Ferrum News

Ferrum Professor Named Best in Region


Ferrum Professor Named Best in Region

Sasha Saari wins “Platinum” in Roanoker Magazine Survey

Ferrum, Va. (June 20, 2011) – Sasha Saari,  Ferrum College Associate Professor of Russian, has been named the best teacher in the region by readers of the Roanoker magazine.   Saari won first place, or Platinum, in the magazine’s annual

“Best of Roanoke” edition.

The magazine quotes John Bruton, Dean of the Ferrum College School of Arts and Sciences as saying, “There is nothing simple about learning to speak and read Russian, but she has found a way to make the experience enjoyable as well as intellectually stimulating.”

Saari has been a favorite of Ferrum students for over thirty years.  In addition to Russian language classes, she teaches Russian literature and culture and also serves as Ferrum’s Director of International Programs. 

Saari pioneered a popular exchange program with Pskov Pedagogical Institute in Pskov, Russia that brings students from Pskov to the Ferrum campus. In return, Ferrum students take advantage of internships and study abroad opportunities in Pskov, including participation in specially designed classes at the Institute, and work in orphanages and on restoration projects.  Ferrum College also offers an e-term trip to Russia during the month of May, which allows students to immerse themselves in Russian culture.

Before joining Ferrum College, Saari served for two years in the Peace Corps in Kenya.  Prior to that she worked for the United States government, serving two “tours of duty” in the former Soviet Union.  Saari received the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) Outstanding Faculty Award in 1990, and in 1987 the Foreign Language Association of Virginia’s Outstanding Foreign Language Teacher of the Year award.

“Sasha Saari is a perfect example of the dedication our faculty have to our students,” said Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten.  “Students have always appreciated her support, enthusiasm and ability to teach a difficult subject.  How wonderful that she has received this public recognition as well.”

Complete coverage can be found in the May/June edition of the Roanoker.

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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's degree programs at a cost well below the national average for private colleges.