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University of Iowa News Release


University of Iowa News Release

April 8, 2010

MEDIA ADVISORY: UI faculty expert, visiting scholars available to comment on upheaval in Kyrgyzstan

WHO: Vicki L. Hesli is a professor of political science in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and a core faculty member with the UI Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, part of UI International Programs.  Her fields of teaching and research are Russian and post-Soviet politics and politics in countries of the Muslim world. During her time as a UI Global Scholar, Hesli conducted field research in Kyrgyzstan.  She participated in a collaborative research project that involved a countrywide, representative sample of public attitudes, orientations toward the political system, and reactions to the Tulip Revolution in the country. While in Kyrgyzstan, she was also able to negotiate a general agreement on academic cooperation with the Kyrgyz National University.

Samara Yuldasheva is visiting as an Open Society Institute Fellow through UI International Programs. She is from the city of Jalalabat, in the south of Kyrgyzstan. She is at the UI taking courses in American studies in CLAS. She will teach at Jalalabat State University after she returns home.

Asylbek Zhoodonbekov is a visiting scholar with UI International Programs as a Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) Fellow in the area of educational administration in the UI College of Education. He is from Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. His goals while at the UI are to improve his knowledge and leadership skills and to deepen knowledge about the U.S. educational system. He said he is very interested in the experience of American and world specialists in the field of personal development, and he hopes to develop and work in this field in the future.

WHAT: Hesli is available to provide analyses about the current political upheaval in Kyrgyzstan, and Yuldasheva and Zhoodonbekov are available to provide their personal insights and how they view this impacting their nation, family, colleagues and friends.

Unrest broke out in this central Asian nation on Wednesday, April 7 and included a day of protests that forced Kyrgyzstan’s president to flee the capital. A transnational government led by a former foreign minister said that it had taken power on Thursday. Observers say the unrest poses a threat to an American air base supporting the NATO campaign in nearby Afghanistan.

Hesli may be reached at 319-335-2356 or at

Yuldasheva may be reached at 319-384-2244 and Zhoodonbekov may be reached at 319-384-2218. Alternately, both may be reached through the main UI International Programs office number at 319-353-2700

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois J. Gray, 319-384-0077,