Source: Brock University
Brock's graduate students step onto world stage of research
October 18, 2006
At Brock University's Fall Convocation, 147 students will receive master's and
doctoral degrees during the Oct. 20 ceremony, a reflection of the
institution's development and growth in post- graduate education.
During the ceremony, which will also see the official installation of Jack
N. Lightstone as President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock, the institution
will confer its first PhD in Chemistry on graduate student Kevin Finn.
Accepting her PhD in Psychology will be Diane Santesso, who is currently
working on a post-doctoral fellowship at the Affective Neuroscience
Laboratory at Harvard University.
"These students exemplify the growing strength of Brock's graduate program,"
said Marilyn Rose, Dean, Graduate Studies. "The fact that our students are
being offered prestigious post-doctoral placements at international
universities speaks highly of Brock's reputation for graduate studies and
Finn has accepted a post-doctoral research position at Albert-Ludwigs
Universitat Freiburg in Germany beginning in January 2007. In the meantime,
he is continuing his research at Brock in a program often described as
"green chemistry," a mixture of biotechnology, organic synthesis and
electrochemistry. The research is applied toward solving the problems of
pharmaceutical synthesis in an environmentally responsible manner.
Brock Professor Tomas Hudlicky, a Canada Research Chair, was the research
supervisor for Finn, and he believes a master-apprentice relationship with
students is the most effective method for the transference of skills.
"This is accomplished by close contact with their research, by intense group
meetings, constant questioning, and demands for attention to detail,"
Hudlicky said. "Not an easy experience but one for which the students are
very grateful later on in life."
Santesso's doctoral research explored brain electrical activity in children,
adolescents and young adults to examine the development and healthy function
of brain areas responsible for performance monitoring, more specifically how
errors and correct responses are detected, how errors are corrected and how
one reacts emotionally to the outcomes of an event. Learning from past
experiences and responding appropriately to errors may be important for
understanding how healthy, adaptive behaviours develop.
Brock Professor Sid Segalowitz, Santesso's research supervisor, said that he
and Santesso "progressed much further than either of us could have on our
own" because of the synergy created through collaboration.
"Diane brought a background and interest in the complexities of personality
theory and I come from a cognitive background," he said, "but we are both
fascinated with questions of development and of individual differences in
how the brain is involved in these."
Rose said Brock's graduate students also inspire the University's
undergraduates because of their willingness to share their passion for
research and scholarship.
On Saturday, Oct. 21, Brock will confer 508 undergraduate degrees from the
Faculties of Applied Health Sciences, Business, Humanities, Mathematics and
Science, and Social Sciences.
These ceremonies will also mark the last Convocation for Dr. Raymond
Moriyama as Brock's Chancellor. Dr. Moriyama will complete his term as
Chancellor on March 31, 2007.