Student Profiles

Sarah Wiley
Sarah Wiley - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Arts Student

My name is Sarah and I am in my final year of study in psychology with a minor in sexuality, marriage, and family studies. When I came to the University of Waterloo I found a community in the UW Women’s Centre, where I grew in my feminism and leadership. There, I found my passion in anti-oppressive advocacy. This led me to run for, and be elected as, Vice President Education for the Federation of Students. In this position I had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of students to the university administration and all levels of government. This included sitting on the board of directors for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, a student-run provincial lobby organization. I was honoured to receive the 2017 “Provincial Draw-The-Line Post-Secondary Sexual Violence Prevention Award” from the Ministry of the Status of Women and White Ribbon for this work. I now volunteer with the Sexual Assault Support Centre as a board member and public educator working to create a safe community for all. All of these experiences have led me to seek a career in advocacy, specifically as it relates to social justice. I am excited about the opportunity to continue to make a positive difference in the world.

Savannah Voll
Savannah Voll - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Arts Student

Hi, my name is Savannah and I am going into my 3A term this Winter 2018 term. I’m an Arts and Business co-op student majoring in Social Development Studies, minoring in French, specializing in Social Policy and Social Action, and working my way towards a Global Experience Certificate. I just finished my second co-op term, where I had the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant with the Institute of Systems Sciences at the National University of Singapore. My research focused on digital government leadership styles across the world in comparison to Singapore, especially in terms of its Smart Nation plan of 2014. In the future I would like to work in policy analysis and/or community development at some level of the Canadian government. I am excited to be part of the ARTS 490 seminar because I am interested in learning more about global politics, specifically the relationship between economic and social development around the world. I am also really looking forward to meeting all the faculty members, fellows, and students! 

Don Tu
Don Tu - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Engineering Student

I am a fourth-year Chemical Engineering student. I love learning about the world and deconstructing complex problems, whether the question is the optimization of a petrochemical plant or figuring out what exactly makes a good movie soundtrack. As an engineering student, I have a knack for working out scientific and technical solutions - one of the reasons I came to Waterloo was the opportunity to get outside the classroom, into the workplace, and spend some time working hands-on with real world problems. However, science and technology are nothing if they do not improve peoples’ lives, which is why I am just as interested in learning about how people interact with each other, what they create, and with the world itself. When I heard about the Global Engagement Seminar program, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to reach out to other students from the University of Waterloo, broaden my horizons, and pick up new ways to see the world. I am looking forward to the program and hope to lend my experiences towards making the world a better place!

Erin Tonita
Erin Tonita - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Science Student

My name is Erin Tonita, and I have spent the past few years studying Physics at the University of Waterloo. I am a fan of hiking, experimental physics, space flight, story-telling, terrible dancing, swing-sets, and free food. On a more serious note, I am particularly interested in our human-environment relationship, the refugee crisis, and the education and empowerment of women. After I graduate from the University of Waterloo, I plan on attending graduate school and studying clean energy technology.  

Samir Reynolds
Samir Reynolds - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Environment Student

My name is Samir Reynolds and I’m currently in my third year of Knowledge Integration with minors in Mathematics and Political Science. I am originally from Edmonton, but came out here for university, and this gives me a slightly different worldview than my peers. There are a couple reasons I wanted to take the course, but the biggest one was its relevance to contemporary problems facing democratic societies worldwide. I am a big believer in the rule of law in a constitutional democracy, which, among other things, helps protect from a tyranny of the majority. Populism and its increasing prevalence in society poses a great threat to this idea, and this course seems like a very interesting way to learn about and hopefully address these issues. I also really enjoy working on interdisciplinary teams to address problems like the ones in the program, and it seems like it will be an amazing way to learn about some of the biggest issues facing the world today with like-minded students and experts both within and outside of academia. I’m really excited to begin!

