Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern Welcomes Fulbright Student, Muskie Fellow

eagle headAhmed Norwaf, a Fulbright student from Baghdad, Iraq, and Saida Akbarova, a Muskie Fellow from Uzbekistan, have joined the student body as graduate students at Georgia Southern University. Norwaf, a surgeon, will be earning a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration on Community Health. His Fulbright scholar grant is administrated by AmidEast. Akbarova will be earning a Master’s in Education.

Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the Fulbright Program was founded in 1945 by Senator William J. Fulbright of Arkansas for international educational exchange. Many public and private agencies like AmidEast assist in the administration of the Fulbright Program.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1992 and sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the Muskie Scholar Fellowship encourages economic and democratic growth in Eurasia. Akbarova says, ‘I am happy to be in such a wonderful place, where there are warm and open-hearted people.”

Both students plan to return to their home countries upon receiving their degrees and plan to use their knowledge to build better communities. Norwaf says, ‘I think my outstanding studies at Georgia Southern University will help me in two ways. First, I will be able to go back and teach my students at Baghdad College of Medicine. Second, I will be able to participate in building a new healthy medical system in my country.”

Having two students here at the same time on such prestigious grants reflects Georgia Southern’s commitment to international studies, according to Ron Jones, the University’s manager of international admissions. He adds that, as students from countries that are underrepresented in higher education in the U.S., Norwaf and Akbarova will contribute unique perspectives that will enrich and benefit the entire Georgia Southern University community.

‘Being selected as a host institution by such prominent organizations speaks volumes about the academic quality of Georgia Southern University’s graduate programs and our growing reputation among the international academic community,” Jones says. ‘Our aim is to build upon these relationships, grow our international graduate community and foster public diplomacy and good will through international education.”

The Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies ( is one of the premier centers of graduate education in the Southeast. With an expanding number of programs, increased enrollment and interest from students both in the U.S. and abroad, the College continues to experience continued growth.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 17,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:

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