She Puts the Humanity in Human Resources

Bahareh Assadi, Senior Lecturer of Administrative Science, Vancouver Campus

A woman walks on a trail in scenic British Columbia near Vancouver.

(Photo: Martin Dee)

By Kenna Caprio

Born during the Gulf War, Bahareh Assadi escaped Iran with her mother and sister. Smuggled into Turkey, they reconnected with her father, an anti-regime military and political figure who had fled previously, and who would’ve been tried and executed had they stayed.

“My family and I were stranded for many years before receiving refugee status in Vancouver, British Columbia. We had to start our lives all over again in Canada, but it gave us an opportunity for a safe and peaceful life,” says Assadi, senior lecturer of administrative science at FDU’s Vancouver Campus.

Life as a refugee built resilience into Assadi.

As a mentor and as a professor, her strength and resilience manifest as compassion and respect.

Portrait of a woman standing on a nature trail.

(Photo: Martin Dee)

“I have students who are caught in a juggling act because they are single parents or immigrants or working and studying at the same time, overwhelmed with responsibilities. I’m empathetic and work to create a safe and supportive learning environment,” Assadi says. “Students have emailed me to say that I have had a positive influence on their lives, helping them gain the motivation and confidence they need to pursue their goals.”

Teaching in the Master of Administrative Science program, Assadi prepares her students for careers in business and human-resources management. Before she worked in academia, Assadi spent a decade in sales. She came to the Vancouver Campus first as an adjunct professor in 2012 and took a full-time role in 2017.

"Higher education opens people’s eyes to diverse perspectives, knowledge and insight, which helps individuals grow personally and professionally."
— Bahareh Assadi

“I always look forward to engaging and insightful discussions with my students. With a majority of Vancouver’s students being international, classroom discussions lead to a great exchange of ideas,” Assadi says. “Being a professor gives me the opportunity to develop myself and my students, expand our knowledge and share our experiences.”

In a favorite class of hers to teach — Personnel Administration — she guides students through understanding the role and function of human resource departments within Canadian organizations and companies.

“I like helping students determine if human resources is the right career path for them or not. And I want them to know that it is important to be an authentic leader who understands the importance of strategy, sustainability and ethical decision-making.”

She also values her role as a mentor — in her opinion, a crucial part of lifelong learning and development. “Mentors can provide specific insight and information so that students can develop essential skills and competencies. They help mentees set personal and professional development goals and offer support, guidance and feedback,” says Assadi.

“I wanted to be an educator because it gives my life value. Loving what you do is important to career success. It’s so rewarding to see that you can have a positive impact on students’ lives. It’s special to see them succeed,” she says.


In her free time, away from FDU, Assadi hosts a book club. “We choose four books a year from different genres and have enlightening and enriching discussions.”


“Exercise is the key to a balanced and healthy life. One way I deal with burnout or stress is by biking, hiking or trail running. Connecting with nature and shutting out city noise is how I focus and reset. I love getting in touch with the beautiful scenery in British Columbia.”


Assadi once wanted to be a movie director.


“Giving constructive feedback is important to student performance and growth. Praise students for a job well done and provide them with feedback in areas they need to improve on.”


On her bucket list: learning Spanish and traveling to South America