Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Dr. Marina Alexandrova Awarded Leslie Waggener Centennial Teaching Fellowship

Thu, June 15, 2017
Dr. Marina Alexandrova Awarded Leslie Waggener Centennial Teaching Fellowship
Dr. Marina Alexandrova


Congratulations to Dr. Marina Alexandrova, recipient of the 2016-17 Leslie Waggener Centennial Teaching Fellowship!


Dr. Marina (Potoplyak) Alexandrova, Lecturer at the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, has received the Leslie Waggener Centennial Teaching Fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year. This award is presented annually to select faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts who have exemplified outstanding teaching in foreign language instruction and/or honors courses.

Dr. Alexandrova’s language (and culture) courses abound with innovative assignments and elements, such as digital humanities assignments and practices. Her students create Russian language portfolios, podcasts or websites. In her English-language REE 325 “Rebels and Revolutionaries” course, they use digital mapping to trace revolutionary networks inside and outside Russia in the late 19th century. (Note: This class is being offered in Fall 2017-- enroll now!)

It is clear that Dr. Alexandrova’s skill and knowledge in both language and culture complement one another and serve as an asset to students. Students attest to her enthusiasm, her dynamic pedagogy, her ability to get students engaged and interested in the material, her care and concern and flexibility, and her generosity, openness, and willingness to listen. Her course instructor surveys regularly include comments from students that hers was the best class they’ve taken at UT. One student even concluded: “I feel like I walked away from this class with a significant difference in my worldview.”

Faculty colleagues who have observed her in the classroom also find Dr. Alexandrova’s approach “exemplary.” Dr. Alexandrova’s work in Russian language teaching has also been recognized by the US National Security Agency’s STARTALK program, which requested she teach in their program. STARTALK’s mission is to increase the number of US citizens learning, speaking, and teaching critical need foreign languages.

As the language coordinator for the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies, Dr. Alexandrova serves as the department’s representative on the Language Policy Advisory Committee to the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Mickenberg, interim chair of the Slavic department, nominated her for the award saying, “I’ve been impressed beyond words not just by her stellar performance in the classroom—which she constantly strives to further improve—but also by the level of her commitment to students.”

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