NOVA Fulbright Scholar to Receive Honorary Doctorate from Host Institution in Russia

Phillip Imel, associate accounting professor and a Fulbright Scholar who taught at Ural State University of Economics in Yekaterinburg, Russia, from September 2012 to June 2013, will be returning there to accept an honorary Doctor of Economics degree.

Professor Natalia Vlasova, the vice rector for international relations at the University, informed him of the honor. The decision to award the diploma was made by the University’s Academic Council. Imel and his wife will travel to the city of about 1.4 million residents in the Ural Mountains of central Russia, near Siberia, in June for the ceremony.

“Since my Fulbright experience, Russia has become my second home with Yekaterinburg and the Ural State University of Economics both holding a special place in my heart,” said Imel.

“We congratulate Phillip on this great honor, and thank him for all of his hard work and dedication,” said Celeste Dubeck-Smith, Annandale Business and Public Services Division dean.

Imel’s Fulbright project was titled “Comparative Analysis of the Russian and American Business Systems.” He taught three regular courses and several seminars at the university while performing research for a paper he presented at an international conference on global capital markets at the university.

He worked to introduce methods and techniques to the finance and accounting curricula at Ural State University to allow students to transfer their academic credentials to other countries. This came out of his experience meeting students at NOVA who were respected professionals in their home countries, but had to take remedial courses to qualify for positions in the U.S.

Imel and his wife also helped students planning to transfer to U.S. colleges prepare to take the ACT college readiness assessment test. He noted that Ural State University is more international than most Russian universities.

Imel attended Ashland Community College and Morehead State University in Kentucky and has done doctoral work at the University of Virginia. Prior to coming to NOVA, he taught at Southwest Virginia Community College where he had the opportunity to travel to Russia five times through a U.S. State Department exchange program with Russian universities.

In the process, he learned to speak Russian and says he fell in love with the country. “I enjoyed Yekaterinburg so much because it is near Siberia about a thousand miles from Moscow, and you are among the real true Russian people,” he said.

He added that it is much like the mountainous rural Kentucky where he grew up.