Rio welcomes Fulbright Scholar


RIO GRANDE — The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College recently hosted Fulbright Scholar Dr. Anastasiya Luzgina, deputy director at Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC), to present her lecture, “FinTech Development and Cryptocurrency Market Regulation,” to campus.

Luzgina, who is from the Republic of Belarus, gave a speech that included an in-depth look at FinTech, a new financial system format that is adaptive to information technologies and innovations, and how it works to create easier digital operations for investment banks and their clients. She also provided details about how the program has been used to improve the economy of Belarus. Luzgina is one of the heads for the National Bank’s FinTech Market Development research project and said she first became interested in the program because of past research in related fields.

“Today financial technology is a very popular topic, and my previous researches were related to financial development, monetary systems and monetary integration. I saw Fintech’s transformation on the current financial system, so I decided to research this sphere,” Luzgina said. “The FinTech market here in the United States is more developed compared with countries such as Belarus, but there are some fields within the FinTech sphere that can be very interesting such as cryptocurrencies. Belarus is the first country to officially adopt legislation for the cryptocurrency market, and I think it’s important to share that experience with America.”

The Fulbright Scholar Program is an international scholarship that works to provide academic exchanges between the United States and other countries to bring understanding, awareness, and problem solving to global concerns. The program, which began in 1946, includes scholar exchanges with 155 countries around the world. Luzgina said she enjoys sharing her work and the experiences she has had through the exchange program.

“The Fulbright Program is the most famous exchange program for students, scholars, professors and artists all over the world. It gives me not only good research experiences, but also rich life experiences because I can travel and meet many people while visiting the US. I’m very proud to be able to participate in the program,” Luzgina said. “It’s very important to me to present my research experience with FinTech and get feedback from other scholars and professors. I also want to help scholars, students and the public understand more about FinTech and cryptocurrency.”

FinTech includes many forms of digital and online banking and is a growing opportunity for businesses and banks. Dr. Richard Sax said he was excited to have Luzgina on campus to share more about financial technologies with Southeastern Ohio.

“It was an honor to welcome Dr. Luzgina to our campus and learn more about FinTech and cryptocurrency. Many people have heard of these types of financial technologies in our globalized world, and it’s important for us to gain a better understanding of this topic,” Sax said. “We are grateful to the Fulbright Scholar Exchange Program for allowing Dr. Luzgina to present her work here at Rio.”

Luzgina said she enjoyed the opportunity to share her experiences with the Rio Community. She is a graduate of the Belarusian State Economic University, Faculty of Banking and Finance, and has a PhD in Economics. In November and December of 2015, she participated in the BOFIT visiting researchers program at the Institute for Economies in Transition of the Bank of Finland. Luzgina was also invited to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank CSO Fellowship in 2016.

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