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International search for expertise leads to Queen’s

[Mushtaq Ahmad]
Mushtaq Ahmad, right, a PhD student in education at Northern University Nowshera, has come to the Faculty of Education at Queen’s to study transformational leadership with Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba, left. (Supplied Photo)

As he continues to work toward his doctoral degree, Mushtaq Ahmad found that he needed some expert support in his area of study – transformational leadership.

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That search has brought him from Pakistan to Queen’s University.

Mr. Ahmad, a PhD student in education at Northern University Nowshera, has come to the Faculty of Education at Queen’s to study transformational leadership with Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba.

The Higher Education Commission in Pakistan offers scholarships to PhD students working with supervisors abroad, so Mr. Ahmad decided to widen his search away from home, and, with a bit of help from Google, he discovered that Dr. Kutsyuruba’s expertise was exactly what he was searching for in a supervisor.

Mr. Ahmad’s research focuses on the impact of transformational leadership styles of principals on the job satisfaction of secondary school teachers. His interest in doctoral research on transformational leadership was piqued by his own experience.

“Transformational leaders eliminate communication barriers existing in an organization and enable effective functioning of the organization. Change is unavoidable in any enterprise and the biggest challenge encountered by any organization is to manage the change effectively,” he explains. “Change, when managed poorly, can deteriorate an organization’s performance and lead to its decline. People who are driven by inspiration perform well when compared with people driven by control. That is exactly what the transformational leaders do.”

He says this leads employees to put in their fullest effort with personal commitment and a sense of ownership, thereby improving the overall productivity, performance and profit of an organization.

In addition to being a PhD student, Mr. Ahmad is a secondary math and science teacher and the president of the Secondary School Teachers Association in the Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa province of Pakistan.

His goal for his visit to Queen’s is to explore avenues for future international collaboration as well as to develop his own academic skills and complete his doctoral research.

The six-month scholarship at the Faculty of Education will allow him to analyze the data he has collected for his dissertation with Dr. Kutsyuruba. Already Mr. Ahmad has found that he made the right choice, for now and for the future.

“My first two months went as smoothly as I wanted it,” he says. “I believe that choosing Queen’s is one of the best decisions I have made in my life and I hope that this campus is up to my expectation. My short-term goal is to be part of a reputed team like Queen’s and long-term goal is to be a good scholar in the future.”

He says that Queen’s offers an international community and services, friendly, cooperative and respectful professors and staff, as well asample opportunity to get involved in academic and extra-curricular activities.