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Abigail Hartge

2014 Natural Born Leader

ABIGAIL’S STORY

Abigail Hartge is a natural born leader.

“In 2010 I joined the Army Reserves,” Abigail said. “Since then I have worked my way up through the ranks and I’m currently a sergeant.”

This leadership and service extends to her time at UM-Dearborn.

Abigail served as president of the Student Veterans Association and was crucial in the fight for in-state tuition for all veterans at UM-Dearborn. She is also a member of Women in Leadership and Learning (WILL) and currently serves as president of the Association of Women Veterans.

“Abigail uses the leadership training and professionalism she has accrued in the Army to further her efforts as a campus leader,” said William Emerson, veteran affairs coordinator.

Abigail is dedicated to serving veterans on campus and in the surrounding community. She was integral in organizing two documentary film screenings addressing obstacles women in the military face, helped organize a creative writing workshop for veterans on campus, and brought the all-female veteran art exhibit “Walk a Mile in Her Boots” to campus for Women’s History Month in March 2014.

“Veterans can feel isolated or alone because of their transition back into regular life,” Abigail said. “The Association of Women Veterans wants to help assist veterans in their transition, while also promoting health and education.”

Her leadership is recognized and respected on campus, which is evident in her being invited to speak on a Professional Development Week panel on overcoming gender biases in the workplace.

Abigail also is on the planning committee for the 2014 Stand Down for Female Veterans, which brings crucial support and services to at-risk women veterans in Michigan.

Fighting for people is what Abigail does best, so it comes as no surprise that her future plans include becoming a lawyer.

“I want to become a lawyer because it is difficult. It will challenge me but I am up for the challenge. I have to go beyond what I know, use what I have learned and progress forward.”