AUCA Magazine October 2010
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AUCA Magazine October 2010



American University of Central Asia,...

American University of Central Asia,
formed in 1997, is dedicated to improving
the quality of education it offers by adding new curricula, new programs, and new services to equip its graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to this rapidly changing and developing region and the world beyond.



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AUCA Magazine October 2010 AUCA Magazine October 2010 Document Transcript

  • AUCA Magazine American University November 2010 of Central Asia Tilek Mamutov`05 and Aijan Jumukova`07: In Love with AUCA Karlygach Nurmanbetova11:Andrew B. Wachtel: Elnura Osmonalieva06: Giving Back to theOpening New Doors Life Through a Camera Lens Community
  • American University of Central AsiaThe Writing and Academic Resource Center (WARC)The Writing and Academic Resource Center is here to help students and faculty to conceive ofwriting as a mode of thinking and learning itself: to use writing to engage and explore difficult texts and ideas in the classroom, to use writing to promote classroom discussion, and to use writing to think on the page and try out ideas.The Center will offer one-on-one tutorials for students in writing, mathematics, and study skills. It is a place to try out ideas and get feedback in a supportive atmosphere. AUCA offers US accredited degrees through a partnership with Bard College Visit us on the web or write to us for more information about how you can get involved in this dynamic learning community:
  • CONTENTS 10 Discover Earth Day at AUCA 23 Cholponbek Jumashukurov02: Conquering Corporate America 25 Chyngyz Jamankulov02: A New Star in Banking Sector 30 Alina Murzaeva07: In Perpetual Motion 32 Tilek Mamutov05 and Aijan Jumukova07: In Love With AUCA 36 Nurdin Djumaliev08 and Temirbek Chodurov08: More Than Successful Enterpreneurs 38 Social Research Center (SRC): 14 "Muslim Community in Kyrgyzstan: Social Activity at the Present Stage" Andrew B. Wachtel: Opening New Doors04 Copy Editor’s Note and Publication Team05 Welcome from the President06 American Diplomacy06 First Iaido Festival in Kyrgyzstan07 Unsung Stories from Africa07 RFE/RL08 Using Writing to Learn: On the New Writing Academic Resource Center11 26 Elnura Home of the Angel of Earth12 The Heart of Naryn Osmonalieva`0620 Natalia Slastnikova: The Way to Success Life Through21 Karlygach Nurmanbetova11: a Camera Lens Giving Back to the Community
  • Copy Editors Note AUCA Magazine American University of Central Asia, formed in 1997, is dedicated to improving the quality of education it offers by adding new curricula, new programs, W and new services to equip its graduates ith a new president with the knowledge and skills necessary and an energetic, to contribute to this rapidly changing andfresh approach, the Alumni developing region and the world beyond.Association renews its missionto empower the AUCA com- Publication teammunity in Bishkek, in the Kyr-gyz Republic, and around the Editor-in-Chiefworld. Kemel Toktomushev During the next year, theAlumni Association will meet Copy Editorsand hear ideas from any alum- Sven Staffordnus who wishes to share ways Madina Sarkulovathe Alumni Association canwork better for AUCA Alumni. Contributors We have already had two Aida Alymbaevasuccessful meetings, and plan Alexandra Revinato have many more. Ideas from Aliona Kimyour classmates included: small- Jamby Jusubalievaer, more frequent alumni events, Kemel Toktomushevan alumni advisory council, more access to career services, Martin Ossewaardemore consistent communication, and DVDs of initiation. Medina Kuldaeva As a result of alumni comments, on October 15th we Mohammad Aliminvited alumni to meet the architect of the new campus, see his Peg Peoplespresentation and ask questions about the construction process.This was followed by a Brain Ring competition between classes Pictureshere at AUCA. Over 20 alumni competed among former class- Emil Akhmatbekoves and current AUCA students, although we were not able to AUCA Archivesdetermine which class was the smartest. Design and layout AUCA is undergoing major changes, and we want alumni Emil Akhmatbekovto be involved. We are working on plans for a new campus, weare developing a new Central Asia Institute to bring scholars AUCA Magazine is published by thefrom across the world to Bishkek, and we are expanding our American University of Central Asiacontinuing education and community outreach programs. These programs and projects will not be possible without You may send your correspondence to:alumni support and input. Our students need your guidanceand expertise. In Bishkek people lament that their country is AUCA Magazinenot as great as it could be. AUCA students and alumni are the American University of Central Asiapeople who are out in the world to lead this transformation. If 205 Abdymomunov St.,you want to see the Kyrgyz Republic succeed, come back and Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720040help us succeed. You can help move AUCA forward, opening Tel./Fax: (996 312) 66-45-64doors in Central Asia and beyond. E-mail: On the cover: Sven Stafford Tilek Mamutov05 and Aijan Jumukova07 Director for Special Projects4 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • President’s ColumnWelcome From the President W elcome to AUCA, an exception- ally dynamic liberal arts uni- versity in the heart of Central Asia’s most livable city. With over 1,500 graduates around the world embodying the transfor- mative power of the liberal arts approach to learning, we look confidently to a future of further innovation, collaboration, and outreach. We are about to release a new set of strategic goals that charts our ambitious course for the next five years. This plan anticipates expansion of our curriculum to encourage all of our students to take an active role in their education from a new freshman seminar program to their origi- nal senior thesis research; the creation of a world-class research and teaching Institute for Central Asian Studies that will bolster our reputation as a vital center of scholar- ship on a region in transition; redoubled efforts to further internationalize our insti-tution by attracting more highly qualified faculty and students from around the world; and expandedfacilities, including a new residence hall and main campus building to improve our attractiveness andincrease our capacity to facilitate high quality learning and develop a new generation of leaders andentrepreneurs. Central Asia has historically served as a vital crossroads for the exchange of technology, ideas andculture along the old Silk Road. Once again the region is rapidly emerging as a crucial link betweeneast and west, north and south, and our website, an important outpost along the new electronic SilkRoad, will provide you with a window into one of the most dynamic institutions in Central Asia. Asyou browse through our site you will not only learn about our demanding programs and student-centered learning approach, you will meet the students and faculty that make this place so special.We hope you will get a sense of the incredible AUCA spirit that pervades the halls and classrooms.It’s a unique atmosphere that results when you gather the most driven and imaginative students andfaculty from the region in one place and, balanced with a culture of academic honesty and high ethi-cal standards, you give them the freedom to explore new worlds, question assumptions, develop newperspectives, and follow their passions. If you are not fortunate enough to walk down our halls and see this for yourself, visit our web-site often to watch us as we continue to grow, spread our wings and soar to new heights of academicinnovation. Andrew B. Wachtel President AUCA Magazine*November 2010 5
  • University UpdateAmbassador Tatiana C. Gfoeller Practitioners of the Iaido artAmerican First Iaido FestivalDemocracy in Kyrgyzstan On September 23, 2010, the U.S. Ambassador On September 4, 2010, AUCA studentsto the Kyrgyz Republic,Tatiana C. Gfoeller, gave participated in the first Iaido festival in Kyr-a public lecture at AUCA on American democ- gyzstan, organized by the Shiseikan Iaidoracy. Tatiana C. Gfoeller was sworn in as the U.S. Club. Iaido is a Japanese martial art that teach-Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic on August es smooth, controlled movements of drawing22, 2008. a sword in reaction to a surprise attack. The A member of the Senior Foreign Service, festival took place in the main hall of the SportAmbassador Gfoeller joined the Department of Palace.State in 1984. She most recently served as the Con- "Iaido is the art of instant exposure andsul General in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. use of samurai sword, which differs from oth- In her opening remarks, Ambassador Gfoeller er types of martial arts by its grace and reli-stated, “In a sense I envy you because you have gious meditation. In Kyrgyzstan, the art of Iai-more liberty to decide the future of your nation do has been developing since October 2007,"than we do at the moment. I encourage all of you explained Aida Abdykanova, Chair of Anthro-of voting age to be active and vote at the coming pology and concurrently one of the organizersparliament elections.” She then continued her of the festival.lecture, discussing various aspects of democracyfrom the perspective of American history and, inparticular, the role and influence of Thomas Jef-ferson and Alexander Hamilton. After the lecture there was a lively discussion,in which every student was able to openly expresshis or her thoughts on the issue, make comments,and ask questions.6 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • University Update Supporting children from Ghana Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin RFE/RLUnsung Storiesfrom Africa On September 16, 2010, the Anthropology On September 6, 2010, AUCA studentsDepartment hosted remarkable guests – an of the Journalism and Mass Communicationsinternational team with an extraordinary mis- Department had the privilege of meetingsion of exploring Kyrgyzstan’s pastoral life, world-class media professionals Dr. Jeffreywith a particular focus on camels. “Why cam- Gedmin, President and CEO of Radio Freeels?” was the question most often asked of the Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), and Abbasteam’s leader, Sebastian Lindstrom, who also Djavadi, Associate Director of Broadcastinghappens to be an experienced traveler and film at RFE/RL. The students had an opportunitymaker, and the founder of Light for Children, to discuss various issues such as moral stan-an NGO working with HIV-affected children dards, confidentiality, objectiveness, and inde-in Ghana. pendence of information. His answer was revealing, “Camels are the After the event, Svetlana Verchenko,subject of our research for many reasons. First, a participant in the meeting, expressed, “Iour foundation ( believe such meetings and open conversationsis focused on unsung issues from all over the with professionals are very important. We getworld pursuing mainly relief purposes. Camel a chance to listen to those who successfullyis a very unique and special animal due to its implement in real life what we are now learn- www.auca.kgvery nutritious milk and products (cheese, fer- ing in theory as students. It is very motivatingmented milk), which have a high potential of and encouraging to me, a future journalist andbringing relief to those who live with AIDS.” reporter, to talk and listen to such people. I was The students of the Anthropology Depart- once again reassured that I made the right deci-ment had a chance to talk to the explorers, sion in choosing my specialization and futureshare their ideas and views about issues of career. After talking to them, I believe manypreserving nature, taking care of people, and stereotypes about journalists, especially in ourdeveloping new approaches to solve the great country, were broken. All of us were able to seechallenges of the modern world. an example of professional reporters at work.” AUCA Magazine*November 2010 7
