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ASU Faces

Konstantin Serebrennikov

For the next “persona grata” sport is not just a part of a healthy lifestyle, but achievements, goals, career and coaching. Konstantin Serebrennikov is a former graduate of ASU PE Institute. As of now he is a professional kickboxer and a coach of soon-to-be champions.

«I decided to take up kickboxing when I was ten. I was a skinny kid, and used to get into scrapes with other boys. So one day I came up to my father, we discussed this, and he gave his permission. That’s how I ended up in a kickboxing studio here, in Maykop».

He began his professional career in 1998. Four years later, first major achievement: he won the regionals and made it to the republican team. Then came the victorious national championship and his first international victory in Greece. Konstantin was fourteen at the time.

«I met my coach, Kazbek Siyukhov, through a school friend of mine. I’ve heard of him before, of his technique, his results. We’ve met, he started coaching me and two months later I took part in my first championship».

Then there were fights, victories and rewards – professional ones – and studies at ASU, followed by military service work, married life. In 2007 Konstantin made quite a few notches on the bed post of his professional career, by first winning national professional championship belt, then World Grand-Prix W5 Fighter. Right there, before the audience his asked his fiancé, Anastasia, to marry him.

«This precise moment held tremendous momentum for me. As a professional, every fight, every result is important to me. But my family, my wife and daughter mean the world to me».

Konstantin Serebrennikov lives and works in Moscow these last seven years, raising champions in boxing, kickboxing, MMA. He doesn’t make it to Maykop often, but he always talks rather warmly about his teachers: «I’m truly grateful to Anzor Gonezhuk, Aslan Shaguch, Irina Shapovalova. They helped me to become the trainer I am today».

For our graduate future is promoting sports and healthy lifestyle every day: «More time for sport means less of it for bad habits».  A great example and a real life motivation for the younger generation to reach their own goals.


Lyudmila Kupriyanova

This article is one more page in Adyghe State University portfolio, dedicated to our teachers, graduates and students, their successes and dreams, hopes and achievements. They are a living testament to the quality of education we provide, an integral part of our history, our past, present and future.

Welcome to another story, another ASU Face – Lyudmila Kupriyanova, an English teacher in a local high school. Recently she became a laureate of the «Kuban Teacher of the Year – 2020» on the municipal level. Our graduate will represent her district at the regional contest in February.

Lyudmila took up teaching more than fifteen years ago, after graduating ASU Foreign Languages Department. Today we discussed her dreams, hopes, favorite teachers and contemporary educational issues:

 - Why did you decide to participate in the contest?

- The headmaster of my school and a long-time colleague of mine motivated me to do that.

- Tell us more about the contest. What was it like? What do you need to do now?

- The contest had three stages. First, every participant gives a lesson in the presence of specially appointed committee who evaluate it according to their criteria. Those teachers who pass it organize an extracurricular event for their students. I had a training seminar for my fifth graders, where we discussed the importance of saying “no”, responding to peer pressure and value of personal opinions and beliefs. Only five participants enter the regional “Teacher of the Year” competition. It takes place in Krasnodar every year. Now I need to prove my worth competing with forty-four teacher representatives from all over the region.

- What memories have you got of ASU?

- The best and warmest ones, I think. I had the time of my life there. There I had the honor of meeting my mentor – Zara Shadzhe. For me she was the perfect example of everything a teacher ought to be.

- Do you keep in touch with your former teachers?

- When I was a student Susanna Bedanokova was our Dean. Our amazing teachers: Aza Tikhonova, Nuriet Yagumova, Lyudmila Kovalskaya, Svetlana Sasina – contributed to our education on a large scale. Everything I know about German I learned from Valentina Kovaleva, a strict teacher and a wonderful person.

My fellow student Susanna Makerova is now a professor with a PhD, teaching at our Department. Viktoria Dedenko, a student of my own, is a first year student there as well.

- Did you think of yourself as a teacher? When did languages become an interest?

- No, I didn’t consider teaching at first. English wasn’t my strongest suit either. However, when I started to think about my professional prospects I attended Professional Day at ASU, got a glimpse of what it was like, studying here, at the department, and didn’t want to go anywhere else. Since that day English language took up every moment of my spare time.  

- Today high school students have to pass state exams to go to a university. What do you think of this arrangement?

- We didn’t have this system when I was a high school graduate. We had two language exams – Speaking and written translation, or just Speaking, if you were a straight “A” student. State Exams system has both advantages and drawbacks. One of the first is an opportunity to choose a number of universities all over the country, not just one, after passing exams at your school as well. Although I didn’t go through the state exams routine in my time, I do this every year with my students.

-From this year on, state English exam will be compulsory in a number of regions. What is the point in that? What are the advantages and faults, if any?

- Personally, I see nothing wrong with that. It’s hardly a secret that today learning foreign languages is a necessity, and not one we should ignore. Prospects of overseas work and travel are motivation enough. Ways of teaching it are an entirely different matter. Unfortunately a great number of rural schools are not equipped to provide sufficient language learning. Combined with a lack of specialists, it results in motivational disparity. I teach my students to welcome every experience with positivity.

- What can you say about another launch – electronic school registers?

- The idea of it means progress. But the implementation often results in mounts of paperwork, reports, programs, directives and robs us of all the spare time we have.

- Are you a homeroom teacher? If so what do think of the new policy of financial incentives recently announced by the President?

