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 Russian Substance Abuse Counselors to Visit SRU to Exchange Ideas 



Sept. 22, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854;



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Three Russian substance abuse counselors and a medical school administrator visit Slippery Rock University Tuesday [Sept. 27] to exchange treatment and counseling methods, followed by a meeting with SRU’s Russian club.

The Russian experts will brainstorm anti-drug strategies and treatment methods with SRU’s Dr. Gerard Love, associate professor of counseling and development and coordinator of the university’s graduate program in addiction counseling. They’ll spend the evening with the Russian club in Carruth Rizza Hall at 7 p.m.

           “We are pleased to have these international experts coming to campus,” SRU President Robert Smith said. “Globalism is a priority at Slippery Rock University -- we want our students to graduate with a broad understanding of the world. Any exchange of information on the important topic of substance abuse prevention will produce growth for all involved.”

The visit is being hosted by the Greenville Rotary and organized by SRU graduate William Kirker, second vice president of the club.  The Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress is bringing the group to western Pennsylvania. Its Open World Program fosters mutual understanding by enabling emerging political and civic leaders from former Soviet countries to work with their American counterparts. The Russians, who will also visit schools and drug-treatment facilities in Sharon, Greenville and Mercer, will be in the area Sept. 24-Oct. 2, staying with American families in Greenville. 

About the visitors

Aleksandr Balykov heads the Khvalynsk branch of the No to Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Foundation, established in 1987 in Moscow during perestroika.  Yelena Belevich is a project manager at the St. Petersburg branch of the British-based EveryChild organization, where her activities include conducting seminars and workshops on HIV/AIDS.

 Natalya Lebedeva serves as assistant director for academics atYaroslav Mudry (Yaroslav the Wise) Novgorod State University Medical College, in Nizhniy Novgorod. She launched a volunteer program at the college aimed at combating juvenile drug addiction.  Psychologist Viktoriya Mushnikova is the deputy director of the Dialogue Center in the Siberian city of Irkutsk that focuses on strengthening families.

SRU’s graduate program in addiction counseling, accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, prepares graduates for work in hospitals, private practice, mental health clinics and other treatment centers.

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