Russia

A group of 14 Russian educators from various U.S. states traveled abroad to Moscow for an intensive four-week teaching workshop this June. The program, titled ‘Russian Teachers for the 21st Century: Maximizing Teaching Effectiveness by Immersing into Language, Culture and Standard-Based Teaching,’ was directed by two University of Iowa faculty members – Irina Kostina, Ph.D., lecturer in Russian and Anna Kolesnikova, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor of Russian language.

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"Being exposed to other beliefs and ways of living and working is an intense experience unlike most others that forces students to reflect, to adapt, and to learn new skill sets. Even a simple request in a foreign language can be tough, so consider the learning that occurs when students are challenged with expressing themselves, negotiating, or handling an abstract conversation.”

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The University of Iowa offers two programs through the Pushkin Institute in Moscow for students to study abroad in the summer. This program offers students intensive Russian language courses as well as culture courses. Come to an info session Feb. 26 to learn more.

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Slavic language community invites you to Kapustnik—a student talent show Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, at 5 p.m. in the Pappajohn Business Building, Room W401. The event is free and open to the public.

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Two University of Iowa faculty members in the Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures (DWLLC) have been awarded $75,000 from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad competition. Irina Kostina, Ph.D., lecturer in Russian, and Anna Kolesnikova, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of Russian language, were selected for their project proposal "Russian Teachers for the 21st Century: Maximizing Teaching Effectiveness by Immersing into Language, Culture and Standard-Based Teaching."

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Three University of Iowa students alumnae have been awarded Fulbright U.S. Student Program grants to conduct research internationally in 2013-14. This year's UI recipients are Margaret Ross, Rebecca McCray, and Briana Smith.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase understanding between people of the United States and other countries by providing participants opportunities to study, teach, conduct research, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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Marina Kostina (BA ’95/MA ’97/PhD ’11) is changing the way teachers and students interact online. She is also expanding the global reach of higher education through her work in distance learning.

Kostina, who says she came to the United States from Russia 20 years ago with “just a bag in my hand and a dream in my heart,” is now a best-selling author on Amazon and has created her own thriving business, Wired @ Heart, which teaches instructors to build effective online courses.

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Faculty members in the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages at the University of Iowa have received a $90,000 grant from STARTALK, a unit of the federal National Security Language Initiative, for their program “Bridging the Gap through Standards and Technology: STARTALK for Teachers.” The program provides unique professional training for teachers of Russian as a foreign language in the United States.

This is the second grant received by this team—Irina Kostina, UI lecturer; Anna Kolesnikova, UI visiting professor; and Marina Kostina, CEO of Wired @ Heart—from STARTALK for the development of their teacher-preparation program.

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Do international collaborations make for better science, or better scientists? This was one of the key questions raised at an event I attended this week, the first “Global Research Funding Forum,” hosted jointly by International Affairs and the Office of Research and Economic Development at the University of North Texas.

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Iowa City has been welcoming people from all across the globe for years. Various cultures are orchestrated beautifully in this city and enrich its cultural heritage. This summer, the International Writing Program is bringing younger writers, between the ages of 16 and 19, from Russia and Arabic-speaking countries to the University of Iowa for their Between the Lines (BTL). Students participating in BTL will study creative writing and will be able to experience American culture during a two week stay at the university.

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