Spring Convocation to feature first grads from new PhD and Masters programs

During Spring Convocation ceremonies, June 7 to 10, Brock University will celebrate Master’s and PhD students for their academic and research excellence.A total of 411 graduate degrees — 16 PhD, 395 Master’s — will be conferred.Justin Maltese, a MSc student in Computer Science, will receive the prestigious Governor General’s Gold Medal for achieving the highest academic standing at the graduate level. Maltese, of Hamilton, attained a 98.5 average.Spring Convocation will mark the first graduates from the PhD program in Interdisciplinary Humanities and from the Master’s program in Sustainability Science and Society.Both programs have been at the forefront of the University’s directions to build transdisciplinary studies and research activities.Brock established the Interdisciplinary Humanities doctoral program in 2011. The program brings together faculty and students from different disciplines across the University to collaborate on research questions from a variety of perspectives.The graduate program in Sustainability Science and Society (SSAS) was launched in 2014. The program provides students an opportunity to study the social, economic, political, and biophysical challenges and to consider new ways of thinking about environmental sustainability.“It’s always a landmark event for newer programs to celebrate the convocation of their first students,” says Mike Plyley, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. “These students are like flagbearers. They signify a program’s wider impact as its students move forward to contribute their knowledge, creativity and skills in their field or through other academic and research pursuits.”This convocation also holds special significance for Plyley as he completes his term as Dean on June 30.“Convocation days are one of the best days on the job for a Dean,” Plyley says. “I’ve had the privilege to congratulate thousands of graduate students over the past five years. Watching our students cross the stage to accept their master’s or doctoral degrees provides you with a strong indication of the force of their potential in a world that will look to them to make society stronger and better. For a Dean, those are the times when you say to yourself that it just doesn’t get any better than this.”2016 Convocation awards to Brock graduate studentsGovernor General’s Gold Medal:Justin Maltese, Computer ScienceJack M. Miller Excellence in Research AwardsThe FGS announces a list of Miller award recipients each year. At the time of graduation, students are given special recognition for the achievement. The following is a list of Miller award recipients who will be acknowledged at Spring Convocation.Spring 2016 ConvocationDimitrios Alexandropoulos, ChemistryWilliam John Gittings, Applied Health SciencesMalisa Kurtz, Interdisciplinary HumanitiesStefon Jan Ross van Noordt, PsychologyZahid Mohammad Rahman, ManagementPhillip Wallace, Applied Health SciencesDistinguished Graduate Student AwardDimitrios Alexandropoulos, ChemistryMichael Ayerh K Ayertey, GeographyMatilda Baptist, BiotechnologyAllan Campopiano, PsychologyCorey Jonathan Carlton, Business EconomicsKevin Daniel Caslin, PhysicsAndrew Cheesman, PhysicsAlison Edge, BiotechnologyWhitney Evans, Political ScienceRenee Marie Henriette Girard, HistoryChristopher Scott Grawey, Critical SociologySteven Greenwood, EnglishWade Alexander Hunt, PhilosophyNaomi Johnson, Applied Disabilities StudiesMalisa Kurtz, Interdisciplinary HumanitiesJeff Lakeit, Comparative Literatures and ArtsJustin Peter Maltese, Computer ScienceMolly McMeekin, ClassicsKaitlin Louisa McNeill, Applied Disability StudiesMax Cale Merilovich, Biological SciencesJoel Midgley-Volpato, Mathematics and StatisticsSamantha Lynne Julianne Morris, Sustainability: Science and SocietyLi Mou, Business AdministrationEwelina Kinga Niemczyk, Educational StudiesMatthew Peter Casimir Nikitczuk, Earth SciencesKiel Graham Ormerod, Biological SciencesPanagiota Perlepe, ChemistryIrene Podolak, Applied Health SciencesStephanie Simoes, PhilosophyZipparah Eileen Stephenson, Social Justice and Equity StudiesKimberley Caitlin Tsujimoto, Child and Youth StudiesRebecca Lynn Vos, Applied LinguisticsJennifer R. Weiler, EducationNarnia Christine Worth, PsychologyHaiyue Xu, ManagementMichelle Zahradnik, Applied Health SciencesSpirit of Brock awardsJoshua Bowslaugh, Applied Health SciencesKatlynne Smith, EducationRegan Fitzgerald, Goodman School of BusinessMalisa Kurtz, HumanitiesChimaobi Amadi, Mathematics and ScienceAntwi Boasiako, Social SciencesJack Noble Book PrizesJennifer R. Weiler, EducationDr. Michael Kompf Book PrizesAssuntina Del Gobbo, EducationGoodman Graduation AwardMarion Elizabeth Beckett, Business AdministrationNeil Patrick Bourque, Business AdministrationRegan Mckenzie Fitzgerald, Business AdministrationManuel Gloger, ManagementSunayana Gopal, Business AdministrationWenyan Gu, AccountancyJake Paul James Haskell, AccountancyJordan Molzan, AccountancyLi Mou, Business AdministrationAbdul Rashed Rahimi, Business AdministrationZahid Mohammad Rahman, ManagementMartinus Benny Setya, Business AdministrationLixiong Wang, Business AdministrationYichun Wang, AccountancyHaoxing Wu, AccountancyAmik Zeshan, Business Administration read more

