May 2, 2012
Rhiannon’s fellowship year focused on studying Mongolian language at the National University of Mongolia’s School of Mongolian Language and Culture. In addition to language studies, Rhiannon worked on her own research project evaluating the environmental aspects of Mongolia’s Minerals Law.
Rhiannon says, “The Boren Fellowship was the greatest experience for me professionally. I’m a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and before the Boren I didn’t have any professional experience in environmental policy. My time in Mongolia immersed me in the policy world and it is where I adopted responsible mining as my professional focus. The fellowship has opened up doors I didn’t even know existed.”
Rhiannon expresses that the Monterey Institute played a critical role in her preparation for this adventure, as she was able to build her foundation of international environmental policy in the classroom and then directly apply it in the real world. She explains, “I learned how to ask better questions in order to best observe and analyze Mongolian culture and the environmental policy environment.”
Since returning from her fellowship, Rhiannon received another Title VIII grant, sponsored by the State Department language, to pursue more advanced Mongolian language studies. She plans to return to Mongolia during the summer of 2012.