Photos: Above (left) scenes from the NU SSH graduation and (right) Professor McDonald being recognized for his contribution to NU. Below (left) Professor Gerhart (UW), founding NU president Shigeo Katsu, and Professor McDonald (UW) (Astana, Kazakhstan) and (right) Maj Fischer and Sherkhan Sauyrtayev flashing the “W”. (pc: Elise Ahn)
From June 9–14, 2023, a delegation from UW–Madison traveled to Astana, Kazakhstan, to participate in the Nazarbayev University School of Sciences and Humanities (NU SSH) spring 2023 graduation. The delegation consisted of Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the International Division, Professor Barry Gerhart; UW-NU Partnership Faculty Director, Professor David McDonald; International Division Director of External Relations, Maj Fischer; and IPO Director, Dr. Elise Ahn.
During the graduation weekend, both Professors Gerhart and McDonald provided remarks to the SSH graduating class at the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies, respectively. Additionally, NU held a special ceremony for the institutional partners and recognized different individuals—including Professor McDonald and Dr. Ahn—for their particular contribution to NU’s continued development and institutional growth.
In addition to meeting with colleagues at NU, Fischer and Ahn were also able to visit Quantum STEM School in Astana and were hosted by Deputy Principal Sherkhan Sauyrtayev (UW alum, ’16) and Vice Principal Aliya Zhakupova, and Linguistics Department Chair, Bostan Hayat. Quantum is part of a public-private partnership initiative looking to introduce STEM education innovations to Kazakhstan and this was a great opportunity to learn more about innovations in the K–12 education space.