Program Leadership and Support

Professor Evgeny Dengub, Faculty Leader

Mount Holyoke College Professor Evgeny Dengub will travel with the participants from JFK Airport in New York to Moscow and then continue leading the group to Kaliningrad. As Faculty Leader of the group, he will ensure that participants are integrated into the program.  Professor Dengub will visit the classes, consult with the faculty of the Russian Language Center and coordinate with the onsite program coordinator to assume the leadership and responsibility of the group in Kaliningrad.

Originally from the Russian Far East, Professor Dengub has been teaching Russian language courses at Mount Holyoke College and other area educational institutions since 2010.  He holds a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College in Second Language Acquisition in Russian and is the co-author of two Russian language textbooks and the Russian language learning supplement to Russian Life magazine. In addition to his teaching, writing and research, Professor Dengub designs and facilitates workshops and training sessions for teachers, both in Russia and the United States and has supervised the development of teaching assistants at Amherst College.

Professor Olga Kovbasyuk, Program Coordinator

(Associate Professor, European Business School, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University)

Professor Olga Kovbasyuk will serve as the onsite Program Coordinator in Kaliningrad. She will meet the participants upon their arrival in Kaliningrad and facilitate the program orientation. Professor Kovbasyuk will work directly with Tatyana Tsvigun, the Head of the Russian Language Center, to oversee the peer tutors and to introduce participants to the Kaliningrad families who will host them for weekend dinners and other activities.  She will also arrange the participant internship placements and be the main program contact in case of emergency or any questions and concerns. At the conclusion of the program, Professor Kovbasyuk will accompany the group to the airport for their return trip to the United States.

Dr. Kovbasyuk has been facilitating and hosting a great number of international students participating in international youth symposia, international summer camps and international conferences for the past 18 years. More recently, she has been leading the international track of the Youth Forum Baltartek.

In addition to teaching courses at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Dr. Kovbasyuk organizes international seminars for faculty and students at the University and is responsible for hosting international participants in Kaliningrad.

Dr. Kovbasyuk’s research and experience in the fields of intercultural communication, international education, and international management spans 25 years. She is the founder of the Far East Russia Global Learning Center, Co-Founder of the Institute for Meaning Centered Education, served as the first President of the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association in 2011-2012 and is now on its Board of Directors.  Her international experience includes participation in the Fulbright Fellowship for Scholars at the California State University, Sacramento, USA (2004-2005), the DAAD Academic Research Program, Germany (2009), and visits to more than 15 countries as a speaker, a cross-cultural trainer and professor.

Tatiana Tsvigun, Director of the Center for Russian Language (Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University)

Professor Tatiana Tsvigun is the deputy director of the Institute for Human Sciences at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, director of the Center for Russian Language, and Coordinator of International Educational Programs in the Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Philology, specializing in language and literary theories. She teaches courses on literary theory, the theory of verse, history of Russian literature of the twentieth century, and the semiotics of culture. She has authored more than 50 articles in Russian and foreign professional journals on the history and theory of literature, rhetoric, and semiotics.

At the Baltic Federal University, Dr. Tsvigun provides overall direction for projects related to the training of foreign students of the Russian language and the popularization of the Russian language and culture in foreign countries. She is the founder and curator of the language contest "Russian Dictation" and of the International Student Olympiad on Russian language, literature and culture. She provides professional training courses on teaching methodology for foreign teachers of the Russian language and directs programs in educational multimedia resources for Russian as a foreign language.