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McMaster alumnus Ryan Clarke presents third-year Social Work student Madison Brockbank with the top prize in the Clarke Prizes in Advocacy and Active Citizenship competition.

Bright solutions to societal challenges

On March 2 undergraduate students from across the Faculty of Social Sciences presented bright ideas and creative solutions to societal challenges in a poster showcase as part of the Clarke Prizes in Advocacy and Active Citizenship competition.

Mar 07, 2018

The Clarke Prizes in Advocacy and Active Citizenship competition encourages students to explore topics such as decolonizing education, digital media and literacy fundamentals for youth, mental health supports, sustainable urban planning and more.

The Advocacy completion is brain-child of McMaster alumnus Ryan Clarke (class of ’88) and his wife Leanne. The Clarke’s have sponsored the competition each year since 2014.

“It can be daunting to look at an issue and think about how I affect change here and how can I make a difference?” said Clarke in an address to the student participants. 

“I’m inspired by the link that you (the students) have to these issues with your personal stories. Many of these projects reflect something that you have experienced and lived. That gives whatever it is you’re doing the passion and the genuineness that is critical. If you want to affect change around an issue you have to believe in it.”

The selected recipients receive professional feedback from Ryan Clarke of Advocacy Solutions about their campaign and are awarded financial prizes. 

1st Prize, $3,000: Madison Brockbank, Social Work

“Fostering allyship in sexual violence prevention efforts with male-identified students on campus” – This project advocates for improved support surrounding sexual violence prevention on campus and seeks greater integration of the student voice in modifying existing sexual assault policy. Brockbank wants to engage men as allies, providing more opportunity for men to articulate their experiences, questions, and concerns regarding their role in prevention and allyship.

2nd Prize, $2,000: Eulene Bomberry, Human Geography & Indigenous Studies

“Indigenous Parents Council” – Bomberry’s proposal is for the development of a community-led and community-wide movement that supports and showcases Indigenous education success. Her approach is to collect input from parents, Indigenous children and youth on the type of programming and in-school and community supports that would be most meaningful to them.

With this information, Bomberry hopes to expand education opportunities currently offered by Hamilton Wentworth District School Board to connect Indigenous families from across the city. 

3rd Prize, $1,000: Jodie Lo and Leteesha Henny, Social Psychology

“Integrating Puzzles into University Settings; Increasing Critical Thinking while Reducing Stress” Research shows that puzzles and logic games may help nurture the emotional health of university students. They have the potential to develop and refine important critical thinking skills. Lo and Henny are advocating for to create positive spaces where university students can engage with activities like jigsaw-puzzles, logic games, crosswords and other similar activities reducing stress and improving critical thinking.