State Alumni Member of the Month: Svetlana Semenovykh of Russia
The U.S. Department of State selected Svetlana Semenovykh, a Russian alumna of the International Visitor Leadership (IVLP) Program, as State Alumni Member of the Month. Throughout October, her leadership and dedication to English language education will be recognized on the State Alumni website (https://alumni.state.gov), the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website for the more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide. Each month, the Bureau’s Office of Alumni Affairs, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, confers the award on an outstanding alumnus or alumna.
As a direct result of her participation in the IVLP in 2007, Semenovykh developed the “Multicultural America” program for English language summer camps and the English Access Microscholarship (Access) Program. During the past summer, Semenovykh engaged Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program alumni to lead sessions and share their experiences in the United States with students in the camp. Participants learned about ethnic groups in the United States and their contributions to the country.
Semenovykh also played a significant role in the Access curriculum development project. She was part of a team of Russian alumni who collected samples of Access program and summer camp curricula and strengthened the American studies component of the teaching materials. The resulting DVD, with samples of lesson plans, team-building activities, summer camp ideas for outreach, and community service activities will be used in English classes across Russia.
As the head of the English language department at the Teacher In-Service Institute in Birobidzhan, Semenovykh provides professional development and teacher training opportunities for secondary school teachers in the region. She is an active member of the Far Eastern English Language Teachers’ Association, leading workshops and delivering lectures to share her knowledge and experience. In addition to these professional responsibilities, she has served as an Access program teacher and coordinator since 2007.
In October 2010, she launched the “Design for Change in Russia” program in collaboration with other U.S. Government-program alumni. Under Semenovykh’s leadership, students in the Russian Far East organized a variety of projects over the past year to combat teen drug use, promote international understanding, and foster environmental awareness.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ website. Media Contact: Carla Coolman, CoolmanCH@state.gov , phone (202) 632-3356