Andrea Hartman, a 2017 graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, will return to Mongolia on a Fulbright award to teach English and improve her Mongolian language skills during the 2018-19 academic year.
Hartman, who attended Norris High School in Firth, was an anthropology and English major and University Honors Program member at Nebraska.
Her background in cultural anthropology first led her to Mongolia in fall 2015, where she studied the country’s folktales. Her interest in returning to the country connects to her previous research and lays the groundwork for being a future educator.
During her Fulbright, Hartman aims to enhance her Mongolian language skills through the American Center for Mongolian Studies. This will also supplement her plan to volunteer with Lotus Children’s Centre, a non-governmental organization near Ulaanbaatar that provides shelter and care for some of Mongolia’s most vulnerable children. As a volunteer, she wants to assist with extracurricular language classes and act as a point of cultural education. To prepare for her language teaching experience, Hartman volunteered at Lincoln Literacy, a local nonprofit that supports literacy in the Lincoln area, especially to immigrants and refugees coming into the community.
“I’m beyond excited and can’t wait to return and reconnect with the people I’ve missed and the culture,” Hartman said. “Mongolia is so like Nebraska in many ways, and then so different in others. I’m very honored to have the opportunity to further our understandings of each other through education and language.”
Upon returning to the United States, Hartman wants to serve as a Teach for America corps member on either South Dakota’s Rosebud or Pine Ridge reservations. Working as a teaching assistant in Mongolia will strengthen her ability to teach with a multicultural mindset.