University guests from Ukraine visit Riverland

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2002

The west meets the east this week at the three Riverland Community College campuses as a delegation of three faculty members from the Ukraine's Kherson State Technical University work with RCC to develop a relationship as sister colleges.

The delegation includes Victor Kryushkovskyy, dean of the department of foreign economic relations; Frants Rohalskyy, vice president of academic affairs and Natalya Smirnova, an English instructor for the department of foreign economic relations.

Marty Shepard, dean of academic affairs at Riverland says the college wants to establish a relationship with another institution as a sister college "for student exchanges and faculty exchanges.

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Their search for such a college focused on the Ukraine after they learned about several universities there from Harry Stevens, a former instructor at Riverland who spent some time in the Peace Corps in the Ukraine.

Stevens said KSTU "proved to be the most interested in this kind of exchange," and he was pleased by this because he spent a year teaching there.

"I have very strong feelings about relationships between the United States and Ukraine. It's a very important country. I think this could be quite exciting."

Shepard says the delegation members will tour the RCC campuses in Austin, Albert Lea and Owatonna, will meet with faculty, staff and students and also will take part in normal tourist activities, like going to Cabela's, the Mall of America and taking a scenic drive to Wisconsin this week.

"We want them to become familiar with all our programs to give them an idea of what we're doing and to strengthen our relations as a sister college," says Shepard.

"We also want to give them a taste of the U.S. Only one of them has ever traveled outside the Ukraine.

So far, she's pleased by their visit. "They're delightful people. Even though only one of them speaks English, they're trying very hard to communicate. It's been a real treat."

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at