Team members

Prof. John F. Bailyn (Stony Brook, New York)
Faculty and Programs Director
Originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts, John Frederick Bailyn is Professor of Linguistics at Stony Brook University with a PhD from Cornell. In 2003, together with Anna Maslennikova, Bailyn co- founded a Russian-American International Summer School held annually at St. Petersburg State University. A product himself of Intensive Russian Immersion programs at Middlebury College and Leningrad State University, JFB is a strong believer in the efficacy of Intensive Language training and founded the American Language Center, Russia’s first adult English immersion program in 1994. From 2007-2009 he directed the State Department’s Critical Languages Scholarship program’s Russian language institutes, held in 7 Russian cities, before creating the Advanced Critical Language Institute (ACLI) in 2010. He is the author of The Syntax of Russian (2011) and serves as the Faculty Director of the Russia Programs Network for the State University of New York system.JFB’s non-academic interests all involve world peace, including creating and enjoying music of many kinds, communicating with his and various other cats, Fisher-random chess, and striving for soccer’s ultimate form of beauty, the perfect give and go.
Prof. Anna Maslennikova (Rochester, NY)
Co-Director, New York-St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture.
Prof. Maslennikova is Professor of Linguistics and English Philology at St. Petersburg State University and Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Rochester, USA. Together with John Bailyn, Prof. Maslennikova is Co-Founder and Co-Director of the New York-St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture. Author of a book on Hidden Meanings in English and Russian and more than 40 papers in Linguistics and cultural studies, Prof. Maslennikova has been teaching English and Linguistics for more than 33 years, and Russian language, literature and culture for 22 years.
She loves mushroom picking, swimming, and playing with other peoples’ pets.
Dr. Anna Geisherik (Stony Brook, New York)
Russian Language Lecturer and ACLI Pedagogy Coordinator
Having earned her Doctorate degree in Foreign Language Instruction, Anna Geisherik teaches all levels of Russian as a full-time lecturer at Stony Brook University. She oversees all placement and testing for ACLI, and offers a summer Russian language course for heritage speakers in Manhattan. From 2007-2009 she was Pedagogical Coordinator for the Critical Languages Scholarship Program at universities in Astrakhan, Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod. Anna is the author of Aspects of Teaching Literacy to Heritage Learners of Russian. Her professional interests include heritage language pedagogy, online instruction, translation and interpretation.
Anna is originally from Kharkov, Ukraine. Her non-academic interests include traveling to remote places, Argentine tango, independent movies and maintaining a Russian language blog.
Alecia Barbour (Stony Brook, New York)
US Programs Administrator
Alecia Barbour provides administrative support to faculty, staff, and students who participate in Stony Brook Programs in Russia. She additionally serves as the Assistant to the Director of the Russia Programs Network for the State University of New York system. Alecia is a PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at Stony Brook University (Department of Music).When she isn’t working on her dissertation or assisting study abroad students and personnel, Alecia is likely traveling, cooking, or coaxing the cat off of her computer.
Elena Zemtsova (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Local Administrator for Stony Brook Programs
Elena is a graduate of Magnitogorsk State University and she received her Master’s degree from Saint-Petersburg State University, Department of English Philology (2011). In her capacity as Local Administrator for Stony Brook Programs, Elena has assisted Stony Brook’s exchange students in St. Petersburg during the academic year since 2012. She has also served as Foreign Student Coordinator and Administrator of the NY — St. Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture since 2011.

Elena works at the school of Philosophy in Saint-Petersburg State University. In addition to English, Elena speaks French and Croatian. Elena loves literature, snowboarding, hockey and opera. She has a 2-year old daughter.



Olga Belichenko (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Local Coordinator for American Summer Students
Having graduated from Saint Petersburg State University (General Linguistics department), Olga continued her studies at European University in Saint Petersburg (MA in Cultural Anthropology). She has worked with the New York Institute in Saint Petersburg since 2008, serving as the Russian and CIS Student Coordinator in 2012, and as the American Summer Student Coordinator since 2013.
Olga speaks English, and knows some French and Spanish.Olga is keen on traveling, discovering the local history of the places she visits, and taking advantage of her camera meanwhile. Her real love is Russia and she is always happy for the opportunity to see more of its infinite treasures.
Julia Vashtalova (St. Petersburg, Russia)
SUNY Russia Programs Network Representative and Internship Coordinator
Originally from Tomsk, Western Siberia, Julia Vashtalova earned her PhD in English Philology at St.Petersburg State University,(2009). She is an interpreter with the language pair English/Russian. Since 2005 she has provided administrative support to the
New-York – St.Petersburg Institute of Linguistics, Cognition and Culture in various capacities, serving as a Chief of Staff Coordinator since 2013.
Julia locally supports SUNY and Stony Brook visiting professors during the academic year arranging the schedule and facilitating contacts.When she is not interpreting or facilitating university projects, you would find her doing yoga, cycling, or surfing somewhere far and away.
Julia Vorobiova  (St. Petersburg, Russia)
SUNY Russia Programs Network Representative and Financial Administrator