Past Feature Stories
Barnaul, minus 30 degrees Celsius. In the early winter darkness, through the cold and cutting wind, Aaron Martin, an English Language Teaching Assistant at Altai State Technical University, is steadily making his way to a distant outskirt. His destination is a sports center where Aaron hopes to find Uliana, one of the Russian Schoolchildren Contest participants. The Fulbright Program has entrusted him, along with ETA students in nine other cities of Russia, with the task of delivering prizes and certificates of participation to the Best Essay contest participants and winners thus striving to make it a memorable and warm event.
It would take Aaron two long trips through the city that is barely known to him to actually meet with Uliana, and hand over the certificate to her, and afterwards have a long hearty talk with the girl’s coach Elena Pavlovna. Elena Pavlovna’s nice little presents, a tea cup and a T-shirt with the sports center logo, would remind Aaron of this cold-weather but warm-feeling night that he himself has made happen.
Since September 2014, Fulbright Scholar Yulia Melnik has been giving lectures in the Schools of Public Health and Education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, on the inclusion of disabled people into various spheres of life. These lectures are intended for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Within the course, Yulia provides a comparative analysis of the main obstacles and difficulties, as well as prospects, associated with the construction of an inclusive model of life activity for disabled people in American and Russian cultures. As a director of the Multi-disciplinary center of social education and rehabilitation services in Stavropol and a senior lecturer at the Department of Defectology of the Institute of Education and Social Sciences of the North Caucasian Federal University, Yulia actively introduces elements of the personal experience caused by disability due to cerebral palsy. Such a system of class conducting finds considerable response from the audience of students and faculty members of Indiana University and other foreign scholars.
Valerie Sartor is an American Fulbright TEFL Scholar, working with students and teachers in Irkutsk during the 2014-2015 academic year. From December 1 through December 4 she was invited to give a 4 day workshop for teachers in Gorno-Altaisk. Approximately 20 teachers, from the state university and regions, attended her workshop. She gave literary seminars using American literature, shared practical tools and tips for teaching English, and introduced several useful websites for using contemporary music and graffiti for teaching youth.
During her stay in Gorno-Altaisk, Valerie was invited to serve as a volunteer English language academic editor for a prestigious Russian journal “The world of science, culture and education”. She accepted this honor and responsibility and will continue this service when she returns to the US in June 2015. Her duties will be to translate Russian abstracts in English, and to edit for style any articles submitted in English to the journal.
On December 3-7th the Moscow State Conservatory held a festival of American music. The main goal of the festival was to deepen the mutual understanding between our cultures, and to hold an academic conference and concerts. The festival introduced music of one of the most prominent composers of the twentieth century - George Crumb, one of the founders of the Philadelphia school of composers, who celebrates his 85th anniversary this year. The festival paid tribute to the composer, who is well known and loved in Russia. In January 2014, Professor of the Moscow State Conservatory Svetlana Sigida interviewed George Crumb and recorded his wishes on the program of the festival. The film was shown during the festival.
There were three concerts in total - in the Hall named after Myaskovsky, in the Rachmaninov Hall and in the Museum of Scriabin.
The festival was organized by the Fulbright alumna Professor Svetlana Sigida using a small grant of the Fulbright Program - 2015. The set of problems of an academic conference has been designed by the Fulbright Program alumni Professor Tatiana Venediktova and Associate Professor Andrey Logutov (both – Lomonosov Moscow State University).
Rachel Gannon is 2014-15 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, who is teaching English and American culture to Russian students at Gorno-Altaisk State University. Working with Fulbright and the American Film Showcase, Rachel held 3 screenings of the independent film Linsanity, one at the high school (November 14) and two at the university (November 17), for English students. A Skype question and answer session with the director, Evan Jackson Leong, was held at the university (November 18). The screenings and the Skype call were both highly attended. Students actively participated in the Skype call and Rachel received a lot of positive feedback from students and teachers at the university. This project was possible through support from Wendy Kolls, Rachel Gandin, and the staff of Gorno-Altaisk State University.
