For Immediate Release - February 10, 2004


Winning Proposal Will Fund Study Abroad Program in Moscow

GENESEO, N.Y. -- State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King has announced that 12 SUNY faculty members have been awarded the inaugural Chancellor's Award for Internationalization, and SUNY Geneseo Professor Robert F. Goeckel is among those receiving the honor.

Chancellor King's new award is designed to enable more SUNY students and faculty to have an international learning experience. The $8,000 grant that accompanies the award will fund short-term study abroad projects for students led by SUNY faculty to less-traveled countries around the world.

Goeckel's winning proposal will fund a study abroad program in Moscow from May 17 to June 13, where he will teach his course Politics of Russia and Professor Sveta Titova of the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Moscow State University, will offer a course on Russian Civilization. Goeckel's course will focus on pre-revolutionary roots of the Soviet period, the features and development of Soviet communism, the process of perestroika and collapse of communism under Gorbachev, and the processes and problems associated with the post-communist development under Yeltsin and Putin. Excursions for enrolled students will include the Kremlin, Lenin's tomb in Red Square, KGB headquarters, the World War II museum, Orthodox Church monasteries and Gorky Park. Titova's course will introduce students to Russian culture, including topics such as cross-cultural communication, the role of religion and churches, business culture, and societal traditions in the context of the dramatic changes since the collapse of communism. As a component of the program, cultural outings will also include concerts at the Moscow Conservatory, a boat ride on the Moscow River, a folklore performance at the Tchaikovsky hall, and a performance at the English-language theater in Moscow.

Home base for the program will be The Center for the U.S. and Russia of SUNY, and assistance will be provided by its program director, Ms. Olga Zinovieva, who visited Geneseo in September 2003 as part of the planning for the upcoming exchange. As director of the Center in 2000-2001, Goeckel was instrumental in opening its office in the Main Building of Moscow State University. The Center will provide computer access and logistical support for the group from Geneseo.

Dr. Goeckel is professor of political science and coordinator of international relations at Geneseo, and has taught at SUNY Geneseo since receiving his doctorate in Government from Harvard University in 1982. He teaches in the areas of Comparative and International Politics, and has written two books and numerous journal articles on church-state relations in the former East Germany (German Democratic Republic), as well as articles on religious policy in the USSR and Baltic states. He has conducted research in Berlin, Germany, under the auspices of the Fulbright program, and most recently was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to the Russian Federation in 2000-2001.

According to Chancellor King, the Awards for Internationalization will enable SUNY students and faculty members to work and study abroad, and help strengthen their understanding of foreign languages, cultures, political and business practices. "With innovative programs such as these the educational opportunities for SUNY students are expanded in new and exciting directions," he said.

The State University of New York has increased internationalization among its campuses and students as one of its major institutional goals, and the Chancellor's Award for Internationalization is a step toward that goal, according to King. It is expected that this award competition will take place annually.

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