The Department of Political Science is pleased to award the 2021 UTSC Political Science Student Leadership Award to Dalraj Gill. Read more below about his experience here at UTSC:
Dalraj is an upcoming 2021 June graduate, majoring in political science and minoring in public law and philosophy.
His experience at UTSC was enhanced by the tight-knit campus community, which allowed him to create lasting friendships and prosper in a learning environment that he felt comfortable in from the very start. The campus provided ample opportunity to get involved while also supporting him with resources to achieve academic success throughout his studies.
His favourite political science courses were POLB50 with Prof. Cochrane, POLC38 with Prof. Kahraman, and POLD89 with Prof. Hoffmann. POLB50 provided the foundational knowledge that would contribute to his success in the program moving forward, and POLC38 allowed for the application of a comparative lens to the global political scheme. Lastly, POLD89 touched on the political nuances of environmental sustainability, a topic that piqued Dalraj’s interest after taking POLA01 with Professor Hoffman in his first year at UTSC.
During this past year, Dalraj served as the Director of Public Law on the Political Science Students Association, where he was responsible for organizing the “Beyond Law School” panel series in which students were able to connect with department faculty and UTSC alumni to explore avenues other than law school for political science graduates. He also took on a work study position with Prof. Kahraman for two terms, during which he analyzed cases heard by the European Court of Human Rights, identified and summarized labour rights cases, and inputted data to be used in creating a database.
He enjoyed bridging together his studies in the program to his life outside campus, as his experiences working with the federal government and political campaigns were often expanded upon or analyzed through many political science courses. He also appreciated the support provided by professors in the political department in not only coursework, but also in employment and research opportunities through work-study positions and references for his law school application, as Professor Kahraman did.
Dalraj will begin his JD studies at Osgoode Hall Law School this fall and intends on practicing the law for a prolonged career. Later in life, he also hopes to acquire a PhD in Sikh History and eventually serve as a professor.
He encourages first-year students to create connections with faculty and fellow peers at UTSC. Oftentimes, first-year undergraduate students feel intimidated when speaking with a professor that is teaching a class of 300 students in a large lecture hall with a microphone and speaker. However, once you speak with your professors and TAs you will realize that they are there to help you and are amazing people to connect with. Dalraj also firmly believes in being as involved as possible, both on and off campus. The most time you will have to take part in such initiatives is during your first year of undergraduate studies, so he encourages students to make use of it as best you can.