Bereket Negasi Isaac became increasingly interested in water and environmental governance towards the end of his master’s degree at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. This is because of what he was learning about the tremendous impacts of climate change on the water sector. Thus, he wanted to study the topic more broadly and more deeply, which prompted his discovery of Waterloo’s PhD program in Social and Ecological Sustainability. Isaac ended up completing his dissertation on Water Quality Policy in Lake Erie Basin.
Isaac’s fondest memory as a Waterloo student includes working alongside mentors and supportive colleagues, as well as being congratulated by his advisor, Dr. Rob de Loë, and the examining committee during his comprehensive exam and final defence session. Isaac said he will miss the great company of his colleagues and the uninterrupted and focused attention that he was able to devote to his research. He will also miss his walks around campus during lunch time while enjoying the sight of Canada geese by Laurier creek.
As a first-generation student from Eritrea, Isaac says, “It’s always darker just before dawn." Although it will seem very hard and at times impossible to do, Isaac encourages students pursuing a PhD degree to trust in themselves and plough through. “Do not allow your background to hold you back from what you want to achieve.”
He is currently working on a post-doctoral project on participatory approaches to water governance in Southern Ontario, with funding from the Global Water Futures. Bereket Negrasi Isaac is graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in Social and Ecological Sustainability.