Jason Cieply, Fulbright U.S. Student 2014-2015, is conducting research in St. Petersburg, Russia towards his dissertation on the theme of enthusiasm in early Soviet literature. He is focusing on the fiction of two writers, Andrei Platonov and Mikhail Zoshchenko. This September, he attended the Eighth International Academic Conference Dedicated to the 115th Birthday of Andrei Platonov, held once every five years at the Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow. Apart from attending presentations by Platonov specialists from Russia, the US, Europe, and Asia, Jason was able to meet the author's grandson, Anton Martynenko, who, like his famous forebearer, devotes his creative energies to both writing and engineering. Jason made valuable contacts with leading Russian scholars in his field and was invited to contribute an article to a publication of the conference's proceedings, Land of the Philosophers.
22 English Teaching Assistants gathered in Moscow on September 21st-25th for the in-country orientation. As part of the orientation, the ETAs participated in training sessions, which were conducted by an English Language Fellow in Moscow John Kotnarowski and Russian FLTA Alumni Marina Zakharova and Margarita Kharlova. The training sessions covered cultural adjustment and English language teaching strategies that could help young teachers work with Russian students. The group also visited the US Embassy for a short briefing on safety, visa registration and the current political climate. The newly appointed Ambassador, John Tefft, stopped by to meet the Fulbrighters , say a few welcoming words, and wish them luck.
After the training the ETAs departed to their host cities, located all over Russia (from Kaliningrad in the West to Vladivostok in the Far East), where they will be teaching English language to university students during the 2014-15 academic year.
In the spring of 2014 took place the 5th 5th Fulbright Community College Administrators Seminar (CCAS). This program introduces the U.S. system of community college level vocational, technical, and general education to Russian higher education administrators and gives the US administrators opportunities to learn more about the Russian Federation’s evolving educational system and approach to general, technical, and vocational training.
39 Fulbright U.S. Students, including 28 ETAs and 11 Research Fellows, gathered in Moscow on January 27-28, 2014 for the Mid-Year Enrichment Seminar. During the event Fulbrighters had a unique opportunity to meet once again after living in Russia for several months, and share their stories with each other. Both students and ETAs had a chance to make short presentations about their personal experience and professional success.
Fulbright-Hays grantee Tony Lin gave a piano concert on October 18, 2013 at Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH). The concert was dedicated to 164th anniversary of Frédéric Chopin's death. The program included works by F. Chopin, G. Gershwin, D. Shostakovich, F. Schubert, J. S. Bach, S. Prokofiev.
Tony Lin is a winner of several American pianist competitions, and a PhD Candidate at the Slavic Studies Department of University of California, Berkeley. Tony is in Moscow on a Fulbright-Hays Grant which includes an internship at the Russian-American Academic Center for American Studies, RSUH.
28 English Teaching Assistants gathered in Moscow on September 21-27, 2013 for a week-long in-country orientation. As part of the orientation, ETAs had training sessions, which covered cultural adjustment and ELT strategies. The group also visited the US Embassy for a short briefing and had dinner with a few of Fulbright Moscow Alumni at the Fulbright Office in Moscow. After the training ETAs departed to their host cities, located all over Russia, where they will be teaching English language to university students during the 2013-2014 academic year.
“Sustainable Development of Regions and Territories” was the name of the Summer School held in Moscow on June 23-30, 2013 at National Research University “Higher School of Economics”. Young specialists, including researchers, members of regional municipal administration, post-graduate students and faculty, came to Moscow from 14 different cities to discuss various aspects and principles of sustainable development and their implementation in Russia.
The students noted that participation in the School changed their view on the problem, made their understanding of sustainable development of regions and territories deeper and broader, and they are planning to use the new approaches in their work – both in research activities and practice. All of them are hoping that the School continues in the future.
