Project Description

Professor Tanya Elder

Assistant Professor of Global Communications 

Upon arriving at AUP in the Fall semester of 2001, Tanya Elder began teaching intercultural communications. Over the next two decades, she taught numerous classes within what is today the Department of Communication, Media and Culture, including in anthropology and sociology, as well as FirstBridge classes for incoming students. She is also an AUP parent; her daughter graduated in the Class of 2021. 

During a brief period away from AUP, Elder worked in India with alumnus Laurent Sauerwein ’62. Upon on return to the University in 2008, she was instrumental in establishing the Sustainable Development Practicum in Auroville, India, which is one of AUP’s most well-loved study trips and which has now been running for over a decade. Elder and Sauerwein initiated the month-long practicum to expose students to sustainable development in practice, while challenging students’ preconceptions about development and NGO work. The practicum is a flagship example of how experiential learning forms a vital core element of the AUP curriculum. As of 2010, Elder has co-run the practicum in collaboration with Professor Charles Talcott. 

When Elder left AUP once again in 2010 to set up a degree in undergraduate communications in Linnaeus University, Sweden, she kept close ties with the University, bringing students from Linnaeus along to the Sustainable Development Practicum and encouraging all participants to share their cultures and experiences across institutions. She returned to AUP in 2014 to build up the development communications track of the MA in Global Communications, which is today among AUP’s most well-established graduate programs.