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CCU Atheneum: CCCU Executive Vice President Edgar Dyer points to a recent book co-published by RSSU and CCU.
CCCU Executive Vice President Edgar Dyer points to a recent book co-published by RSSU and CCU.

CCU co-publishes book with Russian university

by Derrick Bracey
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Edgar Dyer and Darla Domke-Damonte recently traveled to Russia to celebrate the partnership between Coastal Carolina University and Russian State Social University (RSSU). This affiliation was solidified with the signing of the second five-year agreement of cooperation.

While there, CCU and RSSU jointly released their third co-published book, “Youth and the Socio-Cultural Environment: Russia and the USA - A Cross-Cultural Analysis.” The book will be printed and released in both the United States and Russia, in English and Russian. The partnership has been a fruitful one, yielding three books since the initial discussions in 2003 with plans already in place for two more books in the next five years.

On May 21, RSSU President Lydia Fedyakina met in Moscow with CCU Executive Vice President Dyer and Domke-Damonte, executive director of global initiatives, and CCU Associate Professor of Psychology William Hills to sign the agreement which has been beneficial over the last 10 years. In 2004, RSSU doctoral students came to CCU for three weeks. In 2005, the first book was co-published – “Teaching at the University Level: Cross-Cultural Perspectives from the United States and Russia.” In 2006, CCU students visited RSSU their on a two-week study abroad trip. In 2008, the second book was co-published – “Family and Childrearing: Russia and the USA, A Cross-Cultural Analysis.” And in 2009, CCU students did honor presentations at a RSSU conference.

“Students from both institutions have also been able to cooperate through technology-mediated conferences and through study abroad exchanges,” Domke-Damonte says.

“On this trip,” Dyer says. “We saw a few students with a keen interest in CCU who would love to come over and study here.”

The two universities continue to foster an open door policy across the continents and oceans. But the sharing doesn’t stop at ideas and students and book publishing credits. Members of CCU’s faculty have made the journey and spent extended periods in Russia.

Hills has been in Russia since January as a Fulbright scholar. He has been instrumental in building this cultural bridge from east to west. He acted as a co-coordinator and co-editor of the new book, and he has provided numerous lectures and presentations to RSSU students, faculty and community members.

On the most recent book, Hills worked in tandem with Dennis Wiseman, retired associate provost for academics and director of graduate studies. And, on the RSSU side, Hills worked with Ruslan Khairullin and Lev Mardakhaev, two Ph.D.s and faculty from RSSU’s Department of Social and Family Pedagogy. Both Khairullin and Mardakhaev have visited CCU as well. “We really appreciate the enthusiasm and hospitality of the RSSU community.” Hills says, “Especially from the RSSU collaborators on these books.”

RSSU is one of the largest public universities in the Russian Federation. Established in 1991, with more than 100,000 students on more than 40 branch campuses around the country, the university is currently the only accredited institution of higher education in the Russian Federation that specializes in the social sciences. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in such areas as social work, social pedagogy and psychology.

The books have been possible because of this close collaborative effort between faculties of both universities. They are full of essays investigating important topics in education, psychology, history, anthropology and political science. Articles interlink joint research from both schools that both compliment and illustrate the socio-cultural differences.Beyond the socio-cultural aspect of the books, they could also be used as a supplemental text examining effective pedagogy from Pre-K to college level education, exploring trends and offering techniques to produce positive and conducive learning environments. Various CCU and RSSU faculty members from a range of academic backgrounds have contributed to these books over the years.

“The ultimate goal of this agreement is simple.” Dyer says, “To gain a cross-cultural understanding in the advancement of the social sciences and the discipline of learning and gerontology.”


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