Alla Smyslova (Senior Lecturer in Russian; Director of the Russian Language Program) received the 2021 Service Award from the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) for “supporting and enhancing the initiatives of the organization, and maintaining and expanding ACTR’s presence in the Russian field and in the field of foreign languages in general.”
From the citation:
She is totally devoted to supporting and enhancing the initiatives of the organization, and to maintaining and expanding ACTR’s presence in the Russian field and in the field of foreign languages in general. As a matter of fact, the first word that comes to her colleagues’ minds when they think of Alla is generous. All who work with Alla benefit personally and professionally from Alla’s generosity.
Alla has been generously serving ACTR on the Board of Directors since 2010. On the Board, she not only became active in recruiting new members but mentored them. Under her guidance as Chair of the ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award Program, new and veteran members of the Board enjoy serving the profession as they invite institutions to share the successes of students studying and learning Russian in the many post-secondary programs around the country. One of the highlights of an ACTR Board Meeting is to hear Alla excitedly talk about the nominations provided to her committee.
And, the excitement doesn’t stop there. Alla is one of the Co-chairs of the National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest and to hear her praise of the student submissions, one would think that they were all from her classroom. From serving as the Chair of the Nominations Committee to assisting colleagues serving the Board, Alla is now the Vice-president of ACTR and active member of the Executive Committee.
Alla serves the profession far beyond the work of ACTR. When the field responded to the need to design and develop the Prototype AP® Russian Exam, once again Alla was happy to provide her expertise. She was a member of the Russian Standard Setting Committee, The Exam Development Committee and wrote Integrated Tasks for the Prototype AP® Russian Exam, designed for all learners of Russian. In 2007 Alla helped to promote the exam through her AATSEEL Conference Presentation “The Prototype AP® Russian Examination in the Heritage Speaker Program.