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2013 Weiser Fellows

Tamunia Chincharauli
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2013

Tamunia Chincharauli is assistant professor at the University of Georgia and program manager at the Georgia Peace Corps office in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her career in public issues and policy began when, as an undergraduate student, she founded an NGO to help Georgian youth. Professor Chincharauli received her M.A. in Public Policy and Administration at the University of Georgia in 2007 and her M.Sc. in Policy Studies from the University of Edinburgh in 2008. She also completed a certificate program at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Professor Chincharauli will spend three weeks at U-M in March 2013, where she will work on a project entitled, “Values and Ethics for Georgian Policy Makers.” Her host advisor is John Ciorciari, assistant professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Diana Cucos
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2013

Diana Cucos is associate professor of law at the Moldova University of European Studies and senior researcher at the Institute of History, State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, where she specializes in international law and human rights issues. She has participated in and organized a number of conferences and workshops relating to human rights, migration, gender, and local governance. In 2010-11 she was a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Fellow at Edge Hill University (UK). Professor Cucos will visit U-M for four weeks in March–April 2013 to complete research on a project entitled, “Post-Codification Diplomatic Protection: A Distinctive Source of Human Rights Protection,” in cooperation with Bruno Simma, professor of law at the U-M Law School and former judge at the at the International Court of Justice.

Martin Grancay
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2013

Martin Grancay is assistant professor of international relations at the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia, where he completed his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Professor Grancay teaches courses on international trade theory, and he also serves as managing editor of the university’s Journal of International Relations (Medzinárodné vztahy). His graduate academic work was twice distinguished with national awards; he also studied abroad in both Spain and China. He collaborates on research projects with colleagues around the world, and recently participated in a teacher exchange in Iceland. Professor Grancay will spend three weeks at U-M in March 2013 working on a project entitled, “Comparative Advantage and the Volatility of Territorial Structure of Exports,” in collaboration with his U-M host advisor, Alan Deardorff, John W. Sweetland Professor of International Economics.

Tomas Poloni
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2013

Tomas Poloni is a researcher and teaching assistant in the Institute of Automation Measurement and Applied Informatics at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, where he focuses on mechanical engineering, mechatronics, automation, and control. Dr. Poloni received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 2007 from the Slovak University of Technology. He has completed several post-doctoral research visits at such institutions as Johannes Kepler University in Austria, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. While at U-M for four weeks in October 2013, he will explore the topic, “Nonlinear and Adaptive Moving Horizon State and Parameter Estimation for a Diesel Combustion Engine.” His U-M host advisor is Ilya Kolmanovsky, professor of aerospace engineering.

Kujtim Rrahmani
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2013

Kujtim Rrahmani is professor of oral literature in the Institute of Albanian Studies at the University of Pristina, Kosovo. He is also an educational policy advisor for several organizations (both governmental and non-governmental in nature), and serves an editor for a variety of print publications. He earned his Ph.D. in literary theory and anthropology from the University of Pristina in 2002. His specific interests include contemporary literature, oral culture, and the intersection of literature and politics. During four weeks at U-M in November 2013, he will work on a project entitled, “Kosovo Imaginary: Poetics and Politics,” which will draw on the developments of democratic and cultural life in Kosovo over the past few decades. His host advisor is Tatjana Aleksic, assistant professor of comparative literature and Slavic languages and literatures.

Zabikhulla Saipov
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2013

Zabikhulla Saipov is a senior lecturer at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy and at the Management Development Institute of Singapore in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He earned his Master of International Affairs degree in 2003 at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Saipov completed his doctorate in political science in 2010 at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent. Dr. Saipov curates the blog Central Asia in the Strategies of Global & Regional Powers at During his three-week stay at U-M in March 2013, Dr. Saipov will collaborate with his host advisor, Pauline Jones Luong, professor of political science and director of the Islamic Studies Program, on a critique of U.S. strategic approaches in Central Asia.

Kristine Soghikyan
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2013

Kristine Soghikyan is head of the writing skills section and senior instructor in the English communication program at Yerevan State Linguistic University in Armenia, where she received her doctorate in philology in 2008. In addition to teaching courses in English language and communications theory, Professor Soghikyan leads the pedagogical and organizational administration of the academic program for undergraduates in her department. To supplement her work in this latter capacity, Professor Soghikyan will spend four weeks at U-M in April 2013 working on a plan for “Maximizing Higher Education Administration Efficiency in Armenia.” Her U-M host advisor is Michael Bastedo, associate professor of education and director of the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE).