Dr. Barbara Tomaszewicz, PhD, USC | Post-doc, University of Cologne
I am a Polish citizen and in 2007 I was in my first year of a PhD program in linguistics in Germany when I attended NYI. I had attended summer schools in linguistics before (the 2 week EGG, Eastern Generative Grammar, and the 4 week GLOW Summer School) but I found NYI much more inspiring and in-depth, specifically because the faculty where from the US where the linguistics PhD programs are much structured than those in Europe and their classes at NYI were simply much much better organized. As a result, I decided to apply to PhD programs in the US, mostly those whose faculty I met at NYI, and in 2008 I started my studies at University of Southern California. I graduated with a PhD in 2015 and now I am a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cologne, Germany. The training I received from USC has provided me with more expertise than most of my colleagues here have (my PhD dissertation was in formal semantics, but now I work as a psycholinguist running eyetracking and EEG studies). Without NYI I would have never made it to USC and I doubt I would still be in academia today.
Jonathan Rawski | Stony Brook PhD program in Linguistics
I first encountered NYI as a cognitive neuroscientist interested in language, and it transformed me professionally and personally into a linguist. I was on a master's fellowship at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and attended NYI twice in two years and now I am 2nd year PhD student at Stony Brook. NYI is to a large extent the driver behind the choice of doctoral subject and university I chose. It is a unique place where students and teachers from all over Russia and the world study together, exchange ideas, and advance scientific and cultural studies. Everyone comes with different expectations and aspirations, and leaves a richer, more developed human. The amount of good John
Bailyn's program has done for Russian and US linguistics and students of all kinds from Russia is
incalculable, and it should be maintained as such.
Ivan Soklolov | UCal Berkeley PhD Student in Comp Lit
NYI was the first venue for me to get introduced to what education really is about in western academia. It was a huge change after having been raised in the Russian system to find out that topics pertaining to my everyday life (violence, feminism, implications in media, human response to lyric work) may be the subject of study in an academic environment. I had never had such diverse, open and motivating professors as at NYI and it was a tremendous motivation behind my decision to continue education abroad. 50% of my success in getting enrolled in a US PhD programme I owe to NYI, to the knowledge and skills I got there as well as the connections I made. Having three completed NYI sessions in my portfolio made me a desirable player on the job market as well as facilitated application to quite a few projects, stipends and residencies.
I am saying this with all sincerity: without NYI, I would not have the life I have now, without NYI, I would not know half of what I know now, without NYI, I would not be living with my partner now in a country that does embrace same-sex marriages. And I know many other students whose trajectories were as deeply affected by their NYI experience as mine. Rather remarkable for some three weeks per year, don't you think?
Masha Esipova | Moscow State University, now NYU PhD program
NYI has been crucial to my professional development. It helped me discover and develop a passion for formal linguistics and also got me interested in sign language research, which is still one of my key interests. Apart from that, my experience at NYI allowed me to establish a professional network that was pivotal in my success in graduate school application. The faculty I met at NYI wrote me recommendation letters and provided guidance throughout the whole process. As a result, I got several offers from some of the best linguistics departments in the US, including my top choice school where I am currently a PhD student.
Alëna Aksënova | Formerly Moscow State University, now Stony Brook University PhD program
Some summer schools are very intense and you can feel yourself growing every day. Some summer schools are fun where you enjoy every moment. Some schools are inspirational, where you meet professors and students from all over the world and they make you think about things you would never face before, thus changing you and your picture of the world. The NYI summer school combines all of the above.
After the first time I went there I thought "Wow, linguistics is fun. Let me learn more about it!", and after the second time I realized that I might try to apply for a graduate school to know more. Currently I am a fourth year graduate student at Stony Brook University, doing a PhD in Computational Linguistics, and it is only because of John Bailyn and NYI summer school at St. Petersburg!
Peter Kusliy | formerly Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Philosophy, now University of Massachusetts, Amherst
NYI changed my life. It helped me realize that I want to change my profession and gave me an exclusive opportunity to start a new career.
I was over 30 when I first came to this school in 2012. Intensive learning in formal semantics and syntax gave me a chance to appreciate these disciplines and realize that I want to pursue my studies in theoretical linguistics. After coming to NYI for several years I was able to apply and be accepted to a leading program in linguistics in the United States and give up my former profession.
Right now I am in my forth year in the graduate program but continue to come to NYI for additional training and discussions with its outstanding faculty. I really appreciate the opportunity to come to NYI and I am very grateful to those who make this summer institute possible.
Nerea Madariaga | University of the Basque Country
For me, the NYI program in Petersburg was the bestsummer program, because my speciality is Russiansyntax and only with the NYI program could I have excellent teachers of formal linguistics from the USA (where I cannot afford to go to study) and Russianlanguage all together. I think it is a unique chance for all European people that are working on linguistics or cultural studies.
Mark Sowul | Stony Brook University
NYI had an indescribable impact on my life. At NYI I made close friends, learned new things, found new hobbies, and in St. Petersburg found a second home. If you are looking for something new in your life, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find a participant who wasn’t changed for the better.