- I’m a homeroom teacher for the seventh graders. It’s not an easy job. It’s not just one child with issues and problems, but thirty. Children grow, so do their problems, and it’s my duty to guide them every step of the way. Sometimes having parents is not enough. So as any teacher I’m very pleased with this turn of events.

- Does ASU provide its students with sufficient professional knowledge in your opinion? Did you spend a lot of time learning what you need on your own?

- I believe that I had to put my professional knowledge to the test on multiple occasions. My alma mater gave me the best of everything. Of course I do what I can to ensure my professional growth and self-improvement in teenage psychology, teaching, language skills.

- Tell us about your plans. Is there anything you’d like to do?

- I have both plans and dreams. Travelling is one of them. There are a lot of places I’d like to see. I can say that my plans are made, and I believe they will one day come true.

We wish our former graduate – now a wonderful teacher – good luck and the best of everything. 


Alexander Poddubny

Today’s ASU Face is our former graduate, Alexander Poddubny, PhD in Economics, currently a Chief Engineer with cloud technology deployment and automatization company in Silicon Valley, USA.

Tell us a bit about your days as ASU student. What was it like?

It was nothing unusual. I wasn’t a brilliant student – above average, my grades were good, but not at the top of my class. However, I’d like to mention that I acquired two very valuable skills at the university: how to finish what I’ve started and the second, most important one – how to learn. Not just at the university but throughout our lives. We learn something new every day, and I can say that after – what? – thirteen years, I’m still learning: taking different courses, improving the skills necessary in my field of research. To do that I still use the knowledge I acquired at the university. For example, some machine learning algorithms – I’ve never thought I’d need to use them again, to be honest, but today it’s becoming a reality. The world is moving towards artificial intelligence (AI) and I’m learning the algorithms and the principles – but as it turns out, I’m already familiar with the basics through my university education.  

What I couldn’t learn at the university was English, and it’s still not quite what I want it to be, so you guys need to focus on that, especially those departments where they learn technical stuff. For me it was horrible at first, because I forgot everything the day after I completed the course.

It usually happens like this. What do remember most, then? What is your favorite memory?

My favorite memory is in fact about an exam we had. It had been in a form a test we needed to pass. We knew the app our teacher was going to use but it was password protected. So I’ve developed an app that just brute forced the password. We needed it to know what the answers were. Of course we could’ve taken the long road and learned the whole course, but laziness is every student’s trademark, and we were no exception. Everything boils to the couple of nights before, as usual. It took my program a while to brute force the password – eight hours or so – but it did the job. In the morning when I woke up, the app was open and we knew the answers. We had a couple days to memorize them. This is how we passed the exam – not everyone, just two or three people. 

What is it that you do exactly? Could you tell us a little about your job?

Currently I’m working for a company that provides data analytics software databases to big companies and corporations like Sberbank and Telecom – the top 500, I would say. You can imagine how many transactions Sberbank has, or any telecom company – huge amounts of data that are collected every day. My company’s focus right now is on the ways of analyzing this data, not just storing it. Modern approach to run applications in order to analyze data or do anything else with it is to deploy these apps into the cloud, virtualizing computer resources. And that’s my job. My team is developing a cloud platform by means of which every customer of ours could deploy, run and share their apps or scripts within seconds. I’m working with deployment and verification tests.

Have you got goals or dreams, professional or personal? What do you want to do with your life?

That’s an interesting question. I definitely want to be happy and to do everything that is required for that. Right now I’m kind of happy so it means I’m doing everything right. I have a number of projects, and would like to have time for more, but I don’t. One of the projects is my career and the work I do, which is going well.  I can say that I’m successful and I continue to grow, professionally, learning new stuff. I’m working in Silicon Valley right now, and this place brings a special mindset with it. Every day I come across different startups and ideas for them. I have a few of my own – I just need more time to think them through, and with a full time job, a family and a house to keep, time becomes a rare commodity.

Another project, or rather a direction is – I’d like to publish more articles. I have a PhD in Economics and I’d like to continue developing in that area as well.  I have a couple of ideas in the field of economic research, but right now they have lower priority than everything else. I just want to be well prepared for the future in all spheres of my life.

If you had a choice to do something else, something very different from programming, what would it be?

I’m sure that I’m on the right track, professionally, and I’m pretty happy with it all. But if things were to turn out differently, and Computer Science hadn’t been a choice, I would go for science per se, may be something connected to Economics, Medicine or even religion, in this precise order. These topics fascinate me, scientifically speaking.

If we go back to your university days, what was the best piece of advice you heard?

I can’t really remember any actual advice, it was a while ago. What I do remember is that the subjects we paid little to no attention at the university turned out to be the most important ones in real life, at least for me. It means that students should try to focus on every topic equally, because you never know just what might be useful.

What is your motto, if you have one?

The best what I can come with is: “Work hard and you will be rewarded”.

My last question is a situational one. Imagine that you are seventeen again. Fresh out of school, just got admitted to ASU, with your whole life ahead of you. The catch is that you kept your experience and at least some of your memories. My question is this: Would you make the same choices, do the same things and befriend the same people?

If I could be sixteen all over again – because that was when I got admitted to the university – I wouldn’t change a thing. Of course I made some mistakes but they weren’t critical. I should’ve certainly focused on my studies more than I had but in general I would go the same way. I’d do my best to have more friends, because I realize now how important communications are in our lives and that it’s nothing to be afraid of. And of course I would focus on my English right from the start. Since I didn’t make any crucial mistakes I wouldn’t really try to change anything because if I do, I wouldn’t know what to expect and the future would once again be unpredictable.