Name in Native Language Character (If Applicable): Ольга Бежанова
Department: Foreign Language and Literature
Country of Origin: Ukraine
Language(s) Spoken Other Than English: Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, French. I can read Portuguese, Latin and Italian.
Areas of Research Interest: Modern and Contemporary Spanish Literature
How Long Have You Been in the U.S.? Since August 2003
How Long Have You Been at SIUE? Since 2009
What Do You Like Most About SIUE? The students. They are highly motivated and most work at least part-time, so they know what they want to do with their language in a practical way. The technology is much better at SIUE than it was at Yale when I was getting my Ph.D. or Cornell, which is where I started my teaching career.
What Do You Find To Be the Biggest Difference Between the U.S. and Your Home Country? It's very different here, because it's so much larger. I can pursue Hispanic language and literature here, but there is not that opportunity where I'm from.
Interesting Facts: I'm a Ukrainian person, whose native languages are Russian and Ukrainian, but I could not teach them at all, like I do Spanish. I also recently celebrated my 20th anniversary of teaching (when the interview was conducted in 2010).