Alumni Spotlight

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Linking the Networks, Regions, and Academic Fields

14 April, 2020

Our next Alumni Success Story is about Rashid Gabdulhakov (Politics and Security 2013). Rashid is working on his PhD project at Erasmus University Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. He is researching digital vigilantism (digitally-mediated citizen-led justice) in Russia and other former-Soviet republics and teaches in the International Bachelor programme for Communication and Media.

I find it to be a perfect transition to come into media and communication filed with the background in politics and security. Increasingly these fields merge and become mutually-influential. Working with students at Erasmus University is nothing but joy and I am grateful for the amazing colleagues who I get inspired by and from whom I continuously learn.

While working in the Netherlands, Rashid has been actively engaged with Central Asia and with our Alma Mater. In 2018, he proposed the introduction of a Cyber Security course to the Academy’s curriculum and designed a module covering such topics as digital divides, surveillance, vigilantism, influence operations, privacy, internet of things and big data.

I find it to be crucial for alumni to return to the Academy in the capacity of instructors, workshop leaders, and guest lecturers. There is a very special connection between the generations of students. Having learned new concepts in Europe, I consider it to be my duty to share perspectives, literature, and my own research with our community. It is very rewarding.

In addition, as part of knowledge valorisation, Rashid has been organizing the biannual workshop on Media and Security for the Central Asian Fellows at the EU-Central Asia Monitoring (EUCAM) in the Netherlands. The goal of the workshop is to get the Fellows thinking strategically in terms of the implications of traditional and digital media for their respective communities. Since September 2019, Rashid is serving as a member of the EUCAM Advisory Group.

When I work with the Fellows in the Netherlands, I feel a deep connection with Central Asia – two of my homes come together. EUCAM Fellowship is very well organized and is one of a kind. I am endlessly happy to be part of it.

Rashid is fond of research and teaching and is proud to have recently received a teaching award at his Department. He has several publications in prestigious academic journals and is currently working on bringing his findings together in the final product – PhD dissertation. After the defense, he is hoping to stay in academia and continue researching, teaching and bringing Europe and Central Asia closer together.


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