2017 - Dr. Amanda DiPaolo
Department of Human Rights
BA (STU), MA and PhD (Syracuse)
Dr. Amanda DiPaolo is associate professor and Director of the Human Rights Program. Since coming to St. Thomas three years ago, she has become known for her innovation and commitment to the highest standards of teaching, and has received outstanding evaluations from her students. In the classroom, she is able to engage even the most reticent students and uses her knowledge of international legal systems, politics, and human rights to create a broad and versatile learning environment. DiPaolo has expanded the Human Rights Program by adding numerous new courses and an honours component. She teaches courses on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights, and conducts independent studies on issues ranging from constitutional law to the Holocaust. DiPaolo, who earned a BA from St. Thomas University and an MA and PhD at Syracuse University, has research interests in war and terrorism, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the American Bill of Rights, and the judicial process, particularly on rights infringed in the name of national security. DiPaolo developed the Moot Court Program at STU, which is the only Canadian university to be a member of the US Collegiate Moot Court Association. The rigorous program sees students meet the challenge of becoming experts in American constitutional law as they argue cases in front of jurists. Many of her students have earned recognition by finishing among the top 22 teams (out of 350), qualifying for the National Championships, or earning speaking awards. With an intensive program that runs from May to January and includes case briefs and legal arguments, individual practice sessions, dress rehearsals, and four weekends of travel in the US, DiPaolo has dedicated countless hours to help students excel and learn practical skills in analysis, writing, and public speaking, as well as self-confidence and leadership skills.