For Irina Shigarova, this fall semester at Bloomsburg University is unlike any that she has ever experienced. Originally from Eastern Siberia, Shigarova was selected as BU’s first Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant with the help of Russian language professor, Mykola Polyuha, who originally came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar to complete his master’s degree at Penn State University.
Shigarova, who previously worked in the Russian city of Irkutsk with a population of approximately 600,000 people, says Bloomsburg provides a much calmer atmosphere than her previous work place. Along with the overall differences in community life, she describes the challenges that she faces on a daily basis, specifically the lack of public transportation and a much different variety of food.
She is also adjusting to a different language – a different style of the English language. Shigarova taught English at Irkutsk Language Centre Bigben, and is therefore more familiar with British English, which she states, is surprisingly different from American English.
These challenges have not stopped Shigarova. Along with teaching a Russian literature course this fall and a culture course in the spring, she is involved in the Russian Culture Club, provides native experience to students through games and books, and serves as a cultural ambassador. She also is furthering her personal interests by taking a dance class.  
When asked what she hopes to bring to BU, Shigarova describes her past experiences with U.S. citizens who expressed the belief that Russians are intimidating or downright “scary.” Her main goal is to eliminate this idea, starting at BU. “The politics do not talk about real people,” Shigarova says. “We have a lot to share with each other.”
Polyuha adds, “When real people meet each other, they see real people are different from politics on TV. Having more international students, such as Irina, helps us do this.”
Shigarova’s presence at BU may also prove useful for the future of Russian study abroad. She hopes to bring a group of students back to Bloomsburg after her Fulbright experience ends. Polyuha believes having someone who knows BU firsthand will ease collaboration with Russian universities.
A similar partnership, BU’s joint-degree program with The Financial University in Moscow, Russia, has successfully provided over 165 students from Russia to graduate with a double-degree in economics at BU.
Shigarova also hopes her experience here will show her students at home “a purpose in other languages and that it can be used in real life. Places are getting more real for them when they know you’ve seen it.”
The Fulbright program is an international scholarship opportunity that strives to promote mutual understanding and instill peaceful relations among the United States and other countries by providing scholars the opportunity to experience and work at universities around the world.
In years past, the Fulbright program has provided educational opportunities to more than 325,000 individuals including professors, language assistants, and students from the U.S. and other countries. The program pays special attention to teaching languages that have been deemed important to the future of America, focusing on languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.
- Courtney Dunn, senior dual English and psychology major

For Irina Shigarova, this fall semester at Bloomsburg University is unlike any that she has ever experienced. Originally from Eastern Siberia, Shigarova was selected as BU’s first Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant with the help of Russian language professor, Mykola Polyuha, who originally came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar to complete his master’s degree at Penn State University.

Shigarova, who previously worked in the Russian city of Irkutsk with a population of approximately 600,000 people, says Bloomsburg provides a much calmer atmosphere than her previous work place. Along with the overall differences in community life, she describes the challenges that she faces on a daily basis, specifically the lack of public transportation and a much different variety of food.

She is also adjusting to a different language – a different style of the English language. Shigarova taught English at Irkutsk Language Centre Bigben, and is therefore more familiar with British English, which she states, is surprisingly different from American English.

These challenges have not stopped Shigarova. Along with teaching a Russian literature course this fall and a culture course in the spring, she is involved in the Russian Culture Club, provides native experience to students through games and books, and serves as a cultural ambassador. She also is furthering her personal interests by taking a dance class. 

When asked what she hopes to bring to BU, Shigarova describes her past experiences with U.S. citizens who expressed the belief that Russians are intimidating or downright “scary.” Her main goal is to eliminate this idea, starting at BU. “The politics do not talk about real people,” Shigarova says. “We have a lot to share with each other.”

Polyuha adds, “When real people meet each other, they see real people are different from politics on TV. Having more international students, such as Irina, helps us do this.”

