Aurora Reardanz

Aurora standing in a white hallway. They are wearing a short sleeve red professional shirt with a brown leather belt and wide legged black pants. Their hair is up in a bun.

Associate Director


818 Williams Hall

As Associate Director of Penn’s South Asia Center (SAC)—a United States Department of Education National Resource Center—Aurora manages all aspects of SAC’s programming, initiatives, accounts, and Title VI grants. Aurora is also the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) Coordinator for SAC.

Previously, Aurora was a consultant at the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, focusing on issues of forced labor and mass surveillance against native Turkic and Muslim majority people in the Xinjiang Autonomous Uyghur Region in China. Aurora also completed an internship with the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations' Asia Office which was particularly impactful. Here Aurora was awarded a certificate of appreciation for exceptional support by helping interagency partners anticipate conflict risks in South Asia through the development and facilitation of tabletop exercises and outlining the Bureau's 2021 South Asia strategy among other projects. Some of Aurora's recent independent work in South Asia includes designing and conducting workshops on intercultural negotiation and conflict management in Madurai and Mysore plus travel photography for a collegiate textbook.

Outside of professional pursuits, Aurora finds joy in outdoor adventure activities, exploring, cooking, and traveling. Having studied in India twice (a Hindi CLS with AIIS in Jaipur & a semester at Christ University, Bangalore) and undertaken a year and a half of solo travel across South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bhutan, and Pakistan, as Associate Director Aurora plans to promote a comprehensive understanding of the region within the academic community and beyond. 

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Aurora graduated from Cleveland State University with an M.A. in Global Interactions focusing regionally on South Asia and functionally on conflicts, disasters, and human rights. Aurora's B.A. also from Cleveland State University where Aurora graduated valedictorian, with a B.A. in Nonprofit Administration and International Relations, plus minors in economics and Asian studies. Additionally, Aurora is certified in Public Management, International Humanitarian Law Basic Level Instruction, Level One Archery Instruction, and Yoga Teaching (200 hours).