Director's Notes

Dear Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Friends of Slavic Studies,

There is much to report in this edition of the CSEES newsletter. Spring 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of continuous center activity and was filled with presentations by colleagues and guests, teaching seminars, language Olympiads, outreach activities, and of course, the Midwest Slavic Conference (MWSC).

The MWSC provided the opportunity for us to hear Harvard Professor Serhii Plokhii’s analysis of the historical precedents for the current situation in Ukraine. He also participated in a roundtable on the topic before returning to Harvard. MWSC also provided the opportunity for colleagues, affiliated faculty and students to hear numerous presentations of papers and share as many opinions. CSEES sponsored a faculty member and four undergraduate students from Howard University; each presented a paper, at the conference. We look forward to maintaining our connections with Howard University in coming years. Many thanks to all of you, who took the time to present, attend and support our many activities.

Academic year FLAS and summer FLAS awards have been made for the coming year, a new group of CSEES graduate students have been accepted and Polish Studies Initiative and Slovene Initiative grants assigned for the coming year. In all cases many affiliated members of CSEES were key contributors of these processes. The business of the center could not be maintained without the diligent assistance of our colleagues.

As we move towards a new academic year and a resumption of the multiple activities undertaken by CSEES, please consider nominating yourself for service on one of our committees or volunteering to help organize and execute our presentations. Help make a difference in getting the word out concerning the necessity of CSEES maintaining a robust presence on our campus, in our country, and around the world.

As we approach the beginning of another grant proposal cycle — this one expected to be even more competitive than the last — please consider designating your annual giving (or a portion) to the Center for Slavic and East European Studies (fund number 313858). World events will not wait for funding questions to be answered. CSEES needs to be ready to continue educating the next generation of specialists, developing future students through activities and spreading the facts concerning our region to the widest possible audience. With your help, we will continue to excel in this endeavor for the next 50 years.

Finally, it has been a distinct pleasure to serve as center director for the past year. As evidenced above, we maintained a strong presence, accomplished many goals and established a few new ones. There will be a new director named over the summer, but I will continue to fulfill my duties until August 31.

In the meantime and into the future, I encourage all of you to maintain and expand your support for Assistant Director Eileen Kunkler, Outreach Coordinator Kathryn Metz and Office Coordinator Maryann Walther-Keisel in the coming months. Be sure to visit them in the new CSEES offices in Enarson Hall this September.

Best wishes,

Joe Brandesky