Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
More than 560 degrees were conferred at the 2012 Faculty of Applied Health Sciences spring convocation on June 8.
Of all those graduands, one was the first of its kind.
Irina Rivilis was the first PhD student to graduate from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
Graduating as a Doctor of Philosophy in Population Health, Dr. Rivilis specialized in Physical Activity Epidemiology. Her dissertation was titled "Physical Activity and Fitness in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder".
“Irina has tremendous talent, and a great work ethic,” says Faught. “Being able to work with her over the past three years was a privilege. I am confident she will accomplish great things in the future. Being our first doctoral graduate, Irina is an excellent ambassador for our Faculty and Brock University.”
The ceremonies were not adorned with any Hollywood “A-listers”, however the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences had a few of their own in attendance. Leading that charge, was non-other than this year’s Mace Bearer James Mandigo, co-director for the Centre for Healthy Development.
As the ceremonies began, the Brock Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock Medals were awarded to undergraduate student Dru Bernardo, Department of Nursing and graduate student Val Andrew Fajardo, Master of Science in Health Sciences.
Spirit of Brock medals are awarded to students who best exemplify the spirit of Sir Issac Brock, demonstrating one or more of the following qualities: leadership, courage, innovation, inspiration, and community involvement.
Accepting the 2012 faculty award for teaching excellence, was Assistant Professor in Recreation and Leisure Erin Sharpe. Her impact on teaching innovation and leadership is evident through her numerous service learning projects that have involved more than 15 sites across Niagara.
Her idea of “community”, involves both a place and process that has enabled opportunities for students to extend their learning environment into the community. Sharpe developed the department’s first international field course to Cuba, and has since established and enhanced partnerships to help engage students within the global community.
Sharpe was also invited to deliver a convocation address to the 560 plus graduands, her message was simple, yet progressive as she urged students to “never change”. Admittedly, her message of “never change”, was a way to encourage students to continue to change, and development as students themselves should seek to continue to learn well-after graduation. (click here for copy of Sharpe’s speech)
“A lot of speakers come from outside the university and they can bring their stories of the world to the students” says Erin Sharpe, who got some great advice to speak to the students and their experiences for her convocation address.
“Obviously I teach at Brock so that wasn't a role that made sense for me to take. Instead, I thought I would speak as someone who knows Brock students and share their great qualities with everyone else, and deliver a message for the students.”
After presenting undergraduate students with their degrees, Dean McCartney awarded Erin Kelly Duval, and Martin Zaback with the Dean’s Medals. The Deans Medals recognize the students with the highest standing in a first pass degree (Erin Kelly Duval) and the highest standing in a first honours degree (Martin Zaback).
The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences would like to wish all graduates the best of luck in the future and thank all contributors for making the celebration such a success.