WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Jan. 26, 2023 — West Liberty University’s campus became a bit more diverse this semester as two visitors from Uzbekistan joined campus.
Professors Nodirakhon Kamilova and Dilmurod Akhmadaliev arrived on campus a few weeks ago.
“I am delighted that Gary E. West College of Business is now hosting two International Faculty Fellows in the Spring 2023 through the Faculty Enrichment Program. This is something we have never done before, and it is great for the entire community,” said Dr. Ann Saurbier, dean of the College of Business.
“I am volunteering as a Faculty Mentor,” said Dr. Vishakha Maskey, professor of management and economics who has taught at WLU for 15 years and is a native of Nepal.
“My role is to organize both the fellows’ activities during their stay, which are participating in different professional development activities, cultural activities, observing and participating in various courses within the university and college of business, and also engaging as guest speakers. They will not only learn, but also provide us valuable feedback based on their observations,” Maskey said.
“I believe this will be a great opportunity for global exposure to all as they will be participating in various activities on and off campus throughout the semester. It would be nice to introduce them to the larger community to forge possible networking and partnership opportunities.”
The program is a semester-long faculty mentorship and professional development program funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and administered by the American Councils for International Education.
The arrangement offers university instructors from Uzbekistan the opportunity to enhance their pedagogical skills and professional expertise through a four-month U.S. academic enrichment program. While visiting WLU, fellows will engage in curriculum development, explore alternative teaching and assessment methodologies, expand their knowledge in their fields of study, and gather new teaching materials and resources.
According to the FEP website, throughout their stay in the United States, fellows observe courses, attend academic conferences, and work closely with faculty mentors from U.S. host universities. Fellows may be invited to present a lecture or co-teach classes at their U.S. university.
Through structured opportunities to engage with students and faculty both in and outside the classroom, fellows will significantly enhance their understanding of the U.S. higher education system.
By fostering sustained and substantive contact between Uzbek faculty and their U.S. counterparts, the FEP aims to contribute to mutual understanding, deepen educational ties, and foster professional networks between the United States and Uzbekistan.
Each FEP fellow spends a total of four months in the United States. Fellows do not earn academic degrees through the FEP and must return home upon completion of the program. Fellows are subject to a two-year home residency requirement per J-1 visa regulations.
Kamilova and Akhmadaliev join another international professional educator at WLU this semester, Manami Kawazoe of Japan.
Kawazoe represents the Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI), a joint program of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships Department, located in Japan, and the Laurasian Institution, located in the United States.
“We are so fortunate to have three professional representatives of diverse cultures and educational experience right here on campus, sharing and assisting us in providing our students with an education that is global in nature,” said Mia Szabo, WLU’s director of International Enrollment Services and International Student Advisor.
Szabo’s office is located in the Rollie Williams International Center, housed in historic Shotwell Hall, adjacent to the quad.