Ukrainian ENMU education student aspires to open English school for orphans in rural areas of her home country


Elina Tsalyn is majoring in early childhood education with a Junior Kindergarten 3 license at Eastern New Mexico University and plans to teach at an elementary school after graduating in the fall of 2022.

Elina was born and raised in Ukraine, where she lived with her mother and three brothers until 2015 when she moved to the United States to work as an au pair. She lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Seattle, Washington, before moving to Portales, New Mexico, when she transferred to ENMU.

The university caught Elina’s attention because of the affordability and quality of the education program. She adds, “After living in Seattle for four years, I also wanted to move somewhere with as little rain as possible, and New Mexico seemed like a great choice.”

She enjoys life as a greyhound and appreciates how “everyone is friendly and welcoming at ENMU”.

The senior says all of the teachers she has had at Eastern have been “very supportive”, especially Dr. Cindy Benge, assistant professor of reading. “Dr. Benge went out of his way to make me feel welcome in his class,” says Elina. “From the first day of class it was obvious how much she cared about the success of her students. She showed so much compassion and kindness to me and really inspired me to continue my journey to become a teacher. . “

When asked what inspired her choice of specialization, Elina said she “has always enjoyed working with children, first as a volunteer in an orphanage in Ukraine, then as a teacher at preschool in Seattle, and would love to start teaching at an elementary school level. “

She continues, “I look forward to having a classroom full of curious little minds that I can hopefully inspire and empower. The causes I am most passionate about are fairness and equality, and I want to make sure that every child in my class learns to appreciate their differences and feels valued. “

Elina also dreams of opening an English school for orphans in small towns in Ukraine. She explains: “The orphanage where I volunteered did not have many opportunities for the children to learn and practice English, and I would like to make sure that they are not left behind. side.

She makes the most of her time at ENMU to achieve her goals: Elina is vice president of Educators Rising, a student organization for future educators, and has worked at the Golden Student Success Center (GSSC), her favorite building on the campus. , since January 2021. She started her role as additional lecturer (IS) at the start of the fall 2021 session.

The Dean’s List laureate is the recipient of several ENMU Foundation scholarships and has received a tuition waiver from international students.

The class that has stood out the most for Elina so far is Technology for the Classroom. She says, “I didn’t have the opportunity to use a lot of technology when I was in school in Ukraine, and I love to learn about all the new devices and apps that I can bring into my classroom for the future. make it more fun and interactive for the students. “

She offers advice to students interested in pursuing a study in education: “The biggest advice I would give is to make sure that teaching is what you really want to do. Our children deserve to have educators who genuinely care about their success and will ensure that every student receives a good quality education. Not doing your best is a disservice to students, their parents, and the community. Teaching can be quite stressful at times, but seeing kids have those “haha!” “Times when they finally realize that a concept they were struggling with is worth it.”

Elina’s hobbies include staying active, such as biking, hiking, rock climbing, and the gym. She was boxing in Seattle and hopes to continue her training at Portales. On calm days, she enjoys listening to music, reading and crocheting. She also enjoys traveling but has not been able to take any trips lately due to the pandemic.

elina tsalyn by cascade


Sylvester L. Goldfarb