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Returning Fulbright Scholar Relates Her Experiences
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Returning Fulbright Scholar Relates Her Experiences

As the first Fulbright Scholar in almost forty years at Notre Dame College, Natalie Trotch Strouse, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Accounting, received considerable interest as she spoke about her experiences as a guest lecturer at the Ternopil Academy of National Economy in Ternopil, Ukraine.

The lecture, sponsored by the Clara Fritzsche Library, drew an audience of Notre Dame faculty, staff and administrators along with alumni, students and local residents. The talk was more than a mere travelogue as Strouse spoke on teaching methods and contrasted the American educational system with that in Ukraine. Audience members were surprised to hear that Ukrainian students always dress professionally and must take an average of 10-12 courses per semester. Also, their school day starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends around 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Strouse is the first faculty member from Notre Dame College to win this prestigious award since Sr. Mary Cesarie Miday, SND ‘31 spent the 1967 – 1968 academic year in France. Her involvement with the Fulbright program began after seeing an application in the Notre Dame College faculty lounge. She decided to complete it, submit it and see what happened. Much to her surprise, her cultural background and fluency in the Ukrainian language, plus her record of academic excellence while at Notre Dame, led to her being selected for the honor.

She began her assignment in Ukraine in September 2006, teaching financial and managerial accounting to upper level students. These courses were designed to provide Ukrainian students not only with the necessary tools to open a business or improve the profitability of an existing company, but also to protect a firm from corrupt or unethical behavior.

A certified public accountant with almost 20 years of experience in business, Strouse has an M.B.A. from Cleveland State University. She has worked for both a large public company and a smaller private firm and has had responsibility for all phases of financial management. She taught accounting as an adjunct faculty member at several institutions before accepting a fulltime position at Notre Dame College in 2001. In addition to her duties as chair of the Business Department, Strouse also serves on the College’s Educational Policy and Planning Committee.

In conjunction with her lecture, the library hosted a display of Ukrainian textiles entitled “Tree of Life.” The exhibit, co-sponsored by the Ukrainian Museum Archives of Cleveland, came from the private collection of its curator, Danylo Dmytrykiw. The ritual cloths (rushnyky) and other coverings originated in the area of Central Ukraine (present-day Poltava, Kyiv and Chernihiv Oblasts) and provided unique examples of original embroidered textiles dating from the mid-19th to early-20th century depicting the “Tree of Life” motif.

Karen Zoller is the director of the Clara Fritzsche Library.