Position Announcement: New Economic School, Moscow, Russia

Director, Writing and Communication Center, New Economic School (NES), Moscow, Russia

The NES Writing and Communication Center (WCC) seeks a Director who will also serve as a Lecturer in the English Department beginning Fall 2013. A successful candidate will coordinate NES’s bilingual writing tutoring program for undergraduate and graduate students, provide training for professional consultants, organize Writing across the Curriculum seminars and other events, oversee curriculum development for WCC workshops, handle budgeting and other administrative work, and design assessment tools for the WCC’s programs. The Director will also teach 1-2 English writing and/or literature courses per academic year.

This is an exciting opportunity for a senior writing/communications specialist who wishes to help build the first WCC of its kind in Russia.

Qualifications: Master’s degree or a PhD in Composition and Rhetoric, English, TESOL or related field; profound knowledge of writing center theory and WAC/WID principles; 4+ years of experience in teaching or tutoring written and oral academic communication at the undergraduate and/or graduate level; extensive experience in curriculum development and assessment; commitment to student-centered pedagogy; excellent communication and organizational skills; the ability to work in a bilingual academic environment; familiarity with educational technology; experience in program assessment; and commitment to research. The knowledge of Russian is preferred but not required.

Salary: The salary will be internationally competitive and commensurate with experience. Application Process: Please send the following documents to Olga Aksakalova, Director of the NES WCC, at oaksakalova@nes.ru:

1. Cover letter

2. CV

3. Three letters of recommendation; must be sent directly by recommenders to oaksakalova@nes.ru

4. Academic writing sample (no longer than 20 pages)

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The successful candidate will be expected to start working in mid- or late August 2013.

NES is the leading center of economics research in Russia and Eastern Europe and an independent research-intensive institution of higher education in Moscow. Most of our Economics faculty members hold U.S. or European doctorates, and classes are taught both in English and Russian. We attract visiting scholars from many fields who contribute to a stimulating intellectual atmosphere and cross-disciplinary projects. NES faculty members collaborate closely with counterparts in Moscow’s other leading social sciences and humanities research centers. Additional information about NES can be found at www.nes.ru/en/home/. Student enrollment: 400-450 people per academic year.

The New Economic School is an equal opportunity employer.

Writing and Communication Center at the New Economic School, Moscow

My name is Kara Bollinger, and I am the Assistant Director of the Writing and Communication Center at the New Economic School (NES) in Moscow, Russia. Our writing center is just now turning one-year-old and is one of only two writing centers in Russia. So, the Director of the WCC, Olga Aksakalova, and I are excited to join the conversation on CWCAB. We’re sure to have questions (and hopefully insights) in the coming months, but for now we want to say “hey.”

Students at our school are enrolled in one of three programs: Bachelor’s in Economics (a joint program with the Higher School of Economics), Master’s in Economics, and Master’s in Finance. Students write and give presentations in both English and Russian. The WCC offers one-on-one writing consultations in both English and Russian. We also hold workshops on a variety of writing and communication topics (again some workshops are in English and some are in Russian). Our students read in English, attend courses in English, and listen to presentations in English, but they often want more practice speaking; because of this, we also offer one-on-one English conversation sessions.  In addition to Olga and me, the WCC employs four part-time professional consultants who work with students.

Though most of our time is dedicated to students, we also work with faculty. First, we are active collaborators with the English department in helping develop curriculum and providing guidance on aspects of courses like writing assignments, rubrics, and peer review questions. Second, we are beginning to work with Economics faculty on effectively teaching and incorporating writing in their courses.

As a recent transplant to Moscow (I’ve been here for a little over a month) what I’ve noticed most (in the WCC, that is) is that the writing pedagogy and the writing center theory that are commonplace in the US are new ideas here. Though students come to the WCC expecting help with their writing or speaking, they often show up for a session, sit down at the table and say “So, what is this place?” It’s quite rewarding to explain the writing center to students and makes the goal-setting portion of the session crucial. In the future, Olga hopes to write more about her experiences starting the WCC here last year, which illustrate the idea of Rhet/Comp being new in Russia.

Note boardOne way we’re working to increase our school’s understanding of the WCC is through Open Houses. The WCC got a new home this year, so we hope that once students actually visit the space, we can say “Okay—here’s what we do here.” To help root our writing center, our Open Houses include a discussion of other writing centers. We hope this will help students understand the context in which the WCC exists. Additionally, we want students to feel like the WCC is “theirs.” So, we’re encouraging them to provide artwork, photos, creative writing, and/or favorite quotes to decorate the WCC. To start, we’ve asked students to write their writing and/or communication goals for the year on a Post-It note and to post those goals in the WCC. So far, the Open Houses seem to be working. Students have been active in engaging us with questions about the WCC and excited about continuing to participate.

That’s all for now. We look forward to sharing and collaborating with you all soon.