REEEC welcomes Dr. Alexandra Kvyat, a visiting scholar in the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2007, she received her specialist diploma (a Russian 5-year university graduate degree) in public relations from Omsk State University and entered into postgraduate studies at the same institution. During the next two-and-a-half years, she engaged in interdisciplinary research on the cognitive-linguistic aspect of advertising. In 2010, she defended her Ph.D. thesis “Cognitive-linguistic mechanisms of brand positioning,” which analyzed the basic marketing concept of “positioning” as a cognitive phenomenon of the mental programming within a consumer’s mind. It also described various linguistic techniques of this programming.
Currently, she is an associate professor at two institutions in Omsk, Russia – the Siberian Institute of Professional Retraining and Business Education, and Omsk State University. She teaches some practical courses on public relations and advertising, and a one-semester course on communication theory. Unfortunately, in Russian universities, the list of disciplines dealing with different aspects of communication is very short, and they are incorporated in an extremely limited number of programs. After designing and then updating her syllabus for a communication theory course, she came to the conclusion that the development and promotion of communication education in Russia is absolutely urgent now. Thus, she applied for the Fulbright Faculty Development Program Scholarship.
As a visiting scholar at the Institute of Communication Research at the College of Media, she is learning both the classic and contemporary U.S. theories and approaches to communication and media studies to design a new course syllabus for her students in Russia. Apart from that, she is working here on her research on the public sphere, urban activism, and new communication practices and places that appeared in Russian cities after the 2011-2012 political protests. She feels very excited to affiliate with the oldest American school of communication and media studies, where many of the classic theories that she studied as a student and teach now as a professor were developed. She highly appreciates this opportunity to work in a creative and inspiring atmosphere, and to converse with experienced scholars who generously share their knowledge.