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2018 Weiser Fellows

Marika Kapanadze
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2018

Marika Kapanadze is head of the science education research centre SALiS and science teacher professional development programs at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. She is engaged in development, implementation, and evaluation of student-centered curricula and new curricular materials. Her research interests are teacher professional development, science curriculum development, and investigation of teachers’ attitudes and students’ interest in science. Marika develops courses about inquiry based learning and active learning methods in physics and science. She is a co-author of methodological books in education and science education in Georgia, and regularly publishes her research in national and international journals. She has coordinated several projects funded by the European Union, including the ERASMUS+ project ARTIST. Professor Kapanadze will spend four weeks at U-M in September 2018, working on the project, “The Role of Inquiry Based Learning for Achieving Learning Objectives in Science,” in collaboration with Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, Jean and Charles Walgreen Professor of Reading and Literacy and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Education.

Oleh Kozachuk
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2018

Oleh Kozachuk is assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, Ukraine. He studies ethnic, racial, and indigenous issues in the U.S. and Canada from a comparative perspective, as well as hybrid war, peaceful coexistence of ethnic groups, and interethnic relations. Oleh has received various fellowships for research and study in Canada, Austria, Poland, Romania, and Germany. He is a member of the Central European Association for Canadian Studies. Professor Kozachuk will visit U-M for four weeks in February 2018 to complete research on a project entitled “Comparative Analysis of Ethnic, Racial, and Immigrant Politics of the United States and Canada” in cooperation with Yazier Henry, lecturer in public policy.

Adil Rodionov
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2018

Adil Rodionov is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan, where he received his PhD in 2009. His research focuses on understanding how international financial aid affects the cooperative behavior of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). His work often adopts the frameworks of quantitative approach, social network analysis, and computational analysis of texts. At Michigan, Adil will look at how professionalization and organizational rationalization impact the development of civil society across the globe, and particularly in Central Asia. Professor Rodionov will visit U-M for four weeks in February 2018 to complete research on the project, “Professionalization, Rationalization, and Cooperative Behavior among Local NGOs,” in cooperation with Pauline Jones, professor of political science.

Aram Simonyan
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2018

Aram Simonyan is associate professor of economics, and vice head of the Chair of Economics and Management at the International Scientific Educational Centre of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. His research focuses on international economic relations, corruption, institutional economics and culture, and entrepreneurship. He has been a guest researcher at the University of Trier and the University of Siegen, both in Germany. Aram has also held financial positions at the Armenian Air Traffic Services and “Norq” Information Analytical Centre. Professor Simonyan will spend four weeks at U-M in September 2018, working on a project entitled “The Role of Entrepreneurial Culture and Norms in Accepting Corruption” in collaboration with John Ciorciari, associate professor of public policy.

Adelina Stefarta
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2018

Adelina Stefarta is associate professor in the Departments of Psychology, Educational Sciences, and Social Work at the International Independent University of Moldova. Her research focuses on inclusive education, pedagogy, psychology, and international relations. She received a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) fellowship to study in Karlsruhe, Germany, and participated in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State’s Regional Scholar Exchange Program at California State University Fresno. Professor Stefarta will visit U-M in March 2018 to complete research on a project entitled “Migration and Education as Spaces for Coexistence, Transformation, Stability, and Intercultural Implications in a Contemporary World” in cooperation with Edward Silver, William A. Brownell Collegiate Professor of Education and professor of mathematics.

Bela Tsipuria
Weiser Professional Development Fellow, 2018

Bela Tsipuria is professor of comparative literature and Georgian literature, and director of the Institute of Comparative Literature at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. She earned her PhD in Georgian literature from Tbilisi State University, where she also worked as an associate professor. She has been a visiting scholar at Lund University in Sweden and at Pennsylvania State University, and was a Thesaurus Poloniae fellow at the International Cultural Center in Krakow, Poland. Bela was Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia from 2004–08. She is a specialist in 20th-century Georgian literature and comparative literature, focusing on intercultural contacts; symbolist, modernist, and post-modernist movements; as well as Soviet ideological influences and post-colonialism. She is the author of Georgian Text in Soviet/Post-Soviet/Postmodern Context (Ilia State University, 2016). Professor Tsipuria will visit U-M in February 2018 to complete research on a project entitled “Georgian Modernists in Search for God: Religious Representations in the Early 20th Century Georgian Poetry and Novel” in cooperation with Benjamin Paloff, associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures and comparative literature.