Faculty and Staff

dmb 2013

PSI 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.  http://slavic.lss.wisc.edu/new_web/?q=node/43


Anna Nesterchouk


PSI On-Site Director:  Anya Nesterchouk


Anya Nesterchouk is a Faculty Assistant in the Department of English and the previous 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.




CREECA 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. http://slavic.lss.wisc.edu/new_web/?q=node/95

PSI Russian Instructors (2018)

Lead Instructor: Anna Borovskaya-Ellis

Anna received her BA and MA in Pedagogical Science and Philology from St. Petersburg State Pedagogical University, named after Herzen A.I. She received a second MA in Slavic Studies from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO, and completed her PhD in Slavic Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Anna has served as an instructor for the Pushkin Summer Institute for several years. Her interests include three decades of Polonophilia in the Soviet Union and how Russian poets read, translated, and perceived Polish poetry during that time.


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.

PSI Resident Counselors (2018)


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)

Pritzker College Prep (Chicago, IL)


Brashear High School (Pittsburgh, PA)


West Anchorage High School (Anchorage, AK)


Chugiak High School (Anchorage, AK)


Friends Academy (Baltimore, MD)