Welcome to our SDS Spotlight, where you can learn more about our amazing Social Development Studies Students; past and present.


Ryan ConnellRyan Connell
Coordinator, Student Experience
English Language Institute, Renison University College

What made you choose SDS?
I wanted to pursue an undergraduate degree as a mature student. I had completed a college diploma and two college certificates, but I wanted to pursue an undergraduate degree in a helping skills profession to enhance my work in higher education.

Laura BlackLaura Black
Student Rights and Responsibilities Coordinator  - Conestoga College

I am a proud alumni of SDS. I wanted a program that was focused on asking questions, exploring social issues, and teaching realistic tools for fostering social change without narrowing me into one field of employment. 

Joel Le ForestierJoel Le Forestier
SDS Student

Why did you choose the SDS program at Renison?

Coming out of high school, I had a vague idea that I was interested in the social sciences but I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with them. Social Work had crossed my mind, as had staying in academia as a researcher or going into the public policy field.

PhiPhi, SDS Grad

They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And that’s why Phi, who’s always been known for talking in class, chose SDS directly out of high school.

"My passion is talking with my friends and helping them with their problems. SDS is allowing me to turn my favourite pastime into a career."


ElisabethElisabeth, Arts and Business Grad - majored in SDS

Elisabeth wants to make a change in the world, and she knows that sometimes there’s a practical side to caring. That’s why she chose to major in SDS through Arts and Business.

Not only do I learn how to engage people with developmental disabilities, it also teaches me the skills to work on the business end, like budgeting for groceries in a group home.


MadisonMadison, SDS Grad - Joint Honours Psychology

Not everyone knows what they want to study at 17 years of age. Madison certainly didn’t. She enrolled in Honours Arts and spent her first year exploring a variety of courses, then chose SDS as her major in second year.

“I love that the classes are so small. Most of my SDS professors teach by talking about their personal experiences, and you just don’t get that in a larger lecture hall.”