Teaching students to look and learn beyond their own familiar borders is at the core of what Alexandre Strokanov brings to the classroom. A much-published political scholar whose travels have taken him to 60 countries and familiarized him with electoral customs on six continents, he urges his students to broaden their perspectives, open their minds and see the world.
More important, he helps them do it. He leads student trips to his native Russia, as well as to Italy, Brazil and China; he recounts his own experiences during the Nicaraguan Revolution and the Soviet-Afghan War, and he puts his students in touch with sociologists and politicians in the countries they are studying. “I know what the textbooks say, but that’s not enough” Dr. Strokanov says. “I marry my own experiences with what the students read – that’s what makes a good professor.”
Although he emigrated to the U.S. in 1993, it was a more recent decision that brought him north to Vermont, where the Green Mountains remind him of Russia’s Ural Mountains. “I wanted a small college, a public college and sincere relationships with my colleagues,” he says. “I found those things at Lyndon.”