Lecturer Spotlight: An Interview With Rachel Warnick

Rachel Warnick first volunteered with PROWIBO in 2018 as a member of our all-female program at the Karamat Husain Muslim Girls PG College Lucknow, India. At Karamat Rachel led a course entitled  ‘Raise Your Voice’, a highly-interactive programme aimed at developing impactful communication skills that students found invaluable throughout many aspects of their professional and personal lives. This year Rachel is volunteering her time and expertise to two of our short coursesSrinakharinwirot University in Bangkok, Thailand and the African Rural University in Kagadi, Uganda.

Why did you volunteer for PROWIBO?

I teach around the world and meet so very many incredible, eager, capable students. I love Prowibo’s mission to bridge the education divide between countries; it aligns perfectly with some of my key core values: learning, community building and service to others.  I’m excited to contribute to the journeys our students are undertaking. After my incredible experience on Prowibo’s India project last year, it was unthinkable not to return this year!

What would you expect to accomplish in your courses?

Strong communication skills have never been in greater demand than in today’s workplace, and yet we’re only just starting to teach them as discrete competencies.  Nowadays, people who communicate aren’t always co-located and don’t necessarily have real-time conversations, which creates very complex challenges and demands clarity and concision, particularly when using the new media of modern technology.  With this in mind, I’ve designed a course I’ve called ‘Contemporary Communications’’ which will explore different aspects through projects and activities centred on the theme of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Together, my students and I will work on building core skills to make their communications more effective and powerful, and on building the confidence to use those skills in their professional and personal lives.

As a returning professor, what did you already accomplish through the courses you taught?

Last year, I had the privilege and the pleasure of being part of the first PROWIBO all-female team in Lucknow, India.  We worked with students at Karamat Girls’ PG College and with women at Sanatkada, a local women’s NGO. These participants brought great energy and enthusiasm to the sessions, making it a very exciting experience for us.  At its foundation, my course guided students to learn new skills and put them into practice. After the course, I received a great deal of wonderful feedback from the participants such as: “From the deepest core of my heart, I wish to express my affection and reverence to the professors who gave us this experience of learning which is beyond the boundaries of nation … I pledge that your teachings will forever remain with me and I’ll nourish them until they become a part of me.” – Shivangi

Moreover, the summer school created an opportunity to encounter and examine other cultures, which brought fresh perspectives for all of us and helped us to expand and explore beyond our existing horizons.  In an increasingly interconnected world, this experience is invaluable on both professional and personal levels, and I am proud to have co-produced this with my exceptional teammates. On a personal note, this was a tremendously enriching experience.  As a feminist, facilitating groups of young ladies and women is particularly meaningful – not to mention doing so on a very talented all-female team.  I am honoured to learn about their challenges and triumphs; to discuss where our experiences intersect and where they are unique.  Naturally, it is incredibly fulfilling to guide a learning journey that helps these women to build tools that will add to their empowerment.

Many thanks to Rachel for sharing her insights. We are looking forward to following your journey this summer.

Learn more about Rachel

Learn more about PROWIBO’s 2019 short courses

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