In April of this year, Herb Burns, Forsyth Tech’s chair of Design Technologies and program coordinator for Digital Effects & Animation, visited Washington, D.C., at the request of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Herb was among an elite group of 14 Fulbright Scholar alums who were extended an invitation to attend an evaluative workshop about their trip to Russia the previous year as part of a Community College Administrative Seminar (CCAS). The alumni provided feedback on the program’s goals, its design and pre-trip preparation, and discussed ways to promote post-trip interaction with Russian administrators.
While in Russia, the scholars talked with their Russian counterparts about how the U.S. community college system can work with Russian education administrators and government officials who are rethinking how to deliver secondary and higher education.
Herb stresses the importance of these discussions.
“Their economy is evolving rapidly, yet they’re not prepared to train people and put them in the workforce quickly,” he explains. “They have no community colleges, only technical universities that take four years.”
Already, Herb has taken action. He has specifically reached out to the polytechnical university in St. Petersburg. “I sent a letter describing program similarities between our institutions. Our technology is a good match for what they want to learn. Manufacturing, electronics, transportation, design – those are things Forsyth Tech does very well,” he observes.
His goal is to someday host a Russian delegation at Forsyth Tech and vice versa. Thanks to his follow-up efforts, faculty and students may want to start brushing up on their Russian.