  • University Update Using Writing to Learn: On the New Writing and Academic Resource Center Education requirements come into the first year in which all gradu- The Writing and Academic Resource effect. This year sees the introduc- ating seniors will write a senior Center (WARC) comes with the new tion of First Year Seminar: The thesis—a capstone project to their challenge to AUCA to make writing Pursuit of Wisdom, a year long liberal arts education. To support a more rigorous component of the liberal arts course in which all these new endeavors and to help undergraduate curriculum. first year students read, discuss, insure the potential success of T evaluate, and begin to define the each student, AUCA is establish- his academic year, concepts of wisdom, knowledge ing and opening a new Writing 2010/2011 brings many and freedom—not only for them- and Academic Resource Center changes to AUCA. As a selves in relation to each other, but this University President steps in also through such works as Dos- The Writing and Academicto lead AUCA forward, and a new toyevsky’s “The Grand Inquisi- Resource Center (WARC) comespartnership with Bard College in tor,” Plato’s Republic, Confucius’ with the new challenge to AUCANew York takes form, so do new Analects, and Simone Weil’s Grace to make writing a more rigorouscourses begin and new General and Gravity. The year also marks component of the undergraduate curriculum. To help meet this goal and to help meet the needs of stu- dents as they face the challenges of writing in First Year Seminar, as well as in their disciplines, the Writing and Academic Resource Center will offer one-on-one peer tutoring, group workshops, and a variety of resources and support (both online and off) as students develop their writing and analyti- cal skills across the disciplines. In short, the Center will be a place where students will not only be able to try out their ideas but receive help in organizing them as well. As the fall semester begins, the Center has been seeking nomi- nations by faculty of potential peer tutors, interviewing tutors, final- izing space arrangements, and developing a series of workshops that will begin in mid-September to train new tutors in peer tutor- ing pedagogy. These workshops will focus on training tutors to help their peers through the writ-Peg Peoples leading a writing workshop ing process—from understanding8 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • University Updatean assignment, generating ideas the Center needs to beand a thesis, to drafting and revis- a resource for studentsing, and finally, to learning how and faculty. All too oftento proofread and edit one’s own as teachers and stu-writing by learning how to iden- dents, we conceive writ-tify common grammar and Eng- ing as what we do afterlish as a Second Language errors. we have read this text,Regardless of what stage a writer after we have discussedis at, a peer tutor will help the these ideas, and after,writer move to the next stage in we have thought aboutthe writing process. Our goal is to this topic and organizedhave tutors working in the Center our ideas about it. Butby early or mid-November. At that the goals of the Writingtime, the Center will offer not only and Academic Resourcedrop-in hours but appointments Center are to help notscheduled in advance as well. only students, but fac- Center tutors are selected ulty as well—all of us-not only on the basis of their writ- to conceive of writinging skills, but also on their ability not simply as a productand desire to help others think or an outcome of havingthrough and organize their ideas. thought, but as a modeThese students along with other of thinking and learning Chynara Ryskulovainterested students in the spring itself: to use writing towill take a semester long course engage and explore difficult textsin Tutoring Pedagogy, a course to and ideas in the classroom, to use The goals of the Writing and Academicbe offered each spring to ensure writing to promote classroom dis- Resource Center are to help not onlyAUCA has a strong pool of tutors cussion, and to use writing to think students, but faculty as well—all ofeach year to support the Writing on the page and to try out ideas us—to conceive of writing not simplyand Academic Resource Center’s and thus develop greater flu- as a product or an outcome of havinginitiatives. And if anyone has ency, dialogue, and independent thought, but as a mode of thinking andgotten the impression so far that thought. In this sense, writing is learning itself.the Center will offer tutoring only one of the most democratic learn-for writing, think again. This fall ing tools we can use in the liberal offer resources and workshopswe are also collaborating with the arts classroom. for faculty on integrating writ-Math Department to identify and The evidence of recent ing into the classroom, on creat-train tutors to help their peers as research suggests that using writ- ing revision friendly assignments,they fulfill the new General Edu- ing as a mode of learning helps and on sequencing assignmentscation Math requirements. Along students become more reflective to help build the analytical writ-with writing tutors, math tutors and flexible thinkers, and provides ing and thinking skills needed inwill work closely with their peers teachers as well with a range of individual disciplines. Already,in one-on-one sessions to devel- strategies to help students struc- we are working closely with Firstop understanding of concepts, ture and understand their own Year Seminar faculty to integrateto identify and articulate areas intellectual development. Writing writing into the classroom, as wellof difficulty, and to help stu- integrated not only into our syl- as beginning to dialogue and offerdents understand and complete labi but also into our teaching also assistance to faculty planning andassignments, as well as review asks us as teachers in the liberal teaching the Senior Thesis Semi-for exams. We are drawing on arts to re-think what classroom nar. But we don’t want to stopstudents across the disciplines— work is for—it asks us to define here, we invite all faculty to stopto assure all AUCA students that our goals, make our expectations by, introduce themselves, andif they feel they need to work transparent, and design teach- share their needs, concerns, and www.auca.kgwith someone in their discipline ing practices that foster inquiry, ideas, and to learn about ways inon a specific assignment, there’s a dialogue, and reflection. More which writing can be integratedtutor who can assist them. reflective students, as the logic of into their teaching. The Writing and Academic education goes, will make moreResource Center is not only for reflective citizens who are morestudents though. If writing is truly likely and able to participate in by Peg Peoplesto become a rigorous component and contribute to a larger democ-of the undergraduate curriculum, racy. To this end, the Center will AUCA Magazine*November 2010 9
  • University Update E arth Day is a world- happen entered our campus wide movement too. The Earth Day Working for a more liveable Group considered postpon-world, which has recently ing the event, but decided thatgained footing in Kyrgyz- sharing our message of co-stan. This year, a committed operation and hope with thegroup of 4 AUCA teachers, AUCA Community would beover 20 students, and 3 AUCA better. So, with some adjust-Clubs, with marvellous assis- ments, the programme wenttance from the AUCA Stu- ahead. Even now, in the begin-dent Affairs Office and from ning of a new academic year,local environmental NGOs, the movement goes on becauseorganised AUCA Earth Day the nations of the Earth and,for the second time. indeed, of Central Asia need to While most activities around unite in order to care for theirthe world are centred in the week world and its people.of 22 April (the original Earth Day, So what went on at thesee below), we had our first activi- AUCA campus on Earth Day?ty, a successful day of tree planting, The art class had a poster com-on 2 April. A group of 12 enthu- petition for the best expression Martin J. Ossewaardesiastic students made their way of the Earth Day spirit. The post-to a medical clinic, opposite the ers were up in Bravo for most made a plea for more environ-Physical Culture Institute, to clear of that week and the three best mental awareness in the businessthe garden of stones and plant a ones were awarded a prize. community, which IBC is tryinghedgerow in close co-operation There was a forum with to promote through various ini-with the cheerful clinic staff. representatives from civil soci- tiatives. Finally, Mr Ruslan Isaev Unfortunately, days later ety, who explained why they highlighted in words and imageswe saw very different scenes were working for a better, green- how Camp Ala Too helps ruralin the streets of Bishkek, and, er world within their sphere of communities improve their liv-understandably, fears and influence. Ms Indira Zhakypova ing conditions and the environ-worries about what else might (NGO Milieukontakt Interna- ment by reducing unnecessary tional) shared her energy spending. passionate story The afternoon programme about bringing featured a debate by the Debat- safety to rural ing Club on the potential of communities in green job creation and the role of Southern Kyrgyz- government in that, as well as a stan from harm- treat of environmentally friendly ful leftover pesti- snacks made of local ingredients cides, despite the and presented with a minimum cold indifference of (recyclable) packaging. of administrators We from Earth Day Work- and law enforce- ing Group want to wish you all ment agencies. Mr a fruitful and sustainable year! Kuban Ashyrku- lov (International Business Council) by Martin J. Ossewaarde10 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Field ResearchHome of the Angel of Earth According to an ancient myth other better. There was a good topic was “Bride Kidnapping inKarakol is the place where the environment with different ethnic Karakol”, Ilona’s topic was “Lan-angel of earth lived and, because groups that we did not appreciate guage attitudes in Karakol: bar-of its natural beauty, many foreign- during our four years of study riers, stereotypes and linguisticers and locals spend their summer together. We experienced differ- racism”, Alim’s topic was “Impacttime there. It is indeed worthy to ent cooking, languages, cultures of Gift Exchange on relationshipsspend time where the people are and traditions from each other, and social-political life in Kyrgyzreally hospitable, educated and instead of only our research. People”, Aizhamal’s topic wastolerant. Finally, we learned how to col- “Investigating Everyday Islam The long journey from Bish- lect and organize research data. I in Karakol”, Dastan’s topic waskek to Karakol has taken us more do not call this field-work ‘work’, “Presentation of Kyrgyz Culturethan three years of study at AUCA. but rather the best time I had at to Foreign Tourists” and finally,This journey was supported by the AUCA in my four years.” Tynchtyk’s topic was “Impact ofanthropology department in July Nevertheless, field work External Migration in Social life2010. The purpose of this journey was the most significant, prob- of Kyrgyz People”.was anthropological field-work, lematic and complicated chal- “In Karakol I had a greatwhich is a requirement for every lenge for us. Since the interview experience. I got a chance to visitstudent majoring in anthropol- schedule was arranged by our different and interesting places;ogy. The work is conducted indi- professor from 9:00-5:00, every I collected information about thevidually under the supervision of student was alone and busy with activities of tourist firms and localdepartment professors. Our group his or her field-work throughout people, about the presentation ofof seven students (Suraya Shams, the day. Being alone in an unfa- Kyrgyz culture to foreign tour-Aigul Abdurahmanova, Aizhamal miliar region for a foreigner was ist,” emphasized Dastan, one ofMorat, Elona Yubareva, Tynchtyk hard. We were in different places the participants, about his experi-Bakyt Yyly, Dastan Derbishev and such as mosques, universities, ence in Karakol.Mohammad Alim), along with our and bazaars. Having interviews For me personally, this sum-instructor, Togtogulova Mucaram, with different people like profes- mer’s experience has shown mespent our summer doing field- sors, Imams, and shopkeepers another life. It has taught mework in the home of the angel of was interesting. After suffering how to struggle with culturalearth, Karakol. the whole day with these people differences, misunderstanding, Our life in Karakol was awe- we had to reflect on our field- language barriers, and actuallysomely diverse, since we were from work and write a reflective jour- being part of a team. From thisdifferent backgrounds including nal. Every evening after dinner field-work I learned how to cook,Kyrgyz, Kazakh and Afghan. We we had a one-hour meeting with how to conduct an interview, howmade a small and very friendly our instructor. Every student had to find a suitable site, and devel-community. We shared an apart- to talk about his or her challeng- oped my Russian as well.ment, cooked together, cleaned es, progress, and problems faced I think having such an expe-together, worked in a team, and during daily interviews. Addi- rience helped us to see the reallearned to tolerate each other. tionally we had individual meet- world of anthropology. In field-House chores were scheduled for ings with our instructor about our work students are faced with real-everyone, and two people were research. The mistakes corrected ity and must differentiate betweenresponsible for cooking and clean- by our instructor during evening past and modern forms of each day, as well as being busy meetings helped every student to I would like to thank the Ameri-with their field-work for half a improve his or her field-work sig- can University of Central Asia forday. nificantly. The progress and prob- providing us with an opportunity Suraya Shama, a senior in lems with our research and meth- to see society through the lens www.auca.kgthe anthropology department, ods were revealed. Our instructor of anthropology and thank theexpressed that her experience in always guided us and challenged anthropology department for giv-Karakol was really fun and inter- us to come back the next day with ing its students the opportunityesting. She continued, “By seeing even more material. to get experience in anthropologi-different people from a diverse We experienced in the field cal research.region, we learned a lot of infor- more than we expected. In themation which we did not know field, every student had his or herbefore. Also, we got to know each own topic. Aigul and Suraya‘s by Mohammad Alim AUCA Magazine*November 2010 11
