One day in 2007, Oleg Kozaderov, PhD in chemistry and Assistant Professor at Voronezh State University, was browsing the Internet when he came across the Vladimir Potanin Foundation website.
Just a year later, in 2008, Oleg won the first of four grants he has received under Young Faculty Grant Program. His decision to participate in the Program was taken mostly because of the Program's unusual format, which offered large opportunities for creativity and personal development. The money also played a role, as Oleg freely admits.
"From day one, I became absorbed by the Program: the contenders were asked to synthesize their research and teaching experience, and to apply a creative approach to preparing a popular science lecture required by the program competition. I would say it was the most engaging and fruitful part of the competition for me; it generated the largest number of new ideas on how to present teaching material to any audience”, recalls Oleg. He also specially mentions another important feature of the competition - assessment by students as an indicator of a professor's expertise and competence.
Oleg best remembers his participation in the Winter School in 2009 for the classes on how to present oneself in public and facilitate panel discussions on sensitive issues. During the 2010 Winter School in Sochi, Oleg learned some of the secrets of the art of public speaking and the basics of web-design. It was also good to meet other winners of the Foundation Program competitions who came to the Program’s Schools from different parts of the country.
Oleg also regards as a great chance the Professor Online Program initiated by the Foundation, which he joined later and which proved to be really useful and efficient. He was offered a real opportunity to structure his teaching materials and methodology by uploading them to the professorjournal.ru portal, and to try hands-on innovative methods of distance teaching. In addition, the teaching website, which the Foundation supports, allowed him to build a relationship with and reach out to every student, helping them organize their independent study.
"For me, the Vladimir Potanin Foundation Programs are steps on the road towards self-improvement that help me build a strong basis for new growth, both personally and professionally", says Oleg.