Canadian Triple-Major Combines Love of Sports with Passion for Advocacy
As part of its series on the class of 2023, Berkeley News profiled Canadian student Ben Coleman, who graduated Saturday with a triple degree in English, political science, and legal studies, and a minor in journalism.
Coleman’s academic career married several of his personal interests. Since childhood, Coleman has had a passion for sports, and he played hockey from the age of five through high school. But Coleman also loved reading and writing. At Berkeley, Coleman combined these interests in his work as a sports reporter for the Daily Cal, eventually being promoted to section editor.
Coleman also has a long interest of community outreach. In high school, Coleman and his sister founded the FANS (Full Access for Newcomers to Sports) Foundation, a non-profit registered in both the US and Canada that helps immigrant families access team sports and other youth activities. Coleman continues to be involved with the group, which has benefitted over 500 children since its foundation five years ago.
As the son of two lawyers, Coleman also understands the power of the law in changing people’s lives. As a student, Coleman held two summer internships with firms in Canada. And at Berkeley, he was a research apprentice with the Berkeley Center on Comparative Equality and Anti-Discrimination Law, addressing issues like the MeToo movement, disability rights, and diversity in education.
Coleman hopes to make community service a central pillar of his post-graduation career. For now, he has accepted a one-year position with the Minnesota Vikings as a social impact associate, working on projects such as youth events and nonprofit partnerships. He then plans to attend law school, to pursue either sports law or nonprofit law.