Ukraine welcomes Fulbright Scholar

Dr. JENNY TRIPSES ’73, a 39-year educator, is a 2012 Fulbright Scholar spending the spring semester teaching in Ukraine.

Hailing from a family of educators, Dr. JENNY TRIPSES ’73 decided to take her teaching skills in a different direction than others in her family. She traveled to Ukraine to teach contemporary U.S. instructional practices and promote school leadership at Vinnytsia Teacher Training University this semester. The associate professor in the Department of Leadership in Education, Human Services, and Counseling is one of 10 current Fulbright Scholars on Bradley’s faculty. About 800 U.S. faculty and professionals are teaching worldwide through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program this year.

Visit to read more about the Fulbright scholars listed below, along with recent research, publications, performances, and exhibitions by faculty in Bradley Works

Fulbright Scholars on campus

  • Dr. Charles Bukowski ’77, 1994, University of Ljubljana in Slovenia
  • Dr. Jeanie Bukowski ’86, 2006–07, Spain 
  • Dr. Timothy Conley, 1991–92, 1995–96, Austria; 2004, Bosnia-Herzegovina 
  • Dr. Jean Marie Grant, 1997, China 
  • Dr. Mitch Griffin, 1997–98, Russia
  • Dr. Christos Nikolopoulos, 1994, Malta 
  • Dr. Matt O’Brien, 2011, Japan
  • Dr. Christopher Rybak, 2002–03, India; 2009, Nepal
  • Dr. Nancy E. Sherman, 2001–02, Latvia; 2008, Romania
  • Dr. Jenny Tripses ’73, 2012, Ukraine

Following a lengthy wait for her teaching visa, Tripses left in mid-February for Ukraine, a country that sits south and west of Russia on the Black Sea. Vinnytsia, which translates to “vineyard,” is set in an agricultural area, with a population of more than 350,000. The Institute of Foreign Languages, where Tripses is teaching English classes, has an enrollment of 600 students. Besides English, students can study German and Russian. Tripses said students and teachers at the school are eager to communicate with a native English speaker.

Since the university does not have a leadership preparation program, Tripses is teaching leadership strategies to undergraduate and graduate students, as well. She teaches through the end of April when all university programs must be finished. 

“I don’t follow sports,” Tripses noted, “but Poland and Ukraine are co-sponsoring the 2012 European soccer championships in June, and the Ministry of Education decreed classes be finalized in April to allow students in both countries to work on the tournament.”

Although the Russian language has presented the Missouri native with challenges, she has learned the Cyrillic alphabet, can sound out words, and believes in the power of total immersion. “I had a great experience in my Russian language class at Illinois Central College,” Tripses said. “Our teacher, Anastasia Devapriya Chernetskaya, was a young Fulbright student, so I picked up a lot of ideas from her. Fulbright encourages its teachers to conduct an American Night or establish an American Club. She had conducted a Russian Club, so it gave me an idea of what I’d like my club to look like.”

 Tripses credits Bradley professors Dr. Nancy Sherman and Dr. Christopher Rybak with planting the seed of interest in applying for a Fulbright. Both are two-time Fulbright Scholars. 

  In May, Tripses plans to explore Eastern Europe with a few family members and friends. She feels an obligation to share the unique opportunities her Fulbright offers and noted in her initial blog post, “Normal everyday activities are organized differently than in the U.S., but in ways that are sensible. Everyone waits his or her turn. We’re enjoying the Ukrainian sights, people, food, and atmosphere. So far, very good.”

— Karen Crowley Metzinger, MA ’97