Owens welcomes first Fulbright scholarWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Farzona Rahimova traveled from Tajikistan to become the first Fulbright scholar at Owens Community College.
Owens applied for the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program and was selected by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education, to receive one of about 50 grants awarded annually.
Rahimova will teach at Owens through May.
“Owens Community College is honored to be selected as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program participant. We are proud to welcome Farzona Rahimova to the U.S. and Owens as the school’s first Fulbright scholar,” said Deborah Gavlik, director of International Programs and Services at Owens.
Rahimova will have opportunities for professional development through interactions with local business leaders and faculty at regional four-year universities, including the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, as well as with faculty, administrators and staff at Owens.
She will also make presentations outside the classroom about her home country, one of the former Soviet republics, including her observations of the differences in living and doing business in the two countries, Gavlik said.
Gavlik said she thinks the Fulbright scholar program will not only benefit Rahimova, but broaden the global perspective of the students and entire Owens community as well.
“We want our students to have a global connection in business,” said Gavlik, who said there are about 100 foreign full-time students currently attending Owens.
Rahimova arrived Aug. 6 at Toledo Express Airport with her youngest son after a 28-hour journey flying from Tajikistan to Istanbul, from Istanbul to Chicago, and from Chicago to Toledo.
It was Rahimova’s goal to return to the United States when she applied for the Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program. She lived in the U.S. for two months in 2006 when she participated in an internship program at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
“I live in a developing country and want to share our culture and business opportunities with similarities and differences in business by sharing my job experiences,” Rahimova said.
Rahimova is an advocate for education and she is involved with the development of business education and entrepreneurship for families headed by women. She helped Junior Achievement Tajikistan develop curricula on applied economics for schools.
She served as a part-time business trainer at the National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan where she provided startup business planning for women. She also taught at the Institute of Economy and Trade at Tajik State University, providing expertise in economic geography, business planning, small business management and international economic relations.
Her course in international economic relations was taught in English. She also worked on the translation of a “Global Business Ethics” textbook and teacher guide.
Rahimova began studying English in fourth grade because it is the global scientific language. She also speaks Tajik (similar to Persian or Farsi) and Russian.
She is studying toward a Ph.D. in business administration and doing research on home-based businesses for women in Tajikistan. She said she hopes to learn more about that subject while in the U.S.
Her father is a university professor who translated an economics book from English to Tajik and her mother teaches the Tajik language to middle and high school-age students.
Her eldest son, Jahongir, 16, speaks Tajik, Russian, Turkish and English. He is in the U.S. as a high school foreign exchange student outside Portland, Ore., for the academic year. Her younger son, Amir, 13, is attending Perrysburg Junior High School.
Her husband, Olimjon, who is a director of finance and grants for the Tajikistan government, will join them in the Toledo area Sept. 14. He plans to spend the school year with his wife and son while interacting with the business community in the area, Rahimova said.
Rahimova said she is grateful to the faculty and staff at Owens who helped her with furniture and household items for the family’s apartment.
“We had a great response from campus to help her set up a household,” Gavlik said.
The office of International Programs and Services provides experiential learning opportunities to international students from around the globe, including Brazil, Canada, China, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, South Korea, Venezuela and other countries, Gavlik said.
Eight foreign students are attending Owens this fall through the Community Colleges for International Development program supported by the U.S. Department of State. Owens has also established several new study abroad programs in countries such as China, Greece and Peru, Gavlik said.
For more information, visit www.owens.edu.