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Dr. Olga Klimova

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Olga Klimova HeadshotDr. Olga Klimova

Born in Uzbekistan and raised in Belarus, Dr. Olga Klimova currently works as an Associate Teaching Professor and Director of the Russian Program at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Pitt). She also holds a position as the program director of The STARTALK Russian Program for high school students at Pitt (since 2017). Since 2021, she has been a member of the ACTR Board of Directors, holding the position of Vice President from 2023 to 2024. Over the past two years, she has been also a part of the ACTFL DEI Committee, Equipping Antiracist/Antibias Language Educators Subcommittee and of the Board of Directors of the American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators, and Directors of Language Programs as a Slavic Sector Convenor.

Dr. Klimova has earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Russian Literature, Language, and Culture from Pitt, an M.A. in Popular Culture from Brock University, Canada, and an MS.Ed in Instructional Technology from Duquesne University. During her graduate studies, she studied German, French, and Polish, receiving a Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarship for her study of the latter. She has been teaching Russian language, literature, and culture courses in the University of Pittsburgh's Slavic Department since 2005, first, as a graduate teaching assistant, and, later, as a full-time faculty. She has also taught at CMU, Brock University, Mercyhurst University, Chatham University, Washington and Jefferson College, and Middlebury College. Beside her extensive teaching experience at the college level, she also had an opportunity to work in the post-secondary educational setting as an instructional technology integrator at Hampton School District in Pittsburgh. From 2008 to 2013, in her role as a Resident Assistant Director, Dr. Klimova accompanied Pitt Summer Language Institute students during their summer study-abroad program at Moscow State University.

At Pitt, she has founded a chapter of the ACTR Western Pennsylvania Olympiada of Spoken Russian, on which she serves as a regional co-chair and a co-organizer of the contest. Additionally, she has established a chapter of the Dobro Slovo Slavic Honors Society in her department and currently serves as a faculty advisor for that chapter.

Dr. Klimova has received extensive training in second language teaching methodologies, educational technologies, and online teaching at Pitt, Duquesne University, the University of Hawaiʻi, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Iowa, Pushkin State Russian Language Institute in Moscow, and the National Institute for Higher Education in Minsk. She is a certified OPI tester through the ACTFL and has also received training as the ACTFL WPT tester. Her dedication to excellence in teaching and curriculum design has been recognized through numerous grants and prestigious awards, including the Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award, the AATSEEL Excellence in Teaching (post-secondary) Award, the Provost’s Award for Diversity in the Curriculum, the Provost’s Open Education Resource Fund, the Course Incubator Grant, and the Dietrich School Curricular Innovation Fund.

In the field of language teaching, Dr. Klimova's interests encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from language curriculum development and the use of technology for language instruction to online teaching methodologies, gamification, Project-Based Language Learning, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in a language classroom, community-based language learning, and proficiency-based assessments. The other areas of her academic interests include visual and popular culture of the late-Soviet and post-Soviet periods, cultural representations of Chornobyl, post-Soviet protest culture and art, and Eastern European and Central Asian cinemas.