Students return from three-week trip to Red Square
For the first time in Wittenberg’s history, Olga Medvedkov, professor of geography, and George Hudson, professor of political science, accompanied 12 students from their newly introduced, team-taught course on Russian urban development to Moscow, May 18 through June 8.
During that time, the students conducted research on the geodemographics of Moscow’s 126 municipalities.
The study of population characteristics such as gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity or interests set within a geographic location, geodemography is based on the premise that given areas have some common population traits or patterns.
To prepare for the trip, the students analyzed all the variables in all the Russian municipalities to discover any patterns and to figure out why places are different, Medvedkov explained.
“They ran all kinds of maps in class and checked the socio-economic status of the various municipalities.”
While in Moscow, the students learned more about the relationship between the pro-reform and anti-reform parties, the growth of grass-roots organizations, the hierarchy within local governments and the impact of churches, among other topics.
In addition, the students attended daily meetings, lectures and seminars with Russian lawyers, geographers, demographers, church leaders and the Moscow Duma.
Medvedkov and Hudson also arranged for the 12 students to be paired with students from Moscow State University, Medvedkov’s alma mater.
“I thought that I was excited before we left for Moscow, but I found that excitement paled to what I experienced while I was there,” said Brian Feller, ’01.
The students will present their findings during a series of fall colloquia. For more on the trip, visit the web at www.wittenberg.edu.