Three impactful leaders who’ve made their mark in their respective fields will be recognized for their contributions during Brock University’s spring convocation.
Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations Kyle Dubas (BSM ’07), Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics Inc. founder and CEO Jenn Harper and Women Get On Board Inc. founder and CEO Deborah Rosati (BAdmin ’84) will each receive an honorary doctorate from Brock and deliver a convocation address to the University’s latest graduating class during the week of June 12.
Brock’s 113th Convocation includes nine ceremonies from June 12 to 16. Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day, except for Friday, June 16, when only a morning ceremony is scheduled.
Rosati and Harper will receive their honorary doctorates on Tuesday, June 13 at ceremonies held at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., respectively. Dubas will have his honorary degree bestowed upon him Wednesday, June 14 at 2:30 p.m.
It has been more than 15 years since Dubas crossed the stage to receive his Bachelor of Sport Management at his own Brock Convocation. He has since established himself as a national sports leader.
On Thursday, June 1, Dubas was named president of hockey operations for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He will oversee all aspects of the team’s hockey operations department, including establishing the strategic vision and philosophy for the franchise.
Prior to joining Pittsburgh, the Brock graduate spent nearly 10 years with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Dubas began his time with the Leafs in 2014 as assistant general manager. In the role, he oversaw the organization’s top prospects as general manager of the Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, leading the franchise to its first-ever Calder Cup title in 2018.
In May 2018, Dubas, who has become known for his forward-thinking approach to analytics in hockey, was named the Leafs general manager. He spent five seasons in the role, which concluded this May.
Before his time in Toronto, Dubas served as general manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League from 2011 to 2014.
In 2015, he was recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the sports industry’s brightest young stars in its annual Top 30 Under 30 in Sports list. He was also honoured that same year with Brock’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award.
Harper, who is based in St. Catharines, has made an impact in the beauty industry, quickly raising the profile of Cheekbone Beauty through its commitment to sustainability and community.
An Anishinaabe woman and member of the Northwest Angle #33 First Nation in Kenora, Ont., she aims to help Indigenous people see and feel their value in the world while developing sustainable colour cosmetics that won’t add to growing landfills.
Harper has been building the Cheekbone Beauty brand since it was established in 2016, but interest in the company grew significantly after an appearance on the hit CBC show Dragon’s Den in 2019.
The award-winning social entrepreneur has since been featured as Chatelaine’s Woman of the Year in 2019 and recognized in Canadian Business’s New Innovators List and Entrepreneur magazine’s 100 Women of Influence list, both in 2022. Cheekbone Beauty’s products are now available in Sephora stores across Canada and JCPenney stores across the U.S.
Giving back to the Indigenous community is critical to Cheekbone Beauty’s mission. The business has contributed $200,000 in monetary and product donations to youth and women’s organizations across North America, with no plans to slow.
A corporate director, entrepreneur and fellow chartered professional accountant, Rosati has built her career around creating meaningful change in the corporate world.
Through her work with Women Get On Board Inc., the Brock University alumna is building a community of the next generation of women corporate directors. The 850-member social-purpose company is committed to advancing equity, diversity and inclusion; and encouraging collaboration, courage and confidence in the boardroom.
Rosati has chaired many public company audit committees, as well as nominating and corporate governance committees.
Her passion for good governance and board diversity is rooted in her personal journey, during which she found she was often the only woman in the boardroom. These first-hand experiences cemented Rosati’s conviction that having more women on boards makes better business sense.
Rosati’s journey has also inspired her to give back to future Brock students throughout the years, with her contributions supporting the creation of a new Women in Leadership mentorship program at the University and an entrepreneurship award that aids students in their business pursuits.
In addition to the honorary degree presentations, Brock’s Spring Convocation will include the installation of the University’s seventh president and vice-chancellor, Lesley Rigg, on Monday, June 12 at 10 a.m.
Throughout the week, about 3,500 graduands from seven faculties will receive their degrees. All ceremonies take place in the Ian D. Beddis Gymnasium of Brock’s Walker Sports Complex and will be livestreamed online at brocku.ca/livestream.
For more information and a full schedule of Brock’s Spring Convocation, visit brocku.ca/convocation.