Shigarova’s presence at BU may also prove useful for the future of Russian study abroad. She hopes to bring a group of students back to Bloomsburg after her Fulbright experience ends. Polyuha believes having someone who knows BU firsthand will ease collaboration with Russian universities.

A similar partnership, BU’s joint-degree program with The Financial University in Moscow, Russia, has successfully provided over 165 students from Russia to graduate with a double-degree in economics at BU.

Shigarova also hopes her experience here will show her students at home “a purpose in other languages and that it can be used in real life. Places are getting more real for them when they know you’ve seen it.”

The Fulbright program is an international scholarship opportunity that strives to promote mutual understanding and instill peaceful relations among the United States and other countries by providing scholars the opportunity to experience and work at universities around the world.

In years past, the Fulbright program has provided educational opportunities to more than 325,000 individuals including professors, language assistants, and students from the U.S. and other countries. The program pays special attention to teaching languages that have been deemed important to the future of America, focusing on languages such as Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

- Courtney Dunn, senior dual English and psychology major

HuskyUnleashed LanguagesCultures CoCurricularLearning BUAbroad

Bloomsburg University’s campus has many beautiful outdoor areas for students to take advantage of for relaxation and activities between their classes. This year, many students will get to enjoy the outdoors while they’re in class as well.

BU’s sustainable food systems Outdoor Classroom was built this year on the hill behind Monty’s on upper campus. The classroom features raised vegetable garden beds and will eventually grow to encompass a greenhouse, composting site, perennial garden and more.

“We had wanted to add a sustainable agriculture component to the department,” said John Hintz, professor of environmental, geographical and geological sciences (EGGS). The project was funded by one of the 2013 President’s Strategic Plan Grant awards.

Several students and faculty in the EGGS department are working hard to build the outdoor classroom up and get it off the ground. In the meantime, the gardens have already welcomed a few groups.

“We hosted QUEST campers for an educational lunch and radish-picking session over the summer,” said Hintz. “An introduction to environmental science class came up and I gave them an overview of urban and sustainable agriculture… eventually we’d like to have faculty from many different departments across different colleges use it for a wide variety of things. For example, art students taking sculpture are going to create structures for taller plants like tomatoes to grow on.”

Student workers Cydnee Bence and Claire Havice, both geography and planning majors in the EGGS department, have gotten a lot of hands-on experience in their prospective field from working at the outdoor classroom.

“Right now we’re switching the beds from our summer season to our fall season, which requires a lot of planning,” said Bence. The pair have to decide which vegetables will go where and create a schedule for the care of the plants. Some of the crops are sold at the farmers market held every Friday morning on lower campus.

“We have to get a feel for how to market this to other people and emphasize that it’s all local, all organically grown,” said Havice.

Hintz says knowledge gained from the outdoor classroom will benefit students across the entire BU community. “I think students have a shockingly low awareness of what actually goes into growing food and how agriculture is evolving into a mechanized, polluting activity… The sustainable agriculture movement is countering that… to make food healthy again.”

- Nick Cellucci, junior mass communications major

CoCurricularLearning BUSustainability HuskyConnections EGGS

There are countless ways to enjoy summer in addition to beach vacations, music concerts and even part-time jobs. In fact, many Huskies took advantage of the gap between May graduation and August move-in to continue their Bloomsburg University experience in a variety of fashions. 

Among the wide range of co-curricular learning opportunities included working internships, conducting research and studying abroad.

Some of standout experiences included students placing among the top in the world in the Odyssey of the Mind competition in Iowa, students making record discoveries at a Hopewell archaeological dig in Ohio and several students showcasing their research - two who won awards - among more than 80 participants at the Susquehanna Valley Undergraduate Research Symposium at Geisinger’s Henry Hood Center for Health Research.

