Russian educators visit the University of Iowa

Russian educators visit the University of Iowa

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Belin-Blank Center hosts group interested in student services

Seven Russian educators visiting the University of Iowa campus aim to explore best practices in student services and the vital role of extracurricular activities at the UI.

Group of Russian educators gather on staircase of Old Capitol.
Russian educators from Moscow's National University of Science and Technology gain insight into effective student services. Photo courtesy of Brian Douglas.

“Our program seeks to provide valuable insights into effective policies and practices to be adapted to the Russian context in a constructive and meaningful way,” says Dmitry Khorvat, on behalf of his colleagues.

The group, from Moscow’s National University of Science and Technology, NUST MISiS, arrived Oct. 28 and will leave Nov. 3.

The UI College of Education’s Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank Center for International Gifted Education and Talent Development is hosting the delegation. The visit is funded through a grant from the American Councils for International Education (ACIE). This is the third grant ACIE has awarded the Belin-Blank Center to bring educators from the National University to learn more about a major American research university.

The current group on campus is focused on how student services are structured and delivered so that UI students have a successful as well as comprehensive university experience.

The visitors have interacted with faculty, staff, and students regarding admissions, advising, student health and well-being, student leadership and involvement on campus, residence hall life and dining, athletics, study abroad programs as well as support for international students on campus, campus security, and the honors program.

The first group from the National University visited the UI in fall 2011 with a focus on administrative topics, including research grants and how they are encouraged and evaluated. In spring 2012, a second delegation focused on excellence in teaching, leading to best practices for learning. This group was interested in how teaching is assigned, evaluated, and developed.

All three visits have been coordinated by Laurie Croft, administrator for professional development at the Belin-Blank Center, and Margaret Mills, professor of Russian in the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).

Belin-Blank Center Director Nicholas Colangelo calls the visits “a perfect educational storm of the right elements.”

“It has been a vibrant experience to have these outstanding individuals visit from Moscow,” he says. “They have been gaining valuable insights in the complexity of a major university such as UI and hearing firsthand from many of the leaders on this campus. All of us who have engaged with our colleagues from Moscow have also learned a great deal from them as well.”


Laurie Croft, Belin-Blank Center, 319-335-6148
Nicholas Colangelo, Belin-Blank Center, 319-335-6148
Margaret Mills, World Languages, Literature & Culture, 319-335-2848


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