Alumni stories

My Humphrey Year

My name is Chinkhand Dorj. I was a Humphrey fellow at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, ASU (Arizona State University) 2010-2011 and it is my pleasure to share about my experiences with my fellow alumni through this newsletter.

One of the highlights of my year as a Humphrey fellow is that we, 10 fellows from Mongolia, Pakistan, China, Macedonia, Georgia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Turkey, were the first ever Humphreys at the ASU. ASU is one of the top 100 universities in the world. So I am really proud of becoming one of the first Humphreys at that school.

As a leading journalism and communication college, Walter Cronkite school of Journalism and Mass Communication, ASU, focuses more on multimedia and online media which gave me an opportunity to learn much about blogging, website manag-ment, social media tools etc. Another exciting feature of my program was that every Monday we got a chance to meet with American leading journalists and media executives such as Aaron Brown, The former lead anchor for CNN, Leonard Downie Jr, vice president-at-large of The Washington Post. We also had opportunities to visit well-known media outlets and companies. All these experiences gave me an opportunity to get an understanding of the larger picture of the current trends of the world media and see how media environment is changing in the world today. Another highlight of my Humphrey year is my experience of living in the Desert, AZ State. It was the first time I saw so many kinds of cactuses, from the biggest to the smallest. I have never been to such a hot desert before and therefore when I came to Tucson in June, 2010, I was quite sure a winter would be a NO there.

But, I could not have been more wrong. Winter in desert is not only possible, but also gorgeous. I lived in Phoenix AZ with my family and we all enjoyed the winter there. This program not only had an effect on me personally, but also on my family, especially my 2 sons, through me. My 17 and 8 years old sons now both have their own blogs and they always tell me “Mom look how many people are visiting my blog…?”

We all know about the popularity and breadth of the Humphrey program. But, I experienced the true potentials and the popularity of the program when I was attending AIBD conference which was hosted by MNB in Ulaanbaatar after my return to Mongolia. Imagine my surprise when I run into another Humphrey fellow from Nepal of the year 2005 at the conference. As soon as we learned that we were fellow Humphrey alumni, we started to talk so much and so enthusiastically as if we have known each other from a long time ago.The Humphrey year we spent in Phoenix was one of my and my family’s happiest and most memorable year in our life. The Humphrey program brought so many positive changes to me as a person and a professional and helped me to have wider and more creative vision regarding my life and career. I feel like I’m better equipped to deal with whatever that may lay in front of me. Now I’m ready to turn the next page in my life as a professional.
Thank you very much the U.S. State Department, IIE, ASU and U.S. Embassy in Mongolia for giving me such golden opportunity.

Sincerely
Chinkhand Dorj
Humphrey fellow 2010-2011