English Department faculty
Nadya Zheltuhina was born and raised in the provincial city of Vologda, a city of about 400,000 that is best known for its production of dairy products, ball-bearings, and lace. Her mother is an engineer and her father a medical doctor. Growing up, Nadya’s parents kept her busy with extra-curricular activities. It was one of these after-school activities, learning English, that had consequences Nadya could never have foreseen. In 1993, she was tested in English along with 300 other students in her city, and she was the only one chosen to participate in a high school exchange program in America.
The high school exchange program took Nadya to Riverside, California, where she lived with a Christian family and worked on learning English and trying to make sense of American culture. In January of 1994, while taking part of a youth group retreat, Christianity began to “make sense” to her, and she accepted Christ.
When she returned to her hometown, she finished her senior year of high school and worked as a translator with American missionaries. She also taught English to 5 and 6 year olds on Saturdays for her school. During this year, she became acquainted with a family from Michigan who invited her to come and study in the United States and live with them, and in the fall of 1996 she began studying at Michigan State University. After a year there, she transferred to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she completed her undergraduate degree. After graduation, she taught high school English at Holland Christian School in Holland, Michigan, for a year before coming to join the English-teaching team at RACU.
At the same time that she began to teach English as a Second Language at RACU, Nadya also began her graduate studies at Moscow State University. In the spring of 2003, she will complete a Masters degree in Linguistics in the specialty of Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language. Nadya says of her work, “teaching at RACU was the best match for what I wanted to do. I’m excited that RACU is in the stage of developing its programs, and that I am starting my career at the same time.” The chair of her department, Dr. David Broersma, says, “Nadya came to our program at just the right time. Her outstanding English, her enthusiasm for teaching, and her concern for her students have made an enormous contribution to the excellence of our program.”
One additional piece of good news: Nadya recently announced her engagement to Max Vishegorodtsev, a student in RACU’s Business Department. Max and Nadya are planning to get married in December 2002.