Dr. Jambalmaa Khainzan from Mongolia is learning from leaders and administrators at Black Hills State University as the school’s first international Presidential Fellow.
The Presidential Fellowship program at BHSU began in 2015 under the tenure of Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., President, BHSU. The goal of the program is to foster collaborative relationships with other universities and to advance the skills and knowledge of up-and-coming leaders in higher education.
“Higher education must continue to inspire and effectively meet the needs of our students in a global world. By welcoming Presidential Fellows to BHSU we are able to create new and lasting opportunities for our University, while also allowing the Fellows to learn from their experiences at BHSU,” said Jackson.
Known on campus as Dr. Jama, Khainzan arrived in Spearfish in February. Before coming to BHSU, Khainzan worked as an academic dean of global leadership at the University of Mongolia. She is a medical doctor and a public health education professional with extensive experience in nutrition and food safety education.
“The size of BHSU is great and the quality of the classes and programs is excellent,” said Khainzan, who is taking an advanced writing class at BHSU in addition to her Presidential Fellow responsibilities.
Presidential Fellows assist with daily operations and special projects within the Office of the President at BHSU. They assist other University units including Academic Affairs and Student Affairs and work directly with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community agencies. Through the experience, fellows gain a complex understanding of executive-level leadership.
For her semester-long fellowship at BHSU, Khainzan has several goals. She is a member of Rotary International, a service organization, and wants to help BHSU students charter a Rotaract Club on campus. Rotaract Clubs are a global movement of young leaders ages 18-30 who are developing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
Khainzan also hopes to assist students in the BHSU tourism and hospitality management program by drawing on her prior experience working for the Prime Minister of Mongolia while the country hosted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit.
“South Dakota is a great area with lots of opportunity to attract tourists,” said Khainzan. “Conversely, I can help BHSU students and faculty who go to Asian countries. BHSU already has great collaborations with Asian institutions. Professional development, short-term study abroad, faculty exchange - those are things I can be helpful with.”
BHSU has partner universities in ten different countries worldwide who collaborate together and provide learning opportunities for students. One those universities is Global Leadership University (GLU) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; a student from GLU is taking classes on campus at BHSU this semester.
Reflecting on a successful career working for government and as a medical doctor throughout the world, Khainzan says she wants to share her knowledge with others.
“When you are teaching, sharing experiences and knowledge, that gives you such satisfaction. In higher education, you can share your experiences with young people with the hope that it will help them in their professional career,” said Khainzan.
Khainzan received her Ph.D. in medical sciences from the World Health Organization Regional Nutrition Research Center in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She also has a master’s degree in international health policy and management from Heller School for Social Policy and Management from Brandeis University in Boston, Mass. Her second master’s degree is from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy from Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
BHSU has hosted four Presidential Fellows since 2014 including Dr. David Braverman, who is now Interim Dean of Students at Community College of Philadelphia, Dr. Gail DiSabatino, who is now serving as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UMass of Boston, and Dr. Gregory Roberts who most recently served as Vice President, Institutional Advancement at Saint Joseph’s College.