After more than a decade being visited by our friends and family right here at, SPAN will soon have a new home on the web at:

Already some of the content from the existing "" site has migrated to the new location and the URL of: but our move is still underway, so please bear with. We ask for your patience and understanding (and help if you are web savvy) in completing this transition. Below please take a peek at who will be taking SPAN students across the pond this coming summer 2015.  

Destination 2015: Armenia & Georgia

Artyom Tonoyan headshot 
Faculty advisor: Artyom Tonoyan, Ph.D., currently serves as research associate at East View Information Services (EVIS), a Minneapolis-based research and information firm specializing in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Tonoyan directs a project for EVIS which focuses on election politics in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, and Georgia. He earned his Ph.D. in Religion, Politics & Society from Baylor University in 2012. Having lived in Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and now the United States, he is fluent in five languages. Tonoyan feels equally at home in the countries mentioned where he maintains personal and professional contacts.

Contact Professor Tonoyan at:


Phone: Office 952-252-4557 | Cell 254-722-4282  

Destination: Germany and Berlin

Germany co-advisors - The Andersons

Faculty advisor: Gordon Anderson, M.L.S., is the University of Minnesota librarian for European Studies. Fluent in German and at home in several other European languages, Anderson has worked in cross-disciplinary studies and library research for more than 30 years. He holds masters degrees in Russian and East European Studies, International Relations, and Library Science. He specializes in research methods and reference assistance.

Faculty co-advisor: Dorothea Anderson is a musician with an MFA degree in piano; she holds a B.S. degree in education. Anderson has been a copy editor for the University of North Carolina Press and University Press of Kansas. Like her husband, she speaks German fluently and has traveled to Europe frequently.

Contact Professors Anderson at:


Phone: Office 612-625-8161      

Advisor Application and Responsibilities

SPAN faculty advisor applicants are first interviewed by SPAN staff/volunteers, then are hired as Summer Session Teaching Specialists or Lecturers through the University of Minnesota Employment Web site. When you have been approved by SPAN, you will be given a current requisition number to use on the employment site.

Please send the following items to 

1. Resume/C.V. Including:

a. Educational Background

b. Teaching Experience

c. Languages studied (please indicate proficiency level)

d. Advising Experience

e. Professional organizations

f. Non-academic employment record

g. Community activities and other organizations

2. Written Statement

Statements should address the following questions in enough detail so that the selction committee may gain a sense of your intent and your advising abilities:

a. Why are you applying to become a SPAN advisor?

b. Why are you recommending the country you are proposing?

c. What experience have you developed in the proposed country?

d. What contacts have you developed in the proposed country?

e. How do you plan to recruit students for this proposed country?

3. Brief Promotional Paragraph for Proposed Country

Entice students to visit your proposed destination as a researcher.  Include any language requirement as well as potential projects and interesting current events regarding politics, religion, science etc. (1-2 paragraphs)

 Qualifications of an Advisor

- Minimum of a Master's Degree (Ph.D. is desirable)

- Considerable knowledge and travel within the country proposed

- Experience counseling, advising, and teaching students 

The Advising Experience

The SPAN setting is unlike the ordinary classroom. The advisor has unique responsibilities to the program as well as the students. S/he should always remember that SPAN is a student program and whenever possible, students should initiate, plan, and carry out many of the activities. The advisor should assist students in developing skills and attitudes to enable them to take responsibility for themselves and their own learning.  It is important for the advisor to be enthusiastic about his/her chosen destination so that s/he may pass that enthusiasm on to the students.

For more information about the role of advisors please contact the SPAN office at 612-626-1083 or U of M Professor Theofanis Stavrou at 612-624-5734.

The Preparation Year--Group Meetings

The period of preparation before going abroad is the most difficult, and in many ways, the most important, for both the students and the advisor. SPAN prides itself on the rigorous training it requires of students before going abroad -- approximately 40 hours of outbound education. The most successful groups are those whose students have contact with the advisor prior to the group's first meeting. Recruitment is most successful among students the advisor teaches, advises, or otherwise has regular contact with. The SPAN office will publicize the 2010 destinations through posters, classroom visits, and emails, but it is the advisor's responsibility to create a viable group. 

The advisor supervises the group's preparation which begins mid-fall and ends the following May. The meetings should help the students learn about the country, its customs, history, geography, art, literature, languages, politics, economy and people. These group meetings should also help students refine their projects and begin their research, make travel arrangements including transportation and housing abroad, establish contacts or methods of contacting people in-country, become acquainted with one another and the advisor. 

Group meeting times and locations are decided by the advisor and the students jointly; it is highly recommended that groups meet at least twice per month for a minimum or two to three hours per meeting. 

Summer Abroad

Advisors are expected to remain with the students in-country for a minimum of eight weeks. The SPAN advisor is not considered a chaperone and is not responsible for the personal conduct of the SPANners. The advisor is expected to be available to assist students with questions about their projects and trouble-shoot when necessary.  

Return Year

Advisors are expected back in the United States at the beginning of the fall term to participate in the second year SPAN business and to supervise the progress and completion of the students' projects. The advisor should establish a schedule for progress on the projects and meet with the group every four to six weeks until the due date of the SPAN paper.  SPAN sets specific deadlines for the progress of research projects; however, the advisor may find it beneficial to add dates to encourage students' progress.