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Sharing a class with Russian students

A global leadership class at Lycoming College Zooms with students in Russia.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — David Kong is a freshman at Lycoming College in Williamsport. His freshman seminar class Zooms once a week with students at the Ural State Pedagogical University in Russia.

"We learn about the things that Russians enjoy or don't like, and some certain cultural things. It is pretty interesting," said Kong.

The class is centered around global leadership. Lycoming College professor Lori Curtindale has been connecting her class with students in Russia since 2015.

"They get to learn a little bit about the history of leadership in the west and the history of leadership in Russia, and then they work in teams," said Curtindale.

One topic that has not come up in class is Ukraine. Russia invaded Ukraine last month, and war has been raging on since. It is now against Russian law to protest or speak out against the war in Ukraine.

"It was pretty interesting when the whole Ukraine situation happened, but it has been fairly academic so far, so we haven't had any issues," added Kong.

Both sets of students recently discussed the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin in class.

"Putin's leadership ability and the context of him and other leaders around the world," said Kong.

"The history of Russian leadership, the politics, and the power dynamic that exists there, and also it was really interesting when they showed us how he is portrayed in the media there," added Curtindale.

The professor says she hopes to continue this class in the future but says it is up in the air right now depending upon restrictions that may be placed on Russian internet in the near future.

See more videos on our area's connection to the Crisis in Ukraine.  

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