Two researchers, one studying youth mental health and the other focusing on sports development and organization, are recognized by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (FAHS) for their outstanding work.
Assistant Professor of Health Sciences Karen Patte and Associate Professor of Sport Management Julie Stevens each received the 2022 Excellence in Applied Research in Health Sciences Award as part of Brock’s Spring Convocation on Wednesday, June 15.
“Drs. Both Patte and Stevens are outstanding researchers who represent the broad spectrum of research excellence and student mentorship in applied health sciences,” said FAHS Dean Peter Tiidus. “Their contributions to the growth of the Faculty’s research and its impact on individuals, communities and businesses are both significant and remarkable.
Patte focuses on predictors of youth mental health, with the goal of informing more effective and equitable policies and programs.
Among her many activities, she co-leads the COMPASS study, a national research project that surveys more than 65,000 high school students each year in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and British Columbia. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is funding the project until 2027.
The project studies how individual factors – such as substance use, sleep, physical activity, screen use, diet and bullying – and policies and programs at school and government levels affect the youth mental health.
Patte’s recent research investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted young people’s mental health and engagement in health behaviors, and whether it has increased health inequalities, with funding from CIHR and by SickKids. She is passionate about working with young people to design, implement and disseminate research.
“By involving young people throughout the research process and employing mixed and multiple methods, I believe we can have a greater impact,” says Patte. “I look forward to continuing this work to improve our understanding of how best to ensure that all young people can thrive.
She credits Brock’s “unique transdisciplinary and collaborative environment,” learning from and with colleagues and mentors from all disciplines, for her research successes.
Stevens, who delivered Brock’s morning convocation address on Wednesday, is known for her research into women’s hockey, kickstarted by the 1997 book she co-authored as a doctoral student, Too Many Men on the Ice: Women’s Hockey in North America. She joined Brock shortly thereafter to develop expertise in female and female hockey, including history, governance, player development, management and international growth, and expanded to a broader hockey research from there. She also studies the oral history of sport and the impact of sport on the regional economy.
Stevens integrates his research into academic and applied activities with a wide range of athletic organizations and programs. Some of them include the Regional Municipality of Niagara, Pickleball Ontario, the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport, the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation, and Linnaeus University’s Coaching and Sport Management Program in Sweden.
In 2018, Brock University appointed Stevens as Special Advisor to the President of the Canada Games. In this role, Stevens led research, teaching and innovation in community engagement, and championed the University’s academic legacy through its partnership with the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games.
Stevens is also Director of the Center for Sport Capacity, a hub for sport research, student experiential learning and practical support for sport organizations in the Niagara region across Canada and internationally. .
“Servant leadership is an important part of my research philosophy,” says Stevens. “My research projects empower community members and advance what they strive to accomplish for individual and collective well-being, and the center enables colleagues and students to expand their scholarly work.”
The purpose of the annual Award for Excellence in Applied Research in the Health Sciences is to recognize FAHS faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the reputation of the faculty’s research in Ontario, Canada and the world. abroad, and who have contributed substantially to the successful training of graduate students.
Faculty members can only receive the award once and members must be nominated.