UTC Enrolls Two Graduate Students from Ukraine
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Many people rise out of difficult circumstances to pursue a college degree.
You hear stories about people working two jobs to pay tuition, raising children in between classes, and sacrificing sleep to balance work, life,
But for others, the road to higher education begins in a country at war.
Nina Klemenkova and Arsen Martyshchyk were in their home country of Ukraine when the war began, and now they’re students at UTC, pursuing graduate
degrees with the help of scholarships from the Center for Global Education.
“When the war started, no Ukrainian was even afraid. No one was afraid. People were standing in front of the military enlistment office wanting to be
drafted. Everybody wanted to protect, to defend our country in some way,” said Martyshchyk.
At the outset of the war, staff and students at UTC began to wonder how they could help.
“We started thinking about what’s the best way to assist reconstruction of the country, and we decided to support two students for two years, to study a master’s
at UTC,” said Takeo Suzuki, Executive Director of UTC’s Center for Global Education.
Obtaining a graduate degree is a big leg up in the workforce.
But for Arsen and Nina, it’s not just about themselves.
It’s about taking the skills they learn here and using them to rebuild their home country.
“I’m studying for an MBA,” said Klemenkova.
“I’m doing a Master’s of Public administration,” said Martyschyk
“I’m going to get back to my country and help to rebuild it. I just wanted to help my country thrive… It is a perfect experience for us, because people here are very friendly and supportive,” said Klemenkova.
“In terms of people, yeah — they’re great; they’re supportive. Like, everybody is. Like, they, like don’t care who you are. They just support you, and they’re really grateful here,” said Martyschyk.