HSE St. Petersburg’s First International Alumni Ambassadors
On July 13, 2017, HSE St. Petersburg’s Director, Professor Sergey Kadochnikov held an informal meeting with the campus’ first international alumni who got awarded ambassadorial positions for their contribution to its internationalization agenda.
Samrat Sil and David Damtar, graduates of the English-taught Master's program in ‘Applied and Interdisciplinary History ‘Usable Pasts’, were two of the ambassadors.
Samrat acknowledged that the city of St. Petersburg has been a good ground for his studies, blending well with the multifaceted nature of his Master's programme. He indicated that, together with David, he had an excellent opportunity to participate in projects and exhibitions during the internship weeks in museums. He had such beyond the classroom experience at Peterhof and the Hermitage, among others. Samrat added that taking part in international conferences and summer school also helped him gain a lot of experience concerning up to date research arenas and global topics. Adding to what Samrat said, David noted that these were some of the practicalities of the course which helped them connect the theory in classroom with practice on the field. 'My internship at the Kunstkamera for example, actually gave me the chance to understand how some museums work,' commented David.
Samrat is positive that the programme has been of real value to him as ‘the course covered different aspects. I conducted my Master research on the beard and its representation in the Byzantine Empire. I therefore wished to have strong knowledge of medieval history for a year before I proceed with a PhD.’ David also said he liked how the course gave room for his research interests hence his master thesis came from environmental history background which is part of the programme’s focus. 'Getting the chance to broaden my scholarly interest through the course in Science, Technology and Environment in History (Interdisciplinary History) helped sharpen my research interest. And I am glad that I am continuing this in my DPhil in Area Studies in the University of Oxford,' added David Damtar.
Concerning what they wish to see in the future of the programmes they read, David indicated that the programme could sharpen its focus on ‘Applied History in Area Studies’ which so far explores the Baltics, Circumpolar North, Russia, Eurasia and BRICS to include clear focus on the Global South as well, especially Africa, which was not covered during the master programme. Samrat suggested that focusing more on heritage management and other arenas could utilize the various benefits students from different disciplines bring on the table.
The graduates were awarded certificates of recognition as ambassadors and also urged to remain beacons of light for HSE St. Petersburg.
Samrat Sil and David Damtar
MA in Applied and Interdisciplinary History “Usable Pasts”