“Academic Writing: Russian and International Experience” – was the name of the XVI Fulbright Summer School in the Humanities, held at Moscow State University’s School of Journalism on June 24-28, 2013. 38 university teachers from all over Russia gathered to discuss how to teach writing at the university and postgraduate level, how to use it as a tool for improving critical inquiry in other subjects, and how to help graduate students and faculty members in their efforts to publish internationally.
VII Moscow International Art Festival will host a presentation and artist talk of an American artist of Russian descent, Stass Shpanin, at the Central House of Artists on June 27.
A recent grad from the University of Hartford, in West Hartford, Connecticut, Stass spent this year in Russia representing the United States of America through the academic exchange Fulbright program. His studio is located at the Surikov State Art Institute of the Russian Arts Academy where he works under the supervision of acclaimed Soviet painter, Vice President of the Russian Arts Academy: Mr. Tahir Salahov.
Read an article in The Moscow Times: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/record-smashing-artis...
Kirill Vinnikov, a 2013 International Fulbright Science & Technology Fellow, was honored at a reception and scientific poster session on June 11 hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Kirill, one of forty 2013 Fulbright S & T fellows, is a native of Vladivostok, Russia. - See more at: http://nmnh.typepad.com/backbone/2013/06/fulbright-fellow-visits-fish-di...
150 Russian and American Fulbright Alumni gathered in Moscow on April 10th-11th to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program in Russia and participate in a conference featuring presentations and workshops led by their peers with themes showcasing Fulbright scholars’ scientific research, academic exchange programs, musical compositions, and art history to name just a few.
Catherine Chamberlin is an English Teaching Assistant, who is working in Puschino, Moscow Region as part of the Fulbright ETA Program.
Here you can read and watch an interview with Catherine.
Celia Evans is a Fulbright Scholar, who is going to be teaching and conducting research in Gorno-Altaisk, Altai republic. Just after arriving in the Siberian city, she was invited to participate in the Snow Leopard Festival, which was held on September 15, 2012.
“The Humanities: A Transnational Project” was the theme of the XV Fulbright Summer School in the Humanities that was held at Lomonosov Moscow State University from June 25-29, 2012. The summer school’s curriculum focused on constructive responses to the challenges of globalization from the perspective of the humanities. Participants included 28 junior faculty and graduate students from 20 Russian universities. Their instructors were distinguished professors from MSU and other leading universities in Russia, the United States, Germany and Australia.
The summer school itself was divided into two parts: theory and practice. During the first three days, participants attended lectures and engaged in structured discussions on the influence of globalization on contexts, communication and language. The last two days provided an opportunity to put theory into practice through hands-on workshops and simulations. For example, participants practiced writing short articles in English for international audiences in their fields and then offered constructive criticism for improving each other’s writing.
Participants evaluated their experience at the summer school as intensive but positive. They unanimously agreed to continue their collaboration on this important project using social media and online tools.
“Public Administration and Sustainable Development” was the theme of a new Fulbright Summer School held in Moscow on June 13-18, 2012, at Russia’s Higher School of Economics. HSE (one of only 27 National Research Universities in Russia) co-sponsored the school with the Moscow Fulbright Office and ECA. Faculty included alumni and current grantees of the Fulbright Scholar Program. Competition to attend the summer school was fierce – 169 people from 43 cities applied for 22 available slots. Selected participants represented 12 different regions across the country, from Siberia to the Urals to European Russia. They also had a wide range of interests and experience as advanced graduate students, junior faculty or young leaders in regional governments.
A new Distinguished Fulbright Chair in agricultural technology and professional education has been established at the Moscow State Agroengineering University named in honor of V.P.Goryachkin. MSAU will host a visiting U.S. professor annually to teach courses and conduct joint research with colleagues in the field of agriculture across Russia. The first scholar to fill the new chair will arrive in fall 2013, thanks to a new agreement on cooperation and exchange signed by MSAU Rector Aleksandr Mitrofanovich Sysoyev and Dr. Edward Roslof, director of the Fulbright Program in Russia.
