Native-Speaker Language Assistant
Each year the department sponsors a different language assistant from Russian. The assistant is usually a post-BA student who serves as an additional resource for students of Russian and depending on student interest, organizes extracurricular activities. The language assistant conducts Russian 200 (conversational practice) and runs the weekly Russian Language Lab, where students are able to come to do homework, consult with the native speaker, or just chat. Our language assistant also lives in Russian House.
2010-2011 Olesya Valger (2010-2011) is from Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia. She graduated from Novosibirsk Teacher Training University in 2009 and was offered a position of Assistant Teacher in its English department. In addition to it, she takes an active part in youth geopolitics study program of the European Union and is one of the activists of animal protection movement in Russia. After her year in Grinnell she plans to return to Russia and take every effort to use her American experience for the good of her dear country.
2009-2010 Anastasia Selemeneva is from the South of Russia. She was born in Stavropol, which is a sister city of Des Moines. Anastasia graduated from Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University with a degree in Linguistics in June, 2003 and started her career as a teacher of English at that time. While at Grinnell, she applied, and was accepted, to the graduate program in Slavic studies at Brown University, where she began studying in Fall 2010.
2008-2009 Julia Kulikova came to Grinnell from Moscow, where she graduated from Moscow State Linguistic University, completing the major as a teacher of two languages - English and French and as an interpreter in English. In addition to her regular duties as Assistant, Julia hosted a Saturday morning radio show, Daywatch, on the campus radio station, KDIC. After Grinnell, was awarded a scholarship to do her Master’s Degree in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Oregon.
2007-2008 Natalia Petrova is originally from Pskov. After she graduated, Natalia entered the Pskov State Pedagogical University and graduated from it in 2004. After that she was offered the position of an Assistant teacher of English at the University and she worked there for 3 years before coming to Grinnell. She has always enjoyed teaching and she especially likes teaching at the university because the students are motivated and eager to study.
2006-2007 Vera Bobkova is originally from Biysk (that's in Siberia). When she arrived in Grinnell, she was a recent graduate with distinction from the Biysk Teacher Training State University in Altaisky Krai. After her year in the Russian department here, Vera intends to continue her studies and a career in the teaching of English.
2005-2006 Maria Elova is originally from Kazan.
2004-2005 Abdurakhman "Rak" Zulumkhanov. Rak (or Rakh) (or Rock) is originally from Daghestan. He moved to Moscow to pursue his education. Rak is a graduate of Moscow Statue Linguistics University with a degree in Linguistics, Translation, Interpreting and International Communications. Most recently he worked as a journalist for Lifestyle magazine, an English-language entertainment magazine in Moscow.
2003-2004 Dinara Moukhametjanova. Dina is from Moscow. She has returned there.
2002-2003: Tatiana Yakovenko. Tatiana-or Tanya-is originally from Rostov-on-Don, a city in Southern Russia, and completed the Master's degree in the Faculty of Foreign Languages at Moscow State University in 2001. She taught Russian as a foreign language to students in Moscow, and enjoyed working with faculty and students at Grinnell. Tanya has invited any Grinnellians studying in Moscow to contact her.
2001-2002: Elena Melnikova. Elena received her undergraduate degree at Penza State Pedagogical University, and is currently working on an advanced degree at the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute.
1999-2001: Anna Samoilova. Anna worked with the Russian Department at Grinnell College for two years. She received her B.A. from Moscow State University, and after Grinnell entered the graduate program in Communications at Fordham University in New York.
A weekly lunch meeting in the Joe Rosenfield Center gives students and faculty members an opportunity to speak Russian in an informal setting. Speakers at every level are encouraged to participate. Individuals not on board are the guests of the Russian Department. Russian table is held every Friday, at 12pm, in JRC224C.
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Russian Language Lab
In addition to Russian Table, students can practice their Russian at the weekly Russian Language Lab, traditionally held every Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 in ARH 227. Students who need help doing their homework, studying for exams, or who just want to chat are welcome to stop by on a walk-in basis.
Students are encouraged to make the most of the department's extensive collection of Russian film, one of the largest collections in the country. Expanded most recently by our Visiting Heath Professor Galina Aksenova, who taught a well-attended course on the history of Russian film in 1998, our collection covers the spectrum of Russian cinematography, from its beginnings in the silent film, to contemporary masterpieces, such as Bodrov's Academy Award-winning Burnt by the Sun. The Russian Department frequently organizes campus screenings of subtitled films, and Russian students often organize film evenings at Russian House. In addition, our faculty extensively use the film collection of our language and literature offerings.
Multimedia and Technology Support
Multimedia Support Instruction at Grinnell is supported by the first Sony language lab in the nation. The department houses an extensive and growing film and laser disk collection of titles ranging from early cinema classics to contemporary documentaries. Classrooms are each equipped with a laser-disc/VCR/CD station. The College receives daily satellite broadcasts from Russia, which are adapted for classroom use in some courses. Films, videos and music complement various courses in the language and literature sequence. Mike Conner of Grinnell's Curricular Technology team assists humanities faculty in integrating the latest technologies into their teaching.
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Visitors to the Russian Department
The Russian Department, in its continuing efforts to provide students with a fuller understanding of Russian cultural traditions, in a cross-disciplinary fashion, frequenlty collaborates with other departments and artistic and literary programs in bringing to campus prominent Russian scholars and artists.
Student Educational Policy Committee
Each department at Grinnell has a Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC), a group usually made up of departmental majors, that assists and participates in a number of departmental activities, including faculty reviews; faculty hiring; extracurricular events; and faculty-student communication.
An annual Spring event in the Russian Department is the Slavic Coffeehouse, which is co-sponsored by Russian and Central and Eastern European Studies (RCEES). Students meet at kitchens on campus and in professors' homes, and prepare a variety of exotic treats from the Slavic kitchen, to be sold with coffee and tea that evening in the Forum Coffeehouse. Musical entertainment is a frequent tradition of the Slavic Coffeehouse, and performers have ranged from Russian bards to classical musicians. Proceeds from the evening are used to fund an event for Russian House.
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John Mohan Russian Study Award
The purpose of the Mohan Russian Study Award is to permit students to study or do internships in Russophone countries after graduation, when financial-aid from the college is no longer available. Please visit our Award Website to learn more.
The Russian Department, often in conjunction with RCEES (Russian and Central and Eastern European Studies), organizes one or two day-long excursions per year to numerous area sites of interest, or to events in nearby metropolitan areas that are connected in some way to our academic program. Often these excursions are arranged in connection with first-year tutorials taught in the department, but are usually designed to include our majors and friends of the department as well. We have traveled to Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Cedar Rapids, St. Louis, and other cities on numerous occasions to visit art exhibits, attend important plays, visit local ethic communities, or participate in scholarly conferences.
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