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Join us at Laurier

Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

Olivia Polihronis (BA '22)

"Every professor I had was so helpful. They always responded to emails and always promoted their office hours if students ever needed extra help — I didn't feel as though I was a burden to them at all.

"The Human Rights and Human Diversity (HRHD) program is very small but very powerful. We are very passionate about being HRHD students and educating others about our program because we know how important it is. If you want to enhance knowledge of human rights, then this program is most definitely for you.

"I really enjoyed my first two years at Laurier and would recommend this program to anyone that has an interest in law, fighting for rights, being aware of the rights we hold as Canadian citizens, and the rights that can be so easily infringed by governments around the world."

Elizabeth Baisley (BA '12)

PhD candidate

"I really enjoyed the topics covered in the Human Rights and Human Diversity program. In fact, I can't remember a course, reading, or lecture topic that did not interest me. Being interested in the subject matter makes the long process of earning a degree much easier and more enjoyable. At the same time, I also learned a lot about human rights in both domestic and international politics. The interdisciplinary nature of the program helped me think about issues from the perspectives of philosophy, sociology, political science, philosophy and law."

Stephanie Webb-Addei (BA '13)

communications coordinator

“HRHD is an excellent program and faculty and staff continually strive to make it even better. I loved a lot of courses — social justice, law, crimes against humanity history, etc.

"As a mature student, I enjoyed being able to form relationships with my mentors and leaders — which was made easy on a small campus like Laurier Brantford. The fact that this program offered on a small campus is a positive in my mind and it certainly hasn't taken away from it — the program offers an amazing internship in Ghana and any other ‘extras.’

"Having insight into healthy and sustainable development, personal experience through the Ghana internship and overall understanding of social justice, crimes against humanity, etc. have been great assets in my current career. Better understanding where are partners come from and having the grace to walk alongside them, ensuring that how we work is relationship focused rather than anything that looks dominating."

Cassandra Voets (BA '19)

"I actually started off in the Youth and Children's Studies program and after taking some human rights electives in first year, I realized I really enjoyed it and decided to double major. The great thing about this program is that it pairs really well with so many other programs, like Youth and Children's Studies, Law and Society, and Criminology.

"What I love most about my program are all the opportunities it provides. I was able to take part in a Community Service-Learning placement, where I volunteered in an ESL classroom. I also participated in a three-week field course in Mexico on human migration, where I was able to visit and interview refugees. It is these experiences that will set me apart from other students in the future when I am applying for graduate school or a job, which is exactly why I love my program so much.

"And there are many amazing professors in the human rights program. They are all so dedicated and passionate about the material they teach.

"The great thing about this program is that it teaches you so many different skills like research, grant writing, fundraising, etc. Also, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I came to university, but this program has helped me focus in on the things that interest me and get a better image of the job I see myself in."

Alexa Kovacs (BA '18)

"This program is informative and inspiring and the professors at Laurier, especially in HRHD, are excellent at both teaching and connecting students to the professional world. I learned a lot about myself in this program, and I've learned even more about human rights, law, injustice, advocacy and policy throughout the world.

"I really enjoyed learning about the efforts of people, non-profits, NGOs and governments around the world to protect human rights/vulnerable persons. You receive a lot of information regarding volunteering, working and networking possibilities in the community and internationally. Courses are both interesting and inspiring to anyone interested in helping people.

"Laurier is an incredibly inclusive university, and its small size allows even struggling students to access help when needed and thrive both in school and outside of the classroom.

"The program has helped me get out of my shell and network with professionals in a variety of careers and industries. Because of my experience in this program, I am now a volunteer with immigration services, at a women's shelter, an intern member with the board of a local non-profit agency, and a potential candidate for a postgraduate program in social work."

Jeanette Pickett Pierce (BA '13)

PhD candidate

"The faculty in the HRHD program are not only knowledgeable in their respective areas, but also took the time to make themselves available to help me through any obstacles, academic and personal, that I encountered in my undergraduate years. A further benefit of pursing a degree in HRHD at Laurier’s Brantford campus was the opportunity to combine my studies with a degree program at the Brantford campus.

"As a PhD candidate, the HRHD program had a profound effect on shaping the trajectory of my academic career, providing me both the knowledge and the confidence required to continue on with my academic studies."

Jaspreet Kaur (BA '18)

"I enjoyed that I was able to incorporate my own beliefs and perspectives in a lot of my courses. The program focuses on issues within Canada and outside of Canada. I learned about a variety of things throughout the duration of my time here and it sparked many new interests for me.

"If you’re very passionate about human rights and social justice, then this is the program for you. I went into it wanting to become a lawyer in the end because I am very much of an advocate for human rights and social justice, and this seemed like a great fit for me. I would definitely recommend pairing this program with another major or specialization, or even the Conestoga certificates offered in the third year of the program.

"Take advantage of everything you can on campus. Talk to your profs. Get involved. Make connections. It makes your experience so much more valuable and enjoyable. You will leave with a lot under your belt this way and get the most out of your university experience."

Sharyne Williams (BA '18)

"I was able to explore different research interests such as gender, race, migration and more. This program expanded me knowledge in all of these areas and also allowed me to choose what I wanted focus on going forward.

"This program develops your research and professional skills through all the different courses available. It also has a huge connection with Laurier International, which encourages students to travel and experience the world through experiential learning."

Dammee Sero (BA  '17)

information analyst/researcher at Service Canada

"The Mexico field course allowed me to travel to Mexico and see a different perspective. In some way, it broadened my horizon. It made me a better me and allowed me to see the world and myself differently.

"This program equips you with the skills and knowledge you need to make an impact in our society and the world. You gain skills in research, presentation and teamwork, etc.

"The program prepared me for the real world and the degree has helped me get my dream job with the federal government.

"My time at Laurier won't have been a success without the support of other staff from Laurier. I would like to add that there are many amazing staff members that make Laurier not just a school but home."

Abby Myles (BA '19)

residence education advisor, Residence Athletic Council campus council advisor, campus ambassador

"Human Rights and Human Diversity is a program that involves and incorporates a wide range of topics and many controversial ideas. This leads to a lot of discussion in, courses where we are able to utilize and better understand the course content because we’re working through it to support our arguments. I love the way that the courses and discussions with my peers challenge my perspective and cause me to have a greater appreciation and understanding of the viewpoints of others.

"You can make this program completely unique to you and your interests. There are many different specializations, college partnerships, options and minors to choose from. This results a program that helps students explore possibilities of future employments and opportunities to gain real world experiences.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Laurier and if I could give one piece of advice to incoming students, it would be to get involved. Laurier fosters a very welcoming, passionate and involved community, that holds large amounts of opportunities for its students. This is an amazing place to find and use your voice to cause positive change."

Contact Us:

Alicia Schiassi, Academic Program Assistant

T: 519.756.8228 x5517

Faculty and Staff


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