BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 21, 2008 – Three representatives from Stavropol State Agrarian University (SSAU) in Russia recently visited the Blacksburg, Va., and College Park, Md., campuses of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine according to Dr. Bettye Walters, director of the veterinary college’s international programs.
The group visited the University of Maryland at College Park as part of a three-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Higher Education Development-funded project. The goal of their visit was to become more familiar with the veterinary college, tour the veterinary college facilities, meet with appropriate individuals, and expand international cooperation.
One aspect of the grant involves the development and implementation of continuing education programs for practicing veterinarians in southern Russia, according to Walters. This was facilitated through the use of Internet-based video conferencing with Blacksburg-based faculty, Walters said.
Both Dr. Ann Zajac, an associate professor and veterinary parasitologist in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology; and Dr. Virginia Maxwell, a professor and large animal veterinarian and researcher in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences; participated in the video-conferencing instructional programs.
When the Russian delegation traveled to Blacksburg to tour the college facilities, they had personal meetings with Zajac and Maxwell.
The Russian delegation included two veterinarians and a professor of foreign languages and cross-cultural communication.
Dr. Vasily P. Tolokonnikov is currently the head of the parasitology department and is the former dean of the Veterinary School at Stavropol State Agrarian University. He is a veterinarian by training and is the director of the continuing education component for practicing veterinarians in a cooperative project with the University of Maryland that is sponsored by a USAID Higher Education Grant.
Dr. Valentin S. Skripkin is the head of the Learning Department at Stavropol State Agrarian University. He is a veterinarian by training and is the director of the Regional Distance Learning Project, a cooperative project with the University of Maryland that is sponsored by a USAID Higher Education Grant.
Dr. Gennady G. Solgalov is the head of foreign languages and cross-cultural communication department at Stavropol State Agrarian University. He is a language specialist by training and is the lead translator for the cooperative project with the University of Maryland that is sponsored by a USAID Higher Education Grant.