  • Field ResearchThe Heart of Naryn Kyrgyzstan is a country that is rich with heroes, hospitable citizens, indescribable and bewitching nature, folklore, and centuries-old traditions. K yrgyz people have opened up thousandsof high, mountainous valleys July, I received an offer from Cholpon Turdalieva, associ- ate professor in the Anthro-in the Tian-Shan, where they pology Department of AUCA,have dwelled, perfected a to participate in an anthropo-difficult system of life skills, logical project supported bycreated a culture, and spiritu- the Christensen Fund. Thealized a large space. mission of the project was Fascination, impregna- to explore the biological andbility, virginity and mysteri- cultural diversity of Naryn,ousness – words that come aim of exploring and discov- Kyrgyzstan, and based onto my mind whenever I think ering a new Kyrgyzstan for observations, with the helpabout Kyrgyz nature. Majes- myself. The project that I was of fellow students, createtic, unusual, admirable and involved in during summer short movies in order to edu-divine - that is how I would holidays gave me a chance cate others about what wedescribe Kyrgyz culture. The to expend my anthropologi- learned. So far our team hasidea of exploring my native cal knowledge, learn cultural created several movies suchland was born in my heart aspects of Kyrgyz people’s as “The role of sheep breed-long before I was given an lives, and research the nature ing in lives of Kyrgyz peo-offer to participate in an of Naryn. ple”, “Altyn Koldor ”, “Ak-anthropological project that While most of us prefer Muz”, “Beenin Sutu”, “Narynfocuses on maintaining the to do nothing except relax City” and “Kiyiz”. The mov-rich diversity of world biol- during summer vacation, I ies are reflections of what weogy and culture. I dreamed decided to combine rest with observed on our trips. Theyabout traveling around my work. At the beginning of are closely connected with homeland with the Naryn people’s lifestyles, environmental issues of Naryn, and cultural aspects of the Kyrgyz Republic. The other aim of the project was to join young, ambitious, talent- ed, and enthusiastic students from numerous universities in the country together. The project assisted me in broad- ening my horizons concern- ing the biological and cultur- al background of Naryn. Besides students from American University of Cen- tral Asia, there were par- ticipants from universities such as Manas, Naryn State, and Kyrgyz-Slavonic. I was impressed by the students’ Enjoying the open air, while performing traditional tasks deep academic knowledge12 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Field Research A welcoming host receiving his guestsand extraordinary way of ed a chance for students from pitable citizens, indescrib-thinking. For instance, when a different institutions of high- able and bewitching nature,working day was finished and er education to sharpen their folklore, and centuries-oldwe had free time, we would social skills. traditions. This country ishave absorbing discussions Naryn impresses with its also a great place for study-concerning many aspects of hospitable, open, and friend- ing biocultural diversity andlife. As result of such gather- ly people. Wherever we trav- cultural heritage since it hasings, we had sharp debates, eled, local people treated us a rich history, outstanding,strong arguments, and fiery like we were their closest talented people, and wonder-disagreements. We would relatives. I still remember the ful, untouched nature. I amend up sitting against each women who shared candies glad to have had the experi-other with red faces, shak- with us and wished us all ence of exploring Naryn, get-ing hands, and puzzled facial the happiness in the world. ting acquainted with its peo-expressions. Most important, It seemed like that optimistic ple, and learning more aboutwe ended up gaining a lot attitude toward hardships, Kyrgyzstan. I suggest thatof valuable information and poverty and unemployment everyone travels to Narynknowledge from each other was one of the key secrets some day in order to discover www.auca.kgduring discussions. As it is of local people’s kindness. Kyrgyzstan in your hearts.said, the truth lies in a dis- They never give up; instead,pute. So, improvised discus- they live in harmony withsions helped us develop our themselves as well as with by Medina Kuldaevacritical thinking, reasoning, the amazing Naryn environ-and analytical skills for find- a good answer to a good Kyrgyzstan is a countryquestion. The project provid- that is rich with heroes, hos- AUCA Magazine*November 2010 13
  • 14 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Interview with the PresidentAndrew B. Wachtel:Opening New Doors Andrew, you have already been all, actually! People seem to have aacquainted with the Soviet Union. reasonable life, which is nice, even ifWhen did you first find out about chaos happens from time to time.Kyrgyzstan, or Central Asia? When I was in the Soviet Union I found online that you werein the 1980s I was very much inter- applying to another university at theested in Central Asia, because it was same time as AUCA.even more exotic and interesting than I was dean of the graduate schoolother countries, and it was quite diffi- at Northwestern University for sixcult to get here because I was Ameri- years ultimately. And after I was oncan. I was in Uzbekistan in 1987, and that job for four years I knew it wasthat was the only chance to come to time to go and try to see somethingCentral Asia during the Soviet times. I else. There are two positions thatwas working as a simultaneous trans- run a whole university: provost, forlator with a photographer; we were academic affairs, and president. It isdoing a book, making pictures and hard to say which position is morewriting journalistic texts. We visited interesting. And Claremont GraduateTashkent and Samarkand. University is a big research university in the U.S. And Kyrgyzstan came later? Actually, four or five years ago, So there were different positionswhile going to Tajikistan, I took the proposed for Claremont and AUCA.opportunity and went to Kazakhstan. I think a vice president or pro-In most respects, Soviet culture was vost has the more interesting job,pretty similar. I don’t find Bishkek because you deal with the day-to-dayvery different from Soviet times, in affairs of the university, and there isterms of peoples’ attitudes towards a lot going on. And a president of www.auca.kgthings they say to you, what expecta- a U.S. University is mostly involvedtions they have, or how you should in external affairs, like fundraisingrespond. It is all pretty familiar. and other things like that. In a small-There is nothing very surprising or er place like here, the president isexceptional. The city itself is very involved in more interesting thingsnice by comparison to most post - and can change things for the better.Soviet cities. It is not as rundown as So I decided it would be worth it tomany others. It is not “rundown” at make a better world here, than be a AUCA Magazine*November 2010 15
  • Interview with the Presidentpresident of some small col- I’m going to a confer- by the second semester oflege in the U.S. Generally I am ence on Russian poetry of the 2012-13 academic year weknown as a person who comes the 70s and 80s that will take should have and makes things different place next week. I’m finish-in ways that, usually, other ing translations of one poet of What should we adver-people haven’t proposed. that period, and it will prob- tise about AUCA? The April ably be published. I just get events in Kyrgyzstan this Won’t you regret step- up in the morning and write year do not help…ping away from teaching and something. Early morning is We need to do an ad cam-research? Administrative good for writing. paign. Part of it doesn’t dependwork is something else… on us because of the whole I was able to do as much You said at the first meet- issue of what Kyrgyzstan isresearch and study when I ing with faculty that you will like. If the country is totalwas a dean as I did when I study Kyrgyz… anarchy and chaos and peo-was a full-time faculty mem- I’m going to a Kyrgyz ple are shooting each other onber. Research really takes class twice a week. So when the streets, you can advertisetime in American universities I learn it, we’ll see what I can whatever you want, and youand you have to teach a lot. do with it. I think it’s impor- are not going to get anybodyI don’t think administration tant to know the language of to come. But, we’ll proceedis nearly as hard as teaching. the country where you’re liv- under the assumption thatBecause in teaching you have ing. there will be no anarchy andto be inspired every day, you chaos and no people shootingare in front of students, and What are the first steps each other on the streets. Andyou have to be ready and you you will undertake in we will design some kind ofhave to be prepared. If you AUCA? advertising campaign. Thereare in administration you I think first I’m figuring has been a long-term goal ofcan always say I don’t know out the things I don’t have diversifying the student bodywhat to do about this and it to do, because the hardest here, which has been quitecan wait till tomorrow; you part is making sure you have successful. That’s the joy thathave assistants, somebody enough time to do the big students still come from areascan always do something for things. It is easy for me to get outside of Bishkek. But weyou. Administrators have to involved in one more little need another couple hundredmake final decisions, while thing that I can solve. But if I of students from other places,academics have open doors do then I’m not going to have and ideally we need anotherand they can choose the way time to think about what the couple hundred students whoto go… big set of issues is and how to can pay the fee. Those kinds deal with them. What I need of students exist, but to con- Are you planning to do to figure out is how to build vince them to come here issome academic work? Write a new campus, how we will something we haven’t donea book for example. advertise the university effec- yet. What will we advertise? Yes, I will be able to write tively, how we will get more First of all we need to have aa book about Central Asia students from a wider variety better idea of our final prod-and one way to shape reform. of places, how we will make uct. There are huge competi-I wrote a history of the Bal- a more interesting and bet- tive advantages to experiencekans that was published a few ter student body, and how we another kind of educationyears ago. So I am thinking will find more money. than you get as the standardabout making an illustrated in the states or even privatehistory of Central Asia focus- Do you set any delays universities of this region. Soing on culture and society, for the campus construction? we need to take advantage ofwhich would be short and The idea is that we can that, we need to explain thatsweet. Maybe 200 pages of start building in March, and you get what you pay for, andfacts and 150 pages of illustra- then the question becomes is that what you get is a bet-tions. I know that no one has it possible to build a campus ter, more flexible, more cre-ever done this kind of history, in 18 months, so we can be ative education than in A orand it would be fun. ready by September 2012 to B, with more opportunities to move? The answer is maybe, do interesting things. That is Will you work on trans- but also maybe not till Janu- why I have spent a lot of timelations? ary 2013. Certainly, I think thinking about how to sell the16 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Interview with the Presidentuniversity in a relatively con- competent economists. As educational skills to do that.”vincing way and to whom. long as things don’t change That is what we are selling.For me, it is not enough that too much, they can solveAUCA is a better University problems of economics. That What about fundraisingthan KNU or others… or the is not the kind of student we for the University?best in Central Asia, even. are trying to produce. We are Raising money is aboutI think we should be able to trying to produce someone two different things. Findingfind a particular strength who understands the ways people who have money, get-in some field of research for the economic system fits with ting some access to them, andexample and try to become the other systems in the world then selling them in the world in that field. and not just in solving certain You tell them that they haveThere are a couple of ideas I types of problems - how does an opportunity to be a parthave. Central Asian studies my bank calculate my interest of this incredibly interesting– I don’t think it will be that rate five years forward from experiment to do things inattractive to students from tomorrows soms. The ques- a very different way and tothis particular region, but for tion is who would you rather produce a very different kindstudents from the States andEurope - yes. If you want tohave short-term study abroadprogram, then this is whythey would come to study.Why would they come here tostudy American or Europeanstudies? Central Asian stud-ies can be the research side ofthe university. Because this issomething we are now miss-ing to a great extent. Researchstudy makes the universitybetter, more interesting forfaculty and more importantfor the state. Research doesn’tnecessarily impede the edu-cational process. And you certainly have a Jamby Jusubalieva interviewing the Presidentstrategic vision of the educa-tion AUCA should provide. be? A person sitting in a little of person who will change his The kind of education cubicle figuring out what the world. And if that is excitingwe provide here is based on interest rate will be, or do for you, then it would be greata more flexible type of curric- you want to be doing creative if you help us. To some extentulum. We do that in the U.S. and interesting work? Your I think that the stories you tellwith an idea that it will cre- choice. We want the kind of to the potential students andate more creative types of stu- people who say “I want to be the story you tell to poten-dents. If you go to Moscow prepared for different kinds tial donors aren’t different.State University or Kyrgyz of things. I don’t want to solve It’s pretty much the same. It’sState University you will be standard problems that some- just that students will benefitvery well prepared, and you one is giving to me. I want to from what you give them inwill know a huge amount of be the kind of person who sets a different way than donorsstuff in the one area that you the problems, and I want to will. Sometimes the strategic www.auca.kgstudy, but outside of that you be a person who is in charge position towards your educa-may or may not know any- of motivating other people tion is the key.thing. And they don’t care to solve problems. And notabout the level of flexibility because my “brother-in-law What do you see as a bigor creativity you have. Most is Nazarbaev’s friend”. But challenge in the beginning?people who graduate with because I have the skills to do The biggest problem isan economics degree from that, because I was given the to get the faculty and theMoscow State University are communication, thinking and students all simultaneously AUCA Magazine*November 2010 17
