SIT partners with Russian university for staff training

Announcement Date: August 16, 2021

Two men and three women stand in front of a world map in Russia.
Staff members from Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorad in Russia attend a training session in partnership with SIT,

Staff from SIT’s Professional Engagement Custom Programs, along with Dr. Chris Medalis of the SIT Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and staff from two international units at Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod in Russia (UNN) are wrapping up an exciting new grant-supported training project sponsored by the American Councils U.S.-Russia University Virtual Partner Program

SIT collaborated with UNN colleagues to design a series of five synchronous virtual sessions for UNN staff training called: Creating and Running Successful Study Abroad Programs: Good Practices in Hosting International Students. The trainings focused on applied methods such as practicing specific activities, facilitation skills, tips for building trust, and challenging conversations within student communities. 

Three men, one wearing a surgical mask, look at a computer screen.
Staff members from Lobachevsky State University engage with SIT staff during training.

The SIT side of the project was coordinated and co-facilitated by Dr. SherriLynn Colby-Bottel, program director for IHP Health and Community, with co-facilitators Zufan Hagos from SIT Student Health, Safety and Well-being; Anna Gail Caunca with SIT Global Operations; and Dr. Bruce Dayton of SIT Graduate Institute.

In collaboration with Lobachevsky colleagues Dr. Liliya Erushkina from International Admissions and Academic Coordination and Dmitry Medvedev from International Student Support, the SIT team completed trainings for UNN international staff on cross-cultural and interpersonal communication skills, culture shock, diversity and inclusion, group dynamics, conflict resolution, and strategies for communicating sensitive topics.

Six people seated at a table with paper, tablets and phones in front of them.
Staff members from Lobachevsky State University during a training session with SIT.

This six-month grant represents collaboration across SIT and UNN to draw together best practices and expert facilitation. The teams are now reflecting and strategizing for future SIT-UNN collaborations.