A group of faculty from Ulan-Ude, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Stavropol, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Zelenograd and Moscow came to the USA to participate in the Fulbright Faculty Development Program 2015-16.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Fulbright Program Presentations
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