Robyn Peers
Robyn Peers - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Arts Student

My name is Robyn Peers, and I am in my fourth year in the Honors Arts and Business coop program majoring in English Literature and Rhetoric. Having spent time on exchange in Ireland as well as working for Waterloo International, global issues have always been at the forefront of my mind throughout my undergraduate career. With this in mind, I decided to take ARTS 490 in my final term because, as an Arts student, it is important to reflect on the ways in which the work done with my degree can be helpful to others, rather than just a personal exercise in theory and criticism. Many courses do not afford any real opportunities to do so, meaning that the impression that academia is impractical, hierarchical, and unconcerned with the real world is unfortunately spread. I feel that, through taking this course, I can begin to look at the ways in which I can translate skills learned in class into applications that have an impact on the world outside of theoretical texts.

Charity Nonkes
Charity Nonkes - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Arts Student

My name is Charity Nonkes and I am in the Arts and Business program studying Peace and Conflict Studies.Through this seminar, I hope to learn about complex global issues and their local and national implications. I am looking forward to collaborating with students, professionals, and academics to see trends and intersections of systems, and combine theoretical and practical knowledge to find solutions that create systemic change, engage the people involved, and are sustainable. 

Keegan Morrissey
Keegan Morrissey - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Mathematics Student

My name is Keegan Morrissey, and I am in my final year of undergraduate Mathematics at Waterloo. I am a social person, who enjoys travel, meeting new people, meditation, sports, and great philosophical discussions. Over the course of my studies at Waterloo, I have become interested in the study of leadership, and how leaders can act to create fair societies. I have come to ask the following question: how could the world be reorganized in a way such that economic opportunity, prosperity, justice, and happiness are more readily available to all people? Moreover, what can individuals around the world do to help this reorganization occur? Answering these questions, in both a theoretical and practical sense, is the reason that I am taking the Global Engagement Seminar. I hope to gain skills that will improve my critical thinking ability, and help me become a more compassionate leader in the future.

Logan Miller
Logan Miller - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Environment Student

My name is Logan Miller. I am in my last semester of Knowledge Integration with a minor in International Trade. I have taken courses in a wide range of subjects ranging from anthropology to philosophy to computer science. At UW I have had several international experiences taking me to Denmark, Germany and Israel. A common theme in my degree has been how interconnected the world's problems are. This is why I am excited for the Global Engagement Seminar. I am excited for a course that puts global thinking at its centre.

Benjamin MacLellan
Benjamin MacLellan - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Science Student

My name is Benjamin MacLellan and I am in my final year of undergraduate studies in Physics. I am specializing my studies in the areas of experimental physics and quantum optics – and I will be undertaking graduate studies in quantum computing next year. I am fan of the outdoors, good music, and of course, science. With a future career as a scientific researcher and communicator, I believe that it is important to understand how my work will fit into the major global challenges we face. One challenge which greatly interests me is how science is communicated, perceived and acted upon by scientists, politicians and the public. The way researchers share knowledge and interact with their communities greatly affects our shared values and the policies we may put in place. I am excited to have this opportunity to explore such challenges, and more, with students and experts from a range of backgrounds in the Global Engagement Seminar.

James Mallari
James Mallari - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Science Student

I am a transfer student, completing my last few semesters in the Psychology program at the University of Waterloo. Before coming to UW, I studied Biology at Ryerson and Nursing at the University of Toronto. A common thread in my academic interests is people. It breaks my heart to see the divisions that arise between people and the damage of these divisions on various levels. What resonates with me about the Global Engagement program is the aspect of ‘cross-pollination’. I feel that meaningful solutions are thirsty for collaboration. I look forward to learning and working with others across disciplines and perspectives to address important timely questions.

Sarah J. Lukaszczyk
Sarah J. Lukaszczyk - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Environment Student

My name is Sarah J. Lukaszczyk and I am in my final year of concurrent degrees in Geography & Environmental Management and Peace & Conflict Studies, with a specialization in Climate Change. The Global Engagement Course was of interest on two fronts and both conveniently in relation to climate. The first reason being with the increase in natural hazard events like hurricanes, earthquakes, etc, these disasters will be the impetus in changing how we engage and think about other people living half way around the globe. Secondly, with ancestry as diverse as mine, coupled with today’s geo-political climate, openness and overcoming binary thinking is integral in navigating an increasingly complex and connected world. Overall, whether it be mediating conflict in the physical or political arenas, we need new perspectives on engaging with one another and our environment. 

