Congratulations to the Class of 2023!

Faculty of Social Sciences
School of Psychology
School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies
School of International Development and Global Studies
students throwing graduation caps in the air
Congratulations to the Class of 2023! On June 9, 2023, a new group of FSS students will graduate and become alumni of the University of Ottawa. We caught up with three of our new graduates, Yasmin Rajwani, Nicolas Cadieux and Ghizlène Sehabi, to find out more about their journey at the Faculty and their next steps.
Yasmin Rajwani

Yasmin Rajwani completed her Honours Bachelor of Social Science degree in International Development and Globalization. She will be starting law school at the University of Toronto in the fall, pursuing a combined Juris Doctor and Master of Global Affairs. In the future, she hopes to work at the intersection of law and international relations, possibly in the non-profit sector.

What do you value from your time at uOttawa, and specifically at FSS? 

My time at uOttawa has consisted of a rich academic path combined with an enjoyable student experience. As a graduating FSS student, I value the opportunities we were provided to think critically, get involved in our local and international community, and advocate for those experiencing marginalization. I am grateful that the school’s renowned CO-OP program provided me with unique opportunities to work in the public sector in the nation’s capital. I also appreciate how the multicultural and bilingual composition of our student community allowed me to engage with and learn from individuals of diverse backgrounds.

Did a professor or class stand out to your during your time here? 

I have immense gratitude for all the professors, staff, and peer mentors who guided and supported my work during my years at the university. I am thankful to Dr. Rebecca Tiessen for her contribution to building student engagement opportunities and fostering campus connections even amid the virtual landscape due to the pandemic. Dr. Audrey Giles of the Faculty of Health Sciences has been another great mentor for me, who introduced me to the world of academic research and who always encourages her students to strive for their full potential.

Do you have a favourite memory from your time here? 

There are many memories to choose from, but among my favourite are the International Development Week (IDW) conference and the annual Panda games. Both as a conference organizer and participant, attending the IDW conference was a unique opportunity for people to come together around a common interest and pushed my learning beyond the classroom setting. The Panda games were such an exciting time to showcase our campus spirit and celebrate our team’s accomplishments.

nicolas cadieux

Nicolas Cadieux will be starting his PhD program in anthropology here at the University of Ottawa starting in the fall.

What do you value from your time at the University of Ottawa, and specifically at FSS?

FSS is an inviting space that has allowed me to flourish academically for many years. It's here, looking out at the view from one of the many windows or meditating by the wall of plants, that I've been able to develop my creativity and intellectual intuition. It was also within its walls that I met colleagues and even professors whom I can now call friends. It was at the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Social Sciences that I found my community.

What advice would you give to young students pursuing similar studies?

You have to take the time to find your comfort zone and make a place for yourself on campus. The university is filled with work and relaxation spaces, interest and research groups, and resources of all kinds for students. Take the time to familiarize yourself with what's on offer, and experience campus life with open arms.


Ghizlène Sehabi will be starting her MA/PhD program in clinical psychology in September here at the University of Ottawa.

What do you value about your time at the University of Ottawa, and specifically at FSS?

The Ottawa campus is easily accessible and open-plan and offers a pleasant environment in which to study. The Faculty of Social Sciences is a place I really appreciate. Not only is the building beautiful, but the café there (La Première Moisson) has the best croissants and chocolatines! The members of FSS are a real family. They are incredibly supportive and motivating, which creates a warm and encouraging atmosphere.

Did any of your teachers or courses stand out during your time here? 

Absolutely! First of all, there's Professor Jude Mary Cénat, director of the Vulnerability, Trauma, Resilience and Culture (VTRaC) laboratory. He's one of the only professors to have so many students from diverse backgrounds, and he studies issues that really speak to me, such as racism and its impact on mental health. There's also Dr. Sophie Lebel, director of the Psychosocial Oncology Laboratory. Dr. Lebel had come to give a presentation in one of my undergraduate Health Psychology classes and I was hooked right away, so I emailed her right after class to get involved in her lab, and from there our great adventure began! I'm lucky enough to be pursuing my PhD under her supervision, and she's an extraordinary mentor. Not only is she an exceptional director, but she is also caring and genuinely concerned about the well-being and success of her students. 

What advice would you give to young students pursuing similar studies?

Don't be afraid to seek information from graduate students, professors, faculty members... Everyone starts somewhere sometime, and don't be intimidated to learn and make mistakes! Don't stop at a rejection or an unanswered e-mail from a lab supervisor. Access to a doctorate in clinical psychology is fiercely competitive, so don't leave anything to chance!