Tanya V. Shilina, | Higher School of Economics, Moscow; (now SUNY Buffalo, USA)
I have to confess that I was most excited about the opportunities that the NYI could bring to young Russian scholars like myself. Both jr faculty members and graduate students get a valuable hands-on teaching experience attending lectures of eminent professors and learning techniques of working or co-teaching in an international classroom. It is indeed a unique opportunity to further one's own work in a cross-disciplinary setting, to associate with distinguished faculty, and to contribute to this innovative humanities project.
Nick Callaway | Reed College (Portland, OR, USA)
NYI was a great program, especially because of all the types of learning it involved. There was learning about language, about society, about Russia, and about my own culture from a new perspective. The professors and the environment are excellent catalysts for all kinds of learning. A very well constructed program that deserves a long life.
Julia Vashtalova | Tomsk State Pedagogical University, Tomsk, Russia
The experience I had this summer during the New York summer school session is invaluable in the truest sense of the word. I come from Tomsk, Siberia, and for me it was not just getting new knowledge and friends but also a gateway to my further career. Owing to participation in the project, I found an opportunity to continue my studies and research. And now I am part of the NYI administration! The perspectives on different cultures was the most valuable part.
Dasha Savchenko, Junior Faculty | Pskov State Pedagogical University, Pskov, Russia
My name is Dasha Savchenko and I am a graduate student at Pskov St Pedagogical University. As in my home university there are no professors in my sphere, I was lucky to become a participant of New York Institute for Cognitive and Cultural Studies in St. Petersburg. This experience was really illuminating and provided me with the powerful boost to keep on working in cultural studies. The whole experience became even more fulfilling when I was telling my colleagues back in Pskov about the seminars and some of them came up with an idea to take part next year. But the most precious part of my experience is the printed handouts and course materials provided for free by the NYI during the seminar. It has all the up-to-date information that our universities don’t have an opportunity to buy. So now the material that I have brought is kept in our department room, and everyone is really enthusiastic about new information coming.
Geoff Grecynski | Stony Brook University (New York, USA) Department of Linguistics
In July 2005, I attended the New York-St. Petersburg Institute of Cognitive and Cultural Studies at St. Petersburg State University. Its directors have created a robust, fascinating program. I studied with students from my age to my father's, from many different countries and disciplines, and learned much from interacting with them. The curricula varied as much as the student body: I chose from a wide array of seminars, covering linguistics, psychology, philosophy, literature, film, gender studies, and the media, taught by instructors from numerous overseas and local universities. My professors communicated clearly and always facilitated discussion.
Liliya Khasanova | University of Kazan’ (Russia)
I am glad that I participated in the program because it broadened my mind and changed my outlook. I got information about what I had been thinking before but which I couldn't come across at my university as almost nobody is doing research into evolution of mind or psycholinguistics there. What I learnt at NYI conforms to what I think serious science should be. I liked the busy schedule, the interesting courses, numerous hand-outs with information which is impossible to find in our libraries in Kazan, professors that put their whole soul into their work. Everything was great! And the most important thing is that I want to go on studying, this time in America. And this is owing to NYI !
Francesca Foppolo, | University of Milan (Italy) Center for Cognitive Neuroscience
I chose this particular program for the courses offered and the professors listed in the program – my main interest is linguistics and the topics were extremely interesting and all the professors were well-known names in the field. But this school turned out to be far more than a professional enrichment! What I found when I got there was a totally absorbing reality: I spent mornings and afternoons and evenings together with the students and the professors of the program, sharing ideas, amusements and interchanges, in class and outside class. I really hope to have the opportunity to repeat this experience next year, and I’m sure everybody who participated in the NYI in 2004 is looking forward for the 2005 edition! At least I am, for sure!
Lena Anishchenko | University of Grodno (Belarus)
The NYI school is a great place to meet people in your field, people who share your interests, which for me isn’t the everyday situation. The best thing about the school is that it offers various subjects, combining linguistic, cultural and cognitive studies. This allowed people who specialize in these fields to go beyond their narrow subject, which I think is crucial for interdisciplinary research.
Aleksandr Kavgic | University of Novi Sad (Serbia) Department of English Linguistics
So far I have participated in a number of summer schools and institutes, some of which were organized and/or funded by The European Commission. However, all of them are completely overshadowed by the 2004 NY Institute. The selection of courses was excellent and it covered all the most interesting and latest topics in cognitive sciences and cultural studies which, needless to say, I cannot hear about at my host institution. However, the most important thing is that the lecturers were fantastic. All in all, the best institute I have attended so far!
Ivan Zakharjashchev | Moscow State University (МГУ) Department of Linguistics
I could feel the excitement of the theories being carried over by the people who taught at NYI. The teachers come from an academic community where these theories are being actively developed, so they are able to transfer the excitement, to try to explain the deep underlying ideas. Our people in Moscow come from an academic community with different history and different focuses of interest, and so they cannot present the same theories as at NYI with that deep excitement. So, NYI is a good way to get acquainted with the theories that are not in focus here.
Slava Shevchenko | Samara State University, Russia Department of English Philology
I've never participated in such a program before. This program is unique because the organizers invented a very good combination of linguistic, psychological, political, sociological and gender classes. These classes were combined with lectures, films, group discussions, round tables, so nobody felt tired at the end of the day.