Saleha Habib
Saleha Habib - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Engineering Student

My name is Seleha and I am a third year Chemical Engineering student. My interest in the Global Engagement Seminar course is inspired by my passion for engaging in dialogue with regards to world affairs. The opportunity to engage with eminent experts, faculty and fellow students on a real-world project tackling a major global issue would allow me to further pursue my passion. Throughout my career as a student I have pursued my passion for engaging in matters of global importance; I not only took Peace and Conflict Studies as an elective during my academic term, but also undertook the task of founding chapters of a non-profit organization (The Citizens Foundation – UWaterloo Chapter) as well as a school team geared towards international affairs.  I also attend Model UN conferences where I had the opportunity to engage in discussions and debates regarding current international issues.  Thus, this course will be an excellent opportunity for me to pursue my passion, for studying global issues and possible solutions, which has only intensified through my work with non-profit organizations, conferences on world affairs, and courses focused on global issues during my academic term.

Mariam Flifli
Mariam Flifli - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Arts Student

My name is Mariam and I am in my final year of studies in Political Science with a specialization in Global Governance.  Throughout my studies it has become increasingly that the current political climate requires one to simultaneously look down many avenues in order to craft suitable responses to unfolding crises. I look forward to applying an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary socio-political issues whilst engaging with fellow UW students who come from a range of faculties and majors. My hope is that myself, along with fellow seminar participants, will make use of this platform and collaborate in crafting innovative solutions to pressing global concerns.

Michelle Gonzalez Gomez
Michelle Gonzalez Gomez - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Arts Student

My name is Michelle and I am a Political Science and Arts and Business student with a minor in International Studies. I immigrated to the United States from Colombia when I was 3. At 13 my family immigrated to Canada. It is my experiences, and that of those close to me, and the international systems that have shaped who I am. It has created aspirations that guide me in my future endeavours. My interest in the Global Engagement Seminar reflects my belief in the individual responsibilities we all have. I want to begin assuming my own role in influencing and creating solutions to global crises that affect people from every economic, ethnic, and geographic background. As I listen to stories that personally recount these crises my aspirations become more and more cemented. The program’s analysis of these crises will enable me to develop a well-rounded and inclusive perspective to effectively tackle these challenges. I hope to take the skills and perspectives I develop in my undergraduate studies into law school. Every step I have taken up until now has been determined knowing that it’s better preparing me for a future specialization in either international or immigration and refugee law, and my involvement in this program is one of the many steps in my journey.

Elisabeth Bruins
Elisabeth Bruins - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Environment Student

My name is Élisabeth Bruins and I am interested taking part in the Seminar because, across the world, students are studying political science, economics, or, like myself, international development, exploring the complex interactions shaping our political, economic and social context. Yet, too many of us will never transfer this knowledge into practice, never take it from the pages of our articles, essays and dissertations and into the field. Opportunities such as the Global Engagement Program are thus invaluable chances to channel this knowledge into concrete positive change.  

I am hopeful that a chance for exchange and collaborative learning such as this will allow us to think critically about populism and its potential for positive and negative change in contemporary society, what this means in our socio-economic and political landscape, and how it might work towards or against intersectionality. I look forward to a complete and nuanced analysis of the benefits and dangers of populism and what is means for our democratic future.  I am enthused to learn from a variety of students and faculty, think about solutions to major global issues, and, ultimately, bring this new-found knowledge back to my field. 

Jillian Barlow
Jillian Barlow - 2018 Alumnus, Faculty of Arts Student

My name is Jillian Barlow and I am a third year Honours Arts and Business co-op student, majoring in Women's Studies. I've always been extremely passionate about women’s rights and human rights. My goal after university is to encourage women to engage in business leadership and STEM positions, and create a fairer legal system by becoming involved in human rights law. I chose to take this course because of the opportunity to interact with others who are passionate about global issues, especially due to the current uncertainty in international politics.