Among the highlights:

HuskySummer CollaborativeLearning CoCurricularLearning HuskyUnleashed

Bloomsburg University’s Act 101/EOP recently completed another productive and enriching summer program, helping more than 250 students — many of whom are first-generation college students — get acclimated to college life and prepared for a successful college experience. Among the courses taken and academic support provided to the students over the past six weeks included reading, algebra, college writing, public speaking, U.S. history, Spanish I, computer skills, mindfulness and college orientation.

Act 101/EOP, coordinated through the Department of Developmental Instruction, provides support and opportunities for success to students traditionally under-represented in higher education.

Through this program, students …

  • reach their potential  — Act 101/EOP assists students, who are at a financial, cultural, social or educational disadvantage, in making a successful transition to Bloomsburg University.
  •  discover the value of progress  — Act 101/EOP develops students to their fullest potential through academic advising, tutoring, mentorship and a pre-college summer program.
  • exposure to cultural enrichment activities  — avisit to the state capitol in Harrisburg and annual picnic at Town Park

ACT101 CoCurricularLearning HuskySummer

From team-building exercises with horses to an engaging drug and alcohol panel discussion with local court officials to a children’s activities fair with the community, it was another busy and productive summer for Bloomsburg University’s TRiO Upward Bound Program. It was also a summer of celebration, marking the 50th anniversary of the federal grant program and its 37th year on campus. Since 1965, Upward Bound has grown from 17 initial programs with 2,061 participants to today featuring 964 funded programs working with more than 80,000 students.

Upward Bound is a national program funded through the Department of Education that more than doubles the chances of first-generation students graduating college. Locally, the BU program serves students from Berwick, Mahony, Milton, Mount Carmel, North Schuylkill, Pottsville, Shamokin and Shikellamy high schools. 

The program – with the help of a mentoring and support staff of Bloomsburg University students – provides a wide range of services to prepare its participants to succeed in college. They include weekly tutoring, test preparation, college application and financial aid form assistance, cultural enrichment programs, field trips and a summer academic program.

Among the highlights of the 2014 Summer STEM Academy were:

  • a drug and alcohol panel featuring Columbia County Judge Thomas James and other county court officials
  • team-building exercises at Willow Creek Farms in Numidia
  • a STEM Activities Fair at McBride Memorial Library in Berwick
  • a Family Movie fundraiser with the Berwick Theater
  • an interactive workshop with The Actor’s Company Theatre
  • several site visits and campus tours of universities across the region.

SenseOfCommunity CoCurricularLearning CollaborativeLearning FutureHusky TRiO

Bloomsburg University’s new Sustainable Food Systems Outdoor Classroom recently got its first group of visitors when several Quest adventure campers stopped for a picnic, where the youngsters enjoyed freshly cut kohlrabi sticks and freshly squeezed kale orange juice.

The outdoor classroom, one of five projects awarded a Presidential Strategic Planning Grant last year, will be a working garden and sustainability education center run primarily by student workers and interns. Located behind Monty’s on upper campus, the outdoor classroom was designed in collaboration with students who also helped build the gardens this past spring.

Currently, there are two students helping John Hintz and Sandra Kehoe-Forutan, professors of environmental, geographical and geological sciences, care for the gardens over the summer. There are 30 raised beds filled with vegetables and herbs. There will be a third student starting work in July on the perennial garden.

The completed outdoor classroom will feature walking paths between well-tended raised garden beds, interactive interpretive signage, a solar greenhouse, a composting site, a rain garden, perennial plants and birdhouses around the periphery, and a seating area and educational kiosk.

Coursework, educational workshops, internships, professional development opportunities, and volunteer opportunities at the outdoor classroom will provide high impact practices new to our university. The outdoor classroom will provide a state-of-the-art showpiece of sustainable food production that helps prepare students to be confident, knowledgeable, engaged, and productive citizens.

