Director’s Notes

Dear Colleagues, Students, Alumni and Friends of Slavic,

Now that the euphoria of the successful Title VI competition is over, the hard work has begun. Our first year of the cycle was dedicated to putting in place all new programs with minority-serving institutions, while we continued our routine work of recruiting MA students; awarding Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships; organizing the Midwest Slavic Conference, etc. We have also advanced our two initiatives, Polish Studies and Slovene Research.

Nationwide, we have already sponsored two lectures at Central New Mexico Community College, reaching more than 60 students, and supported curriculum development and materials there. Presentations were delivered at Lakeland Community College (Cleveland, Ohio) and Howard University (Washington, D.C.). University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College students heard the talk "Putin's Pravda: The State and Media in Russia since 2000." Our K-12 Teachers Workshop, “Security in the Black Sea Region: Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine,” conducted during the Midwest Slavic Conference, was attended by 13 teachers, and 43 high school students participated in our Olympiada.

We awarded FLAS fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students; hosted our annual Midwest Slavic Conference with the highly popular keynote address “Is Putin's Russia a Kleptocracy? And So What?” delivered by Miami University Havighurst Professor of Political Science Karen Dawisha; and continued our support of Less Commonly Taught Languages. We are expanding our offerings of these languages via distance learning options. We will provide first-year Polish and Romanian to Michigan State University and Uzbek first- and second-year to the University of Michigan. At the same time, we will receive third-year Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian and Uzbek from Indiana University.

The Slavic Center’s impact on the advancement of knowledge pertaining to our regions of the world is undeniable and recognized in our successful grant competition. This would not have been possible without the high professionalism and effective performance of our staff members, Eileen Kunkler, assistant director; Maryann Walther-Keisel, office coordinator, as well as our past and present outreach coordinators, Derek Peterson and Anthony Adame. I never cease to be amazed at their great work!

I am also deeply appreciative of  all the donations that we have received and ask you to give again today and support our students and programs!

Please explore our newsletter for more detailed information.

With spring wishes,

Yana Hashamova