Student Profile: Eve Astolfi

Monday, April 19, 2021

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.

Since she was a late transfer, Eve started the first year of Honours PACS in her second year of studies. She has since taken courses in Spring terms so that she could still graduate with her class. She loved the program. Unlike her previous degree plan, Eve did not enrol in the co-op program for PACS. But, she discovered that, in her situation, co-op was not a necessity for her to succeed, and that it was more about doing what she loved long-term.

For Eve, part of falling in love with her education was letting go of her idea that she had to be enrolled in a business degree to be “successful”:

“Arts programs sometimes get a bad name for not being ‘elite’, but you should focus on what you’re passionate about. That’s how you’ll do well; when you’re not interested in a topic, you don’t apply yourself the same way.”

Over the course of her degree, her favourite classes have been PACS 331: Trauma and Healing, which examines how the conflict resolution process can be impacted by trauma, and PACS 329: Restorative Justice, which investigates the history, theory, principles, practices, and people of restorative justice. She mentioned that both of these classes changed her worldview in significant ways as indicated below.

“You don’t realize all of the areas for learning and unlearning in the world, until you are presented with a different lens. That’s what these courses have taught me. Along with that worldview change, you learn to see how people are impacted by their stereotypes and biases and grow to have great empathy for others.”

While taking classes, Eve had the opportunity to work with the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) committee at St. Jerome's University College. While there, she worked with the team to create a survey and conduct research for improving diversity and inclusion at the university. Since completing that role, Eve has worked with the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council, which is in partnership with Lutherwood Employment and Housing Services. Eve was able to take on this position by enrolling in PACS 390: Undergrad Internship course, which allows undergrad students to seek internship placement opportunities with local community transformation organizations implementing work related to PACS.

Additionally, Eve is working to complete her Global Exchange Certificate, which, COVID-19 closures permitting, may take her to Northern Ireland for an exchange, as the area has been significantly impacted by conflict over the past several decades. There, she will be able to relate her PACS learning to the real life experiences of those who have lived in conflict zones.

In the future, Eve hopes to work in the fields of conflict coaching, restorative justice, or the humanities in some similar capacity.

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