The Ellison Center Welcomes New Faculty and Visiting Scholars
Bochniarz, Visiting Professor/Senior Lecturer at the Evans School of Public Affairs, joined the UW in 2007. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Warsaw School of Economics, where he served as a faculty member for 17 years. His work focuses on the microeconomics of competition, sustainability, environmental and resource economics, and economic transition in post-communist countries.
Prior to coming to the UW, Bochniarz had taught as a visiting professor at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota since 1986. There, he established there the Center for Nations in Transition, which facilitated institutional and policy changes and building human capacity in Central and Eastern Europe, and has sent more than 150 faculty members to post-communist countries on numerous projects and programs (see his article in this issue). Here at the UW, one of Bochniarz's goals is to help internationalize the university through expending policy-oriented and interdisciplinary research and the creation of joint-degree programs with institutions abroad, and short executive programs and exchanges to give business and public affairs students a chance to see “how the world is transforming and how policy is changing.” Expanding connections between graduate programs in public policy, international studies, and ecology is another priority for Bochniarz: “I believe that graduate studies should be more interdisciplinary,” he says.
Much of Bochniarz's research revolves around the theme of sustainability. Over the past 24 years, he has led numerous projects funded by USAID, the US Department of State, USEPA, and other US, United Nations and international donors to address environmental sustainability and business and environmental training in Central and East Europe. He is currently involved in a collaborative project with US, European and Japanese universities to assess the sustainability of alternative policies on climate change and the role of grassroots movements. Bochniarz's research also looks at the role of competitiveness and innovation in building sustainability and prosperity. He is affiliated with the Harvard Business School's “Microeconomics of Competitiveness” program, a topic on which he has led graduate courses at the UW. This year, he plans to offer another course, “Competing for Prosperity,” which applies theory and best practices for speeding up recovery from the economic crisis. The course is offered for graduate students from all departments at UW in the winter quarter.
Before relocating here two years ago, Bochniarz last visited Seattle in 1986. Since then, he remarks, “the city has completely changed,” but he appreciates that it has retained its dynamism, openness and diversity. Bochniarz notes that people at UW are more relaxed than at other universities, but wonders if this close-knit and comfortable atmosphere may make people less eager to go abroad. “I'm hoping to encourage people to think about community in the larger sense,” he says.
Iremashvili comes to the UW from Tbilisi, Georgia as a Carnegie Russell Fellow studying clinical legal education. Iremashvili, a PhD student in insurance law at Tbilisi State University’s Faculty of Law, is researching clinical legal education in the United States with the goal of further developing the clinical programs at her university and raising general awareness of legal clinics in Georgia.
As in many other countries, globalization and a rapidly changing environment in today's Georgia make the role of lawyers especially important. Iremashvili sees legal clinics, in which students provide legal services pro bono under the supervision of professors, as a driving force in the development of the legal profession, as well as a means of unifying the country's legal environment and improving the competitiveness of Georgian legal education. Iremashvili has first-hand knowledge of the positive impact clinical education can have on society: from 2007-09 she served as the coordinator of Tbilisi State University’s Street Law Clinic, which brings legal knowledge to high school students. She has also served as clinical director at her university, was involved in the American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, and has participated in numerous trainings, workshops and study visits on clinical education in the US and Europe.
During her time at the UW, Iremashvili is meeting with clinical professors from the School of Law, observing clinical classes and attending courses. When she returns to Georgia in January, she plans to present the practices and approaches to clinical education she has learned here to faculty at Tbilisi State University and other institutions. For now, Iremashvili is enjoying the “wonderful academic environment” at the UW and the changeable weather of the Pacific Northwest. “Seattle is not a typical American city,” she commented. When she is not researching, Iremashvili hopes to indulge her creative side by attending concerts at the UW School of Music.
Zohidov comes to the UW as a visiting Fulbright Scholar for 2009-10 researching political theory and the comparative politics of Central Asian states. He joins us from Khujand, Tajikistan, where he serves as Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Tajik State University of Law, Business and Policy, teaching courses on political philosophy and political theory. Zohidov is also the director of the Public Opinion Research Center in Khujand, which carries out surveys on a variety of social issues, such as attitudes toward official and unofficial religion, water and land issues, and border tensions between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Much of Zohidov's research focuses on the methodology of political science and sociology: he has published three monographs and numerous articles on this topic. His interest in researching Central Asian issues was sparked by the start of the Tajik civil war in 1991. “I could see the beginnings of the civil war,” he recollects, which encouraged him to pay more attention to political theories of civil conflict. Since then, he has also participated in projects on conflict resolution and prevention sponsored by the Ministry of Education in Tajikistan, the Kettering Foundation, and the UN University for Peace in Budapest.
While at the UW, he plans to attend courses on political philosophy and comparative politics with Professor Jamie Mayerfeld from the Department of Political Science, as well as offer a seminar on Central Asian studies for graduate students. Zohidov says that being at the UW provides an excellent opportunity for his research on Tajikistan and other countries in Central Asia. “There are many materials accessible here in English and Russian,” he says. This is Zohidov's first visit to the Pacific Northwest; his prior visits to the US took him to the University of Indiana in Bloomington, where he was a visiting scholar in 2004-06. During his time here, he also plans to develop courses that he will teach upon his return to Tajikistan in the next academic year.