University of Victoria
The Ring - The University of Victoria's Community Newspaper

June 5, 2003 · Vol 29 · No 9

Spring Convocation 2003


Women's studies grad determined to break down barriers


ShinabaJulia Shinaba already had a successful career as a business owner and college instructor in the hospitality industry before she came to UVic, but she had always dreamed of working on women's issues.


"When I got to Canada and couldn't continue in my profession without going back to school," says the Nigerian-born human rights worker and activist, "I said what the hell? Why do I have to continue to do the same thing when all along my passion is to work with women?" And so she went for it, regardless of the obstacles along the way.


Shinaba says it was hard to get into UVic due to difficulties transferring credits from African institutions. "But having jumped that hurdle, " she says, "I'm grateful to have the opportunity to prove myself. I've acquired a tremendous amount of knowledge from this university."


Now that she's cleared that barrier, she wants to make it easier for others to do the same. "There are many people out there who can really give a lot to society but don't have the chance to do it. The door should be opened a little bit more," she says, and she'd love to be the one to crack it wider.


Shinaba says her success comes partly from the support of her partner, Prof. Olusegun Olunloyo. She's also quick to credit her instructors, especially Drs. Annalee Lepp, Jo-Anne Lee, and Christine St. Peter, for helping her develop the skills she'll need for her dream job-contributing to international human rights policies on issues relevant to women and Third World development.


A lot of Shinaba's experience comes from her work outside of the classroom. On top of outstanding grades and managing a household with two teenaged sons, Seyi and Jide, she's worked with a myriad of human rights and diversity-related organizations.


"I'm still willing to do more if there's the chance," smiles Shinaba. "I'm a go-getter. I like to make a difference wherever I am."






Lasting legacy

Lou-Poy takes oath as ninth chancellor

Honorary degrees

Class of '64 caps convocation

Major medal winners

Grad stories

Ben Blackmore

Leigh Cormier

Ken Cryderman

Ross Kang

Lehna Malmkvist

Sheri Molnar

Tamara Rozeck-Allen

Julia Shinaba

Alice Tyrrell

Dr. Brigitte Vachon

Daniel Vanderster

Andrés Vidal Gadea

Trev Williams