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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 visited 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.

Nizomjon Jumaniyazov
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2022

Nizomjon Jumaniyazov is an assistant professor of the Department of Natural Sciences at the Urgench branch of the Tashkent University of Information Technologies named after Muhammad al-Khwarizmi, Uzbekistan. He received his bachelor's and master’s degrees from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at Urgench State University and has a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. From January to May of 2020, he made a visit to Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington through the Faculty Enrichment Program (FEP) administered by American Councils for International Education in Uzbekistan and financed by the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and the U.S. Department of State. He is currently doing his postdoctoral research at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It is funded by the El-yurt umidi foundation under the Agency for the Development of Public Service, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. His research interest is numerical analysis for PDEs in transport theory and nuclear engineering. He is visiting U-M in September and October to work on the research project "Numerical Resolution of Unsteady and Energy-dependent Fokker-Planck Kinetic Type Equations" with Dr. Robert Krasny, professor of mathematics.

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 visited 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 visited 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.

Zhanat Zakiyeva
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2022

Zhanat Zakiyeva is an associate professor of economics at al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics at Eastern Kazakhstan State Technical University and has a Ph.D. in economics from Kazakh State Economic University. Professor Zakiyeva is a graduate of the Oxford University Foreign Service Program (UK) and the Business Administration Program of Swinburne University (Australia). For 20 years she worked for the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs in various diplomatic roles, and for the Kazakhstan National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO as an expert in the field of multilateral and regional cooperation. Her recent books include The European Union and the Migration Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities (2016), Kazakhstan in the Eurasian Union: New Opportunities and Prospects (2015), and Eastern Vector of European Politics (2015). Professor Zakiyeva will visit U-M in Fall 2022 to work on her research project, “U.S. Strategy for Central Asia 2019-2025: Challenges and Perspectives,” with John Ciorciari, professor of public policy.