes to help save a life. Look into it; I’m sure many of you would be surprised.

    Next was with the Niagara Community Living, which is an organization that offers individuals with intellectual disabilities to engage in living within the community. Our roles were to help build outdoor furniture, which let me tell you were a challenge. Who knew you have to actually read the instruction manual to build a shed? Our team however was determined to get it done, and had a great time messing up continuously together. Best part about the location was the beautiful view that the property backed onto, a winery. Overall, the team and I gained some vital lessons on how to properly follow instructions and effectively work as a team.

    Last, but not least I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity which is an organization that helps build safe and affordable homes for low-income families. It also has a variety of stores that provide people with building tools at a very reasonable price. As a team the volunteers and I got to familiarize ourselves with the items in the store and help organize a variety of things. This allowed some quiet time for the team to get to know each other, while helping the organization. I also discovered that I know absolutely nothing about tools, but that was okay because it was just another great learning experience. Definitely a great way to end Alternative Reading Week!

    Each and every day I was able to meet a variety of creative, outgoing, wonderful individuals that I may not have ever have had the opportunity of meeting, and discovered new found skills. I strongly believe it is important to make the best of your time at Brock. There are so many ways that students can get involved and make the best of their years. Alternative Reading Week is just one of the many incredible opportunities through Brock Student Life and Community Experience and organizations within Niagara.

    So be sure to #GetInvolved and #ExploreNiagara  


    Post Categorie(s): Brock Bucket List
  • Making an Impact with Dr. Jack Lightstone

    A Day in a Life Banner

    Written by: Cate Talaue

    Jack-Lightstone-16frontIf you could go back into the past, what advice would you give to your first-year self?

    I was very involved in the community in all sorts of movements while I was an undergrad at Carleton University. I think I’d tell myself to get more involved on-campus. I think that I would’ve met more people as oppose to the people I already knew. First thing that I tell incoming students is that their education is only part of their experience here.

    What has been one of your favourite experiences at Brock University?

    It has been an absolute joy to work with BUSU, the Graduate Students Association (GSA), and the Goodman student club executives. I do not know of another university in Canada where the relationship between university administration and student leaders is as constructive. We help one another, we work through our disagreements, it’s truly a partnership to make Brock and the student experience better.

    Who has been one of your biggest motivators/an important inspiration and why?

    I want my family to be proud of me – my wife, children, and grandchildren. I want them to feel like I’ve done something significant and that I’ve contributed to something larger. They’re great motivators for me.

    It’s easy to thank someone for their contributions or for just being themselves, but if you could thank yourself for one thing, what would it be?

    I’ve always been grateful that I manage stress relatively well. When my stress level gets too high, I have a few techniques. I exercise, I play acoustic guitar – music is a great stress reliever. I’ve always found sailing as a good one as well because it’s easy to forget everything else when I’m out on the water.

    What is one personal thing that you still want to accomplish?

    I’ve been sailing since I was a teenager. I wanted to spend a year living out on our boat but I didn’t want to wait until I was retired to do it. My wife and I did it from 2004 to 2005 and we sailed from Lake Champlain to Florida Keys. We spent that year writing up our research. I’m glad I did it then as oppose to when I’m tired and not as strong. I enjoy sailing, although I don’t think I’m brave enough to ask my wife to do it again.

    What is one thing that you want students to know about you?

    I want them to know that I am consistent. In leadership, you need to be consistent in your job and in your personality. I try to do that all the time. I also try to live by the motto that you have to get out of the trees to see the forest. In other words, you have to get past the details to see the big picture. I always try to make sure that my job paints that wide angle picture.

    BONUS: Dr. Lightstone’s Top 5 Things I Love about Brock and Niagara
    1. Alphie’s Troph and the balcony at the restaurant over-looking the trail
    2. The student life presence on-campus
    3. The beautiful view from all areas of campus
    4. Walking along the Niagara Gorge
    5. The community involvement aspect of the Brock experience

    Dr. Jack Lightstone is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University. Since beginning his first 5-year term on July 1, 2006, he was reappointed for another 5-year term in 2011, which will end in 2016. Dr. Lightstone has played a pivotal role in shaping what the University is known to be today.

    Post Categorie(s): A Day in a Life, Featured Post