Indiana University Bloomington
Arts and Sciences News at Indiana University Bloomington

Doludenko Wins Jerzy Kolodziej Teaching Award

Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Elena Doludenko


Slavic graduate student Elena Doludenko was recently awarded the first annual Jerzy Kolodziej Excellence in Teaching Award at the department’s annual Spring Tea. The award recognizes exceptional teaching and is awarded to an outstanding graduate student associate instructor. Doludenko was nominated by members of the Slavic faculty, and was ultimately selected by the department’s executive committee.

Elena Doludenko is a graduate student in the field of Slavic Linguistics and teaches Russian for the Slavic Department. “I was very happy and excited when I received the Jerzy Kolodziej Excellence in Teaching Award,” Doludenko said. “It means a lot to me. It serves as proof that I made the right choice when I chose teaching as a career. I’ve wanted to become a teacher since I was six years old.”

In the words of department chair Russell Valentino, “We have a lot of good teachers among our AIs, and it is hard to choose just one to single out. This year Elena’s supervisors and students thought she was exceptional, and she was.”

On the importance of recognizing associate instructors, Slavic professor Steven Franks says, “AIs are the mainstay of our undergraduate program, especially at the lower levels of Russian language instruction. The strength of our department depends on their success in engaging students and attracting student interest in the department's languages and cultures.”

The award is named for Dr. Jerzy Kolodziej, BA’62, PhD’84, professor emeritus who retired from the department in 2009. Kolodziej spent over thirty years working with Russian and Polish languages at Indiana University, including over twenty years as director of the Summer Workshop in Slavic and Eastern European Languages (SWSEEL). Kolodziej played a pivotal role in the success of SWSEEL and added years of dedicated work and rich insight to the department.

To continue the award, the department is building an endowed fund that will ensure that exceptional teaching among our graduate student instructors is recognized for years to come. If you would like to receive more information about making a gift to the department, please contact the department chair Russell Valentino (812) 855-9906 or e-mail:, or review the information contained in the web pages of the College of Arts and Sciences Development Office and the Indiana University Foundation.

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