Highland Community College

Russian Student Makes Way to Highland

Russian Student Makes Way to Highland

Ivan Baida is like many guys who grew up having a dream of playing big-time basketball.  The only difference is that Baida grew up in Tver, Russia, where basketball is not a big sport.  To play big-time basketball, he knew he needed to come to America.  So, in junior high, he set his sights on coming to America and began learning English. He then convinced his parents and started looking on the Web for American community colleges that had a basketball team and a computer science program.  That’s all it took for him to arrive at Highland Community College ready to pursue his dream.

“I learned British English, so there is a little difference, but I hear the language better than I speak it,” said Baida, though Dr. Craig Mosher, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at the College notes that Baida is doing well communicating with his fellow students and instructors.  “He has an accent and sometimes has to think to get a word or phrase correctly, but there is no difficulty understanding him and he feels he is continuing to get better.”  He has already taken calculus, and Dr. Jeff Hurn, his mathematics instructor, noted there are differences in how Baida works a problem, but he gets to the correct answer.  Another difference is that he uses commas instead of periods to denote a decimal place.

Baida has yet to follow up on the major part of his dream – to play big-time basketball.  He understands his slight frame is not yet built for the rugged play of basketball on the collegiate level, but he will be visiting with Scottie coach Jerre Cole about the possibilities of playing.  Even if that part of the dream doesn’t work out, he has already accomplished an experience to last him a lifetime.

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