Russia

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Civic Education Project began its involvement in Russia in January 1994, with twelve Visiting Faculty Fellows in eight universities. During the 1998–99 academic year, CEP continued its expansion, placing fifteen Visiting Faculty Fellows and fifteen Local Faculty Fellows in thirteen universities throughout the country.

The organization of the CEP program in Russia has necessarily been flexible, allowing it to adapt to rapid developments in the country. The CEP Russia Advisory Board and the Local Faculty Fellow Evaluation Committee provide ideas for program development and conduct site visits to universities. Advisory Board member Elena Lenskaya developed a system for appraising the effect of a CEP Fellow. Site visits carried out by Lenskaya and other members of the Advisory Board, Professors Alexei Levinson and Valery Mikhailenko subsequently led to adjustments in resource allocations.

CEP Russia also began to organize the program into regional groups based on the location of positions and the academic and outreach interests of CEP Fellows. These regional groups include: (1) Northwest Russia, (2)Volga Region, (3) Urals and Western Siberia, and (4) Eastern Siberia and the Far East. The groupings create synergies among Fellows, encourage collaborative work, and help re-establish links among universities and scholars. By concentrating its human and material resources in this manner, CEP is able to maximize its impact across this huge country.

Concentrating Fellows into teams also allows the program to promote more effectively its Teaching Development Program, which utilizes strategies such as team teaching and teacher shadowing. One successful example of this program is the teamwork of Visiting Faculty Fellow David Greer and Eastern Scholar Oleg Sidorov, who conducted faculty training workshops at Mari State University Law Faculty. Two faculty members and participants in the workshops, Ekaterina Kisseleva and Alexei Inorodtsev, later joined the Local Faculty Fellow program and are now using the teaching methods they learned from these programs. David and Oleg also collaborated on an article that was published in both Russian and American law journals and created a faculty law journal.

The 1999 Regional Student Conference, Between Fear of the Future and Nostalgia for the Past: Social Exhaustion and Reform in Post-Communist Societies at the Dawn of the 21st Century, held in St. Petersburg, marked the fifth anniversary of the CEP Russia program. The conference was a great success, with forty students from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova participating. Guests from other NGOs played an active role in the conference and presented their programs to the students at a career forum. Outstanding papers from the conference were published and distributed.

Another major outreach effort among CEP Fellows was training students for moot court competitions. Seven CEP teams from Russia competed in the Central and East European Moot Court Competition organized by the British Centre for English and European Legal Studies in Poland. The student team from Mari State University Law Faculty placed second in the competition, and Alexei Konovalov received the Best Presenter Award. A CEP team from Nizhni Novgorod won the Russia Telders Moot Court tournament, representing the country at the Telders finals in Leiden, Holland. Another successful initiative was a series of UN Security Council Simulations presented by Michael Deaver, Visiting Lecturer at Tyumen State University. These simulations introduced students to human rights issues and the UN decision making process, while exposing them to methods of interactive learning. Marek Jochec, Visiting Faculty Fellow at Omsk State University, set up an exchange program for students from Omsk at the Zlin School of Business and Management in the Czech Republic.

CEP outreach also extended to local communities. Local Faculty Fellow Anna Borodina, in addition to teaching Gender Studies and Political Science at Tver State University, organized her community to create a crisis center for women, where women are trained in crisis prevention, intervention, and management. Local Faculty Fellow Igor Kisselev, in cooperation with the Internet Center at Yaroslavl State University, organized a video conference on women’s issues.

Fellows Elena Limanova and Sam Oakland, set up a legal clinic called The Center for Rights Protection in Novosibirsk, where fourth-year law students provide free legal consultations to members of the community.

The Human Rights Educational Initiative (HREI) is another example of the sustained impact that collaboration among CEP Fellows can have on their universities and communities. The project was initiated by a Visiting Faculty Fellow in Tyumen and has been supported by other Fellows. The aim of the HREI is to help communities embrace the concept of human rights through a series of educational initiatives. As an example, Visiting Faculty Fellow Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua, together with the head of the International Relations Department at Tomsk State University, prepared a course guide, International Law of Human Rights and organized a human rights poster competition for secondary schools in Tomsk.

Representatives of NGOs, companies and other organizations working in Russia regularly participate in CEP events. CEP staff and Fellows likewise participate in many activities of other organizations. This network of partners has led to important information exchange, as well as resource sharing and innovative cooperation. Thousands of students and young scholars have benefited from CEP partnerships and cooperation with OSI, Bosch Foundation, Ford Foundation, British Council, CEU, COLPI, ABA-CEELI, IREX, Red Cross and other organizations. In order to foster a sense of solidarity among present and past Eastern Scholars and to continue supporting the academic projects and professional development of alumni, CEP Russia has established an Local Faculty Fellow Alumni Association. This initiative may serve as a model for such associations in other CEP country programs.

The cycle of the CEP student who does postgraduate study abroad and returns to a Russian university as a CEP Local Faculty Fellow has become a prominent feature of the Russia program and provides a clear illustration of its contribution to strengthening higher education.

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