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L-R: Michelle Robertson, Yulia Alexandrovna Petrovskaya, and Tom Morgan.

L-R: Michelle Robertson, Yulia Alexandrovna Petrovskaya, and Tom Morgan.

A group of visitors from Duluth's sister city of Petrozavodsk, Russia, enjoyed a scenic sunrise breakfast at the College's Somers Lounge on Thursday.

The event was a wrap-up of sorts for the physicians and social work professionals who came to Duluth as part of the U.S. State Department's grant-funded U.S.-Russia Peer-to-Peer Dialogue initiative. The nine-day visit was sponsored by Duluth Sister Cities International.

St. Scholastica faculty members, through translator Tom Morgan, who directs the Alworth Center for the Study of Peace and Justice, expressed hope for the program's future growth.

"It is a wonderful place to share ideas," said Rondell Berkeland, dean of the School of Health Sciences. "Thank you so much for sharing your valuable time with us."

The purpose of the exchange is to share best practices in social work between the United States and Russia. A delegation of Americans visited Petrozavodsk in October, and the group from Russia came to the U.S. on Nov. 26. During their time in Duluth, they met with local professionals to discuss how to make progress on universal issues such as child abuse, gender-based violence and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

After the breakfast and discussion, the group visited St. Scholastica social work classes. The peer-to-peer dialogue program also includes a series of video teleconferences between the two delegations and student exchanges to occur next spring.