International Academic Advisor Aziza Mirkhanova Becomes U.S. Citizen

Mirkhanova pictured with the Academic Advising Center Team

Aziza Mirkhanova, undergraduate international academic advisor at Webster University’s Webster Groves campus, swore her Oath of Allegiance on Feb. 21, at the Thomas Eagleton Federal Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. She was joined by 37 other United States citizens from 24 countries who had been interviewed and passed the tests by United States Citizenship and Immigration Service staff and were also taking the oath. 

The following day, the Academic Advising Center Team threw a surprise office party to celebrate Mirkhanova’s official citizenship. The Garden Park Plaza was festooned with red, white, and blue balloons, flags, and “Congratulations, Aziza” posters. Chancellor Beth Stroble, along with the Career Development Center team, joined the Academic Advising Center in celebrating the new American citizen. 

Photo of Aziza Mirkhanova and Chancellor Beth Stroble 

Mirkhanova was overwhelmed by the surprise. "I brought in my own food to celebrate and then my team had even more,” she said. “I already felt welcomed [by my Webster colleagues] and now I have my citizenship to go with my Webster family." 

During the celebration, Mirkhanova’s coworkers quizzed one another with questions from the United States Citizenship exam. Her largely native-born coworkers were able to answer enough of the questions to pass the real exam – being six out of the ten questions asked. Mirkhanova studied 100 questions in preparation for her citizenship exam.  

To be eligible for naturalization, a person must pass examinations in both English and civics. Candidates are first examined on their ability to read, write, and speak English. Then, candidates are orally asked about American government and history subject matter.  

“I put forth a concerted effort in preparing for my citizenship interview after the test date was set,” Mirkhanova said. “Like most applicants, I was anxious, but excited on the day of my interview. When I arrived at the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) office and met the immigration officer, my nerves vanished, and I felt prepared to answer questions. After the interview was over, the officer shared that they are a Webster University alumnus. How amazing is that?!”

Mirkhanova joins two other office colleagues, Citlali Cosic and Dijana Menkovic, who also underwent the citizenship exam in years past.  

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