Dr. Cook visits Kazakhstan

November 25, 2014

Travel Notes by Dr. Andrea P. Cook, President

Access to higher education is a justice issue both in North America and across the globe. In the midst of a changing milieu in the industry, I have great hope that God is rising up leaders who have vision, care deeply, and are leading proactively to develop institutions that meet the needs of students in the 21st Century.

Earlier this Fall, I was grateful to take my first trip to the Republic of Kazakhstan, to celebrate the leaders there and participate in the 20th anniversary celebration of Kazakh American Free University (KAFU).

KAFU is a dynamic and emerging institution that is rising to serve Kazakhs dreaming about the transformation of their country.

KAFU has become a sister institution to Warner Pacific, and I was pleased to present Dr. Mambetkaziyev, the President of KAFU, and Dan Ballast with honorary doctorates from Warner Pacific while visiting the great work they are doing.

KAFU has benefited over the last two decades from the engagement and leadership example of former Warner Pacific President, Marshall Christensen. Dr. Christensen has provided consultation to Kazakh leadership as he teaches servant leadership, using the model of Jesus, with the hope of influencing and shaping education to the people of Kazakhstan after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Warner Pacific has been able to strengthen our relationship with KAFU through Visiting International Professors, a summer academy, and extended internships in which KAFU students practice language skills and learn intercultural competencies while living in Portland.

KAFU will be hosting a 20th anniversary celebration in the United States on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at Warner Pacific.  This will be a time for all of KAFU’s American friends and partners to come together to celebrate and remember the last 20 years. We anticipate many of KAFU’s leaders will join this event, including KAFU’s President, Dr. Mambetkaziyev, and his wife. We welcome you to join as well!

Dr. Cook (right) with Dr. Christensen and KAFU President, Dr. Mambetkaziyev

Dr. Cook (right) with Dr. Christensen and KAFU President, Dr. Mambetkaziyev.


Dr. Cook at the round table conference.


KAFU President, Dr. Mambetkaziyev, cuts the ceremonial ribbon with Dr. Cook, Dr. Christensen, and Hugh Hallman, to open the new KAFU sports facility.