Staff Profiles

Oscar Swan, PhD
Director, Russian and East European Summer Language Institute (SLI)
University of Pittsburgh

Oscar Swan founded SLI in 1988, during his tenure as the Chairman of the Department of Slavic Languages. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Polish, Russian, and Slavic linguistics and pedagogy, and on Polish culture and cultural history.

Christine Metil
Associate Director, Russian and East European Summer Language Institute (SLI)
University of Pittsburgh

Christine has enjoyed planning and implementation of all aspects of SLI since its beginnings in 1988. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and studied at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She is also the Director of the Slovak Heritage Festival at Pitt.

Maher Al-Khateeb
Northern Kentucky University
Biljana Amidovic
Beginning and Intermediate Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian
University of Montenegro

Biljana was trained as a secondary school English teacher and teaches at a High School in Niksic, Montenegro—a small country on the Adriatic famous for its natural beauty. She has been teaching Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian at the Beginning and Intermediate levels in SLI since 2007 and is the site coordinator of the Pitt-Montenegro program.

Kristina Bumbarova
Sofia University
Kristina has taught Bulgarian at SLI since 2004. When not at SLI, she works at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia, where she teaches Bulgarian language. She is the co-author of a brand new Bulgarian language textbook for foreigners. She leads the Pitt-Bulgaria program in Sofia following the six-week program in Pittsburgh.
Eugenia Dudina
4th year & Advanced Russian
Dickinson College
Ljiljana Durasković, PhD
Advanced Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, East European Languages Program Director
University of Pittsburgh

Ljiljana did her doctoral work in Slavic Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State University, where she taught Russian and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. During the academic year she teaches Russian and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been with SLI for 5 years, where she teaches all levels of BCS, and is the coordinator of the BCS program. Ljiljana is a certified OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) tester for both Russian and BCS.

Frane Karabatić
Beginning and Intermediate Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian
University of Dublin/Trinity College Dublin

Frane teaches all levels of Croatian at Trinity College Dublin, along with Cultures of Central and Eastern Europe course. In MPhil studies he is also teaching Literatures of Central and Eastern Europe, and Cinema in Communist and Post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe. He has been with SLI since 2013.

Vika Kim
Saint-Petersburg State University

Victoria holds an MA in Cultural Linguistics, with an emphasis on teaching Russian as a second language, from Saint Petersburg State University. She has taught Russian to non-native speakers in Russia, Hungary, and in the United States, where she spent three years as a Language House Tutor and Visiting Instructor at the College of William & Mary. Her research interests include the history of the Russian language, lexicology, and the category of indefiniteness in lingua-cultural aspects.

Ilknur Lider
Beginning Turkish
University of Pittsburgh

Nur is a native of Turkey. She holds a Master of Public and International Affairs Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 2008, she has been teaching all levels of  Turkish at the Department of Linguistics, The Less Commonly Taught Languages Center at Pitt. Nur is a certified OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview) tester for the Turkish language. She has also  served as a panelist for the Turkish language at the State Department’s Critical Languages Program for the last three years. In her free time, Nur likes reading poetry, watching movies and baking with her daughter.

Gerald McCausland, PhD
First-year Russian
University of Pittsburgh

Jerry McCausland teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, where he directs the Russian language program and serves as undergraduate advisor. He holds degrees (Ph.D., Russian), Middlebury College (BA, Political Science, MA Russian) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (MA German). Over the years he has served as an SLI Instructor, Russian Program Coordinator and Moscow Director.

Marcela Michálková, PhD
Prešov University

Marcela earned her PhD in Slavic Languages and Cultures from The Ohio State University. She taught Czech, Slovak and Russian languages and cultures at the Ohio State University, Pittsburgh University and Indiana University, Bloomington. At the Ohio State, she also coordinated the Czech program and Russian Individualized Instruction program. Currently, she works as an assistant professor of American studies at Prešov University, Slovakia.

Kathleen Manukyan, PhD
Coordinator of the Russian Program
University of Pittsburgh

Katie Manukyan did her doctoral work in Slavic Languages and Literatures at The Ohio State University, where she taught Russian language, Czech language, and Russian literature. Originally from northern Virginia, her travels have taken her to Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Armenia. She lived in Moscow for two years, where she studied Russian language and music performance. 

Olga Mukhortova
Advanced Russian - Project GO, Narva, Estonia
Russian State University/University of Pittsburgh

Olga completed her first MA in Slavic Studies in 1997, and subsequently graduated with an MA in Cultural Studies from the Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH) in 2001. She taught Russian language and culture at the RSUH for over ten years, and spent a year as an exchange scholar/instructor at Dickinson College. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in the Slavic Department at Pitt. Olga has been teaching at SLI since 2010

Robert Mulcahy, PhD
Director of Pitt in Moscow
Ohio State University

A Lecturer in Slavic at Ohio State University, Robert has taught various levels of Russian language, as well as Russian film, culture, and literature.

Greg Piszczek
Musician in Residence
University of Pittsburgh
Tetyana Shlikhar
Beginning Ukrainian
National University of Kyiv
Tetyana Shlikhar is a PhD student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at University of Pittsburgh. She received her BA and MA in Philology, as well as PhD (Kandidat nauk) in Translation Studies from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine). She did research on drama translation as a Fulbright fellow at Binghamton University, SUNY in 2011-2012. Her current research interests include Soviet film, Stalinist culture, gender studies, and contemporary Russian literature.
Vlasta Stofova
Beginning Slovak
University of Central Florida
Vlasta is a native of Slovakia. She has been teaching all levels of Slovak
at SLI since 2003 and is the site coordinator of the Pitt-Slovakia program
in Bratislava following the six-week program in Pittsburgh. Her Ph.D. is
in Slovak Linguistics from Comenius University in Bratislava and MA in
TESOL from the University of Central Florida.
Izolda Wolski-Moskoff
Beginning Polish
Ohio State University

Izolda is working toward a Ph.D. in Slavic linguistics at the Ohio State University where she teaches Polish language and culture courses. She has also taught at the University of Pennsylavnia and has taught at SLI for several years.

Anastasiia Zinchenko

Anastasiia studied linguistics at Tyumen State University. Since 2011, she has been teaching Russian as a foreign language at the university level. Anastasiia is also qualified to conduct TRKI proficiency testing. She completed the certification process in February 2013 at the Center for Training and Testing of Russian as a Foreign Language at Lomonosov Moscow State University.