In the spirit of the new year, here’s a recap of our Fall semester:
The Russian Studies Program at UCF experienced a very successful Fall 2018 semester.
International Week in November was full of activities based on the Russian Studies Program, lead by Dr. Alla Kourova and UCF Russian Club President Eric Tangarife. The invitation of the First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in the U.S. and Deputy Director of the Russian Culture Center in Washington D.C., Ms. Natalia Moroz, brought a new, fresh look at Russian-American relations in the sphere of education and cultural exchanges. At the International Breakfast, Dr. Kourova shared her experiences with the international projects and grants through UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities and the Russian Language program, and First Secretary Moroz was a guest speaker. Additionally, Russian Culture Night and Russian Tea Hour, sponsored by Dr. Kourova and Russian Club at UCF, were successful events open to all International Education Week participants.
During International Education Week, the Intermediate Russian class students, together with Russian Club Officers, had a wonderful opportunity to have a Skype Conference with Thomas M. Leary, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs for the Embassy of the United States in Moscow. Minister Counselor Leary shared his experiences in the foreign service and allowed time at the end of the Skype call for a question-and-answer session.
Mr. Thomas Leary served as a Public Affairs Officer in St. Petersburg from 1999-2001 and as the Consul General in St. Petersburg again in 2017 until the closure of the United States Embassy post in 2018. He speaks Russian language almost as well as a native speaker. Mr. Leary has also served as the Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Islamabad from 2014-2015, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in London from 2011-2014, and Minister Counselor for Public Affairs in Ankara from 2008-2011. Additionally, Minister Counselor Leary has served in various Foreign Service positions in Copenhagen, Madrid, Lima, and Sierra Leone.
On December 3, 2018, Dr. Kourova was invited by First Secretary Moroz of the Russian Embassy and Russian Culture Center in Washington D.C. to present her current book Picturing Russia: A Research Guide to Russian Culture. The presentation was very successful, with many attendees and a plethora of questions.
Congratulations to our two undergraduate students from Elementary and Intermediate Russian Classes for receiving RAMP, Taylor Jenko, and a research grant from the Burnett Research College, Charles Martin, mentor Dr. Kourova.