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Marketing professor brings a world of experience—and five college degrees—to her visiting year at Eckerd College

By Tom Zucco
Published February 14, 2024
Categories: Academics, Marketing

Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing Kristina Medvedeva (center) chats with her students Gavin Filmer ’25 and Ally Nielsen ’25. Photos by Penh Alicandro ’22

She has a fully stamped passport (her fourth), she speaks four languages, and she always carries a photo of her family with her when she travels. And she travels a lot.

A visiting assistant professor of marketing who is in the middle of her first year at Eckerd College, Kristina Medvedeva has five college degrees from three countries—two bachelor’s degrees from her native Russia, a Master of Arts degree from Germany, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. The degrees focused on North American studies, international business, marketing, and public relations. “People collect souvenirs from different countries,” Medvedeva says with a chuckle. “I collect degrees.”

And valuable information she plans to share with her students. Medvedeva did more than study during her trek across academia. At the same time, she worked in the marketing departments at DHL, the global delivery service, and at furniture and home goods giant IKEA. “I was the events and campaign manager at IKEA’s location in Nizhny Novgorod, which is in western Russia and where I grew up, ” she explains. “IKEA was my school of marketing. It was in 2009, just a year and a half after I graduated from college. I was responsible for all marketing events in the area. I was 23.”

Professor in outdoor setting

Kristina Medvedeva, Ph.D.

Medvedeva teaching Integrated Marketing Communications

Medvedeva says timing, and a seismic world event, played a large role in her career plan. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the centralized economy started to change direction,” she says, “the need for business degrees just started to appear. That’s when I started to develop my interest in marketing.”

Her time in Russia, Germany and the U.S., along with a summer internship in Turkey and her work with IKEA and DHL, gave her experience she considers indispensable. “Today’s college classrooms are more and more diverse,” she says, “and because of my background and experience with different cultures and working with people from different backgrounds, I can relate to students more easily, especially ones who have international backgrounds.

“In Russia, you don’t share much with the professors because of their high authority,” she adds.

“But I want to share as much as I can with my students. It helps them understand. I want students to develop a global mindset and to be more ready for the job market.”

After teaching for two years at Saint Louis University, Medvedeva arrived at Eckerd last August. She taught a new course on personal branding during Winter Term, and she is teaching market research, marketing communication, and digital marketing during the spring semester.

“I like smaller schools,” she says. “You can really get to know the students and build relationships with them. My goal is to be a resource to my students. And Eckerd is just amazing. Everyone is so friendly. The people are as warm as the weather.”

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