Students near St. Joseph Hall

Get to know Joel Pruce

Joel PruceJoel Pruce is an individual of integrity and passion. Joel first became involved with human rights and advocacy as a student of Political Science and Philosophy at Rutgers University. Intrigued by the prospect of instilling change in the world, he completed a BA in Political Science and Philosophy, before moving on to earn a MA and a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Denver. Joel is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Human Rights at UD and teaches courses that include Politics of Human Rights, International Law and Organization, and Human Rights and Foreign Policy. As a teacher he claims that, "(his) goal is always to provoke questions, stir enthusiasm, and demonstrate excitement for a cause." Joel finds the politics of human rights to be most provocative and interesting; he asserts that it can be filled with "controversy and conflict, but also hope and power." Ultimately, his aim is to bring his students to a point of passion for their own beliefs and causes. Personally, as a student of international theory, he would like the chance to spend more time in the future exploring the specifically American perspective on human rights.

Beyond the classroom, Joel is a native of New Jersey who has come to love the outdoors and nature from his eight years in Denver. He and his wife Heather Atkinson enjoy exploring parks, hiking, skiing, and walking. They both love their dog Teddy Bear. Being in the Midwest has given them the chance to be closer to their family in New York, New Jersey, and Chicago. Joel is fortunate enough to have both a brother and a sister. His brother is soon to be a father and Joel is very excited for the prospect of becoming an uncle again. Meanwhile Joel’s sister lives in Israel, which has given Joel and Heather the chance to travel to the Middle East to visit. Joel loves to travel and has been to Holland, Italy, Africa, and several countries in South and Central America. If money was no object and time was no limit, he would take the time to explore South and East Asia, as well as more of Europe, because according to Joel, "long travel adventures are just better." Being interested in the international sphere has made Joel very interested in exploring far and wide.

To relax Joel loves to spend time with his wife. Together they have fallen for the Netflix addiction. They have worked their way through shows such as House of Cards and Mad Men. Personally, Joel also has a soft spot for the animated cartoon, Adventure Time which is a show with an abundance of adult and intellectual humor.

To really know Joel it must be understood that he feels a personal responsibility to "evoke passion for social and political change," which is why he teaches young leaders to embrace their own opinions for advocacy. He has the integrity and enthusiasm to engage for other people’s rights. Joel’s advice to his students is "Find a path that allows you to marry your interests to your enthusiasm, because when you are excited about your work you will be truly happy doing it."