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Serving First

Even at a very young age, Amy Hartwig knew that she wanted to serve her country.  Her family has a history of being a part of the United States military.  Her father, both grandfathers, most of her uncles, and older brother have all served either in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or the Air National Guard.  It was in September of her senior year, when she was only 17, that Amy enlisted in the Air National Guard. Amy Hartwig, Air National Guard

For six years Amy was part of the 119th Fighter Wing out of Fargo, North Dakota.  Amy conducted base-wide training for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare defense.   All personnel on base were required to annually renew their training on how to respond to an attack.  She was in Emergency Management where she made plans for man-made and natural disasters.  If there was an emergency, she would have been one of the personnel advising and providing options to the On-Scene Commander at the response site.  As part of this unit, Amy could have assisted with disasters on base and the surrounding area or deployed to other locations.  Some members of Amy’s squadron were sent to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; helping with repairs and rebuilding.   

  After leaving the Air National Guard, Amy stayed home with her young family for a few years before enrolling in college in 2013.   First, she obtained an Associates of Science at Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids.  Then, she decided to continue her education at University of Northern Iowa in the Department of Technology  majoring in Technology Management.  Amy would like to pursue a career in project management in the engineering field.  She enjoys managing projects and processes and has an interest in manufacturing.  Amy is now in her final semester at UNI with plans to graduate in May.

Hartwig Family in ColoradoOne of Amy’s favorite things about UNI is working with the professors.  The professors in the Industrial Technology Center (ITC), in particular, “have been great”, she said.  They have been supportive of Amy’s education and understanding that other commitments, such as work or family, may cause her to miss a day or two.  She has truly appreciated their flexibility and willingness to help students catch up.   One of her favorite courses has been Technology Training Strategies with Dr. Doug Hotek.  In the past, Amy has not been a huge fan of group work.  She was required to work as a part of a group in Dr. Hotek’s class.  She had a good time in her group and was able to successfully complete the assignment.  The group members all contributed fairly to their project of creating a training course for a task at a past or current job of one of the students.  Amy’s group created a training plan to teach new employees how to fill out orders, identify pizza ingredients, and count back change for a pizza business.  Other groups created plans for framing walls and changing oil in vehicles.  She encourages future ITC students to pay attention and listen to the advisors, teachers, and professors.  This is especially important if the class is a foundations course that will be built upon in future courses.  “They are very knowledgeable.  They want to help.  They want to see you succeed.”

Amy is very active as a mother to three children, ages 14, 13, and 10.  You may find her as the referee for high school and middle school volleyball, softball, and baseball.  Amy and her family also volunteer at the Eastern Iowa Special Olympics every year while her son competes as an athlete.  If you happen to see Amy sitting down at one of her children’s activities, don’t be surprised to find her with her knitting in her lap.  UNI STEM would like to congratulate Amy on her upcoming graduation and thank all service men and women attending UNI.  Thank you for your service and best wishes on your futures.


Ginger L'Heureux, UNI STEM Graduate Assistant

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