With a specific focus in development communication that promotes social change, the communication for development and social change (CDSC) graduate program at Klein College of Media and Communication is only one of two such programs in the country. Its novelty has attracted media professionals such as Ariunzul Gantulga, KLN '20, who are invested in strengthening individuals and communities through various communication methods. As evidence of her commitment to development communication, Gantulga was recently hired at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as a national media and communication analyst in the Mongolia Country Office. In this role, Gantulga helps communicate the many initiatives of UNFPA while helping make a difference in Mongolian citizens' lives.
Gantulga was a reporter in Mongolia, her home country, and worked in the nonprofit world before attending Klein through a Fulbright Program scholarship. In the CDSC program, she gained a theoretical background that supplemented her experiences in community and journalism work. And she even made meaningful connections: before applying for her current position, a CDSC alumna who works for the UN came to Temple to speak to students about the intergovernmental organization, and provided them with insider knowledge.
After graduating from Temple, Gantulga decided to move back to Mongolia due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. She started her position remotely and part-time in July, and then moved to a full-time, in-person schedule in August. As a media and communications analyst, she is responsible for organizational visibility like writing press releases, but she is not limited to strategic communication. As the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA has also been performing COVID-19 responses in Mongolia.
"This time is more unique because we have a lot of programs as a COVID response," Gantulga says. "So since I started working here I've been doing a lot of communications work for the COVID programs. Recently we got a grant from [the] Luxembourg government...where we're going to help maternity hospitals to get PPEs and respiratory ventilators."
Tom Jacobson, director of the CDSC program, recognized Gantulga's intelligence and aptitude early on and is not surprised that she was quickly hired for her position.
"She not only had development in her background before she applied for her job with UNFPA but she had gotten skills up here in communication techniques," he says. "And she went back and surveyed the community of development organizations and their use of communication. So she was...well-prepared to be helpful to UNFPA in terms of helping with their communication programs."
Gantulga is looking forward to flexing the CDSC muscles she gained in her graduate program. She is most excited to start working on an ongoing UNFPA component that aims to combat gender-based violence. Gantulga hopes to get more involved in this component — which launches its second phase in the fall — and other developmental UNFPA initiatives in Mongolia that utilize development communication.