Scholars From Around the World Want the Kent State Experience
Kent State University is providing three Muskie Scholars with the opportunity to advance their education and experience life in the United States.
Established by the United States Congress in 1992, the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program encourages economic and democratic growth in Europe and Asia. The program, which is offered through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs by the U.S. State Department, provides opportunities for graduate students and professionals to work toward a one-year nondegree, one-year degree or two-year degree in the United States.
This school year, the university is hosting Muskie scholars Mikhail Bukhtoyarov, Diana Kotenko and Mayagul Satlykgylyjova.
An October 2006 Muskie recipient, Bukhtoyarov was born in a small village in Siberia. He came to Kent State three months ago to study instructional technology as a graduate student. Back home, he teaches English and philosophy as an associate professor for the Siberian Federal University.
“Kent is a wonderful place. I really enjoy meeting people here,” says Bukhtoyarov. Though he enjoys making new friends, his primary goal is to compare the education systems in Russia and the United States. He says that, while education in Russia is equal to Kent State’s in terms of academic value, the principles are different.
In addition, Bukhtoyarov says the Muskie Scholarship Program provides mutual understanding among countries. “Experience of living and studying abroad is much more than tourism or short-term business trips; it can change people,” he says.
Another Muskie Scholarship recipient is Diana Kotenko, who has been living in Kent since August 2007. She grew up in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, and is attending Kent State to earn a master’s degree in economics. She says the greatest advantage of living in Kent is that she learns ways to communicate with people of different cultures.
“The biggest benefit of the Muskie Scholarship was that I became much more self-confident,” says Kotenko. She adds, “Now I know that if you are dreaming about something and work hard you will always succeed in the end.”
Mayagul Satlykgylyjova came to Kent State this past August as well, though she grew up in a small town called Balkanabat in the central Asian country of Turkmenistan. Her home life and education in Balkanabat is quite different than in Kent, she says. Back home, she studied in a very conservative school for girls only, so when she came to Kent, it was a culture shock.
Satlykgylyjova is studying cultural foundations in education at Kent State. “I am learning how to do research and planning to get a master’s degree in two years,” she says.
She said the Muskie Program has been very helpful and gives a person autonomous thoughts and ideas. “Personally, in this three-month period, I have become even more independent and mature than I was before,” Satlykgylyjova says. “I will be thankful to the Edmund Muskie Fellowship Program until the end of my life because it is like a lottery which I won for two years.”
The fields of study for the Muskie Program include business, economics, education, journalism and mass communications, law and public health, among others.
For more information about the Muskie Scholarship Program or the Muskie Scholars, contact Linda Robertson at 330-672-0563 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sarah Colvin