This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Russian Social Work Professionals
To Visit UW-Eau Claire July 13-15
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: July 6, 1999

EAU CLAIRE — A group of nine Russian professionals will be at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from July 13 to 15, learning about the structure and organization of the social work profession and about the social work program on campus.
The group will be on campus as part of a month-long visit to Wisconsin, a visit coordinated by Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse. The purpose of the visit is to assist the group in the development of social services in Russia and a social work department and program at the University of Dubna, located northwest of Moscow.
While at UW-Eau Claire, the nine will visit, observe and interact with social work classes, will meet with internship supervisors in community agencies, and will learn about technologies available for distance education and videoconferencing, said Nick Smiar, chair of the social work department.
The group also will attend seminars, visit with university administrators and staff, and host an appreciation dinner.
Social work is a new profession in Russia, existing only since the fall of the Communist regime in 1991. Many universities are establishing schools of social work to meet the social needs that have been identified in the new Russia.
"They have already begun teaching social work classes in Dubna, but they are still learning about the social work profession," Smiar said. "They're hungry for anything having to do with social work education."
This past fall, a group of Russians came to the university under the same program and reported that the tour was extremely beneficial to them, Smiar said.
"The feedback from their evaluations indicated they had a very practical and valuable experience here," he said.
The group will stay with UW-Eau Claire faculty for the two nights they are in Eau Claire, Smiar said, noting that the contact with family life will provide an experience with American culture which a stay in a motel will not do.
"It's not a stated objective of the program, but I believe they intend to learn all they can about American culture and life," he said. "They really have a full and rich experience through this program."

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: July 6, 1999