Ukrainian visitor "studies" Kettering

Feb 14, 2003

"Community Connections" were strengthened recently when Kettering University hosted a visiting public relations professional from the Ukraine.

"Community Connections" were strengthened recently when Kettering University hosted a visiting public relations professional from the Ukraine. Natalya Posokovia, of Melitopod, Zapozokye in the Ukraine spent two weeks with the Public Relations and Communications department at Kettering learning about how PR works at an American university.

Posokovia was in the United States as part of the Community Connections Program of the U.S. Department of State. Participants come to the U.S. for five to six weeks to learn how different businesses are run in this country, either because they are interested in starting businesses, or work in that field in their home country.

Flint has been a host city since the program first started more than eight years ago, said Dr. David Doherty, vice president for International Programs and Governmental Activities at Kettering. Three groups of 10 people come to the U.S. annually from Russia or former Russian commonwealth countries. "We have had predominantly Russian and Ukrainian visitors in Flint," said Doherty.

Approximately 150 businesses in Flint participate in the program, including educational institutions, medical facilities, small business and law enforcement and legal services. "Once we had someone who wanted to be a mushroom farmer," Doherty said, "we had to find a mushroom farmer for them to work with." The next group scheduled to come to Flint has a medical focus.

Participants stay with private families in the Flint area during their visit. In addition to working, the groups travel to Detroit and Chicago, and occasionally host families will take them to northern Michigan, said Doherty.

The following is an account of Posokovia experiences at Kettering in her own words.
My name is Natalya Posokovia. I'm from Ukraine (former USSR), Melitopod, Zapozokye region. I'm in the U.S. as a government visitor, taking part in the Community Connections program. I am here as a representative of the plant (business) where I work in Ukraine, called "Melitopod Autohydrocegregat," which produces auto parts for Ukrainian and Russian cars, such as: shock-absorbers, sliding-bearings, hydraulic cylinders and calipers.

I'm a Public Relations Manager for Melitopod Autohydrocegregat. It is especially interesting for me to be in the Michigan now, where the car-building industry is highly developed. I'm glad to have such a splendid opportunity to have a practice at a Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute - GMI) - my host organization. Kettering prepares future managers and engineers.

I have been in the U.S. only since January 19, but I visited many amazing places and have seen many new things. I was in Detroit at the very famous and very popular North-American Auto Show- it was wonderful and attractive. I had never seen anything similar. I was in Port Huron with Pat Mroczek at a community college, which has common interests with Kettering University to develop educated, progressive and successful managers and engineers.

I attended a marketing/management class at Kettering University, where an alumnae of the University was invited to guest lecture. She is the head of the advertising team for the "Hummer." She told students about the history of Hummer, how to promote products, and advertise them; she told about marketing research for the Hummer. It was great and pleasurable.

Students of Kettering University are very lucky to have such an education: to receive not only theoretical knowledges but be closely connected with persons who are already involved in the inside working process and have practice knowledges and experience. Students of Kettering University also work in different enterprises where they improve their theoretical knowledge.There is wonderful library at Kettering where students can receive additional information. And now it's clear for me why industry is so highly developed in the U.S.

In the U.S. I also visited information centers (local TV station ABC and the Flint Journal) with which Public Relations department of Kettering University works closely. It helps Public Relations Department of Kettering to spread their news through information facilities.

I am very glad to be in the U.S. at Kettering University, and I'll share my impressions and my new experience with my Ukrainian colleagues. I'm lucky. Thank you.