Sholpan Primbetova, MSSW, Deputy Regional Director, Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, was classified as one of the most outstanding Kazakhstan alumni graduated from a university in the United States. She was also selected as a potential candidate to be featured in the “US Alumni Photo Exhibition” during the USKZ Fest, the largest event of the US Embassy in Kazakhstan campaign, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Kazakhstan. According to the estimates by the administration of Almaty’s Central Park of Culture and Recreation, the three-day event was attended by approximately 40,000 city residents and visitors.
The aim of the U.S. Alumni Photo Exhibition was to develop a collection of portraits of 20 successful Kazakhstanis with the US education background. The goal of the project is to promote American education and culture by using success stories of these US “alumni” from Kazakhstan, who went onto become successful professionals, entrepreneurs, artists and innovators. The US Embassy completed 20 portraits – they include well-known bloggers, film directors, bankers, start-up CEOs, IT gurus, and researchers. Some are known among the wide public, while others are “new faces.” The collection of portraits – the final product of the project – was promoted on US Consulate social media and during a big festival celebrating 25 years of USKZ cooperation in August 2016, to which all the participants of this project were invited. There were only five heroes of the US Alumni Photo Exhibition who shared their inspiring stories at the festival scene of the park during the USKZ Fest 2016.
Ms. Primbetova shared her experience of studying at the oldest School of Social Work in the USA and the world, how to apply and study hard, and to never give up! She told the audience that CSSW is a multidisciplinary school and has a multidisciplinary curriculum and has projects around the world, and particularly shared on her experience of projects in Central Asia through CU Global Health Research Center of Central Asia. “We enjoyed the music, culture, and stories that represent all that brings us together,” said Ms. Primbetova.