LEAP founder Slava Lubomudrov retires

By By H. Rachelle Graham

By H. Rachelle Graham

Although long-time political science Professor and Associate Dean Slava Lubomudrov is retiring, he will now have an opportunity to pursue his new love of studying the environment.

In his 35 years at the U, Lubomudrov started two important programs: LEAP, a freshman cohort program designed to help first year students to have a smooth transition from high school to college, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, a program that allows students do research experiments.

Lubomudrov taught Soviet Union Politics until 1990. When the Berlin wall came down, he started teaching Russian politics.

His study was not surprising, due to where he was born. Lubomudrov was born in Kiev in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. During WWII, Lubomudrov and his parents were detained in Nazi concentration camps in Ukraine and Austria. After the war, his family contacted his aunt and moved to America. He received his political science doctorate at Indiana University in 1972.

Lubomudrov believes in treating students with dignity, respect, and in giving them latitude to make choices.

“I believe people are innately good. I do not hold grudges against the Germans,” Lubomudrov said. “My service at the U has been my way of giving back to the people who have helped me get where I am today.”

The retiring professor has had a strong influence on many of his students. Matt Homer, a student intern at the U, said that many instructors discourage students from entering certain fields-but not Lubomudrov; he motivates students to reach their goals.

This summer after he retires, Lubomudrov is moving near an Indian reservation outside of St. George to study the environment. He will be leaving the U at the end of June.

He also hopes to travel to Siberia, near the largest fresh water lake in the World-Lake Baikal. According to Lubomudrov, more than 1,000 plants and animals live in this lake that do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Although Lubomudrov is looking forward to his new career, he is sad to leave.

“I loved it here at the U. I could stay another 10 years,” Lubomudrov said.

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