Who are PACS students?

Most people entering the PACS program have a variety of interests, and you are given space for those to flourish within PACS classes. PACS is a flexible program where you will really be able to have an academic experience that meets to your specific interests.

A few stories of PACS students are below, where they share their unique approach to PACS and stories of their highlights in the PACS program. Click on each name to read more!

Samuel Farkas

Samuel Farkas Holding a Shovel While Tree PlantingSamuel is currently a 3A student. In addition to his Major in Planning, he is taking a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. Unlike the traditional co-op path, he set foot in his own route when he stumbled upon a new journey: Tree planting in British Columbia, in Western Canada.


Elaina Mohr

Elaina MohrLike many students before her, Elaina Mohr didn’t really know what she wanted to do after high school. What she did know was that she saw a broken world, and wanted to learn more about initiatives that tried to make it better. From there, she enrolled in the PACS program, where she has been able to engage her interests and seek new ways of relating to people.


Eve Astolfi

Eve AstolfiWhen Eve Astolfi initially came to the University of Waterloo, it was to study economics. She had felt like a business degree was one of the only ways to find successful employment post graduation. However, Eve soon discovered that her current academic plan was not well aligned with career goals. After that, Eve switched her area of study several times, in hopes of finding the one that best fit her passion for social justice. She then discovered the PACS program, and she's been invested ever since.


Boushrah Fanous

Boushrah FanousBoushrah Fanous is currently a fourth year PACS student. When she was in high school, Boushrah had intended to enrol in a program like international development or political science. However, no program that she saw really seemed to fit what she was looking for. It was only when a high school teacher suggested that she look into the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Waterloo that she felt like she had found something that fit. The program’s interdisciplinary nature and ability to cover a range of topics appealed from the get-go, and she’s been invested ever since.


Brandon Gascho

Brandon GaschoBrandon Gascho, a recent PACS graduate, was initially attracted to the program after enjoying a class on social policy. Since enrolling in the program, he has learned how to address conflict in a healthy way, shift his thinking, and process grief through circle processes. As he finishes his undergraduate degree, Brandon has plans to move onto higher education with Grebel’s Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies. He has a desire to enter the PACS field, and is excited to further his education this way.


Theo Wiederkehr

theoDuring his childhood, Theo spent 3 years living abroad in Cambodia with his family through Mennonite Central Committee. Theo reflects on his time abroad as a coming of age experience to be suddenly confronted of the implications of our North American life to people on the other side of the world. Inspired by the Cambodian saying, “When the elephants fight, the ants get trampled,” Theo chose the PACS program to further explore his role and responsibility in the world.<--break->

Taylor Legere

taylorin her fourth year of study, Taylor has done it all during her co-op career from working at RBC, to the Communications Coordinator at the University of Waterloo Relations Department, The Ontario Ministry of Children,  Community and Social Services, and her latest position at the Intact Centre for Climate Adaptation.<--break->

Margie McCloskey

Margie For Margie McCloskey, the PACS program was love at first sight when she found it at the Waterloo Fall Open House. Shortly after beginning at Waterloo, she discovered a natural commonality in Political Science.<--break->

Cassie Myers

Cassie MyersA PACS degree, big and powerful ideas, a competitive start-up, and a fierce amount of determination, Cassie Myers is a force to be reckoned with.<--break->

Kayleigh Swanson

Kayleigh Swanson From an out-of-province experience, to a summer in Uganda, and right back to the University of Waterloo, Kayleigh Swanson has done it all through co-op.   <--break->

Anna Giesbrecht

Anna GiesbrechtWhat do Conrad Grebel, restorative justice, and Brazil all have in common? The answer is Anna Giesbrecht. As an Arts and Business student majoring in PACS and minoring in International Studies, Anna took full advantage of the incredible opportunities that had to co-op offer. <--break->

Sukhraaj Shergill

Sukhraaj ShergillAs an Arts and Business student, Sukhraaj ‘Raj’ Shergill focused his studies towards a Joint Honours in Peace and Conflict Studies and Legal Studies. With a dream of attending Law School, Raj attributed much of his learning not only to his schooling, but also to his Co-op positions and volunteer work.<--break->

Maria Oliver

Maria Oliver During her undergraduate degree, Maria was an extremely motivated and passionate student interested in international development. <--break->

Elle Crevits

Elle Crevits Elle created her own start-up: Food Not Waste, where she works to divert food waste to a variety of community organizations in the Kitchener/Waterloo region.<--break->


Rachel Urban Shipley

Rachel Urban Shipley During her undergrad, Rachel undertook an internship with Project Ploughshares, an NGO that conducts research to inform and advance policies related to war prevention, armed violence and peace building.  <--break->


Hilary Sadowsky

Hilary Sadowsky During her undergrad, Hilary did an internship placement in Uganda where she worked with an organization call One4Another International, a pediatric surgical program.   <--break->


Tim Souza

Tim and the Rotaract clubTim spearheaded the initiative to start a Rotaract club at the University of Waterloo so that students can serve and learn together.