Elvina Mustafaieva

New Muskie Fellow From Ukraine Begins Graduate Study at Grady College

Elvina Mustafaieva left her job as a communication assistant for the United Nations Development Program in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine to take up formal study in August in public relations as a graduate student in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Ms. Mustafaieva enrolled in the Grady College after being awarded a Muskie Fellowship. She is the second Muskie Fellow to enroll in the Grady College in as many years.

In Ukraine, Ms. Mustafaieva was working with a United Nations program helping formerly deported people resettle in Crimea.

The Edmund S. Muskie/Freedom Support Act Fellowship Program, administered by American Councils for International Education and funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, is designed to encourage economic and democratic reform in the states of the former Soviet Union.

Muskie Fellows are selected from the newly independent states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

The first Muskie Fellow to enroll in the Grady College, Shushanik Navasardian from Armenia, arrived in August 2001 to earn a master's degree in telecommunications. She will complete her studies in August.

Both Muskie Fellows are hosted by and housed in the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of the Grady College.

Ms. Mustafaieva said she would like to take advantage of all activities and events on campus to gain cultural experience during the course of her stay in Georgia.

In her first semester at the Grady College, Ms. Mustafeava will take classes with other graduate students on public relations, writing, and mass communication research.

"Athens is a wonderful town," Ms. Mustafaieva said after spending only a few weeks in the community. "I am especially enjoying going to the University here and learning the differences between American and Ukrainian educational systems. I am enjoying my classes and meeting new people."

Ms. Mustafaieva visited Atlanta and the CNN Center shortly after arriving in Georgia. "The CNN center impressed me," she said.

Ms. Mustafaieva graduated from Ferghana State University in Uzbekistan after spending one year as a high school exchange student in Rapid City, South Dakota. She also studied for a year at the Paris Institute of French Language and Civilization. She speaks Crimean Tatar, French, Russian, and Ukrainian in addition to English.

"During my fellowship in the United States, I hope to obtain the knowledge and learn from the experience of my American colleagues and gain practical experiences in public relations and media communications," Ms. Mustafaieva said.

"It is an honor to have the Muskie Fellows here in the Center, in the Grady College, and at the University of Georgia," Cox Center Director Dr. Lee B. Becker said. "They enrich the experiences of our other students in many ways and help to make the discussions in and outside our classrooms more global in nature."