Fulbright Community College Administrator Seminar
For a two week period in early April 2010, the Fulbright Program in Russia welcomed six senior community college leaders from the United States to Russia, where they met with Russian government representatives, participated in a two-day conference, and visited leading Russian universities and colleges both in Moscow and throughout Russia. This visit, discussed during a December 2009 meeting in Moscow of U.S. and Russian delegates to the Bi-lateral Presidential Commission on Education, Culture and Sport, highlighted the importance of educational exchange and collaboration between Russia and the United States in the sphere of education.
Fulbright Conference Participants.
The conference, “Higher Education for Tomorrow’s Professionals,” brought together Russian Fulbright alumni and representatives from leading universities from throughout Russia. Special guests included Eric Rubin, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and Isak Frumin, a Fulbright alumnus who jointly holds posts at the World Bank and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. The theme of the conference focused on the important question of what role universities play in preparing students for the workforce. Panel sessions highlighted the role of international programs as well as training in technical fields, humanities and social sciences, and the need for innovative technologies and methods.
The American community college model, including its important role in training students for the labor market, resonated both at the conference and during visits to universities and colleges in Moscow as well as throughout Russia’s regions. Regional universities in Ivanovo, Nizhni Novgorod, Kazan, Samara, Sochi, Togliatti, and Tyumen played host to individual community college administrators during the second week of the two-week program, and meetings included university administrators, faculty and students as well as visits with municipal and regional leaders, chambers of commerce, business leaders, and representatives of technical and vocational schools.
While the two-week visit provided an opportunity for both American and Russian participants to meet one another and share information, it also laid the groundwork for some initial agreements and opportunities for sustained collaboration on a wide range of topics, including tourism and hospitality, business and entrepreneurship training, language and cultural programming, environmental studies, alternative fuel projects and sustainability issues, and other forms of collaboration through exchanges of students, teachers, and administrators and through the use of video conferencing and on-line technologies.
US Community College Fellows along with Fulbright Director, Anthony Koliha
and Deputy Cultural Attaché at the US Embassy in Moscow, Lisa Gregory.
US Fulbright Community College Administrator Seminar Fellows:
Beverly Blois, Jr., Dean, Northern Virginia Community College—Sterling
Patricia Chao Hsieh, President, San Diego Miramar College
Jeff Marsee, President and Chief Executive Officer, College of the Redwoods
Kathleen Rentsch, Dean, Quinsigamond Community College
John Sbrega, President, Bristol Community College
John Tuthill, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Northwest Arkansas Community College