Steven Lustig, BA Chair

"A liberal arts model of education truly provides students of the knowledge and skills to compete in a rapidly changing world."

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself: your education and work background, projects you were involved in and any achievements?

I grew up in Ohio, and received aB.A. in Economics and Business from the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated magna cum laude and received an award as the outstanding graduate in the college of Arts and Sciences. Following that I attended Rutgers Law School in New Jersey where I received a Juris Doctor degree.

My working career has gone through several phases. I began as a lawyer, and worked for many years in a law firm where I eventually became a partner. During that time I also served in local government, and was twice elected to the governing council of a small town in northern New Jersey.

After practicing law for about 15 years, I was offered an opportunity to be involved in the business world, and decided to change my career. For more than 10 years I worked as a business executive, and gained a lot of experience in finance, management, marketing, government relations, and technology.

I eventually became interested in teaching, and have found that it is something I enjoy even more than either of my prior careers. In the fall of 2010, I came to AUCA, and have primarily taught business and law classes over the past three years.

How long have you been teaching at AUCA and what are the classes you offer?

This is my third year at AUCA. I have taught courses in BA Department, the IBL Department, the First Year Seminar program, and also freshman orientation. In the BA department my courses include Introduction to Management, Business Ethics, Business Law, and most recently Introduction to Business, Business Research Methods, and Senior Thesis Seminar. In the IBL department I taught Contract Law, Introduction to the U.S. Legal System, Legal Ethics, Legal Research Methods, Legal Skills, and Moot Court. In the spring of 2012 I was asked to teach FYS, and I taught a FYS Discussion section in the spring and fall of 2012. I also have been a freshman orientation group leader for past last two years.

I believe that part of my teaching responsibilities involves service, and have served on a number of University committees over the past three years. I am finishing my second year on the Faculty Senate, and also served on the Bard College/AUCA Faculty Education Oversight Committee; the Curriculum Development Committee; the Faculty Status, Promotion and Research Committee; the Academic Policy Committee; and the Open Education Resources Committee.

Why AUCA, not other universities?

AUCA is unique in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. A liberal arts model of education truly provides students of the knowledge and skills to compete in a rapidly changing world. At AUCA, students are able to learn in an atmosphere where critical thinking is valued and encouraged. It is exciting to be part of a community where students are challenged to think logically, engage in serious inquiry, and develop effective written and oral communication skills. These skills will give AUCA students a competitive advantage throughout their professional careers.

What do you like/do not like about Kyrgyzstan?

I really enjoy living in Kyrgyzstan. The one thing I would change is the driving habits of a few people. Most are OK, but there are a few who can’t be bothered by traffic signals, speed limits, and traffic etiquette. I have adjusted by just trying to stay out of the way.

What do I like? I really like the gracious hospitality and friendship offered by everyone I have met in Kyrgyzstan. I like the traditions, the celebrations and the food, which is not only healthier but also less expensive than in the U.S., especially raspberries and strawberries. Finally, I love teaching at AUCA, and being part of the AUCA community.

What do students do after they graduate, having a BA major?

Many of our graduates work for companies in Kyrgyzstan, and a few international students return to their home countries to open their own business or join an established business. AUCA graduates can be found in almost every major company in Kyrgyzstan. Other graduates successfully started their own business, while others go on to graduate school for an MBA, or other master’s degree. Some of our graduates have continued their studies in top business schools in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Tell us about AUCA students. How are they different from student of other universities?

I believe that students around the world have more in common than they have differences. My observation is that they have similar dreams and ambitions to succeed on both a personal and professional level.

What could you advise to prospective students of Business Administration department?

Work on improving your English writing and speaking skills. Being a good writer means that you are able to think logically and express yourself clearly. Being able to effectively present your work will enable you to be persuasive and successful.

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American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028