Careers with Impact: Using an Arts Degree to Create Change

Thursday, March 16, 2023 3:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)
earth and handprints in the shape of a heart to symbolize helping humanity

With a degree in Arts, you can become a force for change. Come join our Alumni in the Hub event to speak to alumni who have made helping humanity a passion and their career. From bringing awareness to mental health, to assisting in encouraging equity and diversity—these alumni have earned their bachelor’s degree and are using it to be the difference they would like to see in the world, each in unique ways you may not have thought of.

As students, you do not have to keep your passions and career in two separate realms. Combining both your drive for social justice and career goals is completely feasible! So come by Hagey Hall and meet us in the Project Cube to get insight, tips, and the inspiration you need to ambitiously pursue your desire to be a change-maker in areas that lack awareness, justice, and equity.

Doing what's good for the planet and the people on it doesn't necessarily mean protesting or actively being out in public speaking against unfair circumstances. There is a myriad of ways that you can assist in being a change-maker in your career of choice that doesn’t include a megaphone.

Alumni Guests: 

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Tanya Darisi (BA ’97 Psychology Honours)

Tanya is a Co-Founder of Openly, a certified B-Corp with the impact goal of fueling the work of a million changemakers. As a research, design, and strategy firm, Openly supports leaders across communities and across the public, private and nonprofit sectors to achieve meaningful social change. Tanya has focused her career working to disrupt injustices within the status quo and create the conditions for greater equity, dignity and wellbeing for individuals and communities.

Tanya is an active volunteer, non-profit board member, and founding partner of Rhyze Ventures, now a national program designed to support women entrepreneurs. She continues to coach women business owners through start-up to growth and sustainability.  Following on from her B.A. from the University of Waterloo, Tanya has achieved a Master's Degree in Applied Social Psychology, and is currently pursuing a law degree at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law.

United way logo

Ryan Erb (BA '00 Social Development and Peace & Conflict Studies)

Ryan has more than 25 years of non-profit management, community development, fundraising and marketing experience, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the United Way Perth-Huron.

Ryan has been, and continues to be, an active volunteer with other not-for-profit organizations, including Rotary, Living Wage Canada, Libro Credit Union, and his church. In these roles and others, he has amassed more than 35 years of non-profit board experience. With that experience and related education as a board consultant, Ryan often helps not for profit organizations over and above his job.  Ryan enjoys hiking, hockey and spending time with friends. He holds an M.A. in Leadership, a B.A. in Social Development/Peace and Conflict, and a B.R.E. in Counselling. He is also a Certified Board Governance Trainer.

Ola smiling at camera with microphone

Ola Idris (BA ’22 ARBUS Political Science, Econ Minor)

Ola Idris considers herself first and foremost a wandering human being and a community enthusiast. Her passion is to be a continuous learner of the bigger picture of everyday life practices as well as how the world shapes our identity because of her own intersectionality. She loves building spaces of care and community networks to uplift and bring joy to people’s lives. She is currently working at the University as the community engagement manager of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Office. This work allows her to help bridge the gap between the university as an institution and the university as a community partner in the Waterloo region. Her love for community is rooted in her multi-African enriched upbringing and has poured out through participation in the clubs on campus like UWBASE and UWASA and through external organizations like TRAD Magazine and Our Political Home. She using the power of storytelling to advocate for a world beyond our imaginations and systemic limitations.

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Rosalind Gunn (BA ’11, English Lit & Rhetoric, Political Science minor)

Rosalind is Director of Communications and Advocacy at YWCA Cambridge and has been working there for over 4 years. YWCA responds to the needs of cis and trans women as well as girls, non-binary and two-spirit individuals through programs and services that have the intention of strengthening the community. Some of their values are women’s leadership, accessibility, accountability, self-determination, and equity. As Director, Rosalind uses skills such as leadership, critical thinking and relationship building. She believes in the power of storytelling and understands that persuasive communication is key to reaching people.

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