University of Wisconsin - Madison

Faculty and Staff



dmb 2013

Program Director:  Dr. David Bethea


David Bethea is Professor Emeritus in Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He received his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Kansas in 1977.  His teaching responsibilities during the academic year include introductory literature in translation courses for students with no background in Russian, advanced Russian language courses, and specialized graduate seminars on Aleksandr Pushkin and other areas of Russian culture.  Professor Bethea served as Chair of the UW-Madison Slavic Department for ten years; he was also the director of the Middlebury College Russian School for nine years, and thus has extensive experience with intensive, residential summer language programs. An internationally respected specialist on Aleksandr Pushkin and his era, Prof. Bethea is the author of numerous books and articles including, most recently, The Superstitious Muse: Thinking Russian Literature Mythopoetically.



Ben 2013

On-Site Director:  Dr. Benjamin Jens


Currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian at the University of Arizona, Benjamin Jens received his PhD in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.  Jens has extensive experience teaching Russian language courses from the introductory through the advanced level, as well as courses on Russian literature and culture.  A skilled administrator, Jens was the lead academic staff member for the pilot year of the Pushkin Summer Institute in 2012, where he was responsible for logistical oversight of all aspects of the program.




Associate Director:  Dr. Jennifer Tishler


Jennifer Tishler received her PhD in Slavic Languages at UW-Madison and has taught Russian language and literature at Dartmouth.  Currently she is associate director of CREECA (the Center for Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies) as well as a lecturer in Russian language, literature, and culture (including folklore) in the UW-Madison Slavic Department.


Instructors of Russian (2017)

Anna Nesterchouk

Anya Nesterchouk

Anya Nesterchouk is a Faculty Assistant in the Department of English and an Instructional Lead/Curriculum Designer for the Pushkin Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Anya Nesterchouk is an ESL/EFL/RFL instructor with extensive experience in language training, curriculum design, and ESL/RFL teacher training. Providing students with opportunities to make lingo-cultural discoveries through a meaningful learning process is the essence of her pedagogy. She is greatly interested in developing intercultural competence at the novice level of proficiency. Her other professional interests include: Second Language Acquistion, Intercultural Education, Holistic Language Learning, Heritage Language Education, Transdisciplinary Approach to Language Learning, and World Language Immersion Camps.

Anna Borovskaya-Ellis


Jambul Akkaziev

Jambul Akkaziev


Jambul Akkaziev was born and raised in Russia's Caucasus region, in the small republic of Dagestan. He spent part of his childhood years in Siberia and his college years in Makhachkala, Dagestan, and later in Saint Petersburg. He holds two MA degrees - one in English Linguistics and Translation and one in Russian History - and is currently working on his PhD degree in History and Languages and Cultures of Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Over the course of his career, Jambul has taught courses in Academinc Writing and Reading, Russian Conversation and Culture, and served as a tutor in the Russian Flagship Program. He's also given presentations on the diversity of Russian culture and its peoples. He likes sharing his experiences as a foreign language learner with his students and talk with them about the places they have lived in.


Pushkin Summer Institute Resident Counselors (2017)


TBD -- check back soon for more information!


Pushkin Summer Institute-Abroad Resident Directors (2017)


Assistant Resident Director Brian Kilgour

Brian Kilgour


Brian Kilgour is a PhD student in Slavic Languages and Literature at UW-Madison. Brian has an MA in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies from UW-Madison, majored in Russian and International Relations as an undergraduate at Carleton College and also studied advanced Russian at Moscow State University. In 2011-12, he spent 10 months living in Ulan-Ude on a Fulbright Graduate Student Research Fellowship, where he studied cultural and historical narratives in tourism. Brian has previously worked as a project assistant for the Pushkin Summer Institute-Abroad and was one of the Resident Directors in 2016.



Participating Institutions (2017)