Ivan Alexandrov, Class of '11
Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering Technology
Graduate student in electrical engineering, Polytechnic Institute of New York University
More than 6,500 miles separate Novosibirsk, Siberia from New York City. So how did Ivan Alexandrov find Vaughn College anyway?
"When I first came here I didn't know any colleges at all; I didn't know where to look or go," Alexandrov recalled. "I was directed to Vaughn College by an admissions counselor at another college who thought Vaughn would be a good fit. I looked at the website, came for a visit and really liked the program.
"I am very satisfied with my decision and the value of my Vaughn degree."
Born in Arkhangelsk, on the White Sea in northern Russia, and raised in Novosibirk, 2,200 miles east of Moscow, Alexandrov moved to Brooklyn when his father, an American citizen, was transferred to New York. The move came right after he completed his associate degree at a college in Siberia, leaving him little time to find a New York City bachelor's program.
One visit to Vaughn convinced him that this was the perfect landing spot.
"Vaughn honored my Russian transcript and the programs I had taken in Russia," Alexandrov said in near-perfect English. "You could tell there was a personal touch here. Everyone was so helpful."
Always scientifically inclined, Alexandrov was right at home in Novosibirsk, the tech capital of modern Russian. That preparation served him well at Vaughn, where he graduated cum laude with a prestigious Casey S. Jones Award in electronic engineering technology. After graduation he was hired by the structural engineering firm Wexler Associates in Manhattan. As of 2011, he still works there while pursuing a master's degree in electrical engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.
Vaughn prepared him well, he said, for the challenges of graduate school.
"Earning my bachelor's from Vaughn helped me a lot," he said. "The electronic engineering program has a lot of parallels to the electrical engineering degree I am pursuing now."
With a bachelor's and master's earned in America, Alexandrov would be in high demand back in Siberia. But he's an American and a New Yorker now; if he returns it will only be for a vacation.
"It's beautiful in Siberia," Alexandrov said. "But the winter starts in October and the snow doesn't go away until April. The amount of snow is crazy."