1st Annual Conference 2011


Sequence of Events

Fall 2011

Details for the annual conference occurring this upcoming March are currently being finalized. Be sure to keep updated for dates and topics!

March 24th, 2011

Today is the last day to register for the 1st Annual Student Conference on International Development. Make sure you get one of the last few seats!!!

March 17th, 2011

Just a reminder that tomorrow March 18th at 2:00pm in MacKirdy Hall we will be having a volunteer meeting. If you can’t make it be sure to send an e-mail to Sarah at said.waterloo@gmail.com See all of our fantastic volunteers tomorrow!

March 16th, 2011

Registration is filling up quickly! Make sure you reserve your spot today…click on the registration link for more information.

March 14th, 2011

Check out the ‘speaker bios’ tab to see who we have recruited for the afternoon panel discussion! Should be a very educational and informative conversation.

March 7 , 2011

Fantastic news! The UW Engineers Without Borders Chapter will be joining us on the 25th for the Conference. This very active organization on campus will be a great source of information for all students. We look forward to having them 🙂 Feel free to check out their website for more about what they are involved with http://uwaterloo.ewb.ca

March 5, 2011

A big thank-you goes out to the Environment Student’s Society who has agreed to sponsor the conference. Thanks for the support ESS!!!

March 3, 2011

UW WUSC is on board to be part of the conference. The local chapter for World University Service of Canada will have a representative as part of the exhibitor team. To find out more about WUSC and the UW Chapter please visit http://www.wusc.ca/

March 2, 2011

Today we got our first confirmed exhibitor from a group on campus. Beyond Borders will be sending a representative to staff a booth throughout the day. Make sure to stop by and talk to them for some information about many great opportunities St. Jerome’s program has to offer overseas.

February 26th 2011

Great news everyone! Our own director, Professor Larry Swatuk, has agreed to act as moderator for the panel discussion in the afternoon. We look forward to having you with us Professor Swatuk.

February 25th 2011

We are looking for some interested university students to volunteer for the conference.

Whether you can be there for the whole day or only for a few hours we would love to have your help.

For more information or if you are available please e-mail said.waterloo@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

February 24th 2011

A month and a day until the conference and we’ve confirmed some exciting news. Christal  Earle co-founder and chief spokesperson from ABSOLUTE Leadership Development Inc will deliver our keynote address!

Christal has a lifetime of experience with voluntourism and is eager to present an informative and entertaining talk on the many dynamics that go along with participating in voluntourism trips. We look forward to her joining us 🙂

For more information about Christal and ABSOLUTE we encourage you to  check out their website: http://absolute.org/meet-our-team/

Speaker Bios

Keynote Address: Christal Earle

Christal Earle, along with her husband, Vaden, is the co-founder and chief spokesperson of Absolute Leadership Development Inc., a not-for-profit organization that exists to empower emerging generations to change their world by living their lives with purpose. Absolute focuses on doing motivational presentations in high schools across Canada and internationally.

As well, Absolute is the parent organization for Hero Holiday®, a humanitarian program that takes thousands of participants to developing countries around the world, building schools, houses, and children’s homes.

Christal has an intense passion for this generation, and is committed to seeing lives changed through love, justice and mercy. She immediately engages her audience with enthusiasm and humour, but also captivates them with genuine sincerity and insightful applications. Her dedication to change is infectious, and challenges all to make a difference in the world. She has spoken to more than 800,000 youth and young adults across North America, Europe, South East Asia and the Carribean, and has partnered with organizations such as World Vision, Viva Network, the Red
Cross and CASAA.

Christal is based out of Hamilton, Ontario.

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Larry Swatuk

Professor Swatuk is the Director and Associate Professor for the International Development Program at the University of Waterloo. He obtained both a BA (Hons) and MA in Political Science from the University of Windsor before going on to achieve a PhD in Political Science from Dalhousie University. Before taking on the position of Director at the University of Waterloo Professor Swatuk spent many years in Africa as a Senior Fellow and Research Team Leader with the African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies, Ford Foundation Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Southern African Studies at the University of Western Cape, Lecturer with the Department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Botswana, and as an Associate Professor with the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre at the University of Botswana. Presently Professor Swatuk teaches INDEV 100 – Introduction to International Development, INDEV 200 – Political Economy of Development, and INDEV 302 – Development Agents at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Sanjay K. Nepal

Professor Nepal is an Associate Professor with the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. He obtained an MA in Geography from Tribhuvan Univerity in Nepal, Msc in Rural and Regional Development Planning from the Asia Institute of Technology in Thailand as well as a PhD in Geography from the University of Bern in Switzerland. His main research interests are in exploring the links between biodiversity conservation and tourism, particularly in areas of resolving conflicts between wildlife agencies and local communities, tourism impacts on the environment (in parks and protected areas, and remote communities), community participation, and local level development through tourism. Current research focus is in Nepal, Thailand and Western Canada. At the University of Waterloo he teaches GEOG 323/REC 383 Perspectives on International Tourism.

Daniel McRoberts

Originally from Banff, AB, Dan McRoberts is in his first year as an MES Candidate in Tourism Policy and Planning at the University of Waterloo. In 2010, he graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in  International Development Studies from Trent University in Peterborough, ON. As part of this degree program, he spent one year in Ecuador, an experience which included a four-month placement with a  community tourism project in the Andes. His thesis research will focus on how solidarity tourism in Nicaragua can help build international networks of resistance to neoliberalism.

Abid Virani

Abid Virani is a young philanthropist with a passion for youth engagement, HIV/AIDS, and writing. When Abid was fifteen years old, he began blogging about world issues. Overtime, he co-founded Student Reach International, a non-profit organization committed to engaging youth in humanitarian initiatives. This year, SRI will receive charitable status under the name of I Have Hope In The Fight Against AIDS. He is the recipient of many accolades, including the Canadian Top 20 Under 20 award. Currently, Abid is studying international development at the University of Guelph and working on a book titled, “Finding hope in a scary world.”

Stephanie Higgs

Stephanie Higgs is currently in her second year of Honours International Development at the University of Waterloo. While she would have pursued her interests in International Development regardless of participating in a voluntourism experience, she has participated in two. Stephanie’s first experience with voluntourism was with Free the Children in India when she was seventeen, the following year she traveled to Ethiopia with the Consolata Missionaries for a similar experience. Stephanie hopes to pursue a career in South East Asia and to continue to work in the developing world.

Vicky Vanthof

Vicky Vanthof is an 18 year old student currently in grade twelve at Englehart High School in Englehart Ontario. She has taken part in two Hero Holiday trips; the Dominican Republic in July 2009 and Thailand in August 2010. After having a life changing and cultural shock in Dominican, Vicky decided to continue her humanitarian efforts in Thailand. While there she helped with building projects, taught at an English camp and spent countless hours playing with the children who live at the buddies along the roadside orphanage. These trips, especially her trip to Thailand, have inspired Vicky to continue making a difference. She currently sponsors a child at the orphanage as well as encourages her school through presentations on her trips. Last Christmas Vicky and her school sent 130 Christmas presents to the orphanage to ensure that every child got a gift.



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