UFV Welcome the Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation
On June 27, 2013 the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) hosted a luncheon for the Honorary Consul of the Russian Federation in British Columbia, Dr. Artem Tcherkassov, in support of the Canada-Russia Studies Consortium initiative (CRSC). The CRSC commenced in 2008 with the goal to develop and establish new academic and cultural links with Russian Universities, cultural and service organizations.
Dr. Tcherkassov was welcomed to UFV by the Dean of the College of Arts, Dr. Jacqueline Nolte who gave an overview of the university, which for several decades has been a cornerstone of greater community and a contributing factor to the development in the Fraser Valley region. Larissa Horne, the Coordinator of CRSC, who also teaches in the Department of History, expanded on the vision of the Consortium and described the long history of UFV’s student and faculty interest in Russian history, art, literature, and language. Larissa also identified some highlights of the project to date, including UFV’s delegation to St. Petersburg State University, high profile guest speakers, video lectures, Russia related courses in history, literature and language, as well as field trips to local cultural institutions within the Russian community of Greater Vancouver.
As well, Larissa touched upon UFV’s vision of a multi-disciplinary approach to UFV-Russia partnership, establishment of mutual cultural and service opportunities, and the importance of collaboration with Russia’s diplomatic mission in Canada, including the Honorary Consulate in BC in particular. The participants in the event included David McGuire, the Head of UFV International, Dr. Susan Fisher, Associate Dean, Students, Dr. Ken Brealey, Associate Dean, Faculty, John Potts, Manager of International Partnerships, Dr. Wendy Burton, Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Zoe Dennison, the Head of the Department of Psychology and Kevin DeWolde, with the School of Business. Two senior students, Wesley McClinton and Jessica Passey, who have a keen interest in Russian History, Law and International relations, represented the student body at the luncheon. The event inspired a very positive and productive exchange of opinions and ideas, focusing on the numerous similarities between Canadian and Russian multicultural societies, history of the First Nations, vastness of the land and geographic proximity, richness of national resources as well as similar regional and social policy challenges. Dr. Artem Tcherkassov’s comments contained an overview of Russia’s modern educational system including some background in light of the historic post-communist transition, which led to numerous questions as to potential fields of collaboration in research, teaching and service.
All present agreed that UFV is well positioned to become a hub for Canada-Russia educational, cultural and service dialogue in the Lower Mainland due to the university’s broad range of offerings and comprehensive approach to internationalization, and applauded the CRSC initiative as a solid approach to reach the desired goals. The event concluded with a tour of UFV’s Abbotsford campus and greetings from UFV President Dr. Mark Evered.