University News

Western Illinois University Welcomes Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellows

September 21, 2012

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MACOMB, IL - Western Illinois University will host two new international scholars on campus as part of the U.S. Department of State's Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program.

Joining the Western community are Oleksandr Iakymenko from Ukraine and Farida Mamadaslamova from Tajikistan.

The program brings emerging leaders in key professional fields from Eurasia to the United States for one to two years of graduate study at institutions across the United States.

The two visiting scholars are graduate students who began studying at Western this fall and will complete their degrees here. Iakymenko is studying in the political science master's degree program and Mamadaslamova is studying for a master's degree in economics.

These aren't the first two students to study at WIU as part of the program. Maksim Masharuev began the master's of business administration program last fall and will graduate in May.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 to encourage economic and democratic growth in Eurasia, the Muskie Program is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State, and administered by IREX.

By selecting emerging leaders from 12 countries of the former Soviet Union, the Muskie program aims to promote mutual understanding, build democracy and foster the transition to market economies in Eurasia and Central Asia through intensive academic study and professional training. In addition to their academic programs, Muskie fellows gain exposure to American values through a community service experience and develop professional skills through a full-time internship in their field of study.

The Muskie program is highly competitive, with a 4 percent rate of acceptance.

This year marks the Muskie program's 20th anniversary. The program now boasts nearly 5,000 alumni who have returned to their home countries to lead institutional change and economic growth in the professional sectors where they work.

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