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International Programs
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2026

Release: Immediate

UI hosts conference for Russian and Ukrainian scholars March 28-April 1

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A group of 27 Russian and Ukrainian scholars participating in the Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) will gather at the University of Iowa from March 28 to April 1 for a national conference sponsored by UI International Programs.

The Junior Faculty Development Program (JFDP) provides opportunities for young Russian and Ukrainian university faculty to develop their academic knowledge and teaching skills in specially designed programs at American universities. It is administered by the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) with assistance from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES).

The keynote speaker at the UI conference is S. Frederick Starr, chairman of the Central Asia Institute at Johns Hopkins University, who will speak on "The Future of U.S.-Russian/Ukrainian Relations and Implications for Higher Education." The conference will include several panels of experts to discuss establishing links between U.S. and Russian/Ukrainian universities, how to write grants, and issues concerning re-entry/returning home.

The scholars also will learn about testing from officials at American College Testing (ACT) and will tour the Herbert Hoover Museum and the famous Stanley African art collection at the UI Museum of Art.

Stephen Arum, assistant dean of International Programs and coordinator of the conference, said the conference will serve several purposes.

"It will give these scholars an opportunity to reflect on their year-to-date in the U.S. and allow them to begin to think about re-entry issues concerning their return home," he said. "It also gives them the opportunity to get to know each other in order to increase their network of contacts at home."

USIA's Office of Exchanges in Moscow and Kiev selected 22 Russian and five Ukrainian scholars to participate in the JFDP during the 1997-98 academic year, the fourth year of the program. The scholars originate from institutions of higher learning throughout Russia and Ukraine and represent various academic disciplines, including business administration, economics, law, public administration, library science and university administration.

Scholars are hosted by 12 U.S. universities, including the UI, which is hosting four scholars this year. American faculty mentors at each institution assist the scholars in course selection, expose them to various teaching methods, lend advice in curriculum development, seek opportunities for practice teaching, and aid in the selection of books and journals to take back to the participants' home institutions.

The UI scholars, their home towns and fields of study are: Volodymyr Chumachenko, Odessa, Ukraine, history; Vadim Goloubev, St. Petersburg, Russia, linguistics; Ludmilla Kouraeva, Saratov, Russia, social work; and Irina Kratko, Moscow, Russia, business administration. These four scholars live in the Iowa City area and are available for interviews by appointment. There will also be a few times during the conference when participants will be available for comment. Contact Steve Arum at (319) 335-0335 to set up a time.