The PROFile - Christina Szurlej

Instructor of Conflict Resolution Studies

Before diving into a lecture on human rights and conflict resolution, Dr. Christina Szurlej likes to start off her class with some music. She even takes requests, and if you just happen to ask for Tanita Tikaram’s Dust on My Shoes she’d likely be happy to oblige. 

Szurlej is a member of the Global College and Menno Simons College and has been teaching for three years. Her research areas include the human rights monitoring mechanisms of the United Nations, the responsibility to prevent and protect, and the balance between counter-terrorism initiatives and human rights. Currently, Szurlej has written one book which has been accepted for publication and is due out in 2015.

Szurlej says she sometimes marks papers while cycling at the gym and even though the increased endorphins may make for a happier prof, she says she doesn’t enjoy giving bad grades, but good grades need to be earned.

Her best lecture came on what could be called a terrible day. 

“After spilling coffee on my beige blazer and breaking a heel, I delivered one of my best lectures to the largest class I’ve ever had just a few weeks ago,” she says. 

And with a coffee stained jacket and a broken heel, Szurlej has a trick to manage stage fright.

“I remember it’s not about me; it’s about conveying the content.”

• • •

AGE:  “My best kept secret.”

AREA OF RESEARCH: Human rights monitoring mechanisms of the United Nations, the responsibility to prevent and protect, balancing counter-terrorism and human rights, the travaux preparatoires of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.




SUPERPOWER: “It would be nice to magically produce accurate, transparent, fair and thorough marking in the blink of an eye, though this takes more time than students may think.”

Published in Volume 69, Number 13 of The Uniter (November 26, 2014)

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