Marina Balina's research involves Soviet children's literature, particularly fairy tales. In recognition of her teaching and scholarship, she was appointed to the Isaac Funk Professorship in 2007.
Your hometown? St. Petersburg, Russia
Alma mater? I have several: St. Petersburg State University, Russia; St. Petersburg Pedagogical University, Russia; Potsdam Pedagogical University, Germany.
Why Wesleyan? I enjoy teaching at a liberal arts college where I can combine both my interests: language pedagogy and studies in literature and culture.
Your teaching? I am teaching all levels of Russian language, as well as numerous courses in Russian literature and culture in translation. 
Favorite students? I believe I am lucky: students who take Russian are serious and dedicated learners of language and literature. They know that they need to go an extra mile to master Russian and as a rule, they never hesitate to do that.
Biggest thrill? In teaching language, it is the end of the third semester when I see students who I introduced to the Russian ABC’s be able to communicate and perform creative assignments.
For fun? I play piano, read, and I love to travel.
The best? Starbucks chocolate croissant
Favorite book? Leo Tolstoy—Anna Karenina
Favorite music group? Kronos Quartet
Favorite quote? A Yiddish proverb: “God, don’t bring me too high, and don’t drop me too low.” 
Marina Balina
Russian Studies is one of six programs offered in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures. In today's global society, knowledge of languages and cultures is increasingly important in business, industry, and the professions.

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