Cabrini welcomes Russian native

By Kristen Catalanotto
November 6, 2003

Viacheslav Borisenko

Beneath his Russian accent and salt-and-pepper mustache lies the story of a public safety officer who has seen and done things most of us have only caught a glimpse of on the nightly news.

Viacheslav Borisenko, otherwise known as Slava, was born and raised in the former Soviet Union. For a short time, Borisenko followed in his father’s footsteps and studied to be a television technical engineer. He became discouraged after his father passed away and dropped out. When he was 20 years old, he entered the Russian Army to complete his required two years of service, which every male resident in the country had to serve.

The two years turned into a career in the military. His true passion for the study of language was discovered when he entered a military school, the Institute of Foreign Languages for the Departement of Defense, in the Soviet Union. Borisenko studied the Persian language intensely for one year.

Once he successfully completed the program, he was then quickly shipped off to Afghanistan on Aug. 4, 1980. While serving in Afghanistan, Borisenko and his fellow 22 interpreters faced the dangers of living in a country torn apart by war. “We would be riding in a helicopter to a site and hear the shots hitting the helicopter.”

He received the rank of major in 1993 while serving in the West Sahara. He retired from the Russian Army in 1995 due to the poor pay. “For two months of work, I was being paid only $70.”

The thought of moving to the United States happened when his wife suffered a bad break to her leg and could not be properly treated in Moscow. His wife was extended the offer to become a permanent resident of the U. S. because her daughter is a citizen and petitioned for her to move. Borisenko could only come to the country on a student visa.

His step-daughter sent him information on Cabrini’s graduate program and he fell in love with the opportunity of getting a master’s degree in instructional design. Borisenko enjoys working with computers in order to enhance the educational experience. “I was planning to work as an educator. Tthis program gives you vast opportunities, so that you can combine computers and educational trends.”

Borisenko is the only international graduate student at Cabrini. “I couldn’t have expected a better acceptance,” Borisenko said.

Borisenko hopes to continue the success he has had thus far while at Cabrini, “I wish Cabrini to continue to be prosperous. If they were to get a Ph.D. program, I would be the first person to enlist!”

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

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Kristen Catalanotto

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