BUSustainability CoCurricularLearning EGGS SenseOfCommunity CollaborativeLearning

Mariam Sarkessian, a management major, recently completed a two-week job shadow with Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia through Bloomsburg University’s Sophomore Experiential Learning (SEL) Program.
The program, designed to give students an opportunity to see their potential career field first-hand, enabled Sarkessian to witness the daily activity of the country’s largest cable company and Internet service provider. Sarkessian described her experience as enlightening and richly memorable.
“Seeing daily activity at the headquarters has helped me confirm that I’d like to work at a large company that has a powerful role in the world,” Sarkessian says. “I’ve gained useful insight about how to level-handedly deal with problems and make decisions with customers and the company in mind.”
In addition to a possible internship opportunity, Sarkessian says her SEL experience provided her with many more business contacts. She also may have discovered a new career track.
“Being able to help out with (the Lab Week project) even though I was just shadowing was an exciting experience and opened my mind in looking for ways to make processes more efficient,” Sarkessian says. “Most importantly, … I had not known that project managing could be a career. Now I’m eager to pursue and get the right qualifications for it.”
Sarkessian shadowed Ted Hodgins, Class of 1989, senior director of technology and product: customer service.

Mariam Sarkessian, a management major, recently completed a two-week job shadow with Comcast’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia through Bloomsburg University’s Sophomore Experiential Learning (SEL) Program.

The program, designed to give students an opportunity to see their potential career field first-hand, enabled Sarkessian to witness the daily activity of the country’s largest cable company and Internet service provider. Sarkessian described her experience as enlightening and richly memorable.

“Seeing daily activity at the headquarters has helped me confirm that I’d like to work at a large company that has a powerful role in the world,” Sarkessian says. “I’ve gained useful insight about how to level-handedly deal with problems and make decisions with customers and the company in mind.”

In addition to a possible internship opportunity, Sarkessian says her SEL experience provided her with many more business contacts. She also may have discovered a new career track.

“Being able to help out with (the Lab Week project) even though I was just shadowing was an exciting experience and opened my mind in looking for ways to make processes more efficient,” Sarkessian says. “Most importantly, … I had not known that project managing could be a career. Now I’m eager to pursue and get the right qualifications for it.”

Sarkessian shadowed Ted Hodgins, Class of 1989, senior director of technology and product: customer service.

ProfessionalU HuskyUnleashed CoCurricularLearning HuskySummer management business

Eight ParenteBeard summer accounting interns recently helped Habitat for Humanity of Berks County ReStore prepare for their grand re-opening slated for July.
In addition to the accounting work the summer interns are performing and observing, for the first time, the firm’s summer interns are demonstrating ParenteBeard’s mission to serve the communities where team members live and work by participating in charitable community service activities in central Pennsylvania.
Tara Boyd, of Bloomsburg University; Eric Hiser, of Bloomsburg University; Guy Lewis, of Penn State; Katelyn Macbeth, of Messiah College; April Maschke, of Albright College; Shaunna Nesmith, of York College; Jordan Sallavanti,. of Kutztown University; and Kayla Snyder, of West Chester University, assisted the store’s executive director, Tim Daley, by cleaning, painting, redecorating, reorganizing, rebuilding and moving furniture.

Eight ParenteBeard summer accounting interns recently helped Habitat for Humanity of Berks County ReStore prepare for their grand re-opening slated for July.

In addition to the accounting work the summer interns are performing and observing, for the first time, the firm’s summer interns are demonstrating ParenteBeard’s mission to serve the communities where team members live and work by participating in charitable community service activities in central Pennsylvania.

Tara Boyd, of Bloomsburg University; Eric Hiser, of Bloomsburg University; Guy Lewis, of Penn State; Katelyn Macbeth, of Messiah College; April Maschke, of Albright College; Shaunna Nesmith, of York College; Jordan Sallavanti,. of Kutztown University; and Kayla Snyder, of West Chester University, assisted the store’s executive director, Tim Daley, by cleaning, painting, redecorating, reorganizing, rebuilding and moving furniture.

