Back to School: WVPU Alumni Reconnect as Adjunct Faculty
August 21, 2023
Webster Vienna Private University (WVPU) takes great pride in its alumni community, which consists of accomplished professionals who are excelling in their respective fields. This September, several alumni are heading back to school as faculty.
Next month, Palais Wenkheim will welcome back several Webster Vienna alumni as adjunct faculty members. With their combined decades of industry experience, these professionals will bring real-world career and research experience into the classrooms.
Ana Tajder: Mastering Strategic Writing for Interactive Media
Ana Tajder, an alumna who completed her Bachelor of Arts in Management in 1997 and earned an MBA in 1999, joins the Webster Vienna adjunct faculty this fall and will teach Strategic Writing for Interactive Media. With her invaluable experience in the interactive media landscape, she will guide Webster Vienna students in crafting compelling narratives and effective communication strategies.
“Thanks to my degrees at Webster, I learned practical, real-life skills and tools, taught by professionals working in the field, which made me feel absolutely prepared once I started pursuing my career,” Tajder said.
“I worked at the Croatian Mission to the UN and OSCE for four years, witnessing my country’s entry into these international organizations. After my MBA, I spent many years in the corporate environment working in strategic market planning, international marketing, and advertising in international corporations, such as A1, Ogilvy & Mather, and Publicis. Fifteen years ago, I embarked on my second profession as an author, journalist and podcaster.”
Tajder has published award-winning books, hundreds of essays, interviews and articles, and worked as a Hollywood reporter. Three years ago, she launched an award-winning podcast called “Thank You, Mama,” and now runs writing workshops based on the podcast. She is even working on a “Thank You, Mama” book.
“Without a narrative that makes you stand out in today’s noisy world, you can’t get a job, start a company, sell a product or service, get funding, or acquire followers," Tajder said. "I’d love for students to finish my course feeling equipped to apply strategic communication and storytelling in all their endeavors.”
Franz Stefan Gady: Analyzing International Affairs Through Military Power
Franz Stefan Gady, a 2006 graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, embarks on a new chapter as an adjunct faculty member this fall. Gady, who has worked all over the world, will teach the undergraduate course International Affairs: Understanding Military Power—Theory, History, Technology. Students can look forward to thought-provoking discussions and insights into the complexities of global politics, conflict and warfare, as well as security-related topics.
“As Leon Trotksky supposedly said, ‘You might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.’ Consequently, students need to intellectually familiarize themselves with this most horrible of human tragedies as much as possible to avoid future mistakes,” Gady said.
“I have studied military affairs and war all my life from multiple perspectives: as a military officer, a military advisor, a conflict journalist, and a military researcher and consequently aim to bring a multi-faceted approach to the classroom. With the ongoing war in Ukraine and my own personal experiences with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, I felt an urgent need to help the younger generation understand war and military power. I look forward to critically discussing military power and international affairs with my students.”
Gady runs his own consultancy, is a consulting senior fellow with the Institute for International Strategic Studies in London, and Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Center for New American Security in Washington, D.C.
A native Austrian, he attended high school in the United States and recounts some of his most memorable moments from his undergraduate degree at Webster, which include "studying Nietzsche with Professor Bob Corbett at the Café Museum; reading and dissecting anti-war poetry with Professor Andrew Horsfield; and discussing Xenophon and political philosophy with WVPU rector Johannes Pollak.”
Antonija Pacek: More Than a Decade of WVPU Teaching Expertise
Alumna Antonija Pacek received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1996. Since 2002, she has served as an adjunct faculty member at Webster Vienna, sharing her expertise with aspiring psychologists. During the new academic year, Pacek will teach two undergraduate courses: Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Issues in Contemporary Psychology: Emotional Intelligence and Practical Applications.
“Students in my courses will examine the basic theoretical and practical foundations of individual and organizational behavior," Pacek said. "Together we will dive deep into the nature of behavior and attitudes of people within an organizational context; how different personalities might match different types of jobs; and how to identify stereotypes and prejudice caused by culture clashes.
“During my undergraduate studies at Webster Vienna, my professors Deborah Bock, Nina Arzberger and Stefan Geyerhofer were my biggest role models, and certainly supported my dream to teach at universities one day. They ignited a spark and provided inspiration during their classes through lively discussions, by simplifying outlined theories and definition, and by introducing fun games to help us master theory.”
Pacek worked as a People Value consultant at Hewitt Associates in Vienna, and as a Center for Creative Leadership consultant. In her role as a consultant, she worked with multinational corporations providing advice and workshops about leadership skills, motivation, managing change, performance management, interpersonal communications, conflict management and emotional intelligence in business. She owns her own company which focuses on boosting individual creativity and corporate innovation through a one-of-a-kind, proprietary assessment tool, named IMAGINO®.
The alumna is also a neoclassical composer and a pianist, combining her two areas of expertise, music and psychology, in her daily life.
Webster Vienna's commitment to providing a comprehensive education is exemplified by the return of these accomplished alumni as adjunct faculty members. Tajder, Gady, and Pacek bring a wealth of real-world experience, ensuring that their students will receive a well-rounded education that bridges theory and practice.
All Webster Vienna alumni are invited to join the exclusive online community at alumni.webster.ac.at, which provides information on job opportunities, discussion forums, on-campus event announcements and more alumni news.