COD Administrator One of Six from U.S. Attending Fulbright Seminar in Russia

Fulbright Delegation

By Brian Kleemann

Barb Abromitis, Director of Grants at College of DuPage, was one of six community college administrators from the U.S. who recently traveled to Russia for the Fulbright Community College Administrators Seminar.

Held March 31 to April 4, the seminar addressed the role of community colleges in higher education and the local community. Seminar participants began their visit in Moscow before traveling to Kazan, Yoshkar-Ola and then back to Moscow, visiting 13 college and universities as well as attending a Fulbright conference.

“We learned about their system of education and how it compares to ours,” she said. “There’s certainly overlap, which led to talk about what collaboration would look like and what we could do immediately. Everyone we met could not have been nicer and they were so grateful we were there.”

In her role at College of DuPage, Abromitis works with all constituent groups across campus, which has provided her with first-hand knowledge about a wide variety of initiatives and procedures.

“I was able to share how we develop programming in the U.S. and then listened to how they did the same,” she said. “Certain problems are universal, but people approach these problems differently. It’s always valuable to gain a new perspective from another culture and place.”

Abromitis, who loves to travel, has worked with faculty and staff to secure funding for similar opportunities, which fueled her desire to do the same.

“I’ve secretly been jealous of their grants to learn abroad and didn’t realize that Fulbright offers a program for administrators, so I was excited about the opportunity,” she said. “I plan to share my experiences with our administrators and faculty in hopes of identifying what ideas we can get up and running quickly and effectively.”

College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 26,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study.

Pictured: The delegation to Russia -- Barb Abromitis is fourth from the left.

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