Fun facts about Human and Social Development

New to the Faculty of Human and Social Development? Get to know us better. Here are 10 ways we stand out:

  1. We aren't a traditional academic faculty:

    We are community-based, social justice-informed, and focused on making a difference. Our mission is to build just, equitable, decolonial and sustainable futures. At HSD, our community includes includes health and social care professions including Nursing, Social Work, Health Information Science, Public Health and Social Policy, and Child and Youth Care. We’re also leaders in governance through our schools of Indigenous Governance and Public Administration. We’re diverse, mighty and on a mission to make the future better. Meet some of our fantastic professors, including (from clockwise) Indigenous Governance's Gina Starblanket, Public Health and Social Policy's Karen Urbanoski, Public Administration's Tamara Krawchenko, and Public Health and Social Policy's Matthew Little. 
    2023 HSD Research Excellence winners collage

  2. We walk the talk: 

    Our professors are leaders in community-engaged research, working with communities across Canada and worldwide to address real-world problems. Check out the Fireweed Project, run by Renée Monchalin, an assistant professor in UVic’s School of Public Health and Social Policy, and Astrid Pérez Piñán, an assistant professor in the School of Public Administration (pictured below). These researchers are learning from Indigenous women, Two-Spirit, and LGBTQIA+ community members about access to abortion. Read a Q&A with these amazing researchers!

    fireweed project

  3. We are working to solve crucial public health issues: 

    Professors, students and alumni at HSD are working together to put an end to the toxic drug crisis that has killed more than 13,000 people in British Columbia since 2016. Substance UVic is a store-front drug-checking service that is the only one of its kind in North America. BC is the epicentre of the toxic drug crisis in Canada, and the team at Substance is offering a critical public health service that is saving lives. Read more about how Substance UVic is making a difference. 


  4. We do things differently: 

    What does it mean to be a good visitor? UVic Indigenous Governance (IGOV) students started off their term in a good way, arriving by canoe at the Songhees Nation and asking for permission to live, study and work in their territory. The group of 11 master’s students embarked from the bay behind Songhees Wellness Centre, paddling out into the Salish Sea in a traditional canoe. When they returned, students asked Songhees Elders if they could come ashore. Read more.

    IGOV canoe welcome

  5. We offer cool courses like Healthy Sexuality:

    Let’s talk about sex! Post-doctoral research fellow Aki Gormezano (pictured below) will wow you with how much there is to learn beyond high-school sex-ed class with this frank, funny and fascinating undergrad course offered in fall and spring terms. There are few topics more exciting to learn about than healthy sexuality. You're guaranteed to learn something new about yourself and others. Check out HLTH251

    Aki Gormenzano

  6. Our grads are in demand:

    There is huge demand for health grads across Canada. Meet Health Information Science grad Mariah Fulton (pictured below) who graduated in the spring and is already working in critical care and heart health with Island Health. Almost all of our Health Information Science students are fully employed when they graduate. Read more about Mariah!

    mariah fulton

  7. Our grads are building inclusive futures:

    Meet Social Work grad Adrienne CarlsonAs a girl, Carlson couldn’t imagine attending university. Raised by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet, Carlson quit school in grade 11. She eventually went back to college and transferred to UVic to study for a Bachelor of Social Work, which she completed in 2014. Already far exceeding her own childhood expectations, Carlson didn’t stop there. In November 2022, she received a Master of Social Work Indigenous specialization (MSWI). "I realize I have accomplished far more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed,” she says. Read more.

    Adrienne Carlson

  8. We care about your success:

    Justin Brooks joined HSD as director of Indigenous Initiatives in June. Before joining us, he worked at First Peoples House as the Indigenous Student Support Coordinator for Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement (IACE). For more than 15 years, Brooks has worked extensively with Indigenous youth from across Canada in fields including corrections/parole, social work, program development, and youth mentoring. “The success of our Indigenous students is a high priority for me. As a father of Indigenous youth, I feel a sort of calling when it comes to supporting our students' lives and accomplishments,” he says. Read more about how Justin can support your time as an Indigenous student in HSD. 

    Justin Brooks

  9. We excel at experiential learning:

    HSD students go beyond the classroom to learn from the world around us. Complement your studies through co-operative education, a practicum, internship or community project. Our students can be found gaining experience at hospitals, health authorities, all levels of government, child care programs, non-profit groups, and culturally specific projects in the community. Read about Master of Public Administration student Stephen Joyce (pictured below), who spend a co-op work term in Geneva, Switzerland, working for the United Nations! 

    stephen joyce

  10. We've got options:

    Not sure what you'd like to study? We offer a range of microcredentials and courses that can help push you in the right direction! Check out the new Indigenous Community Development and Governance programs launching in January 2024.