HuskyUnleashed CoCurricularLearning HuskySummer accounting ProfessionalU

A group of Bloomsburg University students recently completed a study abroad experience at the Universidad del Centro Educativo, Rosario, Argentina, where they visited historical and culturally significant and studied the Spanish language and literature.
Participating were Spanish and secondary education majors Mallie Culpepper, Adriana Berlin, Kelly Mason and Abigail Messinger, a Spanish and speech-language pathology major. Specifically they visited Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Misiones and Montevideo, Uruguay.
At Misiones they visited a Guarani village and the Iguazú Falls. In Buenos Aires they attended a Tango Night, besides touring the city and Caminitos, the Italian Argentina barrio were Maradona, famous Argentina world soccer player, was born. They also visited the stadium where he played.

A group of Bloomsburg University students recently completed a study abroad experience at the Universidad del Centro Educativo, Rosario, Argentina, where they visited historical and culturally significant and studied the Spanish language and literature.

Participating were Spanish and secondary education majors Mallie Culpepper, Adriana Berlin, Kelly Mason and Abigail Messinger, a Spanish and speech-language pathology major. Specifically they visited Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Misiones and Montevideo, Uruguay.

At Misiones they visited a Guarani village and the Iguazú Falls. In Buenos Aires they attended a Tango Night, besides touring the city and Caminitos, the Italian Argentina barrio were Maradona, famous Argentina world soccer player, was born. They also visited the stadium where he played.

BUAbroad Spanish SecondaryEducation SpeechPathology CoCurricularLearning LanguagesCultures HuskySummer

Bloomsburg University’s Odyssey of the Mind program was recently recognized as one of the best in the world competing in the annual World Final for Odyssey of the Mind, held at Iowa State University.
Both of BU’s teams placed in the top four out of 833 teams representing 43 states and 28 countries with more than 26,000 attendees.
Participating for BU’s two teams were Shaide Moronta, Jordan Galan, Valarie Mussey, Alea Bostic-Davey, Morgen Hatton, Mariam Sarkessian, Jamelisk, Timothy Keiper, Jacqueline Hauck, Nickolas Lloyd and Kristin Burke.
The teams were coached by Chaza Abdul, advisor, Loreen Powell, Evren Eryilmaz and Cenan Abdul-Al.
Beyond exploration for creative thinking and innovation, both teams used different skills and knowledge to solve two complex problems using arts, science, technology, literature, history, math, music, business, and other skills to create solutions.
"The team exceeded every expectation I had,” Abdul said. “We had many practices, and we were working as one family for a long-time. I am proud of them and thankful to the provost, Bloomsburg officials, parents, families and friends, our sponsors and supporters who helped us achieve this goal with every possibility with had."  

Bloomsburg University’s Odyssey of the Mind program was recently recognized as one of the best in the world competing in the annual World Final for Odyssey of the Mind, held at Iowa State University.

Both of BU’s teams placed in the top four out of 833 teams representing 43 states and 28 countries with more than 26,000 attendees.

Participating for BU’s two teams were Shaide Moronta, Jordan Galan, Valarie Mussey, Alea Bostic-Davey, Morgen Hatton, Mariam Sarkessian, Jamelisk, Timothy Keiper, Jacqueline Hauck, Nickolas Lloyd and Kristin Burke.

The teams were coached by Chaza Abdul, advisor, Loreen Powell, Evren Eryilmaz and Cenan Abdul-Al.

Beyond exploration for creative thinking and innovation, both teams used different skills and knowledge to solve two complex problems using arts, science, technology, literature, history, math, music, business, and other skills to create solutions.

"The team exceeded every expectation I had,” Abdul said. “We had many practices, and we were working as one family for a long-time. I am proud of them and thankful to the provost, Bloomsburg officials, parents, families and friends, our sponsors and supporters who helped us achieve this goal with every possibility with had."  

CoCurricularLearning HuskyUnleashed