My name is Jenny (Komos) Hartmann, and I am a 2008 Xavier graduate, a Brueggeman Fellow alum from 2007-2008, and a native of Cleveland, Ohio. As an undergraduate student at Xavier, I majored in French and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris during the spring semester of my junior year. I love languages and enjoy international travel. My Brueggeman travels and research led me to Kenya in the summer of 2008. I had felt some sort of connection with this country for years, so I was very excited to have the chance to go! Following my research, I worked at several non-profits and traveled to Nicaragua for a short stay in 2009. In 2011, I married another Xavier alum, Chris Hartmann, at
Bellarmine Chapel. Chris and I share passions for international travel, social justice, and humanitarian issues.
In May 2012, I completed a Master’s of Science in Social Administration (M.S.S.A.), with a certificate in Global Health, from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS) at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. My fieldwork included work with refugees at Catholic Charities Migration & Refugee Services, pediatric hospital social work at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, and international partnership and exchange work with IPM (International Partners in Mission). With my interest in academics and research, I was also part of the Women’s Network Project, conducting interviews with women in treatment for substance abuse. I was also an active participant in anti-human trafficking efforts and in a feasibility study among Cleveland-area service providers regarding this issue.
I am now working in Columbus, Ohio, as Coordinator of the Ohio Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Collaborative at the National Center for Adoption Law & Policy. I love this work! It allows me to work toward policy change for children and families affected by IPV – a global issue, to be sure. I am also a member of Young Hekima, a Board of young adults with ties to Hekima Place that works with the Board of Directors to raise awareness and funds.
From June to July of 2008, I traveled to Kenya, where I saw different parts of the country (including the Maasai Mara on safari!) and stayed at Hekima Place, a home for girls orphaned by HIV/AIDS. During my stay, I lived and worked among the girls, helping them with their homework and their chores and learning about their lives. I also volunteered at Hekima Primary School, where I taught English and French and was able to go on field trips with the students. One of the school’s administrators informed me that he would like to see greater focus on developing writing skills among students and teachers. As a result, I developed a writing contest in which everyone at Hekima Primary School could participate. Students eagerly participated, and by the end of the contest, teachers were excited, as well. The winning entries are compiled in a book called “Kenyan Voices.” I continue to keep in regular contact with the girls and staff at Hekima Place, I participate on their Young Hekima Board, and I have high hopes of returning in the near future.
What They're Doing Now
I am now working as Social Work Projects Coordinator for the Ohio Intimate Partner Violence Collaborative through the National Center for Adoption Law & Policy at Capital University Law School. This enables me to travel throughout Ohio and respond to issues locally that have global effects. Additionally, I am exploring all Columbus has to offer, especially opportunities to engage internationally and be in conversations related to social justice. Ialso keep in regular contact with my friends at Hekima Place and have high hopes of returning someday. I welcome contact at my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.