Joanne Joseph is a recent graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University with a Bachelor’s in Global Studies. She is an international student of Indian descent born in the UK, having lived most of her life in Dubai and currently residing in Canada to complete her Master’s education. Joanne has always been interested in the impact of geographic locations on the evolution of belonging and identity. The inability to reside permanently in Dubai – given its immigration laws and being away from her temporary long-term home to complete her education in Canada, has made Joanne cognizant of the fluidity of countries on how they govern themselves and the determinants that influence countries to dissolve into political, economic, and social insecurity.
Further, this instability almost always results in people’s unprecedented, forced displacement. Joanne’s response was to pursue the undergraduate program in Global Studies, which enabled her to understand the causes and impacts of migration, among other topics covered in the course. Her passion for the subject led her to participate in a course in her fourth year that worked closely with a university club called ‘International Students Overcoming War’ or ISOW, which facilitated student leadership through experiential learning. Through this club, Joanne had the opportunity to go to Ottawa and meet with various MPs to discuss the forced displacement of refugees and request funding to offer scholarships to people in conflict-afflicted. The philosophy is to offer education as a pathway out of their forced displacement.
Further, this summer, after her graduation, Joanne worked as a Research Assistant for ISOW to continue to show her support for the club. Currently, she is working as ‘Assistant Coordinator’ to organize an academic conference showcasing ISOW’s progress and future steps to be held in March 2023.
While at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Joanne hopes to refine her research, and communication skills and achieve a multidisciplinary understanding required to diversify her opportunities in the field of policy. A specialization in the ‘Environment and Resources’ and ‘Migration, Mobilities and Social Politics’ supports another one of her passions which is effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs as a key instrument to the impending climate crisis.