Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kazakhstan Grad Students Reflect on their Experience with Scripps IIJ

By: Kelly Fisher
IIJ Assistant

The Institute for International Journalism (IIJ) in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism is developing a steady and meaningful partnership with Al-Farabi Kazakh Nation University (KazNU). In the second year of academic exchanges, the IIJ entered into some joint research partnerships with some members of KazNU’s Faculty of Journalism.
Director of the IIJ, Dr. Yusuf Kalyango, traveled to Almaty, Kazakhstan from February 21 through March 8, for undergraduate studies consultations and public opinion research training. This collaboration is a continuation of the Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Journalism and Media post-institute activities, which led to a Memorandum of Understanding between KazNU and Ohio University(OU) in 2012. 
Kalyango’s lectures and consultations included conceptualizing research ideas, formulating hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, or the “A to Z of Public Opinion Empirical Research.”
KazNU students expressed appreciation for the partnership between the IIJ at OU and KazNU.
“Dr. Kalyango's project gave us a chance to write a high quality term paper, a chance [for undergraduate students] to be published in [an] International online magazine, [and an opportunity for] publication in a scientific magazine… and our project that we made will be presented on a Global conference in Montreal, Canada,” Madina Baimagambayeva, one of the students, said in an email.
She added that the experience and knowledge that she gained were “unforgettable.”
Another student, Aliya Nurshaikhova, said that groups of students wrote reports using statistical analyses and made questionnaires for KazNU students regarding social media site’s influences on people’s bodies.
“The answers [survey responses] were collected in a couple of days, so we started using SPSS [software],” she recalled. “Our students can now predict with confidence the answers to some of the questions according to the theme. Also, they can use those facts for their future analysis and their own personal researches and make smart decisions or easily solve problems.”
Two weeks later, she said, Kalyango selected six students to present their research analysis to the Myssayeva and to assist him in collecting information for a future publication.
Kalyango’s lectures and consultations at KazNU were part of the IIJ-SUSI post-Institute program events. The SUSI summer institute is funded by an annual renewable grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Study of the U.S. Branch in the Office of Academic Exchange Programs. Scholars from all over the world come to the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University to be exposed to journalism practice and media institutions in the United States, according to a previous Institute for International Journalism post.
In the midst of the busy schedule, Kalyango experienced Kazakh culture by going to the movies, trying traditional foods, and attending a ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet. “(KazNU) students have had a lot of fun working together with professor and we hope to see (Kalyango) this summer again,” Nurshaikhova said.

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