UVic degree is about learning and action, says grad

Social Sciences

- Anne MacLaurin

For Kathryn Juricic, a social sciences graduate, getting outside and seeing impacts of local work makes her passionate to continue this after her studies at UVic. Juricic began at UVic with the intention of moving on after her first year; however, after taking some environmental studies courses she didn’t want to leave.

“I felt I wouldn’t receive the same calibre of learning and atmosphere anywhere else. I was surrounded by inspirational people who were bound together through learning and action,” explains Juricic.

It was the study of power and processes of change that excited her about the political studies program and a professor who “lit a fire that has yet to die out.” She received a top award, the Walther D. Young Scholarship in 2013 from the department of political science for her excellence in academics. Her courses in political science inspired her to do a double major in another area of interest, environmental studies—leading to a double major in political science and environmental studies.

“Environmental studies at UVic offers an integrated, experiential and impassioned course-load. The school really balances the despair you get from learning about the state of our global environment and social health with the tools and passion to get out in the world and do something about it,” explains Juricic.

During her degree Juricic sought out a field school with the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society. “It is safe to say my mind, body, heart and soul were full! It certainly prepared me for my life because my perspective has been deeply impacted by the experience.” The field school taught aspects of resource management and First Nations self-governance, says Juricic, and it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my undergraduate degree.

Even though Juricic says she didn’t want a career in politics she still jumped at the chance to work in Ottawa for the Green Party—as Parliamentary Intern for the Office of Elizabeth May; a dream job in Juricic’s eyes. She says getting that kind of start in her field has been awesome, and it’s been a interesting glimpse into the world of lawmaking.

“I go to many events and sit in on meetings with Elizab#240; the most memorable being when Treaty Eight First Nations Chiefs came to Ottawa to oppose the Site C Dam.” “Elizabeth May is truly a rockstar and her staff are super. They are all kind and generous individuals who make this experience so rich!”

Combining political science and environmental studies firmly puts Juricic at the intersection of development, energy, First Nations title and many other pressing issues of our time. “I am passionate about all these issues,” she continues. “My future goals include being at this intersection and, through reconciliation, building a sustainable future.”

After her internship, Juricic plans to return to Victoria and take up a position with the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group. Through most of her degree Juricic worked with Fernwood NRG putting on such events as FernFest, FernwoodBites, and the Fernwood Pole Painting Project. From community art projects to local gardens and sustainable social enterprises, says Juricic, is all part of her plan to engage locally.

“I get jazzed about all the amazing work that happens on the West Coast. My plan is to work with different organizations and projects. I hope to help build a resilient local economy in Victoria and beyond.”


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Keywords: student life, alumni, field schools, political science, environmental studies, convocation

People: Kathryn Juricic

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