For two weeks in April 2012 the Fulbright Program in Russia hosted five U.S. community college leaders who visited Russian colleges and met with universities rectors, students and staff around the country through the third annual Community College Administrators Seminar (CCAS).
Seminar participants discussed educational reforms taking place in Russia, explained the role of community colleges in U.S. higher education and explored opportunities for partnerships between Russian and American institutions. The interests of the U.S. community college leaders ranged from development of information technologies and environmental protection to nursing, accounting and finance. They were also interested in cooperation between businesses and educational institutions in programs for workforce development.
Julia Phillips is a Fulbright Graduate Student Fellow, who is working on her Creative Writing project at Kamchatka State University in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Fascinated and inspired by the region, Julia strives to experience everything Kamchatka has to offer. Her latest adventure was the participation in Beringia, a traditional dog sled race.
Read a story, written by Julia about this unforgettable experience.
On March 8th 2012, Fulbrighters from all around the world gathered in Chicago for a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar, entitled “The Role of Diversity in Chicago City Politics”. Natalia Balyasnikova and Karina Eremetova, both participants of the Fulbright Faculty Development Program shared their impressions about the event.
Margaret Williams, English Teaching Assistant from Khabarovsk, in collaboration with her Russian colleague and Fulbright Alumnus Olga Kovbasyuk has been working with a group of students from the Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law and several colleges in the U.S., to improve the way Russian and American students relate to one another. The program, which they call The Global Learning / Partners in Dialogue, uses webinars, videoconferences and Skype to explore how the two cultures perceive and address a variety of issues. The purpose is to encourage students to discuss cultural issues with international peers and to help students develop foreign language skills.
Read an article by M. Williams about the project.
47 Fulbright U.S. Students, including 33 English Teaching Assistants, gathered in Moscow on January 19-20, 2012 for the mid-year enrichment seminar to share their personal experience and professional success. The subjects of presentations varied from “TB and HIV infections in Siberia” and “Development of Agricultural Sector in Russia” to “Video-conferences and cross-cultural communication” and “The Babushka Phenomenon”. Apart from that, two guest speakers were invited to talk about their areas of expertise. Fulbright Senior Scholar Regina Smyth spoke about the upcoming presidential elections in Russia, and Rebecca Neff, who is an economics officer at the US Embassy, gave an economical overview of Russia. The two-day seminar was followed by an ETA training session, which took place on the 21st of January.
The Fulbright Program welcomed U.S. community college representatives to Russia for a two-week program of meetings and events with a focus on professional and higher education, workforce training, and international collaboration between the United States and Russia. Read more...
The Fulbright Program in Russia hosted a delegation of U.S. university presidents who spent a week in Russia learning about new and evolving opportunities for collaboration between U.S. and Russian institutions. Events included a conference in Moscow on “Cooperation between U.S. and Russian Universities,” site-visits to leading Russian universities, and additional programming in St. Petersburg and Kazan.
Dr. Jill Biden met with the Fulbright director and two Russian colleagues during a recent visit to Moscow with her husband, Vice President Joe Biden. The conversation focused on critical issues shared by both the U.S. and Russia such as access to education and workforce training for the 21st century. The Fulbright Program’s work with U.S. community college faculty and administrators in Russia continues to engage interested partners and offer individualized solutions. Read more...
43 Fulbright U.S. Students, including 27 English Language Assistants, gathered in Moscow on January 20 – 21, 2011 for the mid-year enrichment seminar to share their success stories, professional and personal impressions. An incredible scope of topics, ranging from “Breast and Ovarian Cancer in Siberia” and “Environmental Psychology and Politics of the Lake Baikal region” to “Why Putin Wears a Cross: religion in the Russian Political Sphere”. The seminar was preceded by a 3-day training for the ETA fellows, conducted by Thomas Santos, head of the English Language Office, U.S. Embassy.
