The Ellison Center Welcomes Visiting Scholar
Volodymyr Dubovyk is a visiting REECAS scholar from Odessa National University (ONU) in Ukraine. Dubovyk received his Ph.D. in political science and international relations from ONU in 1996 (then Odessa State University), where he is now an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of International Relations, as well as director of the Center for International Studies, a Ukrainian think tank. He is visiting UW through spring quarter at the invitation of the Ellison Center.
In Odessa, Dubovyk’s courses focus on U.S. foreign policy, Ukrainian foreign policy, theory of international relations and theory of international conflict. His research interests concern U.S. foreign policy, and particularly, U.S.-Ukraine relations. While at UW, Dubovyk will be teaching courses on security issues in the European, Euro-Atlantic, post-Soviet and Black Sea regions.
Dubovyk is focusing on preparing quality lectures for UW students. “The system [of teaching] here is a bit different,” Dubovyk says. “You need to be engaged more in dialogue with the students. With our system [in Ukraine], it’s still more of a monologue, with just the professor talking, the students just listening and taking notes.”
Though Dubovyk comes to the U.S. often, this is the first time he will be teaching an entire course to American students. “It’s an interesting and exciting challenge, professionally, I would say, to teach an entire course here,” Dubovyk says. Dubovyk says the longer class time is an adjustment: “At home it is an hour and 20 minutes. Even then, most of my colleagues think that an hour and 20 minutes is too long. I don’t think that any human being is capable of keeping concentration for this entire period of an hour and 50 minutes.” But Dubovyk says UW students are engaged and he is looking forward to interesting discussions.
Since 1997, Dubovyk has traveled to the U.S. once or twice per year. He enjoys learning about U.S. history and culture, and believes that most people fail to realize its diversity. “They tend have a stereotypical kind of universal portrait of Americans,” he says. “But through my countless encounters with Americans, I know now well that all Americans are different.”
Dubovyk is also active in PONARS Eurasia, an international academic and policy network based at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Having spent a collective year and a half in the city, he says, “I call D.C. my second native town.” Dubovyk met Ellison Center Director Scott Radnitz at a PONARS Eurasia workshop in Odessa several years ago, leading to his current visit at UW.
This is Dubovyk’s third visit to Seattle, but his first extended stay in the city. “I like Seattle,” says Dubovyk. “Since I am from a city on the sea, I’m attracted naturally to places like Seattle that are also leading to the water. … When the spring comes I’m looking forward to walking through the parks. Seattle obviously has a reputation of being a green city.”
A basketball fan, Dubovyk was disappointed the Supersonics are no longer in Seattle, but he has already been to see the Husky men’s team play and traveled to Portland to watch an NBA game. Dubovyk wants to make the most of his stay here. “So it’s not just teaching, working in the library, but also its sports, music, culture,” he says. “I’m not wasting any time here. I’m trying to get a comprehensive experience.”