For Dylan Matthews, one word defines his Huron experience: ideas.
A CURL Student Fellow and the 2017-18 HUCSC President, Dylan has been able to pursue an issue about which he’s passionate—the commodification of water—as a hands-on researcher generating original content on this hotly-debated subject.
“Last summer, Dr. Wendy Russell emailed me about a Centre for Undergraduate Research Learning project,” Dylan explains. Over the summer Dylan helped research a case in Aberfoyle, Ontario concerning water commodification versus water as a communal resource. “The project asks questions like, what mediates the relationship people have with the consumption of common resources like water? Are these human rights or do we allow for some commodification?”
“It’s been such an honour to work with Dr. Russell on this project. I’ve interviewed a Guelph City Councillor. Being able to research alongside professors has meant I get opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
For Dylan, it’s this access to professors and the community of engaged students that has made the difference. “You know people and there is this sense of collaboration. I can speak with a friend who is in a completely different program and we can bounce ideas off each other and think about how to solve problems. It’s such a unique experience.”
“The small class sizes are amazing,” he adds. “But what makes these classes even more amazing is that we can discuss and debate with your professors. They’re experts in their fields, they’ve written textbooks you’re reading, and they take an active interest in your development and learning over four years. Profs plant a seed to get you thinking in a new way.”
Much like his research on water, for Dylan, leadership with heart means taking a stand. “Being a Leader with Heart means not just having passions, but finding a way to harness your understanding and take a stand. It’s not being a fence-sitter. People might disagree with you but that should never be a bad thing. Leadership with Heart is bringing out the best we all have to offer.”