Simmons Students Tackle World Problems

October 14, 2016

Hugo Kamya

We caught up with Professor Hugo Kamya about the Simmons World Challenge theme — Arresting Aggression: Non-violence as an Option for Change

What made you make the move to teach at Simmons?

I've been at Simmons for 10 years and teach in the School of Social Work as a Professor of Clinical Practice. Simmons appealed to me because of its focus on social justice. I've found faculty and students who are committed to collaboration and work well together toward the goals of social justice. Another important draw for me was the ability to engage my passion in research, teaching and practice in an integrated manner.

What's your favorite thing about your students?

My students have a strong sense of curiosity that propels them into new territories. In some cases, I feel they have taught me more than I could ever imagine offering them. Their zest for knowledge is boundless.

Tell us about the Simmons World Challenge theme — Arresting Aggression: Non-violence as an Option for Change

There is so much violence in our our everyday lives. This violence spans from the confines of our homes to regional, local, national and international levels. Although so much violence abounds, there are models for change and transformation. There are people who have opted for non-violence. Often these choices for non-violence remain among the unsung heroes of our times. Our hope is to begin to open up opportunities of valuing these voices and bring them to the forefront. Students can be an important voice in this discussion. We also hope they can begin to imagine a world without violence.

What kind of projects and discussions can students expect to participate in during the Simmons World Challenge?

We would like to to let students see those who took the risks to make a difference and are changing the face of violence. We hope to introduce students to people who are doing this work at local, national and international levels. We will have them walk the streets of Boston and engage men and women who are committed to the work against violence. We will introduce them to organizations like Mothers for Justice who have made a commitment against violence. Some of these women have watched their children die mercilessly in gang violence. We will introduce them to mediation and negotiation skills that will help them think about violence differently. We will also have them engage in local and international projects that seek restorative justice practices.

Why should students participate in the Simmons World Challenge?

Students need to engage these topics as they go out into the world. The fact that Simmons World Challenge engages students from all units of Simmons creates a true learning community. It also offers students opportunities to engage in actionable endeavors.

Do you have a Simmons Moment?

When I was hired, the President of Simmons said to me: "This is your home. We would like you to thrive and do well."

At Simmons, I have found not only my home but my passion for learning and quest for excellence.