Moscow and St. Petersburg

Chancellor Block visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. The goal of the trip was to increase awareness of UCLA as a partner in research collaborations with Russian National Research Universities (NRUs), as a teacher of Russian language and culture, and as a leading US institutional partner of the Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity (EURECA) program. UCLA is also working to increase student mobility and is eager to host Russian undergraduates or graduate students for degrees or for exchange programs.

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Chancellor Block visited Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia from August 28-31, 2012. Chancellor Block was accompanied by a delegation of four UCLA colleagues including Vice Provost for New Collaborative Initiatives Kathryn Atchison, Interim Vice Provost for International Studies Cindy Fan, UCLA Professor and Russian Flagship Program Director Olga Kagan, and Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures David MacFadyen. The goal of the trip was to increase awareness of UCLA as a partner in research collaborations with Russian National Research Universities (NRUs), as a teacher of Russian language and culture, and as a leading US institutional partner of the Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity (EURECA) program, and to better understand the Russian education system and current reforms.

UCLA is also working to increase student mobility and is eager to host Russian undergraduates or graduate students for degrees or for exchange programs. To this end, the delegation met with key administrators, including the Deputy Minister of Education, and representatives of Russian NRUs, including the EURECA partner institution St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO) and with US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

Government Relations: Discussing Russian Educational Reform, Moscow

While in Moscow, the Chancellor and his delegation met with then Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul at the lovely Spago House. Ambassador McFaul described the President's reset initiative to improve relations through identifying foreign policy goals of common interest to the American and Russian people. Chancellor Block and Professor Olga Kagan spoke of the importance of US universities educating students to a level of professional competence in critical languages such as Russian to help staff U.S. embassies abroad. UCLA’s Russian Flagship is one of four federally funded Russian language programs in the US to train students to a professional level of competence.

From left to right: Chancellor Block, Michael McFaul.
From left to right: Chancellor Block, Ambassador McFaul.
From left to right: Chancellor Block, Cindy Fan, Olga Kagan, David MacFadyen, Kathryn Atchison.
From left to right: Chancellor Block, Cindy Fan, Olga Kagan, David MacFadyen, Kathryn Atchison.

EducationUSA, Moscow

Chancellor Block spoke to Russian students at the EducationUSA Moscow office about UCLA's undergraduate and graduate educational programs. The EducationUSA network is supported by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which strives to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. EducationUSA advisers and staff work with U.S. higher education professionals to promote international student enrollment and help promote study abroad opportunities for U.S. citizens.

 
 
 

Meeting with US Russia Foundation President and Program Staff, Moscow

While in Moscow, Chancellor Block and members of the UCLA delegation met with Dr. Mark Pomar, President of the U.S. Russia Foundation and program staff, and with Dr. Daniel Davidson, President of American Councils for International Education. The US Russia Foundation for Economic Advancement and Rule of Law (USRF) supports UCLA’s participation in the Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity (EURECA) program. The goal of the EURECA program is to partner Russian National Research Universities with a US research university to help build and strengthen the Russian university’s global competitiveness. The program is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

Chancellor Block, Mark Pomar, Daniel Davidson, members of the UCLA delegation, U.S. Russia Foundation program staff.
Chancellor Block, Mark Pomar, Daniel Davidson, members of the UCLA delegation, U.S. Russia Foundation program staff.
Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg

On September 1, opening day for all Russian universities, Chancellor Block gave a stirring keynote speech to the incoming students at Saint Petersburg State University (SPSU), a school founded by Peter the Great in 1724 and one of Russia’s oldest and largest universities. SPSU is a partnering institution for the Russian Flagship Program.

 
 
 

SumIT, Saint Petersburg

The UCLA delegation visited the St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO) to attend the SumIT Startup Summer Lab Demonstration Day. A team of UCLA’s engineering students entered their startup project vuPad and participated in the program joined by a Flagship student guide and interpreter. Chancellor Block, UCLA Graduate student and CEO of vuPad Masaki Nakada, ITMO Rector Vladimir Vasilev and Russian entrepreneur and SumIT mentor Vlad Kudinov sat on a panel to discuss entrepreneurship in the US and Russia.

An ITMO administrator shows Chancellor Block his name listed as keynote speaker in Russian.
An ITMO administrator shows Chancellor Block his name listed as keynote speaker in Russian.
From left to right: Vlad Kudinov, Vladimir Vasilev, Chancellor Block, Masaki Nakada.
From left to right: Vlad Kudinov, Vladimir Vasilev, Chancellor Block, Masaki Nakada.

Alumni Relations, Saint Petersburg

Chancellor Block met with UCLA Russian Flagship students Dustin Chavkin, Addy Tomova, Derek Groom and Sydney Heller and UCLA Russian Flagship Director Olga Kagan in St. Petersburg, Russia at the beginning of their capstone year abroad hosted at St. Petersburg State University in August 2012. The students completed their capstone year in May 2013, all reaching at least a professional level of fluency in Russian. Dustin and Sydney completed internships at ITMO through the EURECA program, and Derek received the prestigious Boren Scholarship to fund his year abroad.

From left to right: Chancellor Block, Dustin Chavkin, Addy Tomova, Olga Kagan, Derek Groom, Sydney Heller.
From left to right: Chancellor Block, Dustin Chavkin, Addy Tomova, Olga Kagan, Derek Groom, Sydney Heller.
 
 
 

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