Assistant Professor Educates and Learns, Both Abroad and Locally

Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Writing, Cristyn Elder describes in an interview with UNM Newsroom that teaching in other countries has been her “passport around the world.” Most recently, Elder was contracted with the U.S. State Department to spend the bulk of this summer working on an English Language Specialist Program in El Salvador. But for Elder, it’s not just about teaching. “Part of my philosophy with these trips,” Elder says, “it’s not just what can you bring to your host country, but what can you learn from them. I think that give and take is really important. My firsthand experiences abroad inform me about challenges international students here might face, and how we can do a better job of supporting them.”

Read the full article from Elder’s interview with UNM Newsroom here.

Elder continued her education of how to better support international students by being involved with a summit to teach teachers how to support and mentor DACA students. The roles were temporarily reversed during this session, where the students became teachers to provide an idea of the hardships that DACA students may face, and how their instructors can help.

Elder said the overarching goal is to move beyond a sanctuary campus to something more accommodating. “A dream campus,” Elder said. “Where we’re offering support and a safe environment for immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ community, workers, students of color.” She was interviewed by KOB 4, which can be viewed here.