AUBG Employee Spotlight: Nargiza Ryskulova, Guest Lecturer/Balkan Scholar in Journalism and Mass Communication


What is your role at AUBG?

I am a Balkan scholar invited to teach at the JMC department, and I am teaching Multimedia Journalism, Digital Photojournalism and TV reporting during this year.

Tell us a little about your background?

I am a graduate of a similar in spirit to AUBG University in Central Asia, the American University in Central Asia. Hence my immediate connection with this institution. I also have studied at City University London, known to be one of the best ranked Journalism schools in the world. I am Kyrgyz and like my ancestors I move around to learn and to teach; so far I have lived in the USA, Kyrgyzstan, UK and now Bulgaria. For the most part of my career I taught on the side, while simultaneously working in the field as a journalist, producer and PR specialist. So this is my first full dive into teaching.

What is the most important project you have worked on recently?

For the previous two years I have worked with a team of UNICEF in Kyrgyzstan and it has been an absolutely empowering experience in terms of seeing the long-lasting impact of my work. As a team, we have achieved that UNICEF Kyrgyzstan has become one of the biggest offices in Central Asia and lobbied several legislative actions on child rights. My part was to channel that to the wider community through media campaigns and news coverage, so seeing how ideas came into action has been very rewarding.

What do you like most about AUBG?

As I mentioned, it's a similar institution to my Alma mater American University of Central Asia, so most of all I like its students' spirit; they are smart, diverse, active and inspiring. They give me hope that current issues with geopolitics and climate change can still be fixed.

How does a normal day look like at your workplace?

As I arrived much later in the semester, due to visa issues, right now my schedule is pretty intense; I am running extra courses, meeting with JMC students, colleagues, mentors and handling my paperwork at the same time. But I am looking forward to settling in and savoring more of the slow life in the picturesque Land of Roses.

What is most rewarding about your job; what makes it all worthwhile?

The most rewarding is seeing a student create a piece they did not expect they could make and seeing that fire in their eyes. The hope that I am contributing to something bigger and to a brighter future - mine, yours, all of the people whose lives we touch - makes is worthwhile.

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

Traveling and exploring new places and new cultures, which brought me here. Photography, reading, hiking and horse riding.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?

Mmm...Too difficult to choose one, but the best place is always the previous place I have been to, as I am still reflecting. So three weeks ago before coming here I went to Maui, Hawaii. And Aloha-land is everything you would expect and beyond. Had an amazing time there, met beautiful people, so that's my current favorite destination. But this Sunday I am going to Melnik, so ask me in a week. :)

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

My specialisation gives such wide range of activities that I don't really have to choose another. But if I had to I would become an art curator or art buyer. Because if nothing else, humans still have made beautiful pieces of art that make it all worthwhile.

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