Claremont, Calif. (October 19, 2021)—Pitzer College Associate Professor of Organizational Studies Barbara Junisbai has been elected to the board of the Central Eurasian Studies Society (CESS). CESS is the first global organization dedicated to studying Central Eurasia through interdisciplinary and international lenses.
Junisbai has done extensive research on politics and society in Central Eurasia, and her book manuscript on intra-elite conflict in post-Soviet autocracies is currently under review at a university press. In 2020, she was selected as a country expert on Kazakhstan for the Varieties of Democracy Project (V-Dem), a team of social scientists devoted to creating a better understanding of democracy and the factors necessary for creating representative governments.
Junisbai said CESS has played a pivotal role in her career and development as a scholar.
“As an intellectual community, CESS celebrates our diverse and unique contributions to knowledge creation, bringing together Eurasian and Western academics, scholar-practitioners, and scholar-activists,” she said. “Like many students of Central Eurasia, I presented my first research paper at a CESS conference while still in graduate school; I also received the society’s best graduate student paper award. Both experiences were crucial to affirming my value and sense of belonging.”
Junisbai’s research has been funded by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright-Hayes Dissertation Research Abroad program, and the Association of College and Research Libraries, among other organizations. Her courses at Pitzer include Organizational Theory, Authoritarian Institutions, Politics of Organizational Culture, and the College’s Inside-Out courses, which are held in prison, bringing “inside” students who are incarcerated together with college students from the “outside” in classes taught by faculty from The Claremont Colleges.
In recognition of her commitment to teaching and mentoring, Junisbai was appointed a faculty co-director of the Claremont Colleges’ Center for Teaching and Learning in 2021-22, and graduating seniors of two different classes elected her as a student marshal (in 2019 and 2021). Junisbai earned a PhD in political science and an MIS in information science from Indiana University. She received a BA in international relations and geography from San Francisco State University.