International student leaves behind a legacy of leadership

For the past four years, Ann Kharlamova has considered the University of Arkansas at Little Rock her second home, where she has been able to grow, make friends, and gain invaluable professional experience.

Kharlamova, a native of Cherepovets, Russia, first came to the United States as a high school exchange student in Texarkana during her junior year. After returning to Russia and graduating, she was recruited by UA Little Rock’s swim team. On May 11, she graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in marketing and business analytics.

“Ann has been a pillar of leadership in our program over the last four years,” said UA Little Rock Swimming and Diving Coach Amy Burgess. “She left an impression wherever she went on campus.”

Kharlamova’s accomplishments go beyond the swim team. She also served as an ambassador in the Chancellor’s Leadership Corps and worked for Testing Services.

“I’m not going to lie. It was challenging,” Kharlamova said. “There was a lot of time management involved, but I realized that the sky is your only limit.”

Outside of her busy life as a student, worker, and athlete, Kharlamova still found the time to make lifelong friends despite being thousands of miles away from her friends and family in Russia.

“I enjoyed every night I spent with my girls on the swim team, and every single practice we had was memorable,” Kharlamova said. “Our freshman year training trip to Puerto Rico was especially memorable. We got to go to the best beaches, but it was also very challenging. It really prepared all of us for competitions.”

As a student, Kharlamova excelled in her coursework and became very involved in research during her senior year. She and another student recently gave an award-winning presentation at the 2019 Student Research and Creative Works Expo and also presented the same project at a major business law conference in San Antonio.

“It’s great to see how your hard work pays off. I’m very thankful to Dr. Casey Rockwell (Kharlamova’s faculty mentor) for convincing us to do this with her,” Kharlamova said.

After graduation, Kharlamova plans to stay in Arkansas and work a few years before pursuing a master’s degree in a business-related field. She encourages anyone, regardless of where they live or what they want to do, to consider UA Little Rock for their education.

“Your experience is what you make it, no matter where you go. I truly believe that you need the heart of a Trojan to be here, and I see that in my classmates and teammates,” she said. “We have great programs, and you get a level of one-on-one attention from your professors here that I don’t see at other schools. I’m very thankful to have been here.”

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