In my professional work my first objectives are to create sustainable results — long term, well planned actions that form reliable foundations. I’m a big proponent of taking a step back and saying, “What can we do better? How can we make our training easier, more effective, and more accessible? How can we encourage meaningful engagement?”
Peace Corps Mongolia
2018 – 2020
My job title and primary project, this was where I spent most of my time. I was assigned to a small village in rural Mongolia, which had two part time English teachers and 200 students in 12 grades. The objective of a Peace Corps Volunteer is sustainability. Therefore, most of my time spent at school was spent in training with my counterparts, as well as developing physical and digital resources.
Ulziit Life Skills Summer Camp
During the summer, there is very little for a child in rural Mongolia to do every day. We couldn’t provide activities for the whole summer, but we were able to give them one week to look forward to. The Ulziit Life Skills Summer Camp was developed over several months with the help of four other Peace Corps Volunteers and two Mongolian counterparts.
We aimed for the project to require as few resources as possible, so we focused on student-centered and engaging activities. The funding and extra supplies that were required were gathered through a nominal tuition fee and grassroots donations from local stakeholders, such as the school director and the town’s mayor.
The camp was a huge success, and students demonstrated a good understanding of the course materials as well as a desire to continue the camp in future years.
Khentii Teacher Technology Literacy Workshop
One of the earliest and greatest needs I identified at site was for technology literacy training for the local educators. Most teachers had a state-issued laptop, but their ability to use them effectively was widely varied. A two day pilot workshop was proposed to the Education Department in Chinggis City, the provincial capital of Khentii. This proposal was accepted along with generously providing the necessary small budget.
The curriculum was developed by myself, with assistance from three other Peace Corps Volunteers. Topics included: Internet Safety, Typing, Google Workspace, Educational Tools, and Social Media. The pilot workshop took place in January 2020 to resounding success, and plans began immediately to expand the workshop curriculum and bring it to other provinces. However, a government mandated nationwide quarantine took effect soon after, followed soon after by the global evacuation of all Peace Corps Volunteers.
Mongolian Language Textbook Revision
From December 2018 through December 2019, I worked as project manager in a group of Peace Corps Volunteers with the goal of substantially revising and restructuring the Pre-Service Training Mongolian language manual. This team worked closely with the Language and Cross Culture Coordinator, an accomplished Mongolian professional with years of experience teaching and developing curricula for Mongolian language training.
Work began with a needs assessment from Peace Corps Volunteers to determine where the shortcomings and successes of the previous textbook were. We determined that the three greatest needs were: reordering content to build up competencies over time, clarifying and expanding grammar explanations, and emphasizing practical vocabulary and dialogs. Once all the new content was created, I led the final revision passthrough and constructed the final formatted book document.
The new fifth edition of the Mongolian language manual was finished on time and approved for publication.