Dr. Andre Avramchuk emigrated to America with almost nothing but the clothes on his back. He did not have any job prospects, family to reunite with, or ability to speak English. “Persevering through first-generation immigration nightmares, subhuman treatment due to language barriers, minimum- or no-wage jobs, and other sorts of adversity is not foreign to me,” he tells us.
While he could have let the setbacks define him, Andre instead allowed his experiences to better prepare him for a career in management and then a Management Professor's role at the CBE. Taking immense pride in “being able to ‘meet’ and help students where they are, rather than talking over their heads,” it is no surprise that Andre is a third-generation teacher. “The professor’s ‘bug’ has always been in my blood,” he exclaims.
In fact, “I got in trouble in elementary school for grading my own homework. They called my parents into the principal’s office only to find out that I just wanted to be a teacher so badly,” Andre recollects. “Life sometimes takes us through long and thorny detours, but if you have a dream and work hard on it, you increase the chances of it coming true.”
Having joined the CBE in 2012, “being in the classroom and co-creating learning experiences” still remains the best part of the job for Dr. Avramchuk. For him, the one-on-one mentoring is where he gets rewarded the most by changing someone’s life.
It is then that he is able to encourage students to remember Lao Tzu’s adage, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished,” and focus less on short-term issues like grades and more on "what matters long term – compassion for others, high standards for themselves, and the relentless curiosity and resourcefulness in pursuit of knowledge."