If someone would ask Dr. Nancy Muleady-Mecham what Russia and the U.S. share in common, her answer, most likely, would be about stars and the sky. Dr. Muleady-Mecham spent 3 months in the fall of 2010 in Gorno-Altaisk . During her Fulbright grant, Nancy not only lectured at Gorno-Altaisk State University (GASU), visited local national parks, but also donated a lot of her time and energy to establish the very first in the history of Gorno-Altaisk Astronomy club, which is now has the official name of the Altai Astronomy Club (AAC). The AAC turned out to be an outstanding outreach activity bringing together around 100 people each time. Its fans can be found not only among students and faculty of GASU, but also among local grammar and high school students along with their families.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered remarks to a gathering of Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants from 48 countries that took place December 8-12, 2010 in Washington, D.C. In her remarks, Secretary Clinton stressed the following: “Senator Fulbright… once said – that, ‘Educational exchanges can turn nations into people.’…As the 2010 class of Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, you are the latest in this tradition of young people who have taken up this mission”. Alla Savelieva, an FLTA fellow at Wheaton College, was one of 37 Russian fellows in attendance at the December events in Washington, D.C., and she stressed that Secretary Clinton’s remarks were one of the most exciting moments of the event. The 37 Russian FLTAs together with their colleagues from around the world are spending this year sharing their language and culture with American students across the United States. (For Secretary Clinton’s full remarks, visit http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/12/152620.htm).
In celebration of the 90th anniversary of the founding of VKhUTEMAS, the Moscow Institute of Architecture held a 3-day international conference. Two current Fulbrighters, Angelina Lucento and Roann Barris, presented papers at the Thursday afternoon session on the practical and conceptual applications of space in the work of artists associated with VKhUTEMAS and its influences on other artists in the 20th century. Angelina’s paper discussed the painter David Shterenberg’s treatment of space, paint, and concrete objects in still-life oil paintings; Roann’s paper focused on American exhibitions of the art of VKHuTEMAS and their possible influence on architects in the 1980s. The conference was conducted in both English and Russian, and a catalogue of the conference, published in Russian, contains abstracts from all the presentations.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock visited the Fulbright-Moscow offices on November 2, 2010 along with staff members from the Embassy. Her visit included a luncheon with Russian and American Fulbright program participants as well as meetings at the Fulbright office with Director Anthony Koliha and the Fulbright Program staff. The visit agenda included a discussion of how the Fulbright program impacts Russian communities and the potential for increasing the awareness of Fulbright in Russia.
Russian and American Fulbright fellows and alumni participated in a conference on “Higher Education for Tomorrow’s Professionals,” from April 2-3 in Moscow. Participants included six senior U.S. Community College administrators, who described the increasingly important role being played by community colleges in training individuals for further higher education as well as for entry into and retraining within the workforce. Read the full story...
Saratov State Conservatory named after L.V.Sobinov was honored to host a concert in the Great Hall of the Conservatory on March 25, 2010 of the music of Joel Feigin, Professor at California University in Santa Barbara (USA). Professor Feigin is a Fulbright Program Alumnus. The concert was organized by Russian Fulbright Scholar Alumna, Tatiana Svistunenko. Many of the pieces that were played made their Russian debut. Read more...
Under the leadership of Dr. Tatiana Venediktova, president of the Russian Fulbright Alumni Association, participants from all across Russia took part in the Twelfth annual Fulbright Summer School in the Humanities, entitled “Media Imagination,” from June 15-21, 2009. According to 2009 Fulbright Senior Specialist to Russia, Dr. Stephen Duncombe (New York University), “Over the course of one intense week we loosened the tyrannical bonds of the present (and past) and began to think of what might be. That is: we began a process of imagining.” Full Article
On this day, people volunteer to help clean their local courtyards and parks, plant flowers and trees throughout the city and participate in various other environmental improvement efforts. The holiday was founded in the United States to increase understanding and awareness of local and global environmental problems. Interested to learn more about what our Fulbright alumni think about today’s environmental issues, we asked them to describe what they consider to be the main global environmental problems today? How are they affecting Russia specifically? And what measures are people taking in Russia to address these problems? Read their responses!
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