  • Interview with the President Andrew Wachtel recognizing students for outstanding achievementsaware of what we are trying and the world need done. we are trying to make this ato accomplish here. That’s better place. The only waythe challenge. Because most Andrew, it seems you to do that is to go out and befaculty members (here and are very cool as a boss, what with people, play soccer witheverywhere else) would prob- about hierarchy? them or get yourself involvedably prefer to do their own All organizations are with freshmen during theresearch projects, teach their hierarchical and a univer- orientation week. You haveclasses in the way that is easi- sity is even more hierarchi- to be able to say what youest for them and never think cal. There is a little bit more think. But ultimately, there isabout the overall goals and official authority here than still a hierarchy, because themission of the education in in the U.S. but that’s I think final decision is always minethis university. And most stu- mostly on the surface. In the in the end. But I would ratherdents would like to get their U.S. I think people pretend make people feel relativelydegree with the minimum not to differ with authority, more comfortable than rela-amount of work. Our job is to but I don’t think they differ tively less comfortable. Andpush both students and fac- with authority any less. To sometimes they should forgetulty out of their comfort zone some extent it depends on that there is a hierarchy. I’min order to create a generation how you carry yourself. You trying to meet people withof leaders who can use their have to have everybody feel whom I can have normal con-talents to do what this region we are [in this] together, and versations. As a president of18 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Interview with the Presidentthe university it is difficult to questions, they soon forget mistake. So the question ishave normal relations with that the president is in the are they trying to get awaypeople, because of hierarchy, room. So I get to watch stu- with something by not doingand you never know what dents’ every day behavior. things in English or could wepeople think. So it is easier to When you come into a place make a better student by mak-play soccer as we did a few where people have been work- ing him/her more bilingual;days ago. Because after some ing with each other for a long to me the answer is yes. Youtime, they forget that I’m a time, you are upsetting their could say that their Englishpresident and they will kick chemistry of work by defini- is much weaker than Russianme in the shins when they tion. And you want to make and we have to set a limit forhave to. things better and you prefer the courses they could take in not to make things worse. Russian, and I could live with I presume they will let that. There are certain subjectsyou score more goals… Let’s tackle a delicate that absolutely should not be That’s the problem. That’s issue. How do you envisage taught in Russian, and I couldnot so pleasant actually. I introducing more teaching live with that too. But to havethink Nikolay Grigorievich in Russian? this blanket feeling that nowill not let me score more I think we should take course should be taught ingoals. He is too competitive this question from the other Russian, because this is some-to let that happen. There is side. The belief is that it is eas- thing bad for the universityalways this question if I could ier for some faculty to teach and because there are 10% ofhurt someone doing some- in Russian and they would the students who don’t knowthing they don’t like, and they rather do this. It is easier for any Russian, I don’t’ find thatdon’t respond, because they some students to learn in Rus- a convincing argument.feel they have to accept it. sian and they would rather doYou will never find an answer that. That’s seen as a problem. Would you teach your-to this question. But outside They are trying to get away self in Russian?the university you can. And it with something, instead of If I teach course of Rus-will take some time. doing something difficult, and sian literature, I will teach it the answer is we should not in Russian. To give the text So it’s not easy to be a let them do that. And I agree of «Великий инквизитор»president?! that in general you should in English is stupid. While, I’d like to get a better feel- not let people take the easiest for example, Plato in Englishing about what our students road, if there is a harder road is fine. I think there has to bewant in the broader sense that they need to take. But I a minimum number of cours-from this world. What do they also think we should figure es for students from Rus-want from life in general and out what students need. Let’s sian speaking backgroundshow can the university work look at our students. 90% of because they need it. I don’tin a way to help them achieve them come from a Russian know how to achieve that.this? The hard part of being speaking background. And We need to discuss first whatthe president of a universi- a big percentage will end up our students need. And thenty is to have normal contact working in Russian speaking we can come up with a plan. Iwith various people, because careers. I know that even if you can think of a variety of waysnobody behaves themselves are from an English-speaking we can solve this. You havein a room like when you are background and you go to to use your brain. This is onenot in the room. The goal is an American university, you of the issues which we havealways to be like you are in a spend 4 years learning how to to think about. We will solveMark Twain novel when you write in English. I know that this problem.can go out and nobody knows students coming here fromwho you are in reality. Then Russian backgrounds can’t Thank you, Andrew, for www.auca.kgyou can watch interactions as properly write in Russian. In your time. We are all look-an unnoticed observer. Ide- so far as we make them write ing forward to continuing toally that would be possible. exclusively in English, we are build AUCA – in all sensesOne fun thing about the Kyr- taking away their possibility – with you, and good luck ingyz classes I take is that stu- to achieve a high level of flu- your hard presidential mis-dents first recognize that we ency in Russian. To me, given sion and learning Kyrgyz!are in one group, but since we that the majority will have toare all asking and answering work in Russian, it is a big By Jamby Djusubalieva AUCA Magazine*November 2010 19
  • Featured ProfileNatalia Slastnikova:The Way to Success Y ou may ask: what is the best word that describes this woman? The answer: development. She has her own formula for suc- cess, which, as time shows, has turned out to be very effective. “If you want to be successful, be proactive, creative and well prepared”, Natalia Slastniko- va explained. Natalia has two technical degrees, signifi- cant administrative and teaching experience, and is currently the executive director of Lead- ership Development. She came to AUCA 12 years ago, joining the teaching staff, as well as contributing her administrative capabilities. A teacher by vocation, she delivers learner- focused instruction in leadership, teambuild- ing, communication, organizational behavior, career planning and development. She has more than 25-year experience in education. At AUCA she has served on the President’s team by coordinating and performing a wide variety of administrative and support activi- ties. Since 2002 her leadership has been utilized in development and resulted in the creation of the alumni association, annual fund, and par- ent fund. Finally, the advisory board for busi- ness administration program was created with the help of her well-established relations in the business community. Natalia Slastnikova Four years ago Natalia was assigned to develop two new projects: the career center and personal enrichment and professional develop- the continuing education center. These are now ment. well known in the AUCA community, Bishkek She has been engaged in the development and beyond. of multiple career center projects in Kyrgyz- “AUCA was a small entity; there were so stan. More than 20 Career Centers have been many things to do. I just caught an opportu- developed in higher education institutions. She nity. My philosophy is very simple: by develop- is the author of three manuals for students and ing others we develop ourselves”, Slastnikova career centers that are published with USAID said. support. Excellent execution of such projects has left She is always active in the community and a positive impression on the students, potential volunteers her time advising the local AIESEC employers, and many businesses. In less than team, conducting trainings on leadership for four years the continuing education center has high school students in the region and career now served more than 6000 non-traditional stu- trainings for students in other institutions. dents, and its portfolio includes more than 50 Her formula for success accompanies Nata- leading Kyrgyz and international companies. lia everywhere she goes: “If something is unde- The courses and trainings developed by veloped, you always have a chance to develop Natalia, such as effective presentation and pub- it.” lic speaking, management skills, leadership in organization, and career planning are aimed at by Alexandra Revina20 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Students in ActionKarlygach Nurmanbetova11:Giving Back to the Community L istening to a success sto- ry is always interestingand exciting. Taking this intoconsideration, we would liketo introduce to you KarlygachNurmanbetova. She is a seniorof International and Compara-tive Politics (ICP). Karlygachhas chosen ICP, because it is hermain interest, and also becauseit is a field that can help her tomake a difference in the world.Currently she works as a FLEXalumni coordinator for Ameri-can Councils for InternationalEducation and is an activist forthe Unity Fund at AUCA. “I believe that brilliant andactive young people are the oneswho can change things for thebetter. They are the true treasureof our nation,” reassures Karly-gach. Participation in the FLEXprogram played a crucial role inKarlygach’s decision of whereand what to study. After arrivingback home from the U.S. most ofthe FLEX alumni have a sharpsense of responsibility for mak-ing a contribution to the devel-opment of their country. Her jobwas to lead alumni to implementany of their great ideas, andarrange different kinds of proj-ects and events. It was impor-tant for her to be able to inspirealumni to action, and also to Karlygach helping at the Children Cancer Centerhelp them understand the factthat the program does not end other active volunteers who the very beginning the studentswhen they arrive. In fact, it only helped and joined the Fund. The were implementing only certain,marks the beginning, and it is all Unity Fund would not be able to basic activities. Later, it becamein their hands to get the best out operate without the great sup- a fund. The name UNITY sym-of their alumni experience. port of the initiators and volun- bolizes the unification of differ- This young lady of many teers. Two AUCA students were ent people regardless of their www.auca.kginterests is also actively involved pioneers in this: Nadezhda Pak nationality. Thereafter, manyin charity at the Unity Fund. The and Jennie Jie. Nadezhda Pak, other small range projects wereUnity Fund was initially created a FLEX 2010 alumna, became implemented. But everythingto help the victims of the tragic very active immediately after was done with the support of theevents in Osh. This marked the her arrival from the U.S. Jenny volunteers, many of them AUCAmoment when the youth of Kyr- Jie, originally from China, has students.gyzstan rose to contribute to their always been willing to help Kyr- The academic year has justsociety, and there were many gyzstan in any possible way. In started, but Karlygach and other AUCA Magazine*November 2010 21
  • Students in Action AUCA Unity Fund teamactivists have already implement- ing young lady? Answering this thing I have, and my native vil-ed many activities (i.e. visiting the question, our guest said that her lage – Kochkor, located in NarynPsycho-Neurological orphanage job brought her to feel this way. oblast, is the best place on thein Belovodsk, the child cancer Before she was just an ordinary planet for me,” says; bringing children from student, concerned with com- “For the small successes IOsh to the Flamingo Park; pur- pleting her homework, doing have achieved up to this point Ichasing medicines for the south). her own business, and nothing want to thank my parents, whoThe Unity Fund members were more. But after her year serving were always there for me, whoactive during the whole summer, as alumni coordinator, Karly- believed in me and my strength.and the momentum helped them gach has realized that everybody They are the people who gave meto continue through the beginning is responsible for those who are so much, not asking for anythingof the academic year. The very first in need, especially children. And in return, and devoted their entireactivities were gathering humani- it is not right to be indifferent lives to my brother and me. Mytarian aid for Osh and Jalalabad, and to stay aside, acting as if friends serve as an example for mewhich was the most important nothing bad is really happening. and also as a great support. Myissue. Many children from Osh She was nurtured by this sense teachers, professors, and eldersarrived in Bishkek for rehabilita- throughout the whole year, and have taught me so much, and Ition, and during this period the is willing to carry it in her heart am still learning and will keepactivists were fortunate enough to in the future as well. learning from them,” Karlygachtake about 100 children to the Ala- Besides university and phi- concluded.Too cinema and to the Flamingo lanthropy, Karlygach has plenty A bright and talentedpark. of other engagements. She enjoys AUCA student, a responsible cit- Karlygach is the type of writing poems and stories; loves izen of her country, and a personperson who believes that every- cooking, which helps her relax of unbelievably kind heart, Kar-one can do their bit to change and gives freedom to her imagi- lygach is an example all AUCAthe world. How did this philan- nation. The thing she enjoys the students can aspire to be.thropy and incredible desire to most is visiting her parents. “Myhelp people come to a charm- parents are the most precious by Aliona Kim22 