By Bina Davidson on behalf of Features Staff
Each month, the YU Observer aims to highlight a YU faculty member. For the September edition, the YU Observer is highlighting Professor Dina Shvetsov.
Name: Dina Shvetsov
Department: The Sociology Department at Stern College
I have Masters degrees from Brandeis University and The New School for Social Research. I’m in the process of getting a PhD in Political Science at the moment.
Hometown: Ryazan (USSR, now Russia.)
How long have you worked at YU?: Since Spring 2019
What got you passionate about your field?: I studied a few social sciences, so I don’t always distinguish among them, particularly when it comes to the disciplinary origins of ideas. When I began my university education in Russia in the early 2000s, sociology and political science were the new and “trendy” disciplines. In the public imagination they were connected to the democratization and liberalization of the Russian society, for which so many people had high hopes. But with years and especially after I moved to the U.S, I understood that the project of social sciences is much broader, and seeks to answer universal questions whose importance transcends the concerns of just one society.
What do you like about working at YU?: The students. They are very intelligent and often get excited about learning.
How has COVID/Zoom affected the way your classes function?: I am trying a mixed (synchronous/asynchronous) format in one of my classes. There, I am trying a few different formats of the delivery of the course material. I’d like to think of this semester as an opportunity to extend the [repertoire] of my teaching tools. I do miss teaching in person though.
If you could bring in any guest lecturer, alive or deceased, who would it be, and what would they speak about?: Charles Tilly. I think he made a very important contribution into historical sociology and political sociology.
Do you have any advice for students interested in a career in your field?: My own progress became much faster and easier when I met an inspiring and attentive academic advisor. So, my advice is to seek good mentors.
What is one thing you want students to know about you?: I was absolutely fascinated and inspired by Stern’s students’ resilience and the grace with which they managed to navigate studying during the first months of COVID-19 crisis.
Is there a YU professor you admire who you would like to see highlighted in future editions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.