2009 - 2010 Both Sides of the Brain profiles

2009 - 2010 Both Sides of the Brain profiles



You may have seen some striking images as part of our new marketing campaign. Take a look at the profiles below that have run in the Globe and Mail and experience Brock like never before.

In addition to the Globe and Mail, we have run ads in Maclean’sOSCA Todayand University Affairs, as well as on Yahoo, Facebook and Google. For undergraduate recruitment, we have run 75 bus shelter ads in the GTA and a “text in to win” contest. This complemented our photo booth and Both Sides of the Brain on Facebook contest.

We encourage students, faculty and staff to develop both sides of their brain — personally and academically — to become well-rounded individuals as unique as fingerprints. And that we provide a distinctive, dynamic and creative learning experience.

We know that Brock is a university designed to develop well-rounded people. It's a place where diverse passions are not only welcomed but celebrated, and students become better versions of themselves. And what could be more important than that? 

Lisa Neville

MSc Candidate Earth Sciences
Former Graduate Students' Association President

Lisa Neville is as comfortable soaring in the sky as she is researching the Alberta oilsands.

Lisa began her graduate work on Great Lakes water levels, but has added research on the Alberta oilsands. She studies environmental methods that are best at remediating the shattered ecosystem, which includes habitats for animals like the peregrine falcon.

Lisa’s presented research papers at international conferences and will publish in journals later this year. At age 23, the self-described workaholic also finds time to be the youngest-ever president of Brock’s Graduate Students’ Association.

Lisa chose to attend Brock because it is the only university where she could combine majors of Earth Sciences and Biology, and she’s now completing her master’s degree.

“I love Brock,” she says. “It really allowed me to do things I would never have had the opportunity to do.”

While half of Lisa’s brain is engaged by her academic pursuits, the other half is engaged by her love of flying. She is a licensed instructor and spends weekends teaching local cadets. 

Watch the video

Denis Dyack

BPhEd '90, BSc '90
Founder of 
Silicon Knights

Denis Dyack made his first video game as a Brock undergraduate student. It was a sign of things to come.

Today, Denis heads up Silicon Knights, the darling of the high-stakes video gaming industry and a major player in the revitalization of downtown St. Catharines and Niagara.

The entrepreneur, who received bachelor’s degrees in physical education and computer science in 1990 from Brock, was on track to join the ranks of physical education teachers. He was a Badger varsity wrestler and has since become a full-contact Canadian taekwondo champion.

Silicon Knights has developed a number of well-known games, most recently “Too Human” for an Xbox 360 trilogy. The company recently partnered with Brock University, Niagara College, the City of St. Catharines and the Niagara Economic Development Corp. to form nGen, a project designed foster the development of an interactive media industry in St. Catharines.

"I'm always looking for people who have a long-term interest in staying in Niagara," says the St. Catharines native. "I plan to remain here because of all it has to offer."


Dr. Stephen Cheung

Associate Professor
Physical Education & Kinesiology

To say that Professor Stephen Cheung’s research runs hot and cold would not be an insult to the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Ergonomics.

Known as Dr. Freeze at Brock, Cheung researches the ability of humans to adapt to extreme temperatures, such as desert heat, tropical humidity or Arctic cold. He is particularly interested in how thermal stress affects human physiology and performance.

His work has many applications, including to the military, workers on offshore oilrigs, or individuals with multiple sclerosis who could benefit from exercise but are intolerant to heat stress.

Among other things, Cheung studies blood flow, muscle function and neural control of manual function during short- and long-term exposure of the hands to cold, since the hands are critical to survival in cold situations. Manual dexterity is rapidly impaired when the hands are exposed to cold.

And since heat and cold exposure impairs not just physical capacity but mental function, thermal stress can often increase the risk of accidents. As a result, the scientist is exploring developing occupational exposure guidelines as a means to reduce accident rates.

Cheung originally began his research in oceanography. But his passion for cycling led him to explore the impact of exercise on the human body, which led him to his current research within our Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.

“So now my passion is my work, and my work is my hobby,” he says.

And that’s extremely beneficial to us all. 

Erin Norton

Postgraduate student
Brock Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute

When Erin Norton followed her heart, it led her straight to Brock.

Erin, who’d successfully completed two science degrees at other universities, realized that her heart wasn’t set on a career in synthetic inorganic chemistry. Instead, what’s become her passion is the scientific challenge behind making wine.

Erin discovered the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock, and she’s now enrolled in the certificate program in oenology and viticulture – the science of winemaking and grape growing.

“I couldn’t have made a better choice than Brock,” she says. “This is where I should be. I still get to use my science background, but this has the romanticism of working with wine.”

