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UW-Eau Claire Hosts Visiting Tajikistan Scholar

RELEASED: Jan. 25, 2006

Firuza NosirovaEAU CLAIRE — Firuza Nosirova, a senior teacher of English from Khujand Branch of Technological University in Tajikistan, will spend the spring 2006 semester at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to improve her English teaching methodology.

Nosirova is a participant in the Junior Faculty Development Program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. She is one of 70 fellows from Central Asia, including four from Tajikistan, selected for the semester-long program, which invests in young faculty from countries in Eurasia and Southeast Europe.

"This is a part of the world with great needs," said Karl Markgraf, director of UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education. "It's been closed off from the world until recently. Firuza is the second scholar we've hosted through the JFDP. Nadia Kim from Kazakhstan spent a year here in 2003-04. She had a positive experience so we were asked to participate again."

Administered by the American Councils for International Education, JFDP is a professional development program that provides promising junior university faculty with the opportunity to develop new courses, cultivate their teaching skills and techniques, and expand the information base in their fields of study.

"I am lucky to be a finalist in the program and happy to be here," said Nosirova, who arrived in Eau Claire Jan. 8.

Nosirova, who is working out of the department of foreign languages, will observe English as a Second Language courses and methodology, and develop a specialized English course for economists and computer programmers for her university.

Nosirova also is interested in learning about the university credit system, which was recently implemented at her school, and its alignment with world standards. Though she's attended seminars and read about the UW System's credit system, "to see once is better than to hear a hundred times," she said.

So far, Nosirova said she's been impressed with the Eau Claire campus and community.

"Americans are very friendly and ready to help," Nosirova said. "Everyone has been hospitable and it's nice. My school is not as developed, of course, although it's considered the best in Tajikistan. The root of our problems was eight years of civil war, but for the past four years we are working to improve our educational system and way of life."

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JW/JB

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