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Kent State University Welcomes Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellow

Posted Nov, 13, 2009

Kent State University is pleased to welcome a new international student on campus as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program. Joining the Kent State family is Milika Ibrohimova from Tajikistan, who is completing her master of business administration in finance.

The Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program was established in 1992 by the U.S. Congress to encourage economic and democratic growth in Eurasia. The fellowship program aims to promote mutual understanding, build democracy and foster the transition to market economies in Eurasia through intensive academic study and professional training for fellows from 12 countries of the former Soviet Union. The Muskie program is highly competitive, averaging more than 3,000 applications per year with a 5 percent acceptance rate.

In Tajikistan, Ibrohimova has helped create Bovari va Hamkori, a microfinance institution designed to support the development of small- and medium-sized companies in order to contribute to the development of entrepreneurship and effectively solve the issue of poverty in Tajikistan. It is a closed joint-stock company and the first wholesale banking organization in Tajikistan.

While at Kent State, Ibrohimova continues to serve on Bovari va Hamkori’s board of directors, applying knowledge she has learned in class to real-world experiences.

“The program allows you not only to learn the theory but also to understand the practical value of its implementation as well,” Ibrohimova said. “Comparing the theory with my experience helps me remember the information and convert it to real situations.” 

Ibrohimova is Kent State’s only Muskie Scholar this year, though the university usually has one to two participants a year. Participants do not select the school they study at; rather, the host institutions and participants are paired through the Muskie program.
 
In addition to their academic coursework, all Muskie fellows are required to complete an internship in their field of study as well as participate in community service. Ibrohimova is currently working in the Center of Excellence for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation by training entrepreneurs in cash-flow projections; offering insight on business plans and the creation of business idea discussions; screening and evaluating business plans interactively with creators; and promoting microfinance concepts and approaches among the students and community. 

During her time in the United States, Ibrohimova hopes to give back to the community by working with Habitat for Humanity. 

“I want to give something back because I have been given such a unique opportunity by the American people through Muskie Fellowship to develop professionally,” Ibrohimova said. “I have found a warm and comfortable home in Kent, and I feel lucky to be here.”

For more information on the Muskie program, visit http://www.irex.org/programs/muskie/index.asp.

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Media Contact:
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595