May 4th, 2011

Violetta Tsibranska Bennett (Виолетта Цибранска Беннетт) - Russian speaking modern “Pioneer” of Ut

Violetta Tsibranska Bennett (Виолетта Цибранска Беннетт) - Russian speaking modern “Pioneer” of Utah.
From Russian Speaking Pioneers of Utah Project by

March 25th, 2011

In April 1988, An Ukrainian lady from Slavic descent and two people from Lithuania were the first group from Soviet Union to convert to LDS religion during Cold War years in Salt Lake City Temple.

One person from this group is still living in Salt Lake City. This is Violetta Tsibranska Bennett (Виолетта ЦибранскаБеннетт), PhD, Electronics professor in Salt Lake Community College on Redwood road Campus for last twenty four years.

She is originally from the City of Kharkov (Харьков), Eastern Ukraine. A graduate of Kharkov Polytechnics University and LETI of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). She worked for Space industry place called “Secret Box A-100” (now Hartron) and was a teacher for University of Radio electronics, both places were in Kharkov.

She left Soviet Union almost 40 years ago for Sofia, Bulgaria. There she worked for joint Bulgarian – Hungarian firm INTRANSMASH ( Интрансмаш ) as a leader of an engineering group in the field of automated warehouse storage systems development. In 1980’s, she worked in Africa as Electronics professor in University of Luanda in Angola, Africa. After working in Africa she moved to Rome, Italy.

In 1986, after long search for engineering job in Rome, Italy she was contacted by American Embassy and German Embassy. During interview in America Embassy, the immigration officers told her not to hesitate and come to the US, because with her education and job experience in Space industry and teaching, she will find job easy there. She was offered immigrant visa again by both countries, but she picked United States and the rest as people say – is history.

After conversion to LDS faith, she translated some religious material and missionary manuals for the Church into Russian and did consulting when the Church planned to issue materials in Bulgarian and Ukrainian. Since the 90’s she is no longer active in the church.

When she started at the SLCC, she was the first woman to teach electronics there. As Electronics professor, for last decade and a half, she took a part in training of students from SLCC for Skills USA national competition in Kansas City, Missouri, where many of her students took Gold medals.

Her Department in Salt Lake Community College was recently closed, so she is teaching out the remaining of Electronic program to her students until they graduate this coming May and since there is no more Department of Electronics, it means retirement or semi-retirement for her.

It is updated article. Originally publish by

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