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Weiser Professional Development Fellows

Since 2009, the Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia at the University of Michigan has been awarding Weiser Professional Development Fellowships to faculty and artists at institutions of higher education in select countries in Europe and Eurasia. Fellows work on projects with a faculty partner at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. See below and on past fellow pages the profiles of successful Weiser Professional Development Fellows.

For more information about the fellowship, and to apply, see our Visiting Fellows page.

Zarina Kakenova
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2022

Zarina Kakenova is an assistant professor in the Department of Regional Studies at L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan, where she also received her Ph.D. in international relations. Her dissertation was titled, “U.S. Geopolitical Interests in Central Asia.” She teaches courses related to problems of international security, interpretation of international regional conflicts, and foreign policy of the U.S. Her recent research focuses the impact of COVID-19 on the problems of international security, counteraction to destructive forces. Professor Kakenova will visit U-M in March to work on the research project “Security Issues and COVID-19: Expert Assessment Analysis,” with Pauline Jones, professor of political science.

Iryna Sikorska
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2022

Iryna Sikorska is associate professor of the Department of Sociology at Donetsk State University of Management in Mariupol (displaced to Mariupol in 2014 due to Russian aggression and military conflict in Eastern Ukraine). She holds a Ph.D. in public administration from Donetsk State University of Management, with the dissertation, “The Mechanisms of Enhancement of State Governance of Higher Education in Ukraine in the context of European Integration.” In 2015, she founded the Ukrainian Association of Professors and Researchers of European Integration (APREI), which is a platform for cooperation among academia and civil society to promote European integration processes in Ukraine. Her research interests include European intercultural education policies, intercultural dimensions of internationalization of higher education, and development of intercultural competences in higher education. Professor Sikorska will visit U-M in March to work on the research project “Examining Multiculturalism and Civic Development in Ukraine” with Geneviève Zubrzycki, professor of sociology.

Munojat Sultonova
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2022

Munojat Sultonova is assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at Fergana State University in Uzbekistan. She holds an M.Sc. in Education, Power, and Social Change from Birkbeck, University of London in the UK. Her awards include TEA 2015 (USA), EGEP 2015 (South Korea), and Chevening Scholarship 2017 (UK). She has worked on several research projects relating to women’s educational development in STEM in higher education. Her research interests also include curriculum development in English for Specific Purposes in higher education. Professor Sultonova will visit U-M in March to work on the research project “Empowering Women’s Leadership in Higher Education of Uzbekistan: Challenges and Suggestions,” with Professor Anna Kirkland, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies.