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Avram Lyon : Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. Program in Slavic Literatures, June 2010 – December 2012, University of California, Los Angeles

M.A., Slavic Literatures, June 2010, University of California, Los Angeles

Certificate in Russian Language, May 2007, Kazan State University, Kazan, Russia

B.A., Mathematics and Russian, May 2006, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa

Work Experience

Lead Engineer, (January 2012 - present)

Scopely, Inc., Los Angeles, California

Led the development of four Google Play-featured games and a highly reusable set of components for rapid development of Android social games.

Developed high volume analytics event collection and warehousing system using Kinesis and Redshift.

Russian Teaching Associate, (September 2011 - December 2012)

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, UCLA

Teaching first and second year Russian; assistant for course on linguistic diversity in Los Angeles. 

Dean, Russian Language Village (2011-2012)

Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota

Researcher, Slavic Languages and Literatures (October 2008 – June 2009)

For Olga Kagan, Director of UCLA Center for World Languages and National Heritage Language Resource Center

Responsible for the development of experimental methods to study reading in heritage speakers of Russian.

Developer, Populous Project (January 2009 – May 2009)

UCLA Student Media; Knight Foundation

Produced a next-generation web publishing system for collegiate news organizations using modern web frameworks.

Assistant Dean, Russian Language Village (June 2007 – July 2009)

Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota

Supervised fifteen teachers and counselors, providing assistance with planning, counseling, and teaching. Ran training sessions on teaching methodologies, counseling strategies, and collaborative work. Developed curricula for heritage language learners to account for their particular linguistic and cultural goals. Served as acting dean of the camp in the dean’s absence.

Lecturer, Department of Comparative Linguistics and Translation Studies (September 2007 – May 2008)

Tatar State University of Humanities and Education, Kazan, Russia

Responsible for design and delivery of content-based English language courses, including a country studies seminar on the United States. Taught English classes and language pedagogy courses. Developed a new curriculum framework for the use of audiovisual materials in language teaching.

Researcher, National Archive of the Republic of Tatarstan (September 2007 – May 2008)

For Ross King, Professor of Korean, University of British Columbia

Worked independently with library and archive holdings to trace the origins of textbooks written by Korean pupils studying in Kazan, Russia. Collected and summarized pupils’ biographical information and uncovered previously unseen drafts in area collections. Developed working knowledge of archival systems in Russia and late-imperial bureaucratic structures.

Counselor, One- and Two-week Program Facilitator, Russian Language Village (Summers 2002 – 2006)

Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota

Taught intermediate Russian to campers ages 7-18. Led short courses on Russian literature, history, and culture. Mentored junior staff in effective teaching and counseling methodologies. Trained and supervised teaching and counseling staff. Developed and revised teaching materials.


Languages: English (native), Russian (fluent), Tatar (intermediate), Turkish (basic), Czech (intermediate)

Computing: Expert with most operating systems, and proficient in a wide variety of programming languages. Proficient with common database software and data management solutions. Comfortable designing, maintaining, and administering web applications and sites. Also proficient in statistical analysis and in the use of various leading statistical analysis software suites.

Accomplished Android and Java developer; lead developer on four Google Play-featured games.


  • Tatar - Language of My Soul : Tatar Language Course (2011), SLOVO, Kazan, Russia. (co-editor)
  • Birth Language Attrition and Reacquisition in Russian Adoptees,” (2009) Russian Language Journal. 59: 121.

  • Russian Heritage Speakers at the Concordia Language Village,” (2009) Learning Languages. 14 (2) (with Lara Ravitch).
  • Russian for Heritage Learners (2009), Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota. (orig. Курс русского языка для учащихся из русскоязычных сред) (coauthor)
  • Anthology of Russian Song, Second Edition (2008), Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota. (editor)
  • Kazan: Travel Guide (2007), Executive Committee of the City of Kazan, Kazan, Russia. (translator and editor)

Conferences & Presentations

  1. AnDevCon 2014, Boston, May 27-30, 2014. Session: "Practical Build Automation: Continuous Integration and Testing with Gradle"
  2. uMAD 2014, University of Texas, Austin, February 7, 2014. Tech talk: “Making it Work: Tools and Rules to Move Fast and Not Break Things”
  3. 44th Annual Convention, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Washington, DC, November 15, 2012. Paper: “Anticipating Gulchatay: Russian Consumers of Tatar Modernizers”
  4. 43rd Annual Convention, Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Washington, DC, November 17-20, 2011. Paper: “The Rhetoric of Empire in Late Imperial Kazan”
  5. Role of Educators of Finno-Ugric and Turkic Peoples in the Emergence and Development of Literature, Education, and Culture of the Volga-Ural Region, International Conference, Udmurt State University, May 17-19, 2011. Paper: "Missionary-Educator-Orientalist: The Kazan Teachers' Seminary and National Cultures before 1917" («Миссионер-просветитель-востовед: Казанская учительская семинария и национальные культуры до 1917 г.»)
  6. Minority Languages and Computer Technologies: Experience, Goals and Perspectives, Yoshkar-Ola, Republic of Mari El, April 25-27, 2011. Paper: "Indigenous Language Revitalization and Preservation in North America" («Опыт сохранения и развития языков коренных народов Северной Америки») [More info]
  7. Gorky Readings-2011, A.M. Gorky Memorial Museum, Kazan, March 28, 2011. Paper: "The Riddle of Gorky and National Literatures before 1913" («Загадка Горького и его отношений с национальными литературами до 1913 года»)
  8. Ethnogenesis of the Udmurt People. Ethnos. Language. Culture. Religion, International Conference in Honor of the 65th Birthday of Mikhail Gavrilovich Atamanov, Udmurt State University, November 25-27, 2010. Paper: "Activity of the Translation Commission of the Orthodox Missionary Society and Udmurt Linguistics in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries" (orig. «Деятельность Переводческой коммиссии Православного миссионерского общества и удмуртское языкознание в конце XIX века -- начале XX века») [More info]
  9. Seventh Annual Shygyrdan Readings, Muslim Spiritual Administration of the Republic of Chuvashia, October 27-28, 2010. Paper: “Bulgar Legacies and the Positions of Russian Orientalists in the Late Imperial Period” (orig. «Булгарские наследия и позиции русских востоковедов позднего имепрского периода»)
  10. Chuvash Language and Ethnos in the History of Eurasian Civilization, International Conference on Turkic Philology, Chuvash State Institute of the Humanities, September 17, 2010. Paper: “Remainders of a Field: Contemporary Turkology in American Universities” (orig. «Остатки науки: современная тюркология в американских университетах»)
  11. California Eurasian Studies Kurultai, University of California, Los Angeles, April 10, 2010  Lead organizer and member of program committee [more info]
  12. First International Conference on Heritage/Community Language, University of California, Los Angeles, February 19-21, 2010. Poster: “Diverse Needs and Motivations: Developing Curricula for Younger Heritage Speakers of Russian” (with Lara Ravitch)
  13. 2009 Annual Conference, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, Philadelphia, PA, December 29, 2009. Paper: “A Confluence of Modernisms in Tatar Writer Gaiaz Iskhaki”
  14. Fifth Annual Graduate Student Pre-Conference, American Association of Teachers of Turkic, Boston University, November 21, 2009. Paper: “Poetic Identity and Literary Language in Contemporary Tatar Literature”
  15. The Word in Intercultural and Interpersonal Communication, International Symposium (orig. Слово в межкультурном и межличностном общении) ACTR/MAPRYAL, Washington, DC, May 5-6, 2009. Paper: “Birth Language Attrition and Reacquisition in Russian Adoptees”
  16. 28th Annual Conference of Young Researchers, Tatar State University of Humanities and Education, April 23, 2008. Paper: “Immersion-Based Foreign Language Teaching: Linguistic and Pedagogical Aspects” (orig. «Преподавание иностранных языков в программах полного погружения в языковую среду»)

Awards & Recognitions

  • Boren Fellowship, Institutes for International Education, 2010-2011

    for Tatar language and literature, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles, 2010-2011

    for Czech, declined award
  • East European Language Training Grant, American Council of Learned Societies, Summer 2010

    for Czech language, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles, 2009-2010
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles, Summer 2009

    for Turkish, declined award
  • Gold Medal for Intraweb Software, Association for Computing Machinery SIGUCCS, November 2007

    as a co-developer of the project TCDB, a time clock, scheduling, and payroll web application
  • Order of Distinction, All-Russian Olympiad of Russian as a Foreign Language, March 2007
  • Citation of Excellence, Concordia Language Villages, July 2006
  • John Mohan Memorial Study Award, Department of Russian, Grinnell College, May 2006
  • Honorable Mention, Mathematical Contest in Modeling, Spring 2006