Erin concludes that the program itself represents two sides of the brain.

‘There’s the heavy science aspect, but if you have a real passion for it, you’re coming out with a lot more than that.”

Erin plans to travel and possibly work as a winemaker in France, but she expects she’ll eventually return to Ontario to apply her skills.

And cheers to that. 

Justin Carré

PhD Candidate, Psychology

Graduate student Justin Carré has scored big with his research on elite hockey players, the impact of testosterone on human aggression, and the advantage of playing on home ice.

The PhD candidate in psychology has worked his love of hockey into his behavioural neuroscience research. It focuses on the functional relevance of different levels of testosterone and cortisol responses among winners and losers. He explores whether a surge in testosterone increases assertive, dominant, and aggressive behaviours that could be used as feedback for future competitions.

Justin’s had his findings published in academic journals in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and he’s presented at numerous professional international conferences. National media have picked up on his findings.

He’s coached and played with the Brock Badgers hockey team and he’s mentored undergraduate students, helping to develop critical thinking skills.

Justin stickhandles his doctoral research with an active family life. Baby daughter Sophie, he predicts, will be in skates at an early age. Just like he was.

And it’s that love of the iconic Canadian sport that’s taken him to the big leagues of an exciting discipline of research.

Marilyn I. Walker

Fibre Artist

We’re honoured to receive a gift of $15 million by philanthropist and fibre artist Marilyn Walker to our School of Fine and Performing Arts. The investment ensures that all students have an opportunity to express their creativity.

It’s the largest donation ever received by Brock University or made in the Niagara region.

To show our gratitude, we’ve renamed our school the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, with a facility likely to be built in downtown St. Catharines. The renaming is in tribute to Marilyn’s reputation as an internationally recognized fibre artist, teacher, author and philanthropist. Marilyn is also an active supporter of the arts and arts education across Canada, and at Brock University in particular.

As a fibre artist, Marilyn’s a pioneer, both in terms of technique and in teaching others about the history of quilts and how they have emerged as an important consideration in the art world.

“It is through participating in cultural events that we enjoy the benefits of what I like to call intellectual therapy,” said Marilyn at the event revealing the gift on Nov. 5, 2008. “Arts, heritage, and culture give a community its character and vibrancy. They make a community an attractive place to live, work, and play.”

In recognition of her many achievements and her enduring friendship with Brock, Marilyn received an honorary doctorate at the 2008 Fall Convocation.

Marilyn’s also a devoted community leader and volunteer whose thoughtful leadership and heartfelt dedication has created positive change in Niagara. Truly inspirational.

Dr. Elizabeth Greene

Professor, Classics

Assistant professor Elizabeth Greene is affectionately known as “Jacqueline Cousteau” at Brock University. She also calls herself “Indianette Jones.”

It’s easy to see why.

Elizabeth, whose specialty is Greek Art in the Classics Department, leads student excursions to shipwreck sites off the coast of Turkey. She’s responsible for the publication about the 6th century BC shipwreck at Pabuç Burnu, Turkey, and is co-authoring a book on shipwrecks and ancient trade.

She’s an innovator who successfully combines rigorous and experiential academic programs. And in doing so, she’s part of our dynamic culture that breaks boundaries of academic convention.

Her passions about ancient geography, travel and nautical archaeology have taken her to excavation and survey projects throughout the Mediterranean. And besides Turkey, she’s conducted research in Albania, Greece and Egypt.

Her interests include the rituals associated with ancient seafaring, the economic relationships between individuals and cities, and how the archaeological record can be used to provide hard surfaces for symbolic readings of art and text. It’s all as thought-provoking as the life-altering journeys she shares with her students.

Rohan Kothari

Second Year, Biological Sciences
Millennium Excellence Award (2007, 2008)

Rohan Kothari is an outstanding second-year Biological Sciences student who’s passionate about community service.

Rohan graduated from high school with a nearly flawless 99.7 per cent average, wants to be a doctor and to work on international development. At Brock, he’ll research the part of human cells that affect the aging process.

"I wanted a full undergraduate experience, not a place where I was in a huge pool of people, where it would be difficult to make a significant contribution,” says Rohan. “The (Mathematics and) Science Faculty at Brock is excellent; it's easy to connect with professors and get involved in research opportunities. That's rare at the undergraduate level."

Rohan embodies a well-rounded life. He’s conducted research in India on empowering slum-dwelling youth, and plans to start his own non-government organization and work with the Indian government. He started the Brock chapter of Free The Children and arranged a visit by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Craig Kielburger.

In addition to his scholastic and philanthropic pursuits, Rohan swims, plays soccer and is trying to master the saxophone.