Photo: RIDRU team after round table at ASEEES 2017 Convention: Tamara Martsenyuk, Olenka Bilash, Bohdan Harasymiw, Alla Nedashkivska and Svitlana Oksamytna.

The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) hosted its 49th Annual Convention at the Mariott on the Magnificent Mile of Chicago, 9-12 November 2017. This year’s convention theme “Transgressions” was inspired by the centennial anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. The theme explored the deliberate violation of the status quo, how social, linguistic, artistic and other orders in various domains are explicitly defied—and how they are constructed in the first place.

In attendance were over 2,000 attendees: scholars, professionals, and graduate students—domestic and international, coming together to exchange new research and information. Among them, some of our own- the Kyiv-Mohyla faculty and graduates attended the convention to discuss the reforms and transitions in higher education in Ukraine, in the framework of the Research Initiative on Democratic Reforms in Ukraine (RIDRU)Tamara Martsenyuk, Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University offered her insights on the internationalization of post secondary institutions in Ukraine and what drives students in Ukraine to seek education abroad. As a scholar, Tamara’s work revolves around issues of gender and legislation, labor, minority groups, religion, activism, and nationalism.

Also among the speakers was Alexandra Novitchkova, MA in Political Science from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and a Senior Lecturer of Political Science at the Academy. Alexandra is a DAAD Fellow FSU Jena (Germany) and a Fulbright Faculty Development Fellow at Kansas University. Alexandra presented the results of her work at the conference on the role of civil society in the process of democratic reform in Ukraine.

Finally, Svitlana Oksamytna, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology at the KM Academy, brought her knowledge on the effects of anti-corruption strategies to the official and unofficial conference dialogue. At the KM Academy, Svitlana was instrumental in facilitating the first western-style doctoral program in Ukraine and in researching inclusive policy and practices at the post secondary level. Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America has assisted Dr. Oksamytna with travel arrangements to the convention.

It wasn’t all about work for the faculty in attendance, as the ladies managed to find time to organize a mini re-union with the Kyiv-Mohyla Alumni attending the convention from different parts of the world and visited some of the iconic spots in Chicago.

As a reminder, the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) is a nonprofit, non-political, scholarly society. Established in 1948 it is the leading international organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia, and Eastern Europe in regional and global contexts.

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