Letter from the Director
By Jim Augerot
It is with great pleasure that we announce our success in securing another four years of funding from the US Department of Education for our REECAS National Resource Center and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships. This four-year grant will provide the Ellison Center with $1.2 million to pay for less commonly taught languages (LCTLs), exciting outreach activities and new program initiatives, as well as $1.3 million in fellowship funding for undergraduate and graduate students across campus interested in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
I want to thank the dedicated Ellison Center staff and faculty for their hard work in preparing the documents upon which these awards were granted. In addition, I want to recognize the invaluable support of the various endowments, Ellison, Culp, Parker, Boba, Gross, among others, without which it would have been quite difficult for us to compete for these grants.
This past year we have continued to support three Baltic, nine Central Asian and seven East European languages, several through our unique less commonly taught language tutorial program. We are particularly proud of the innovative Language across Curriculum (LAC) courses in Business Russian, Russian for Historians and for Political Scientists. We plan to continue these and hope to eventually support such additions to other courses. Thanks to committed faculty and staff, more students are traveling to our region through Exploration Seminars to Russia and Georgia.
We would like to extend a warm welcome to our new class of incoming REECAS students. Our new group of 13 students comes from across Washington State and the country from schools including Barnard, Cornell, Goucher, Evergreen, Sonoma State, North Texas, Willamette and the University of Washington. Their equally varied interests include: natural resources, energy security and the arctic, education policy, Russian business culture, gender identity, urbanization in Russia and print media in Eastern Europe. We also welcome our newest REECAS faculty member: Victor Nishanov of the Foster School of Business, a specialist in management in Russia and Central Asia.
We are honored to be hosting three Russell Fellows this fall. Maryana Zakharchuk from Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv is being mentored by Charles Peck while she pursues her research on "Formation and Development of Inclusive Education." Inga Mezinova from Rostov State University of Economics has been paired with Judith Thornton and is looking at "The Role of International Outsourcing in Improvement of Competitiveness of Russian Enterprises on World Markets." Vera Neagu from the Moldova Institute of International Relations is researching "Distance Learning: On-Demand Education in Moldova" and is working with Steven Kerr. Please see the interviews with the scholars in this newsletter for more information about their work and visit.
We are looking forward to a new year and with exciting lectures and public events. The theme for this year’s Ellison Center Lecture Series is Health and the Environment in Russia, East Europe and Central Asia. Please refer to our calendar for the most accurate information about events. The 2011 Treadgold Memorial Lecture, Igal Halfin will be on campus during winter quarter to talk about his forthcoming manuscript “Red Autobiographies: Initiating the Bolshevik Self.” The 17th Annual REECAS NW conference will be held at the University of Washington in partnership with the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures on Saturday, April 16.