Ball State Faculty Meet U.S. Ambassador, Embark on a Productive Journey to Uzbekistan

A delegation of faculty members from Ball State University that included David J. Roof, Rachel Geesa, and Emil Khisamutdinov embarked on an enlightening journey to Uzbekistan, where they engaged in academic collaborations, explored educational opportunities, and met with U.S. Embassy Public Affairs staff and U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Henick, in Tashkent.

September 15-23 faculty members from Ball State explored the cultural and academic landscape of Uzbekistan, strengthening their global partnerships and fostering a deeper understanding of international education.

The objectives of this trip included:

  • Academic Collaboration: Ball State faculty members held presentations and discussions with multiple universities located in different regions of Uzbekistan including:

    University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Tashkent, Uzbekistan;

    Research Institute of the Chemistry of Plant Substances, Tashkent, Uzbekistan;

    Uzbekistan State University of World Languages, Tashkent, Uzbekistan;

    “Silk Road” International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage, Samarkand, Uzbekistan; and

    Bukhara Engineering-Technological Institute, Bukhara, Uzbekistan.

    The overarching aim was to establish research collaborations, student and faculty exchange programs, and opportunities for joint academic initiatives.

  • Cultural Enrichment: The trip offer the Ball State faculty members a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Uzbek culture, history, and traditions, providing insights that will enhance their ability to create inclusive learning environments for international students at Ball State University.
  • Diplomatic Engagement: The delegation met with U.S. Embassy staff and U.S. Ambassador Jonathan Henick to discuss the role of students exchange programs and education in promoting international relations and to foster stronger ties between the U.S. and Uzbekistan.

    The trip included a meeting with alumni in Uzbekistan. Ball State has a diverse and accomplished alumni community that stretches far beyond the borders of the United States. Among its alumni, a notable group has made significant contributions to the development and progress of Uzbekistan.

    Jalol Nasirov, who has an MBA from Oxford, was a Global UGRAD visiting scholar in International Business in the Miller College of Business at Ball State in 2007 and 2008. Upon returning to Uzbekistan, Jalol has played a pivotal role in the growth of the country’s emerging arts, culture, and business ecosystem.

    The Ball State faculty members trip was an extension of the UNITED project, where for 21 days, visiting college students from Uzbekistan learned and worked alongside Ball State students in interdisciplinary, cross-cultural student teams. These teams explored global citizenship, leadership, and career development. The U.S./Uzbekistan Network and International Exchange for Development or UNITED project was developed by Ball State’s Teachers College faculty Dr. David Roof, associate professor of Educational Studies; and Dr. Rachel Geesa, associate clinical professor of Educational Leadership. UNITED was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of State.

    The UNITED project and the faculty members’ visit to Uzbekistan promises to provide valuable insights into the academic, cultural, and diplomatic facets of this vibrant country. Ball State University is dedicated to equipping its students with a global perspective and a deeper understanding of the world.

    Ball State’s commitment to global education and fostering international relationships is exemplified by UNITED and this faculty trip to Uzbekistan. It is an endeavor that aims to enrich the academic lives of faculty members and, ultimately, enhance the educational experiences of Ball State students.

    For more information about the UNITED project or Ball State faculty’s trip to Uzbekistan or the university’s commitment to international education, please contact:

    David J. Roof
    Director – Center of Economic and Civic Learning

    Ball State University: We engage students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower our graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives enriched by lifelong learning and service, while we enhance the economic, environmental, and social vitality of our community, our state, and our world.