India Sustainable Development Practicum
By Jennifer Conway ('12) and Eilean Ellison ('11) / Created 2011-04-01
The Auroville, India Sustainable Development Practicum (CM 563), a graduate-level course offered by AUP’s Department of Global Communications, takes a practical approach to teaching development communications. The practicum, which takes place over winter break each year, offers students a chance to create a media project with a local NGO working in the villages in and surrounding Auroville. In addition to fostering relationships with NGOs, students attend lectures on sustainability, detail their experiences in field notes and blog posts and conduct on-site interviews with sustainable development practitioners.
During the practicum, students work with NGOs that focus on women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, community health and well-being, socially responsible business, and/or education. Through this hands-on experience, students gain valuable, real-world knowledge that they can take with them upon graduation.
“It’s one thing to theorize about development in a classroom setting, it’s another thing to practice development in the field,” said Jennifer Conway, an AUP graduate student studying Global Communications and Civil Society. “The practicum provided me with an opportunity to work alongside people who spend every day striving to improve the lives of villagers in rural India—an experience that has proven invaluable in helping me understand the potentials and challenges inherent in a career in sustainable development.”
Just concluding its third year, the Sustainable Development Practicum is lead by Charles Talcott, Assistant Professor of Global Communications, along with Tanya Elder of Linnaeus University in Sweden, which partners with AUP during the month in India. The program is made possible with the continued support of Celeste Schenck, President of AUP; Waddick Doyle, Director of the AUP Division of Global Communications and Film; and Susan Perry, Director of the AUP Division of International Politics, Economics and Public Policy.
Jennifer Conway is a candidate for the Master's in Global Communication and Civil Society ('12).
Eilean Ellison is a candidate for the Master of Arts in International Affairs ('11)