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni SpotlightCholponbek Jumashukurov`02:Conquering Corporate America the university was able to gather truly exceptional talent. I hope one day these people will lead Kyrgyz- stan. In terms of education, AUCA gave me a particularly strong knowledge in accounting (Tati- ana Filippovna), macroeconomics, (Munara Artykovna), and manage- ment and organizational behavior (Kamila Dushebaevna). Later in my career I always felt I had solid foundations in these subjects. AUCA is obviously a very important part of my background. It is becoming more well-known as more alumni spread around the globe each year. Though the Amer- ican-style grading system was a big plus, 10 years ago when I stud- ied, it was less known. Therefore, it was important to differentiate myself from fellow students. I was very fortunate. I feel that it played a key role when later applying to these fine institutions. What are your thoughts about success? Can you claim Our special guest and author of What was your experience at you are a successful person?AUCA success story is Cholponbek AUCA? It is too early to tell whetherJumashukurov. He graduated from AUCA was great for me, I I am successful or not. In terms ofAUCA in 2002, majoring in Busi- wouldn’t exchange it for any other my achievements so far, I thinkness Administration, and currently university in the world. I made they were due to a combination ofworks as an analyst at Farallon Capi- my closest and best friends there, a lot of luck and hard work.tal, a private investment firm based including Adilet Dadybaev, Taalai In terms of hard work it hasin San Francisco. He won an FSA Nasirdinov, Kanybek Konok- been important to set the correctFLEX scholarship to study at a high baev, Azamat Ibraimov, Chyngyz long-term direction and be very www.auca.kgschool in the U.S. and afterwards Jamankulov, Bek Chalbaev, Ulan focused and disciplined in execut-entered AUCA. He received his MBA Kojomuratov, and Edil Azhi- ing it.from Harvard University and has baev. I met many wonderful and I have also been fortunate inexperience working in the investment impressive individuals like Almaz having the right mentors at differ-and banking sector. Prior to Faral- Bazarbaev, Asel Kasenova, Aijan ent stages. It is very important tolon, Cholponbek worked at Deloitte Soodaeva, Daniyar Ilebaev, Elnura find and stick with a person, fromand Touche, McKinsey and Goldman Osmonalieva, Mirlan Karabukaev, whom you can continually learn.Sachs. it’s impossible to name everyone, I also keep a list of lessons I learn, AUCA Magazine*November 2010 23
  • Alumni Spotlightbut I’m not disciplined in actually AUCA? est national debates are on howreading them later. It is a gradual process. As to allocate country’s large reserves In general, I am a relaxed AUCA increases its alumni base and how to more fairly conductperson. There should always be a and the existing base matures, the the hugely popular Kyrgyzstanwork-life balance. I like to party alumni should be able to provide citizenship lottery.and probably did actually party more serious support for the uni-too much during my freshman versity. This will work as long as What do “Harvard boys” doyear at AUCA. AUCA keeps providing a good in their free time? student experience and continues There are probably many And talking about the years investing in keeping alumni con- stereotypes about Harvard andat AUCA – any more fond memo- nected. The support from alumni its alumni. I enjoy spending timeries? should not be limited to partici- with my family, reading books, One of my great memories pation in fundraising activities, watching movies, playing socceris the Halloween party during my but more importantly giving back and watching team sports. I like2nd year, when my friends and I through sharing knowledge and to read as much as possible. Asprepared a scary room, which was experience with current students. I famous investor, Charlie Munger,so popular that it caused a long know some examples of my peers says, reading is the best way toline. We charged a fee to enter and who voluntarily taught subjects become wiser. I have a long list ofwon the best room award, and in AUCA after earning degrees books I want to read.were rewarded with a huge cake. abroad. Over the years my friends Again, my work-life balanceWe used part of the money to buy and I did a couple of presentations is important. Success does nota large bottle of Coke for us. Sweet to current students on the manage- equal happiness. As Ingrid said,memories: fun, cake and soda! ment consulting industry, telecom “Success is getting what you want, sector, retail banking, professional and happiness is wanting what To your mind, what else services abroad and how to apply you get.”makes AUCA a special place? to top MBA programs abroad. First, what I liked most So, whats next for you? Anyabout AUCA is the lack of cor- We also know that AUCA ambitious investment plans?ruption and bribes. It is really became the place where you met I like where I am now. Direc-unique in post-Soviet countries, your wife. Could you kindly tionally, I would like to continueand AUCA is much different elaborate on this? investing in myself and becomingthan some other local universities. I met Saltanat in Bishkek, but a better professional. The threeSecondly, AUCA’s scholarship not exactly at AUCA. We studied best investments in life are yourprogram and admission process there at different times but obvi- education, your health and yourprovided great opportunities for ously still share the same univer- relationships. They all usually paystudents from Kyrgyzstan’s prov- sity background. She studied eco- off well.inces, who usually come to Bish- nomics, and now is continuing herkek with no special social ties to education here in the U.S. Saltanat Anyone you would like toenter better colleges. I saw many has a unique personality, which is thank who has influenced whotalented students from rural areas tough to find; and I am very fortu- you are today?be able to study and excel there. nate that we are together. Yes, professionally I amFinally, AUCA’s care and respect thankful to several people, includ-for students makes it a truly spe- If you had to live your life ing Tatiana Parfenova and Kamillacial place. I remember how the over again, what one thing would Sharshekeeva, my favorite AUCAschool’s administration did every- you change? professors; Julia Mikhailova, mything to improve students’ lives, I would not really change manager at McKinsey; Michaelhow it increased computer lab and anything. There are a couple of Kho, my senior buddy at Gold-library hours so students could mistakes, which I strongly wish I man; and Bill Duhamel, my pre-better prepare for exams, how the had avoided, but they are in the vious mentor and the man whouniversity assigned a special bud- past. introduced me to value investing.get which the student senate could I was also heavily influenced bydistribute for various projects. Your craziest dream? the books, essays, and speeches The Kyrgyz Republic proud- of Stephen Covey, Warren Buffett You are an alumnus now ly entering the list of top 10 coun- and Charlie Munger.and can look back and make tries in the world with the lowestjudgments about education and corruption and crime rates; theits meaning. How do you see best education, healthcare, and By Aliona Kimthe role of alumni in supporting business opportunities. The fierc-24 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni SpotlightChyngyz Jamankulov`02:A New Star in the Banking Sector AUCA is proud of many ofits brilliant graduates from all overthe world, and every success storyis precious and worthy of attention,because it is our extreme joy to seeour students growing and pursu-ing great careers and achievingnew heights. Chyngyz Jamanku-lov graduated summa cum laudein 2002, and holds a bachelor’sdegree in Business Administra-tion with a concentration in bank-ing and finance. At the moment,Chyngyz is responsible for man-aging credit risk of retail lendingproducts such as personal loans,credit cards and mortgages in hiscapacity as Head of PFS Credit atHSBC Bank. He joined the RoyalBank of Scotland (former ABNAMRO Bank) in 2007 in a lateralmove to broaden his skills andareas of expertise after spendingfive years with Deloitte in inter-nal control and audit advisory. standing professors who shaped for regrets in his life, he quoted aChyngyz recently became a part his thinking. In particularly he famous song “Regrets I’ve hadof HSBC Bank after it acquired the mentioned Tatiana Parfenova, an a few, but then again too few toretail banking assets of the Royal accounting professor, and Chinar- mention…” Another componentBank of Scotland in Kazakhstan. bek Otunchiev, a visiting lecturer of this successful entrepreneur isAs any professional in his filed, he on capital markets. He is grateful to to live with the maxim that eachcan be characterized as a serious, his professors for the example they day he should learn somethingpurposeful, hard-working per- were to him, of loving knowledge new. This is his biggest motiva-son, and at the same time curious and being always willing to learn. tion. If some free time is there, heand fair. Talking about being an AUCA is a keen supporter of Arsenal and His AUCA years were a spe- alum now and what it means, he is always enjoys a chance to watch acial time for Chyngyz and he keeps sure that alumni can promote the good football game. He also likesfond memories of his friends and AUCA brand through their per- taking long walks and havingstudies. He reminisces, “AUCA sonal successes, through passing deep conversations with his wife.provided me with a solid academ- their knowledge and experiences Family and friends are importantic foundation and a close circle of to students as visiting lecturers, or for Chyngyz and he highly valuesfriends. Its excellent reputation assisting them in job related or oth- close relationships with them.helped me get a job at one of the er queries. Last but not least, they Speaking about his plans forbest employers in the market. can directly contribute to AUCA future, our hero says: “I plan, in theUnwavering adherence to its core through participating in fundrais- short run, to continue to work invalues and its vibrant and inspir- ing campaigns. Chyngyz believes retail banking in Kazakhstan and, www.auca.kging culture make AUCA a special it is vital to stay connected and be possibly, in other countries. In theplace. I will always remember an thankful in a practical way to the long run, I would like to return toenergetic and pleasant atmosphere university. Kyrgyzstan and apply my experi-that was always present in the cor- When asked about success ence in risk management in myridors and cafeterias of the univer- and how he would describe it, home country.”sity.” Chyngyz said that it is impera- Chyngyz had the privilege tive to have a clear vision andof taking classes from many out- work hard to make it happen. As by Aliona Kim AUCA Magazine*November 2010 25
  • Alumni SpotlightElnura Osmonalieva06:LIFE THROUGH A CAMERA LENS Elnura Osmonalieva is a promising independent filmmaker and producer. She came to AUCA in 1998 aftera student exchange year in the USA as a FLEX program participant. Being very interested in camera work,photography and drama, Elnura joined the Journalism department, but later transferred to the Internationaland Comparative Politics department. Today Elnura is back on the filmmaking path. A few months ago she wonthe International Almaty Film Festival with her film “Shaken Zhuldyzdary”. In addition to her new hardware,Elnura was also the winner of the Best Director Award at the Master Class of Ernest Abdyjaparov and was theMain Award Winner at the Second Auteur Film Festival for young filmmakers of Central Asia. Elnura, you have just returned from the film lowing your own vision. This includes brushing awayfestival in Amsterdam. What was this trip all the desire and expectation to succeed. Filmmakingabout? also heavily affects my personal life. In Amsterdam I The International Documentary Film Festival met a number of people who had decided not to haveof Amsterdam (IDFA) is children, so they couldone of the leading docu- focus on filmmaking only.mentary events in the It struck me again, this real-world. It offers an exclu- ization of how much com-sive training program mitment cinematographyfor emerging filmmak- requires.ers, producers, and film It is a lot of fun, nev-students from home and ertheless. Meeting peopleabroad. Each summer the and working with peopleIDFA Academy organizes who are usually fun, differ-summer schools to help ent, not-normal in a goodfilmmakers to strength- sense. Traveling and hav-en the narrative of their ing the privilege to createfilms. I was invited to something that everybodyattend the IDFA summer has an interest in. “Cin-school to work on the ema” and “film” are magic“Pasture in the Skies”, a words, and most peopledocumentary film I am want to be a part of it, eitherworking on this year through being in a film orwith Jasper Osmund, a by watching it.well known editor from I get much supportDenmark. Thanks to this from my husband Tolonduworkshop, I now know Toichubaev who did a lotmuch more about struc- to get the post-Soviet Kyr-turing a documentary in gyz cinema off its deadits script stage and later zone. He co-founded aduring the editing. production company “Oy Art” together with Aktan I assume you have Abdykalykov, and withoften heard this ques- great input from Altynaition: is it easy to be a young film director? Koichumanova “Oy Art” was able to produce suc- Filmmaking never seemed to be, nor did it turn cessful films and push around the idea of indepen-out to be easy. The work of a filmmaker requires a dent filmmaking. The result is a new group of filmlot of input - intellectual, artistic and physical, and makers with prizes from big festivals and people`swhen combined with producing, the workload dou- interest in Kyrgyz cinema.bles. You follow your artistic desires and then youfind yourself in a situation where you need to prove So how come you chose this path? Is theresomething to others through your films. Every single anyone or anything that has influenced your deci-person in your audience comes to watch your film sion?with