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East Central University’s Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya was awarded the prestigious “Excellence in the Teaching of Russian Language Award” at the recent Central Association of Russian Teachers of America (CARTA) Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

Sukholutskaya was accompanied by 12 of her students, who were there to experience the academic conference - many for the first time - and to celebrate her receiving of the award.

“This award is given annually to recognize a member of the teaching profession who has demonstrated dedication to the teaching of Russian, knowledge and implementation of current theory and practice, enthusiasm for teaching and leadership in the Russian language teaching profession,” said Sally Ziebell, chair of CARTA’s Awards Committee.

Sukholutskaya has taught Russian, Spanish and French at ECU for 25 years, developed a Russian Studies minor and created the Global Studies program.

“She is a leader in local, regional and national language organizations,’ Ziebell said. “Each year she brings an enthusiastic group of students to the CARTA Annual Conference, many of whom have presented papers. She also leads annual study trips to Russia and Ukraine for students and community members. She has obtained grants to hold summer Russian language camps on the ECU campus for high school students from Oklahoma and the rest of the country.”

Ziebell credits Sukholutskaya for raising the global awareness of ECU and Ada, particularly after bringing former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to campus and attracting an audience from all over Oklahoma and some surrounding states.

“Seeing my own professor get an award from this association was very moving to me,” said Kendrick Davis, a junior from Waurika who attended the CARTA Conference. “It shows that hard work and dedication really does pay off.”

Davis described the CARTA Conference as unique experience.

“CARTA was a very unique experience for me. Ever since I became interested in the Russian culture I have been eager to learn and absorb as much information as I can,” Davis said. “Some of the things we talked about were Russian literature, poetry and politics. Going to this conference made my love for this beautiful country and culture grow even more.”



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