BSU hosting Open World delegates from Russia

Next week, Bemidji State University will host five Russian delegates visiting Bemidji to study issues concerning environmental management.

During a week-long visit to Bemidji, the Open World delegation will take part in a variety of activities on the Bemidji State campus, beginning Monday, Oct. 29. The delegation will be welcomed to campus by Bemidji Mayor David Larson and Dr. Martin Tadlock, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Bemidji State, at 9 a.m. in Bridgeman Hall. At 9:30 a.m., the group will spend two hours being introduced to their professional program schedule for the week, which will help develop leadership and other skills that can be taken back to the delegates’ home communities.

On Oct. 30, the delegates will again begin their day with an introductory session in Bridgeman Hall, and at 10 a.m. will participate in a wastewater treatment course taught by Dr. Fu-Hsian Chang, professor of environmental, Earth and space studies, in Sattgast Hall 205. The course will discuss principal methods and treatment processes for municipal and industrial waste waters, and the delegates will be encouraged to participate in discussions with students.

The delegation will then have lunch with environmental studies graduate students in the lower Hobson Memorial Union at 11:30 a.m., and in the afternoon will tour BSU’s aquatics lab in Sattgast Hall 148 and participate in a wetlands ecology field experience class at BSU’s Hobson Forest.

The delegates will spend the morning of Oct. 31 at Northwest Technical College, participating in round table discussions about forestry management practices and changes in construction technology and their impact on education, construction materials, methods and design with an emphasis on solar and wind energy. In the afternoon, the delegates return to BSU to participate in an environmental controversies class for junior and senior-level undergraduates in Sattgast Hall 203, and to tour the BSU campus with Erika Bailey-Johnson, BSU sustainability coordinator.

An open reception will be held for the delegates from 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the David Park House.

The delegates
The visiting delegates are:
Olga Yuryevna, chief environment specialist, Satatov Inland Waterways Office, from Saratov in southern Russia;
Yekaterina Aleksandrovna, engineer, Research and Design Institute, Dept. of Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development, from Yaroslavl, Russia;
Stanislav Viktorovich, forestry engineering technician, from Krasnoyarsk, Russia;
Kseniya Ivanovna, academic programs administrator, Far Eastern Federal University, Natural Sciences School, from Vladivostok, Russia; and
Nataliya Borisovna, manager, business development and facilitator.

Accompanying the group will be Alice Thompson, Bemidji’s local Open World program director, and professional interpreter Yurey Skripnikov.

In addition to their activities at Bemidji State and Northwest Tech, the delegates will attend presentations by the Department of Natural Resources and visit the Concordia Language Village German Biohaus. The delegation’s professional program sessions are designed to create awareness and understanding about how state, county and local governments partner with local community organizations to meet community needs, and to illustrate how people in leadership roles in a democratic society can make a significant contribution. The presentations also emphasize the importance of volunteerism.

The Open World delegation is hosted by Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota, with program support from Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, the city of Bemidji, the Bemidji Boys and Girls Club, Bemidji Rotary Club, Concordia Language Villages, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forestry Service and a variety of other community organizations and resources.

Sanford Health has hosted eight Open World delegations from Russia and Uzbekistan since 2003.

About Open World
Managed by the independent Open World Leadership Center, Open World was founded by the U.S. Congress in 1999, enabling nearly 18,000 current and future leaders from Eurasia to experience American democracy, civil society and community life; work along side their American counterparts; stay in American homes; and gain new ideas and inspiration for implementing change in their home countries. More than 7,100 American host families in 2,000 communities across all 50 states have partnered with Congress and Open World to make this public diplomacy effort possible. Open World operates exchanges for political and civic leaders from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

For additional information
For additional information, contact Alice Thompson, Bemidji’s Open World Program coordinator, (218) 751-7329,; Maura Shelden, Open World public affairs officer at the Open World Leadership Center; (202) 707-6197,

Open World