the desire to be satisfied. The challenge comes My mother Nasiba was the main person whoin brushing away the expectations of others and fol- gave me my backbone. Most of the things she taught26 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni Spotlightme in life really helped. My fatherMadalbek gave me a philosophi-cal attitude to life and my favor-ite quote from him is “kop bolsoolturot”, which means “don’t beafraid, the worst thing enemiescan do is kill you”. I was lucky asa FLEX student and had wonder-ful parents there as well – Veryland Larry Andersen. My hostmom taught me how to be a pro-fessional at work and combinecareer with family. She had hostedtwelve students before I arriveddespite having two jobs and eachof her host students thoughtshe and her husband were theseincredible host parents. As for the filmmaking, itwas a decision that did not come "Almaz" is a story of enduring hopeovernight or an idea that struckme one day. I have always felt As a FLEX student I had my on for a while after I completedthe urge to create and as a child host parents’ video camera for it, really set me strongly in theand teenager, I wrote poems one year and took class on media direction of film making, as it waswhile dreaming of writing books. communications and loved look- the only thing that could keep meI often imagined having a house ing at the world through the cam- distracted. Now filmmaking hassomewhere high in the mountains era lens. My tutor told me that turned into an obsession I love toamong woods and writing. How- I had “a good eye” and a local have, the profession I cannot doever, I was also very intrigued by television station invited me as without, and turned out to be theimages. My father was an ama- a camera operator to a number kind of life I have been lookingteur photographer as a student of events. I still dreamed about for without even realizing it.and took photos with black and writing though.white film. One of his photos was Later, however, when I was Eugene Grishkovec saidamong my favorites: two smiling confronted with a blank piece of that “Young filmmakers doboys, his younger brothers, stand- paper to write up an assignment not shoot real films, but rathering, facing the camera holding a at a journalism class, I felt a great dream about money and houselarge dog by its front legs. The loss and that feeling lingered for in Nice”.dog looks calm and pretty happy a number of years. This desire My energy in filmmakingand even its tongue is sticking out to write now helps me to write mainly comes from the desire tomerrily. On the tree next to them, scripts and proposals to get fund- bring change to Kyrgyzstan, pro-a cat is looking at the dog, fully ing for my films. mote creation of an open societyconcentrated and ready to react and live in an environment that isat any moment. I loved to look And when you decided to not hostile to people who are dif-at this photograph. It gave me a go “pro”? ferent, who want a better life orwonderful feeling of childhood, I chose to get serious about future and who want to formu-carelessness and it was full of life making films in 2006, during late their own independent opin-because of their smiles, the way the time I was graduating from ions and choices.the camera captured a moment of AUCA, because I felt a strongleisure, and fun witnessed by a urge to do what I saw director Your last movie “Almaz”,cat from a very different angle. Ernest Abdyjaparov do at the set what is it actually about? While growing up, I used of the “Pure Coolness”. “Almaz” is about theto watch films to see how they Two years later, when I was strength of hope, and desire to bewere made by trying to under- talking and talking about want- happy despite the odds. The filmstand how the camera moved ing to make films and reading is made primarily for the Kyrgyzand where the cuts were. I also some literature, I made my first audience, although everybodylearned that this was best done, short film. A personal mischief told me it was a wrong approachespecially with music videos, if that occurred shortly before the and one should make a film forthe sound was turned off. making of this film, and lingered all of humanity. With this film I AUCA Magazine*November 2010 27
  • Alumni Spotlightwanted to target the Kyrgyz audi- rushing through life like some- How did you do at AUCA?ence primarily. The reason for this body is after me. There is very I had a GPA of 3.6 whilewas one of my major frustrations little time for contemplation. This having one or two part time jobs.with Kyrgyzstan as many young makes me miss my teen years as I Because I needed to work, I neverpeople, as well as parents, seem seemed to be much wiser and less excelled to the extent I wanted to,to have lost the understanding of frustrated back then. in any of the courses I took. I washow important education is. always rushing, stressed or busy. For many, poverty and hard- What do you think about I remember being always late forships justify a life where educa- the prospects of cinematography 8 am classes, because I wouldtion is not a priority, because there in Kyrgyzstan? stay up till 3 am after work study-is never money for it, or because Tough question… If we man- ing. Therefore, I avoided taking athey see that it is not educated age to get ten or twenty people class that started at that time if itpeople who succeed, but those educated in the best film schools was possible. Despite this I waswho are corrupt. There seems to in the West then we might have a part of Amnesty Internationalbe no understanding of the long- rather noticeable change. Other- Club, KVN and “The Star” for aterm value of education both for wise, no increase of funding will while. I also participated in threepersonal development and sat- be able to help Kyrgyz cinema- large debating tournaments onisfaction, as well as professional tographers make better films. It behalf of AUCA and came outaccomplishment. Therefore I is not just the issue of money. It the winner of the Central Asiandecided to make a film to tell is also an issue of understanding Championship, CIS Champion-a story that would refute these the modern world, the modern ship and did well at the Interna-ideas, senses, and stereotypes. cinema industry, and film mak- tional Competition in Glasgow. ing techniques and approaches. With several academic How did you find a hero for I gave up on my belief in some- leaves, related to work and trav-this movie? body making great films without el, I finally graduated in 2006. I I met Almaz by coinci- learning about cinema or about still wonder whether I woulddence at the Center for Protec- directing, script writing, and edit- have been able to gather mytion of Children (CPC) a couple ing after the IDFA summer school strength and finish my studies,of months after I started work- in Amsterdam. Just a week of if not for my husband who wasing on this film project. He was talking with people who had the telling everybody we met that hereally the person I was looking knowledge and experience gave “was living with an uneducatedfor – bright, positive, sincere and me so much artistic and technical person”. Everybody laughed butreally strong. Almost immedi- value. I saw his point. So I came back forately I knew he could help me let that last semester, and althoughothers know that studying was And what values for your I could not complete my seniorworthwhile and that challenges, success were laid at AUCA? thesis, which was about the Kyr-even the hardest ones, could be I had great professors who gyz State Television not fulfillingovercome. taught me to be creative, persis- its obligations, I did enjoy the I found funding and we tent and responsible. I learned to preparations for the state examstarted shooting. I must admit formulate my thoughts in writ- on Kyrgyz history, which I suc-that I did not have much sense ing. AUCA gave me the belief cessfully passed.about how the film would come that everything was possible if Unfortunately, I missed theout, but I really wanted to tell enough effort was made. graduation ceremony, because IAlmaz’s story in a way that would When I visited AUCA for was away at the filming of “Purenot bring pity to him by becom- the first time, twelve years ago, Coolness”, where I had a smalling yet another film on poverty I was still a high school student. role. It took ten days of film-and children, but inspire, cause Back then I thought, looking at ing, and the director did not letadmiration and recognition. AUCA students that they must me leave even for one evening. be some divine creatures because Therefore, I do not have this Since “Almaz” is about they looked so busy and impor- sense of closure with AUCA. Ithope and happiness, what does tant with their concentrated faces just feels like I am on a long aca-“happiness” mean to you? and backpacks. I just could not demic leave again. I do not think I know what believe that just a year later Ihappiness is for me, as I always would be one of them. Therefore, But is it still a special placeseem to be struggling. I often being admitted to AUCA was for you?feel happy, and the main source already achieving a benchmark In some ways AUCA wasof my happiness is my daughter for me. not as exciting as my high school,Churyok. For the time being I am where the head teacher was gay28 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni Spotlightand was dating another maleteacher, both married; anothermarried female teacher was seeinga student, and the oldest teacherof all was harassing female stu-dents on a daily basis. AUCA was“normal” in that sense. My fondest memory ofAUCA is always having people,both professors and students,willing to help. It is the concen-tration of talented youth, com-mitted and qualified professors,and staff who communicate withrespect and desire to make thebest of their time at the univer-sity. I loved studying in AUCAalso because the students weretold to be, and really were, theowners of the place. I think thatour student petition in fall 1999to replace the toilet soap, whichhad a stinky smell, was really thepinnacle of student activism. Itcould not get better than that and,of course, the administration toldus that we had no shame. Most of the best things Ihave in my life come from AUCA– knowledge, skills, contacts,impressions and inspiration. I think alumni should stayin touch via alumni meetings,come to meetings with students,recruit high school graduates andconsult them about the enroll-ment procedures. I believe our readers wouldlove to know what your favoritemovie is. I have not watched that many Any plans of winning advice to them?films or as many as one would Oscar? Try getting movies that getexpect a filmmaker to watch. From Although I understand the into the selection of competitionthose, which I have seen, I like Fell- importance of it and enjoy festi- programs of the main interna-ini’s “8 ½” and “Empty House” (3 val screenings of my films, I was tional film festivals. CertainlyIron) by Kim Ki-Duk. never really interested in film watch the classics and, if inter- festival success. I often feel like ested, watch documentary films – So whats next for you? making a film is very similar to they have the added value of rep- www.auca.kgNew movies? writing poetry, and how could resenting true life stories. Please I have to learn a lot. I still you dream of writing a poem that invite me to the screenings – Ihave great doubts about my tal- could win a prestigious award? would love to watch some filmsent as a film director, but for the You either write it or you don’t. with you.time being I would like to keepmaking films, as I, now, cannot At AUCA we have a Studentimagine my life and myself with- Movie Club, where students get By Kemel Toktomushevout it. together to film movies. Any AUCA Magazine*November 2010 29
  • Alumni Spotlight Alina Murzaeva`07: In Perpetual Alina Murzaeva is a product ofthe International and ComparativePolitics department class of 2007. Motion classes at AUCA, and to be frank, it was a shot from out of the blue to see how talented our students me to graduate with honors. In addition to that, I have clearly learned how important it is toShe completed her Master of Science are. Each of them possesses indi- be an effective and strong lead-degree in International Humanitar- viduality and a fantastic person- er, yet stay a team player. Theseian Law from the London School ality. I am very happy to have an kinds of investments are price-of Economics and in Public Inter- opportunity to continue target- less, and one day they will bringnational Law from the Diplomatic ing students by providing sup- in revenue.Academy under the Ministry of For- port and various opportunities. If talking about personaleign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. growth, our university providesCurrently, she serves as the Com- How would you describe a strong and firm foundationmunication Legal Officer at the yourself in 5 words? for future development. For meInternational Committee of the Red Hate it or love it, I am still AUCA is, indeed, a special place,Cross (ICRC), where she contributes number one. A bit more than five since I have met the people whoto the promotion and implementa- words, but I do not like limits became my life comrades here.tion of international humanitarian anyway. That is the greatest gift the uni-law in Kyrgyzstan. versity could have presented Sounds very ambitious! I me. How come you chose to pro- ask all my interviewees the fol- Even now I often reminiscemote and strengthen humanitar- lowing question: what are your about my graduation day. Itian law and work in the sphere key ingredients of success? was a dreary, yet warm feeling.of international relief? I think there is no single I remember standing in line for It has been a long journey. "right" recipe of success that is my diploma and I was think-I have tried several different valid for everyone, since it is a ing, "This is probably it. Nowcareers, starting from banking matter of personality. As for me, you will receive this beautifuland editing a so-called "glam- I am sure that no success can paper stating that childhood isour" magazine. However, I feel be reached without passion for leaking away. But I damn likein a very comfortable place now. what you do. Personally, I