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By Lorrie McNamee, UW Communications Intern
Opportunities for faculty and student exchanges will result from a new cooperative agreement between the University of Wyoming and the Kazakh National University (KazNU).
"Kazakhstan is the world's ninth largest country and, like Wyoming, has substantial mineral wealth that is shared with its people," says Michael Brown, director and professor of graduate studies in the Department of Communication and Journalism (COJO). Brown represented UW in formalizing the agreement. "This agreement may provide opportunities for the School of Energy Resources, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and other campus units to cooperate in relevant research."
The agreement also creates opportunities for the exchange of academic information, publications, materials and knowledge, and other mutually beneficial educational activities.
"Kazakhstan has been an independent country for approximately 20 years and is still developing its national identity," Brown says. "The cooperation agreement encourages their system of higher education to be more involved in international cooperation and research, and is viewed as an important milestone toward improving their national reputation and visibility."
Brown spent two weeks at KazNU, where he taught an undergraduate class titled "Mass Media and Society," and a graduate class in research methods. He presented academic publishing workshops for KazNU's faculty and members of the Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages.
"The students were bright, curious and hard-working," says Brown.
Brown also is exploring possible exchange options between the COJO faculty and students, and those from Kazakh National University. He has agreed to serve as an outside committee member on at least one graduate committee, and serve in an advisory role for their developing graduate programs.
COJO faculty members are exploring a potential exchange in which a small group of Kazakh students would come to Wyoming for a short course (two-three) in environmental journalism, and a small group of UW students would go to Kazakhstan for a similar experience.