UMass Boston professor delivers commencement address in Kyrgyzstan
Professor of Counseling Psychology Sharon Horne delivered the commencement address at American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan last month. She also received an honorary professorship, similar to an honorary degree in the United States.
“It was a true highlight of my life,” Horne told UMass Boston Today. “As the only liberal arts institution in the region, it’s an important university that produces creative scholars with knowledge and expertise across a wide range of disciplines. I’m fortunate that AUCA has become like a second home to me.”
Horne first visited Kyrgyzstan in 2004 during a work trip to Russia, then returned the next year after accepting a position as an academic fellow with Open Society Foundations. That position led to a partnership with AUCA’s Psychology Department and an exchange program between the two universities. Two AUCA graduates went on to receive master’s degrees in counseling at UMass Boston, and the university hosted three visiting research fellows from AUCA last year.
“Like my unexpected long-term relationship with my colleagues at AUCA, you never know where you will find your people,” Horne said in her commencement address. “In psychology we label this social support—the family, friends, colleagues, peers who support you. Find your people and your stories wherever you find yourself.”