am that!" I looked at the faces of myInternational law is the passion crazy about my job, where you classmates and professors, and Iof my life. Actually, public inter- clearly see the added value one realized how dear they are to mynational law was my minor at can deliver. So let us say a little heart; I spent four years of lifeAUCA, and I should say that I bit of luck multiplied by self- with them, and I confess that itleft my heart at the law depart- dedication equals success. has been a great journey.ment. Also, though often criti-cized, I do believe in the humani- And what principles of Do you have any regrets?tarian values that international success you have got from your No regrets at all. You knowlaw aims to deliver, and this is alma mater? Richard Aldington once said, "Liveexactly the reason why I am with The most important thing and make mistakes, because this isthe ICRC. AUCA taught me is to think. the life". This is why I just live with At the same time, it is really Our wonderful professors made mistakes, which I actually love.a great pleasure to work with me broaden the scope of mystudents. I often come to the consciousness and urged me Since you mentioned Rich-international humanitarian law to stay critical, which allowed ard Aldington, what actually30 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni Spotlightmotivates you in your life? my driving force. All I do in this beautiful. Friendship by itself is a I am afraid to get bored of life is dedicated to my mom and rare phenomenon, and it is hardlife, and that keeps me mov- dad. Secondly, I want to express to underestimate how fortunateing, exploring and discover- my gratitude to friends just for I am to have my real friendsing. The more you achieve, the being the way they are. Thank around me. Real relatives mighthigher another goal is being set you for being crazy sometimes, grow under different roofs, andup for you. Perpetum Mobile is just like me. And last, but not this is true for me, because all ofmy credo. Otherwise, the dan- least, I would like to say thank the people I call "friends" are myger of being stuck in between you to my professors who con- family. Thus, I dedicate most ofwould be inevitable. tributed to the formation of my my free time to my friends and of personality and to my life in course to my little sweet doggy Never thought of changing general. The lessons you have Masya. In between, I am tryinganything in your life? to continue playing I would not change tennis and drawing.any little thing. I should Meanwhile, I am mad-say that for some ly waiting for the firstunknown reason I was snows to come, so thatgranted, from above, the the snowboarding sea-wonderful life I have. I son will be a happy person, andI am thankful for that As a member ofevery single minute. But the AUCA Alumniif I would need to change Board, how do you seeone thing with a magic the role of alumni inwand, I would have trans- supporting AUCA?mitted Bishkek to Issyk- To be frank,Kul, since Issyk-Kul is my AUCA alumni are notsoul. playing the very role they should be playing Someone has strong- in the life of our almaly influenced your life mater. Given the strongviews… moral ties, alums have That is definitely to be more involved inmy mom. She is the most the activities of the uni-amazing person in this versity. Here, I believe,world. My modest brain the administration andjust cannot understand the Alumni Board havehow a person can com- to cooperate closely.bine so many huge fea- Surely, there are manytures in one. My mother brilliant ideas of how tois a brilliant business- make the AUCA familywoman, but my younger a home for and I have always Alums can provide thebeen surrounded by her love and taught me are priceless! Wish bridge between the students andcare. At the same time, she is the you all the best, and thank you AUCA management, represent-perfect wife for my daddy, with very much for everything! ing the practical example of whatdinner ready and ideally ironed an American University studentshirts. Always stylish, she never Besides saving the world, can achieve. I look forward tostops on what she has already what else you do in your spare being engaged in this kind ofachieved, because this woman time? work. I communicate a lot with www.auca.kglearns something new every day. The two most important alumni of different classes of things in my life, and, I believe, graduation, and all of them are Is she the only person who in the life of every person, are willing to contribute to the devel-has influenced you to be who friendship and love. opment of our are today? What can I say? I am an First of all, I want to thank unbelievably lucky person. Imy dear parents for being my have the best of best friends ever, by Kemel Toktomushevfoundation, my support and who make my life so bright and AUCA Magazine*November 2010 31
  • Alumni SpotlightTilek Mamutov`05and Aijan Jumukova`07: In Love with AUCATilek Mamutov and Aijan Jumukova are both graduates of AUCA. Tilek graduated in 2005 from Software Engi-neering, whereas Aijan is an alumna of Business Administration`07. They were married in 2009 and now live inDublin, Ireland. Tilek is responsible for software engineering and IT project management at Google Inc, while his significant other works as an audit senior at Ernst & Young. Tilek, so how did your imagine how we would meet eat!story start? each other if not AUCA. She Since you mentioned the Tilek (T): I do not believe could have hired me as a web- work, why did you choosewe were formally introduced. master though, and for her such career paths?She even thought my full first I would have made the best A: Although I specializename was Tilekus, because website ever for free. in marketing and manage-that’s how our friend Boka ment, I found it more efficient(Bolushbek Abdyjaparov) What else do you do to to build a career from a morewrote my nickname in the make Aijan the happiest specific area like accounting.official AUCA Students in woman on Earth? Having technical knowledgeFree Enterprise (SIFE) team T: Well, one thing for sure in one area opens doors todatabase. is that I try to make her laugh many other opportunities We first talked to each all the time. It is difficult in your career. Also numberother, when we were both on always to come up with good crunching and financial anal-the AUCA SIFE team early in new jokes though. So while I ysis are very interesting and2005. But then I got appendi- keep trying and learning, the challenging for me.citis, and she would come and process may be a little painful I have been working atvisit me, help me walk and get for Aijan. But it’s just when Ernst & Young for 2 better. But when we were she is happy and smiling, I My job revolves around tech-just SIFE teammates, I had to feel like I don’t need anything nical accounting principlesdo crazy stuff to get noticed! else in my life. Aijan is a very and interpersonal client rela-I even sang full songs in Pun- hard-working and stunningly tionships. I have to men-jabi. beautiful sweetheart! What tion the high quality educa- Aijan (A): I remember I love the most is that with tion I received at AUCA. Ionce we wanted to organize Aijan I can really be myself. have never felt like I lackeda movie night in the students’ A: My first impression of some fundamental universityroom. We wanted to watch Tilek was that he was smart, knowledge. On the contrary,Madagascar 2. So I was invit- funny and friendly. I liked the I often felt that I know moreing everybody to the movie fact that he had many friends than many of my colleaguesnight, but it turned out that and he cared about his friends at my level.Tilek wanted to watch it only a lot. Tilek likes surfing the T: As for me, I loved mathwith me, and he had to secret- internet, which is no won- in school a lot. When I was inly tell people to let us watch der given his profession, but 5th grade, for the first timethe movie alone! sometimes Tilek loses track in my life, I saw a personal T: It’s very difficult to of time, he may even forget to computer and algorithms you32 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni Spotlightcould write for it. I realized curricular activities in AUCA ly in the morning on Saturdaythat math is more applicable made a big difference for my and Sunday, buy some snacksand productive, and it can career advancement, includ- in “Narodnyi” and ski thereally make people happier. ing the SIFE team, where I whole day in our beautifulThis is when I decided that sharpened my leadership mountains.this is something I definitely and teamwork skills. Actu- A: Besides excellent pro-want to do. ally, even my first job was at fessors and computer and At Google I develop inter- AUCA: I was in charge of our library facilities, I think AUCAnal web applications, which website during the summer has this friendly, almosthelp analyze and improve after my freshman year! family-like, atmosphere thatsearch quality. If you don’t makes students want to stayknow what web spam is and What do you think makes there and never go home! It isdon’t see it in Google search AUCA a special place? these little things that maderesults – it probably means T: Friends. I made amaz- AUCA special for me: postersthat our work has some effect. ing friends at the University, and photos when it was some-Also, I try hard to have as and memories with my best body’s birthday, ski, Issyk-many Google products as friends and other great AUCA Kul, mountain trips withpossible better localized for folks are really some of the other students, cozy studentKyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz warmest. The first memory room, room #104, SIFE andlanguage. Unfortunately, I that comes to my mind is how endless meetings, and manydon’t have official time allo- we organized AUCA ski trips others.cation for it, so it is more like with my best friends Boka T: Academic freedom,my hobby. (Bolushbek Abdyjaparov), free of corruption, academic Kuka (Kurman Otorbaev), honesty, especially on teach- And what foundations Nurik (Nurlan Kulcharov) ers’ side, is a great exam-for your success were laid and Vova (Vladimir Dolgiy). ple for Central Asia of howhere at AUCA? It was fun to gather very ear- institutions can be of a great A: I have only fondestmemories of AUCA: brilliantteachers, a warm and friendlyatmosphere, amazing studentconcerts, and kitchenette!Entering AUCA was, undoubt-edly, the best decision for myfuture. I did quite well atAUCA, graduated with GPAof 3.56. But studying at AUCAgave me more than excellentknowledge, it gave me thisconstant need to improve andchallenge myself. For that Iam really grateful. T: Same for me, althoughI did not do exceptionallywell in terms of grades. Actu-ally, I had all types of gradesincluding some rare ones like“incomplete”. The explana-tion for this phenomenon isthat I was studying very hard www.auca.kgonly when the subject seemedto be really useful for me,like software engineering, orinteresting like Italian. I defi-nitely made life more difficultin terms of finances for myparents than Aijan though. I also think a lot of extra- Aijan and Tilek exploring new worlds AUCA Magazine*November 2010 33
  • Alumni Spotlightbenefit to society! It is really ents of success. However, I tive thing about them was.inspiring to be together with know for sure that hard work, Being negative is definitelygreat people and extraor- self-confidence, and being a not an ingredient for success,dinary students from many kind and approachable per- in my opinion.different countries, most of son are a good start. 2) Find what you love,whom have scholarships for T: I wish I knew the ingre- what motivates you, whatacademic achievements. Great dients! Some of my recom- you want to achieve. No needinternational and local teach- mendations, though, would to set exact deadlines, but aters who helped us see where be: least choose a general direc-we stand in terms of knowl- 1) Be very positive! Since tion. Actually, none of myedge and where we should all events and things have career paths were exactlyaim. I hope other universities positive and negative sides, how I planned, but I realizedin Central Asia will learn all make sure you are aware of later that it was exactly whatthose things from AUCA. negative ones, but concen- I wanted. For me, what I love trate on the positives. This is programming, and what Mind sharing with us approach should reflect, for motivates me is the awarenessyour key ingredients of suc- example, when applying it that I help people by means ofcess? to your resume. Remember technology. A: I cannot point out a all the good things you have 3) Always continue learn-specific number of ingredi- done and what the most posi- ing, both theory and practice. Celebrating a new beginning34 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni SpotlightFor IT specialists, practice is pily and die on the same day. Also Elmira Tursunbekovnaespecially important I think. Musuralieva – for her shinyAlso learn things outside So whats next for you? personality and excellentyour core profession! In my T: My plan is to move lectures. Mahinur Asanov-case, knowing at least on a Google Headquarters to na Mamatova – I absolute-basic level several languag- Issyk-Kul, and I would allow ly enjoyed her classes; andes always helped me in my not only dogs in the office, Galina Gavrilovna Tremasovacareer and personal life. In but also sheep. Drinking – she was the best Englishgeneral, try to always be as kumys will be a required language teacher I have evercurious as a child. part of the interview process. had. 4) Work as hard as you I also dream to create a free T: Also, a memo to allnever worked before, when electronic education system alumni. The mentorship roleyou need it the most. I may for everyone in the world. from the alumni side is veryhave been lazy sometimes or You would be able to choose important. While professorsnot organized, but when it any courses to study from try hard to teach the mostcame to crucial moments like any type of educational sys- important and core subjects,graduation exams or going tem. Those courses would be it’s difficult for them to bethrough the Google job pro- provided and recognized by fully updated on recent needscess, I tried harder than ever. different educational institu- from employers’ side. This is 5) And the last, but not tions. But speaking seriously, one of the fields where alum-leasT: be nice. Unfortunately, together with Aijan we dream ni can help students to grow.many people forget about this of opening a resort in Issyk- Also, from my experience, Iwhile working hard on climb- Kul. remember that it feels very dif-ing the career ladder. ferent to hear about the “real Anyone you would world” and how to become Sounds very inspiring like to thank who has influ- successful from people whoand optimistic! Let me ask enced you to be who you are went through the same sys-you this question: if you had today? tem and almost throughto live your life over again, T: Parents, parents, par- the same courses as you do.what one thing would you ents. They spent enormous Financial support of AUCAchange? amount of effort to raise me is obviously important, even T and A: We would try to and my brother. small support, I think, is nicemeet each other earlier. Teachers of course in terms of expressing care, A: You know it feels abso- played a big role: my high which is important not onlylutely awesome to be mar- school math teacher Svetlana to university staff, but also toried! Not only did our mar- Eduardovna Mirau, teachers students who are studying atriage make us happier, but at AUCA, especially Sergey AUCA.also I think it made us better Nikolaevich Sklyar and Nan- A: I also see great oppor-people. Of course, there are cy Leland who were very tunities for alumni in sup-small bumps on the road, but strict, but, apparently, it was porting AUCA. I think AUCAwe try not to sweat the small very useful for my develop- would appreciate not onlystuff and enjoy our lives. ment. Many other teachers! financial support for high- T: Marriage is the thing And the AUCA staff was very achieving students’ scholar-for us, I think. We like to try helpful! I am sorry I can’t ships, but also non-financialnew things together. Together list all the names, but please support. I realize that allwe quite often run, play ten- believe me, I remember you alumni are busy with theirnis, surf and wind surf. Dur- and I am very, very grateful! lives and work after gradua-ing the winter we love to ski. Of course, my friends were tion, but I think many AUCAWe both had no hesitation and always there for me in the alumni would be flatteredgot married relatively early – most difficult moments, and to participate in career fairs, www.auca.kgwhen we were 24 and 22. We obviously Aijan. share their ideas, advise themare aware of many difficulties A: Parents, of course, to visit as guest lecturers, andthat marriage brings, espe- first of all. My sister Nurzat talk about practical areas orcially over time. But we are who insisted on choosing new methods that they applyconfident that love and huge AUCA when I graduated at respect will keep our from school! The whole busi-marriage amazing, until we ness administration depart-grow old together, live hap- ment was always supportive. By Kemel Toktomushev AUCA Magazine*November 2010 35
  • Alumni SpotlightNurdin Djumaliev`08 and Temirbek Chodurov`08:More than Successful Entrepreneurs After graduating from AUCA Nurdin Djumaliev`08 and Temirbek Chodurov`08 started their own business,opening DJ Bar “Barcode” in downtown Bishkek. At AUCA Temirbek specialized in Finance and Markets, whilehis partner and friend Nurdin studied Economics of Finance and Banking Theory. Nurdin and Temirbek, whatis your definition of success andhas your company achieved it? Temirbek (T): In our sphere,the definition of success is an effi-cient, automatic business process,and we are still working on it. Nurdin (N): Dominant mar-ket share, satisfied clients andpersonnel, long-maturing andstrongly competing businessprojects. Partially we are achiev-ing these targets. Do you think that entre-preneurialism is something thatis in your blood? Or is it some-thing that can be learned? T: Successful entrepreneur-ialism should be in the blood,and also in the blood should bethe drive to learn more about it. N: I would argue with thispoint, since I sincerely believethat entrepreneurialism can be Nurdin (left) and Temirbek (middle) at the opening ceremonylearned. Education and train-ing, experience and profes-sional skills development, hope Do you miss these “good old but it wouldn’t stop us from ourand trust; all these things could days in AUCA”? drive for success.sharpen entrepreneurialism in T: Sometimes, especially N: I agree with Temirbek,every person. “kichinet”. money doesn’t make people N: Yes of course: labs, queues happy. There are many miserable What role did AUCA play in “kitchinet”, social events such millionaires, even here in Bish-in your life? as initiation, commencement, kek. Money is just paper that can T: Today I realize that the and orientation week. be torn, lost, given or lent. TheBusiness Administration courses most important thing is to real-at AUCA, especially market- Arnold Schwarzenegger ize the idea – it is an art, whiching, accounting, financial man- has once said, “Money doesnt brings great satisfaction in life.agement and team leadership, make you happy. I now have $50strongly affected the develop- million but I was just as happy So I assume DJ Bar “Bar-ment of my skills. Now I deeply when I had $48 million.” What code” is just the beginning. Areanalyze every step before mak- does money mean to you, and you planning any new businessing important decision. what are your goals? projects? N: I agree with Temir. Т: For us money is just a tool T: Yes, we will soon openAUCA laid strong foundations for reaching our goals. We enjoy canteen “Moscow” located infor my personal development. I doing our business and having the highest business center ofgot deep knowledge in finance, fun. The most important thing Kyrgyzstan. It will be a luxuri-acounting and entrepreneurship, for us is to reach the set of goals ous format, but not expensive.and I use this knowledge every and the process of their real- N: I remember when weday. ization. There used to be times were starting our first commer- when we had no money at all, cial project in Issyk-Kul, I didn’t36 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • Alumni Spotlighteven realize that this could be afirst step towards our signifi-cant partnership in the future. T: This was the time whenwe were getting acquainted witheach other in business. N: Now it has been already3 years, but we are still workingtogether and making plans forthe future. We set our sights ondeveloping a huge corporation. Any challenges and obsta-cles? Т: The local mentality andway of thinking of many peo-ple here. We fight to sustain thequality of our work at the properlevel. We believe in the philoso-phy that today is better than yes-terday and tomorrow better thantoday. We do find it difficult tofollow this philosophy, but it isexactly what keeps us movingforward. Is it all just about business? T: We play soccer everyWednesday, go skiing duringthe winter, and spend some timeplaying poker in our summercottage. N: I spend weekends with Nurdin with his wifemy family and with my daugh-ter. I am also a great fan of foot- And what do they really T: First of all, take a chal-ball, tennis, skiing, and chilling mean? lenge, get acquainted with your-with friends. T: That assets can be liabil- self in business, and then you ities if they don’t bring benefits. will see what you are made of. If we could introduce you For example, if you have a car I would say that a person mustto anyone who would it be and as an asset, it eats some of your be inspired strongly by his ideawhy? budget for gas, service, etc. and and only then he can make seri- T: Steven Paul Jobs, co- doesn’t bring that many bene- ous steps in building his ownfounder and chief executive offi- fits. It serves only your comfort, business.cer of Apple. He inspires me to luxury and not your significantachieve my goals. needs. That is liability: you Anyone you would like to N: The best football player are spending part of your sal- thank who has influenced youin the world: Lionel Andrés ary and it doesn’t enlarge your to be who you are today?Messi. He would teach me to wealth. The idea is to make T: I want to thank my par-play football as a professional. a liability an asset, make all ents for understanding, patience resources work for you, not you and all support that they gave me What is the best advice you for them. This advice was given in my endeavors.have ever been given? to me from one of my favorite N: I want to thank my N: Enjoy every second you books “Think and Grow Rich” friends. They always support me,spend at work, with friends, and by Napoleon Hill. and I really value Time is our best asset. T: For me, what liabilities What pieces of adviceand assets for a business per- would you give to aspiring By Kemel Toktomushevson really mean. entrepreneurs? AUCA Magazine*November 2010 37
  • University Research Social Research Center (SRC) "Muslim Community in Kyrgyzstan: Social Activity at the Present Stage" The Social Research Cen-ter at AUCA has completedresearch entitled, “MuslimCommunity in Kyrgyzstan:Social Activity at the PresentStage”. The research was fund-ed by the Ministry of ForeignAffairs of Denmark throughDanish Church Aid in CentralAsia. This study examined theextent of involvement of theMuslim community, regis-tered and unregistered reli-gious Muslim organizations,insocial processes in Kyrgyzstanand its readiness for furthersocial integration. The study SRC team searching for new discoverieswas founded on the idea thatthe development of Islam the state and religious com- The researchers made ashould be oriented away from munities.The deterioration of number of recommendationsradical politicization towards the socio-economic situation addressed to public authori-social activity and integration. in the country, characterized ties, international organiza-The research also examinedthe by high levels of poverty and tions and the Spiritual BoardKyrgyz government policies unemployment, rampant cor- of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan.on religion. ruption, and falling literacy In particular, recommenda- According to the consti- levels, has resulted in a grow- tions were given to simplifytution, Kyrgyzstan is a secu- ing distrust of believers in national legislation regulatinglar and law-governed state. secular power.Realizing the activity of religious organiza-Meanwhile, most of the people menace of such trends, the tions engaged in charity. Mus-in Kyrgyzstan consider them- state has attempted to sup- lim communities were recom-selves Muslims, and every press them by passing laws, mended to actively publicizeyear the influence of Islam on and to differentiate so-called their social activities in publicsociety is growing. Following destructive sects and tradi- in order to strengthen trustthe disbandment of the Sovi- tional religious movements. between citizens and religiouset Union, the atheistideology This has raised many ques- organizations, as the formerquickly lost its dominant posi- tions about the criteria for is the main source of possibletion, and the ideological vac- dividing religious movements donations for religious orga-uum was filled in part by reli- and about the usage and inter- nizations engaged in charity.gion. Against a background of pretation of different terms, The researchers extendgrowing interest in traditions, including the understanding their gratitude to the Spirituallanguage and history, reli- of such notions as radicalism Board of Muslims of Kyrgyz-gious revival was viewed as and traditionalism. stan for their help in conduct-one of the major ways of spiri- The research results dem- ing this study.tual and moral social develop- onstrated that only a small To download the execu-ment, and as a quest for goals number of Muslim organiza- tive summary of this research,in life and spirituality. The tions, registered and non-reg- please visit the website offormation of a national state istered, are involved in social the Social Research Center atand dramatic changes related activity such as reconstruc- this process often had a cul- tion of schools, kindergar-tural and religious overtone, tens, roads, or charity activity.and promoted the ideologi- Activity of many organizations by Aida Alymbaevazation of relations between aim to call people to faith.38 AUCA Magazine*November 2010
  • What does it cost to plant the seed of academic discovery?We never know how far a student’s interest will have consistently proven the worth of antake him or her, so AUCA provides a rigorous AUCA education by expanding the frontiersliberal arts foundation that enables each student of knowledge and serving as leaders in theirto become a lifelong learner. In fact, our alumni communities and the region.How can you help educate the next generation of leaders? Contributions from alumni, friends, and parents both maintain the quality of our academic programs and demonstrate the unwavering commitment of the AUCA family to opening doors in Central Asia and the world. Your gifts, large and small, will ensure that current students enjoy the dedicated faculty and staff they deserve, and that AUCA will be able to meet its future challenges head on. You may make a tax deductible gift by Credit Card by going to Please make checks payable to the American University of Central Asia Foundation: The AUCA Foundation c/o Dr. Emita Hill 47 Wildcliff Road New Rochelle, NY 10805 All donations are tax deductible in the USA You may wire transfer your gift to Demir Kyrgyz International Bank CJSC Account no: 1181000500164692 Bank Code: 118005 SWIFT BIC: DEMI KG 22 Address: 245, Prospect Chui, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic Beneficiary: American University - Central Asia Correspondent Bank: American Express Bank LTD., New York, USA SWIFT BIC: AEIBUS 33 Routing Number 124071889 Address: 23rd Floor, American Express Tower, 200 Vesey str., New York NY 10285-2300, USA Correspondent Account 740464 Please contact the Office of University Development and Communication to learn more about giving to AUCA. E-mail:
  • Stay Connected Alumni AssociationAmerican University of Central Asia 205 Abdymomunov st., Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720040 Tel.: (996 312) 664564 Fax.: (996 312) 664564