2017 Summer Upgrading Camp Team



My name is Shan and I am from Toronto, Canada. I am currently completing an Economics degree at McMaster University and am hoping to pursue my next degree in Law. I am a huge sports fanatic, following all four major North American sports avidly (Go Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays, and Colts). I grew up playing most sports with a particular love for ice hockey. There is no better feeling then hitting the ice and having the cold air fill your lungs! I love listening to Jazz and Rock music from the 70s and 80s, have a passion for late 19th century art (Manet is amazing), and have participated (poorly) in several dance competitions as part of a club at university. I have been organising camps for nearly six to seven years and love working with kids, getting to know them and their hip lingo. I am excited and intrigued to learn from all of you and our awesome students. I look forward to meeting everyone this summer, and creating what I know will be a memorable and transformative summer.


My name is Samarat and I am from Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. I have more than 15 years of experience working in the education sector, including eight years as an English Instructor at the University of Central Asia's School of Professional and Continuing Education (UCA SPCE) Naryn. I have obtained a Certificate for teaching English for Business by London Chamber of Commerce Industry. While teaching, I was keen to develop different activities for classes and conducting discussion clubs for students. I am currently serving as a Manager of Academic Affairs at SPCE. My hobbies are listening to music, reading detective stories, and gathering recipes. I adore art and literature. I like learning new things about different places and cultures. I believe this camp is going to be a great opportunity for everyone to learn, share and just have fun and I am looking forward to meet all of you in Naryn.



I am an English Faculty member of UCA's Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. I have more than 15 years of English language teaching experience. Prior to joining UCA, I lectured at the Royal Commission Yanbu Colleges & Institutes (RCYCI) in Saudi Arabia. There, I taught a range of general, academic, occupational and technical English courses to foundation and undergraduate students. I also held various administrative positions including Course Coordinator, Foundation Year English Coordinator, Chair of Research and Professional Development Committee, and member of the Yanbu English Language Institute (YELI) Advisory Council. I also trained RCYCI faculty. I have contributed to YELI's institutional accreditation from the Commission on English Language Accreditation (CEA) and Evaluation & Accreditation of Quality in Language Services (EAQUALS). I hold an MA (TESOL) from Middlesex University, UK, and an MA English from Islamia University Bahawalpur, Pakistan. I am certified in teaching English language to adults (CELTA) by the University of Cambridge. I have also acquired Certification in Teaching Languages with Technology from Trinity College, UK. Currently, I am pursuing his EdD TESOL with the University of Exeter, UK as a part time student.


Hello everyone! My name is Rakhat and I am from Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. I have been teaching English since 2003 and began my teaching career at the Naryn State University (NSU). Currently I conduct GE, EAP and ESP courses with UCA’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE), where I have been working for nearly 11 years as an English Instructor. I hold certificates in Teaching English for Academic Purposes, Teaching English for Specific Purposes, Certificate in Teaching Business English, amongst others and attended the Hornby Summer School for English Teachers. As a senior instructor, I develop SPCE English programme curricula and methodology guides and also deliver teacher training workshops here. I enjoy learning and continuously seek new opportunities to learn. I am looking forward to meeting you at UCA’s Summer Upgrading camp. I am sure the Camp will provide new experiences and many learning opportunities.


My name is Tojiniso Olimnazarova and I am an English Faculty member with UCA's Undergraduate Preparatory Programme at the Khorog Campus. I bring over 18 years of English language teaching experience to UCA. Before joining UCA, I lectured in Discourse Analysis at the Khorog State University. I was also Academic English instructor and Curriculum Development and Assessment Coordinator with the Khorog English and Preparatory Programme. I then joined UCA's School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE), Khorog as a Senior English Instructor and taught Conversational English, Business English and English for Academic Purposes. I developed curriculum and delivered professional development courses for English instructors at SPCE Khorog and its Afghanistan Learning Centres. Recently, I taught Academic Reading and IELTS for SPCE and the Institute of Ismaili Studies Postgraduate Preparatory Programme. My research interests include teacher development, using students linguistic repertoire for teaching English as a foreign language and developing the critical thinking and analytical capacity of students. I hold a Certificate to Teach English Language to Adults (CELTA) from the University of Cambridge and completed courses in linguistics, language training and teacher training from world renowned universities. I also hold a Master's degree in Education (TEFL) with Distinction from University of Birmingham, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics with Distinction from Khorog State University.


I am a UCA Maths Faculty member of UCA's Undergraduate Preparatory Programme. I bring over ten years of teaching experience in various higher education roles. Prior to joining UCA, I worked as a Maths teacher in a gymnasium and as a Maths instructor in the UCA's School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I have taught Maths at the Russian-Tajik (Slavonic) University and have held various positions including Deputy Dean for Instructional Works and Vice-Executive Director for science and social issues with the Moscow State University affiliate in Dushanbe. I also worked as a science researcher with the Institute of Mathematics in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. I hold a PhD in Mathematics from the Institute of Mathematics in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.