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Local elections Bricklayer and former community centre manager among independents who stormed

A bricklayer incensed by his local council’s destruction of a memorial tree and a former community centre manager inspired into politics by watching Question Time are among candidates who stormed the local elections as independents.Labour councillors were ousted from their heartlands and Conservatives lost some 1,300 seats yesterday – the party’s worst local election result since 1995.More than 900 independent councillors were elected and six councils are now controlled by independents and other parties.The Telegraph spoke to two politicians who secured big wins at the ballot box about what inspired them to take a stand.The Labour heartland of Bolsover in Derbyshire was taken over by independent councillors in an unprecedented victory.Ross Walker is one of the newly-elected independents in the district, which has been a Labour stronghold for the past 40 years.The 48-year-old bricklayer got into politics after the council cut down a sycamore tree which had been planted as a tribute to his late grandfather.He was so outraged that he decided to stand as a councillor.Mr Walker told The Telegraph about his previous run-ins with the local authorities – notably his bitter fight to get a park bench erected so his elderly father had somewhere to sit while he was babysitting his daughters. “We have twin girls and there was nowhere for him to sit while he was looking after them,” he said. “So I went to the council to request a bench – and it took four months to get one.”He added: “And we planted a memorial tree for my grandfather and only found out the council were removing it when they nailed a sign to it saying ‘we are removing this tree’. They didn’t contact us.”Addressing the independent election storm in Bolsover, he said: “I was expecting to get a seat but not what has actually happened. I’m in shock and it is absolutely fantastic.”I think the Labour Party has treated people disrespectfully and there has been no line of communication.”The majority of people are disgusted because nobody is listening to their concerns.”But things are going to change now. I’m hoping this is the first step People will see what a council can do and what can be achieved. They will see what they have been missing.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Mr Zadrozny said he was “delighted” with Ashfield Independent’s substantial gains.He said: “Obviously it is incredible for us and we are over the moon.  Ashfield Independents celebrate their win at the ballot box Ashfield Independents celebrate their win at the ballot box The party was able to capitalise on what they saw as local MP Gloria de Piero’s “flip-flopping” on Brexit. Nearly 70 per cent of Ashfield voters opted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum.Jason Zadrozny, 38, who has led Ashfield Independents for a year, told The Telegraph he first knew he wanted to get into politics after watching BBC’s political discussion show Question Time.”I have been a councillor for 12 years and was first elected in March 2007, but I was a community centre manager for the first three years after I left university,” he said.”Ashfield has very high areas of deprivation and I saw there was a gap between the council and the local support offered.”At the time I was more interested in what I was doing – talking to people who felt unsupported.”But I was watching Question Time on the TV one night and realised that practically no one was talking any sense or answering the questions.”That was what ultimately got me into politics. It sort of snowballed from there.” “We were expecting a good night but not that many seats, and we weren’t expecting to win by such a huge majority. My own majority was bigger than my entire result in the last local election.”He said Ashfield Independents reached out to voters and fought the “huge Labour machine” by returning to “old-fashioned politics”.”Yes we pushed leaflets through doors, but we also spoke to thousands of people. There are about 120,000 residents in Ashfield and between January 1 2018 and January 1 2019 we spoke to 75,000 people in face-to-face conversations.”There was enormous anger about Brexit. People were very, very upset and the mood was strange. I think we almost created a perfect storm.”People are incredibly annoyed and distrustful of the national parties now. I think we have been able to regain trust locally that has been lost nationally. We offered a positive alternative.” In Nottinghamshire, the Ashfield Independents – a party which didn’t exist four years ago – took 30 of the 35 available seats, leaving just three Conservative and two Labour councillors in office. read more

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