Elly Hanauer is Associate Director at the Center for Global Studies. We talked to Elly about her job, her background, and her advice to students considering degrees and careers in Global Studies. Here’s what she had to say!
What is your job description? Can you tell me about what you do here?
I’m the Associate Director for the Center for Global Studies. Our overall mission is to globalize the research, teaching and outreach of the university, so it’s a very broad charge, and we do that primarily through funding and program development. We are designated as a National Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Education through the International Foreign Language Education Program as part of their Post-Secondary Education Program. As a National Resource Center we fund a lot of faculty across campus, for example, course development projects that focus on interdisciplinary and global or trans-national policy topics. We specifically reach out to the professional schools on campus, and to encourage interdisciplinary work and collaboration across campus and between the various colleges on campus. For example, we work with the Global Health Initiative to link faculty and students across disciplines working on global health issues. We also administer the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships through this grant. Additionally we develop and run a variety of programs separate from the Department of Education funding. Last year we were awarded a U.S. State Department grant from their Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs to run a Study of the U.S. Institute for Secondary Educators. We bring a group of twenty to thirty mostly high-school educators from all over the world – everywhere from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan – to the Illinois campus for the Global Institute for Secondary Educators. During their time on campus the foreign educators attend lectures and workshops on American studies, U.S. culture, history, and society, and also to on pedagogy and curriculum development. We also develop programs for High School students, K-12 and community college educators. We recently developed and launched a summer workshop (one-credit course) for High School students in Global Studies. In 2013 the workshop was on international human rights. This coming summer we’ll be focusing on environmental sustainability.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I love working with people from all over the world with programs like the Global Institute, and also getting to work with faculty, staff, and students across campus, so I’m not pigeonholed into one department or one area of the world. That’s been really interesting.
What brought you to Global Studies, and how did you choose this as a career?
My academic background, both my BA and MA, were in French. I did my Master’s in France, I studied abroad in France several times, and had always had a strong interest in foreign languages and cultural experiences in study abroad. When I came back from my Master’s, I started working at the Institute of International Education, which is a fairly large non-profit. I administered international scholarship, exchange and professional development programs. Over the years I worked a lot more on international development programs, and I ended up focusing on women’s issues, and working with women’s organizations in the Middle East promoting women’s leadership. I was there for about five years and I absolutely loved it, but I also missed the university environment, and I wanted to get back into that atmosphere. I decided to go back to school for my PhD in International Education. My academic focus was still on France, and my dissertation, “The Discourse and Teaching of Immigration History in France: Negotiations of Terminology, Ideology and School Space” examines how the topic of immigration is addressed in French high schools. While I was working on my PhD I continued to work on international education programs, for example I worked on one of the State Department Study of the U.S. Institutes at New York University, so I was still keeping a foot into the administration of international programs. At the Center for Global Studies I really enjoy working as an academic professional, which bridges both academic inquiry and program management.
What would you say to a student who is considering a degree in Global Studies?
I would say, study abroad for a full year. I would say that they should definitely try to do an internship of some sort, to get some professional experience abroad as well as in this country to get a sense of what the workplace is like, but also to just figure out what you want to do. I know for me while I was in school I didn’t have any sense of what I wanted to do professionally. It was not until I had some internships and work experience that I was able to make those decisions. I would also definitely recommend to anyone who wants to go on to graduate study to also make sure you take some time to work in the real world to get that perspective and experience.