My name is Sabah and I was born and raised in Houston, Texas in the United States. I graduated from the University of Texas in 2013 with a Bachelors in Management Information Systems and a minor in Marketing. After graduation, I went on to work as a business analyst for about a year before I decided to shift gears and pursue my real dream, teaching. I earned a teaching certification in mathematics for grades seven through twelve in 2015. Currently, I am an eighth grade maths teacher and I love my job! I am passionate about education, service, and working with youth to create a positive impact. I especially love camp programmes and have spent every free summer over the last six years volunteering in some capacity. In my free time, I like to read, watch movies, sing, and eat. I also love to travel and am looking forward to visiting Central Asia for the first time.


My name is Maqsad Suriev and I am an Assistant Science Faculty member with UCA's Undergraduate Preparatory Programme at the Khorog Campus. I am also a UCA Central Asian Faculty Development Programme (CAFDP) Fellow. Prior to joining UCA, I was a a Research Assistant for seven years with the Research Institute of Chemistry in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. At the Institute, I researched the isolation of organic substances including steroids from natural sources and the synthesis of their new derivatives. I also supervised graduate students and tutored students in Chemistry to gain admission to the Medical University of Dushanbe. Over the years, I have developed experience in conducting gas-chromatography analysis of bile and fatty acids in biosamples. During my graduate study, I worked for numerous science laboratories, accumulating experience in analytical chemistry. I hold a Master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Siegen, Germany.



Hi everyone! My name is Davis Cooper and I live in Vienna, Austria. I graduated from a multimedia and design school in 2009 and have worked as a web designer for over three years and am now working as an English teacher at a kinder-garden here in Vienna. I attended university to study biology and medicine, but after a year and a half I decided to earn a living and postpone my studies. In my spare time I enjoy playing basketball and frisbee, swimming and many other outdoor activities. When the weather is bad, I like to watch movies or series at home, play chess and strategic computer games as well as read science fiction stories and experimenting with Adobe Photoshop. I have two younger siblings and many cousins who live all over the world. This will not be my first trip to Central Asia. I visited my family in Tajikistan in 2006 and again last year in Kyrgyzstan. The UCA Summer Camps have been amazing and I am very excited to be back.


Hi there! My name is Sanna and I am a student in the Faculty of Health Science Honours at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. I have always been passionate about global affairs, and attending this summer programme will give me the opportunity to interact and learn from a diversity of cultures and backgrounds. I became interested in global affairs after realising my passion for traveling and learning more about different cultures. I have lived in many cities, and I have enjoyed meeting new people everywhere I go. You will come to know how clumsy I may be, but somehow I find myself loving dance and I can surprisingly do so without tripping over! Through many multicultural performances, I have learned various dancing techniques for many traditional dances. Soon you will also find out about my love for Disney movies and my obsession with Hindi films, songs, and TV shows. I love hearing new music, whether it is a new genre or in a different language. Recently, I have learnt to speak French fluently, so please do teach me your language! I am super excited to meet each one of you, and I look forward to making new friends!


My name is Heather Sherlock and I am from Vancouver, Canada. Having just graduated with a degree in International Development and Globalisation at the University of Ottawa, I am excited to start my Masters in Urban Planning and Environment in Melbourne, Australia next year. But not before traveling to Naryn and meeting all of you! I am an avid traveler (Kyrgyz Republic will be my 42nd country!) and have been very lucky to live in England, Morocco, and Australia. I have found that traveling and meeting people from around the world is the best way to learn about myself and the world around me. Hailing from the West Coast of Canada has meant growing up between the ocean and the mountains. I am never happier than when I am hiking or kayaking around my hometown. I am so looking forward to meeting all of you and cannot wait to have the best time with all of you at this year's UCA summer upgrading camp!

Assistant Camp Counsellors


My name is Najmiya and I was born and raised in Khorog, Tajikistan. I graduated from Aga Khan Lycee Khorog in 2015. After that I studied in Minnesota, USA with the Future Leaders Exchange programme for a year. Currently, I have completed my preparatory year at UCA and next year I will enter the undergraduate programme majoring in Economics and minoring in Communication and Media. I am passionate about education, serving others and volunteerism. Over the last three years I have been volunteering in various capacities. I was also a counsellor for the Winter Upgrading Programme (WUP) in Naryn this past December. I enjoyed my time counselling during WUP, and I have realised that this is what I want to do this summer and maybe the summers ahead. Lastly, I love exploring new cultures and meeting people with different backgrounds. I am looking forward to getting know each and every one of you and make this summer upgrading programme unforgettable!


