Avital Agafonova is the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at LCC International University. She has been a part of the LCC community for quite some time, starting as a student and graduating with a BA in International Business Administration and Management and now, as an employee since 2016. Starting as an Academic Division Assistant, led by curiosity and interest in various aspects of life, Avital reflects on her experience at LCC from different perspectives, the joy of learning new things, and continuous development in her roles.
A person that is interested in everything, a constant student. This is how Avital describes herself. Every year makes her more curious in life, and precision with attentiveness to details seem to go hand in hand in her everyday life. “The older I get, the more curious I become. I guess it’s a sign of loving life,” says Avital. Reminiscing on her years at LCC, the excitement comes naturally. “I felt a part of LCC long before I became a student, as my sister was studying here.” Fascinated by the fact that a liberal arts education gives increased opportunities to learn about life from different perspectives, and the desire to learn new things, have opened a new chapter for her professional growth.
During the time being a student at LCC, Avital remembers a few influential professors, who left a great impression on her educational development, as well as her hearty involvement in many extracurricular activities. “Dr. David Skeen, who was a psychology professor back then, had an influential manner of teaching that made all the classes very enjoyable. He set an example as a real servant leader.” “Throughout four years of my studies, I also enjoyed Dr. Andrew Kaethler’s classes. He was my First-Year Seminar Leader and all the students looked up to him.” Avital was a very active student, following the example of the environment she was surrounded by at LCC. She acted as an Intercultural Program Leader in her second year, and in her fourth year as a Community Multicultural Awareness Program Leader, while even finding time to work at the reception desk and in HR at LCC.
Before starting her journey as an employee at LCC, Avital was working as a personnel manager at a recruitment company in Klaipeda. The experience that she gained during those five years of working and building her professional expertise, prepared Avital for an exciting transition to LCC. “I was nostalgic about LCC, the culture, the people, about everything,” she said. Working as an Academic Division Assistant broadened Avital’s horizons and helped her reach new heights in the educational field. “It was interesting to me because I was always learning something new, and was able to get to know all of the faculty members. Some of my responsibilities were keeping track of the administrative parts of academics, providing help to department chairs, faculty, and the Vice President for Academics, organizing the graduation and convocation ceremonies, and many different projects.” In the fourth year as an Academic Division Assistant, Avital realized it was time to take the next step in professional growth and express herself in a new way, and serve LCC in other functions.
Now, as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Avital is LCC’s representative and a spokesperson to the Ministry of Education and other official institutions related to education and research. She is also working on the program and institutional accreditation, as well as helping with external reporting. “This role brings new, exciting challenges. Not only am I privileged to take part in the events with respected officials and scholars which gives me a chance to use the official Lithuanian language, but also I am getting more and more familiar with the whole Lithuanian education system,” she commented. “My Master’s degree is in Administrative Law, and I enjoy this opportunity to use the knowledge I had gained from studying in my MA degree, within my current position at LCC.”
Besides being a busy-bee at work, in her free time, Avital likes all things craft-related. She draws, she likes to be creative with clay, she likes to read, moves to the beat of Zumba, and goes on long bike rides together with her husband. “I always try to get involved in some extra activities and think of side projects that could benefit LCC and me as well,” said Avital.
Although these days it is quite hard to think about the future and make plans, Avital keeps a positive attitude. “I would like to grow in my current role at LCC, to develop as a professional, and contribute as many great things to LCC as I can. From the personal side, I want to stay true to myself, stay interested in life, and never stop learning.”