FHSU faculty virtual guest lecturers for Russian university

By UNIVERSITY RELATIONS

Two Fort Hays State University professors recently served as virtual guest lecturers for first-year Master of Science degree students at the Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics University (ITMO) in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Dr. Yaprak Dalat Ward, associate professor of Advanced Education Programs, and Dr. James “Skip” Ward, associate professor of Applied Business Studies, lectured in the International Research Management Essentials course.


ITMO University is one of Russia’s leading higher education and research institutions, specializing in Photonics and Optics, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences, IT and Robotics, Social Sciences and Smart Materials and Technology. The invitation to become a guest lecturer started at a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in February 2020 when Dr. Dalat Ward met ITMO university administrators and faculty.

The International Research Management Essentials class, taught in English, attracted first-year MSc degree students from various majors united by an interest in working on real-world problems. A total of 168 students in 45 multidisciplinary areas participated in the course and worked as teams.

The course was delivered in workshops and included areas such as Citizen Science, Grant Proposal Writing, Commercialization of Research, Ideathon, Project Management, Pitch Training, Grant Application Process, International Cultural Competence and Business Communication.

Students not only cooperated within their teams but also competed as teams. While the majority of the students were from Russia, other students came from Germany, the United States, Egypt, Syria, India, and several countries in Africa. More than 35 trans-disciplinary faculty from 10 countries – including Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the United States, Russia, Spain and Turkey – delivered presentations, led workshops and judged team presentations and proposals. In addition, six ideathons generated the concepts for student research and team pitches to secure grants for incubators for commercial startups.

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