My name is Abror and I study at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa (AKA, M) in Kenya. I was born and raised in Khorog, Tajikistan. I am interested in politics and participated in Model United Nations (MUN) conferences in school. I am currently a member of the Executive Committee for MUN AKA, M. I enjoy outdoor activities such as mountain climbing and I also play volleyball and basketball. I spend my free time playing chess, watching documentaries, or reading Persian poetry, mainly Omar Khayyam and Rumi. Lastly, I love to interact with new people from different cultures. I hope to learn about their traditions and values as well as perspectives on a range of topics that we encounter in the modern world. I am really looking forward to this Summer Upgrading Camp and hope to also develop myself as an individual.

(Kyrgyz Republic)

Hello, my name is Bagymdat and I was born and raised in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. I study at the University of Central Asia. The nature, various people and many informative books that I have read inspire me to write and I try to write a lot. My major is Communications & Media and minor is Computer Science. Before joining UCA I was editing a school newspaper and worked in school parliament as an ombudsperson, who I am still now in UCA. I am greatly interested in sciences; curiosity, apple, books or laptop and a small corner to do my stuff describe me best. However, I also enjoy playing and watching football, but I do not cheer on the team, I cheer on a beautiful football. I am glad to join the Summer Upgrading Camp Programme and I cannot wait for a first football game with you!

(Kyrgyz Republic)

Hi, my name is Nadira and I am 18 years old. I graduated from Osh "Sebat" Girls High school. Currently I am a student at the University of Central Asia and my major and minor are Computer and Earth and Environmental sciences respectively. I am planning to apply for a job in Google and do mapping there. I love dancing reading books and cooking (even if I am not a master in this field). I am very excited to join Summer Upgrading Camp team and I look forward to meet you all on campus. I will do my best to help you with your tasks (if there will be such need) and it will be fun!


My name is Masrur Rahimjonov and I was born and raised in Khorog, Tajikistan. I am 17 years-old. I moved to study at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya in 2012 from Aga Khan Lycee, which is in Khorog, Tajikistan. Three words that would describe me best would be ‘just', ‘sporty' and ‘friendly'. I love all kinds of sports, especially soccer, badminton and basketball. During my free time, I usually watch movies and Ted Talks, read or go to the gym. Living in a mountainous town, I developed a passion for mountain climbing, which I do several times every summer when I travel home. I speak fluent English, Russian and Shugni (mother tongue) and understand Tajik to some extent. Studying in this academy has made me realize that I love how people come from different backgrounds and interact and share their unique ideas.

(Kyrgyz Republic)

My name is Jyldyz Sarieva and I am from Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. Currently, I am a UCA student with a major in Communications and Media. At high school, I travelled to several countries such as Germany, India and Russia and participated in various youth camps. I also attended UCA's inaugural summer camp in 2015. Learning new languages, exploring other cultures and studying physics are my favorite activities. I like to listen to pop and classical music, read fiction and watch fantasy movies. I can speak Kyrgyz, Russian, English and German languages, and I am learning Spanish and Turkish. I am a fan of the arts and soccer (Barcelona is my favourite team). I really enjoy playing volleyball, volunteering and discussing any interesting topics. I love chocolates and oranges. Now, I am so excited to see all of you at UCA.


My name is Parvina. I was born and raised in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Originally my parents are from Khorog; therefore, I have spent most of my summers in Khorog. I graduated from Lyceum No 1 for Gifted Children named after Niyoz Safar in 2016. Currently I study at the University of Central Asia, and my major is Economics which will be in Khorog. I am passionate about maths and computer science. I am part of several clubs such as Art Club, Debate Club and Yoga Club. I have also helped organise different events at UCA including two Open Houses, a community Health Fair and TEDx. In my free time, I like dancing, reading, making bracelets and spending time with my crazy friends. In the future, I want to stay in Central Asia and make it a better place to live. I am looking forward to see you at the Summer Upgrading Camp!


My name is Sabrina and I study at the Aga Khan Academy in Mombasa, Kenya. I originally come from Khorog, Tajikistan. I have been a dorm captain at the Academy for almost a year and have truly enjoyed my time organising events, activities or just representing my dorm sisters. I am part of the East African Model United Nations executive team and a Deputy Director of an enrichment called “Dance it Out”. I am very passionate about public speaking, debate, reading case studies and just generally keeping myself aware of current affairs. I choreograph a dance, mostly hip-hop and African dance and enjoy going to the gym five times a week. I fervently desire that I will contribute to achieving human rights around the world, as well as stop the degradation of women. Lastly, I enjoy meeting new people with different backgrounds, sharing my experiences with them, learning new things and developing myself as a person. I am really looking forward to working with new people and making great memories this summer.

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