Last April, Dr. Beverly Blois, dean of Loudoun Campus Humanities Division, traveled to Russia as a part of a Fulbright delegation under the Medvedev-Obama Commission. The purpose of the visit was to share information about how community colleges fit into the U.S. education system and to help foster cooperation and understanding between U.S. and Russian institutions of higher learning. While on this trip, Blois met with faculty and staff including the rector of Ivanovo State Power Engineering University (ISPEU) and was able to see the potential for partnering with this university. ISPEU had an interest in learning about the Geospatial Technology program at NOVA and how the program was created. In the months that followed, he worked on creating a program for delegates from ISPEU to come to the U.S. The trip was planned to coincide with NOVA’s GIS Day and the U.S. Department of State’s International Education Week.
In mid-November, the Vice President of the University, Dr. Vladimir Tutikov; the Director of the GIS Center, Dr. Sergey Kosyakov; the Program Head for Intensive English Language Instruction, Professor Natalya Dudareva; and Adjunct Professor of Business Maxim Tverskoy came to the U.S. to meet with faculty and staff of NOVA. The delegation followed an intense agenda with meetings at Fairfax County Government, George Mason University (Mason), U.S. Geological Society and NOVA representatives. On the last full day of the trip, President Robert G. Templin, Jr. and Tutikov signed a memorandum of understanding that will allow continued cooperation between the institutions. The ultimate goal is to create an exchange of faculty, staff, students and/or projects between ISPEU, Mason, NOVA and another Russian institution. By the end of the visit, Dr. Michael Krimmer, assistant dean for geographic information system (GIS), and Kosyakov had already started to discuss ways they might be able to work together.
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.