Gunasekara- Rockwell, Achala

TitleSenior Study Abroad Program Manager
DepartmentGlobal Initiatives
Office LocationAdministration 109


Achala Gunasekara-Rockwell is originally from Sri Lanka. Her research interests include South Asian studies her master¹s thesis was a comparative study of classical Buddhism and Western interpretations of the religion and her doctoral dissertation examined the syncretism of Buddhism and Hinduism in medieval and modern Sri Lanka. At the University of Wisconsin­-Madison, she taught Thought of Gandhi, Civilizations of India, Global Cultures, and Social Structures of Muslim Societies. She also worked with prominent sociologist Joseph Elder on numerous publications and film guides and with Charles Kernaghan on a sociological investigation that exposed rampant sexual abuse against immigrant women in Jordan who were working in the garment industry that supplies American retailers. Achala teaches South Asian studies for Columbia College and Human Communications at AUM. She also speaks Japanese, Sinhala, Telugu, and conduct research in Sanskrit and Pali. Her father, a retired, high-ranking government official in Sri Lanka, has been a major influence in her academic and professional life. A mother of three, Achala is married to Dr. Ernest Allan Rockwell, who is a research specialist for the Department of Defense specializing in military affairs and international relations. In addition to the unconditional support from her husband and father, she attributes much of success to her mother¹s encouragement to break with traditional ideals of South Asian domesticity and to become an independent woman.

Chadron State College, NE (B.A., Communication) 1996

University of Central Missouri, MO (M.A., Mass Communication) 1999

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (M.A., Languages and Cultures of Asia) 1997

University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (PhD Languages and Cultures of Asia) 2011