Oct. 30, 2020
UCalgary Political Science Undergrad Prize Winner: Cera Cruise
Christian Hillman Prize (valued up to $800) is offered annually to a continuing undergraduate student entering the third or fourth year in the Faculty of Arts, majoring in Political Science who has completed at least three half-courses in Political Science over the last two consecutive terms. This Prize is made possible by the Family and friends of Christian Marie Hillman.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am in my final year of a combined degree in Political Science and Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies. After completing several practicums for Disability Studies I realized that I love trying to understand the institutions that influence how people experience disability and who receives the label ‘disabled’. Adding a degree in Political Science allowed me to explore the concept of power and its relation to disability, and I applied my knowledge when I participated in the Study Abroad field school ‘Ghana: Development in Situ’. During the field school I researched how mental health policy and praxis differed within Ghana, predominantly in the rural North using qualitative data collection methods. This experience was a highlight of my academic career and I feel very fortunate to have received the support of professors in the Political Science department to continue to focus on disability politics.
What have your favourite courses or areas of study been so far?
POLI 381 Introduction to International Relations was the first Political Science course I took that made me realize that politics and disability are inherently connected, and I think that that was a huge turning point for me academically. My favourite course overall would have to be POLI 581, Private Power and Global Governance. The seminar format that was great for getting to explore new ideas with other students who are now some of my closest friends in the program.
After your degree, are there any plans that you would like to share?
After my degree I'm hoping to continue to study institutions and their impact on disability, eventually leading to a career in human rights monitoring or policy making. Using the privilege afforded to me through affiliation with post-secondary institutions I want to be able to act as a megaphone for marginalized voices to share their experiences and impact policy.