Native-Speaker Language Assistant

Each year the department sponsors a Russian language assistant. The assistant is usually a post-BA student who serves as  a resource for students of Russian and organizes extracurricular activities. The language assistant conducts Russian 200 (conversational practice) and runs the weekly Russian Language Lab, where students are able to do homework, consult with the native speaker, or chat. Our language assistant also lives in Russian House.

2013-2014 Yakov Lurie (Yasha) comes to us from St. Petersburg.  He is a graduate of Smolny College, where he majored in Film Studies.  Yasha helps in the first- and second-year Russian courses, offers Russian office hours, and lives in the Russian House. He is also curating a Russian film series.  Watch the novosti ( for more information.

2012-2013 Elivira Fattakhova is from Kazan, Russia, and worked with us at Grinnell last academic year. Elvira is a graduate of Tatar State University of Humanities and Education and majored in English and Chinese.

2011-2012 Yulia Fedoseeva is from Tolyatti, Russia.  Tolyatti is located on the Volga and is the automotive capital of Russia.  Julia returned to Tolyatti after Grinnell and now works at the  Windsor School of Foreign Languages. 

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.

Russian Language Lab

Students can practice their Russian at the weekly Russian Language Lab, held Wednesdays from 7:00-8:30 p.m. ARH 317. Students who need help doing their homework, studying for exams, or who just want to chat are welcome to stop by.

Russian Film

Russian instruction at Grinnell is supported by a wide variety of multimedia resources. Russian satellite broadcasts, films, videos and music complement courses in language and literature. The department is particularly proud of its Russian film collection, which is one of the largest in the nation. Subtitled movies from the collection are frequently shown on campus, often with discussions following at Russian House.

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.

Novosti (News)

Dear friends of Grinnell’s Russian department, 

The publication NOVOSTI is now located in blog format, and can be found at Our new on-line newsletter allows you to see all news regarding our department, and to communicate with others who share your interest in Grinnell’s programs.