Clarkie Of the Week: Odgerel Chintulga


Eric Keller, Scarlet Staff

Odgerel Chintulga is a senior and an environmental science major from Mongolia. She’s passionate about sustainability as reflected by her research in the Gobi Desert and her work with Net Impact around campus. She also thinks the old Clark logo is far superior to the current one.

Scarlet: So, Odgerel…Chintulga? Am I pronouncing that right?

Odgerel: [Laughs] It’s pronounced [pronounces Chintulga correctly]. But it’s okay, that’s actually my dad’s name. In Mongolia, we don’t really have last names. So if you need to include another name in a formal document you just put down your dad’s first name.

Scarlet: Speaking of Mongolia, I’ve heard that you’ve done some research there?

Odgerel: Yeah, in my sophomore year for a LEEP project I interviewed herders in the Gobi Desert who have been affected by the development of mines in the region, which is destroying their land and livelihood. Then in my junior year, through the Steinbrecher Fellowship, I worked with a professor from a university there to teach some of these same herders other ways to utilize the land through sustainable agriculture and irrigation techniques suitable for the landscape.

Scarlet: Any plans for a third round of research?

Odgerel: No, I don’t think so – I’m still looking at data from the latest round. Once I’ve finished my 5th-year degree (in environmental science & policy) I’d like to do research that’s at a more global scale.

Scarlet: Are there any groups around campus that you’re involved with?

Odgerel: I’m on the the e-board of Net Impact. Some of the projects we’ve worked on are getting bags for off-campus composting and outdoor recycling bins. Through SSF [Student Sustainability Fund] grants we’ve been able to make Clark a lot more environmentally friendly.

Scarlet: Why did you decide to travel to the US and study at Clark in the first place?

Odgerel: Well, at first I considered Japan. My high school was actually funded, in part, by the Japanese government so obviously they wanted me to go there. But I don’t know, America just seemed cooler.

Scarlet: How did you end up at Clark?

Odgerel: I just started Googling colleges that give a lot of aid to international students and Clark popped up a bunch. I knew nothing about Worcester and the surrounding area. Also…have you heard of that book “40 Colleges That Change Lives”?

Scarlet: Oh yeah, who at Clark hasn’t? The school owes the author big time.

Odgerel: I also really liked their logo [laughs].

Scarlet: I know, old Clark logo for life.

Odgerel: When I was having dinner with David Angel after having gotten the Steinbrecher Fellowship he also asked me why I came to Clark, and I basically told him what I told you: the globe logo really spoke to me and the school gave me the most money.’ So thanks, Clark.

Thanks for the interview, Odgerel!