Nelly Porseva, Long-term CIF Teacher, Wins Prestigious FutureLearn Scholarship

February 14, 2022
Masako Toki

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Critical Issues Forum is working with dedicated and creative educators who are committed to making the world a safer and better place. CIF is a nonproliferation and disarmament education project for American, Russian, and Japanese high school students and teachers that is facilitated by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). These teachers and students are important partners of CNS, which aims to raise the next generation of nonproliferation specialists.

HeadshotAbout Nelly Porseva

Nelly Porseva is a long-term CIF high school teacher at Gymnasia No. 164 in Zelenogorsk, Russia, one of Russia’s closed nuclear cities. Nelly continues to inspire her students and other CIF participants through peace and disarmament education.

Recently, Nelly was awarded the prestigious FutureLearn Scholarship, becoming one of only four winners out of more than 10,000 applicants. The FutureLearn Scholarship is a competition that encourages applicants to propose creative and innovative solutions in the fields of technology, mental health, teaching, and sustainability. Nelly is the winner in the field of teaching and will receive £4,000 of free learning on FutureLearn and The Open University, £1,000 for home study, specialist learning tools, or equipment, and 8 hours of world-class mentorship and coaching from leading industry experts.

Nelly shared her excitement about the award and her passion to further develop peace education:

“As a high school teacher who is very passionate about creating a more peaceful world through innovative education, I have been always seeking new opportunities for both teachers and students.”

“While drafting the FutureLearn Scholarship contest essay, I analyzed my experience and chose nonproliferation and disarmament education as the main focus of my essay. It was a great opportunity for me to stop and look back at what has been done and I felt extremely privileged to be able to teach these issues to my students, as this kind of knowledge enables my students to have a broader outlook and to be proactive to the life around them.”

The Critical Issues Forum (CIF)

Nelly also described how CIF impacted her application and teaching.

“CIF has been crucial to my formation as a teacher. As I wrote in my contest essay, being a citizen of an official nuclear-weapon state can be frustrating, especially for a teacher whose goal is to enable students to succeed in their future. It’s difficult to do it if their future is uncertain, and lacking hope to live in a more peaceful world. But I am strongly convinced that education is the most powerful tool to make the world safer and more peaceful. The earlier we start teaching children to avoid conflicts and war, to prefer communication to confrontation, to see humans in everybody around you, the more chance we will all have faith in humanity in general and in our future itself. I encourage my students to develop critical thinking skills, and sincerely hope that they grow into individuals who can contribute to peace and security of the world as CIF purpose states. I am so looking forward to seeing my students changing the world with their creative and innovative visions and leadership that this Scholarship can contribute.”

The Critical Issues Forum is very proud of Nelly’s incredible accomplishments as an educator and is looking forward to further collaboration with her school through the CIF project and beyond.

View more information about the scholarship winners and the Critical Issues Forum.

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