Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ukrainian scholars prepare for Purdue arrival this month, seeking refuge from their war-torn country to restart academic efforts

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Each Ukrainian scholar arriving to resume his studies and research at Purdue University this summer has its own story, overcoming incredible and impossible obstacles and escaping – often with their families – the horrors of Russia’s military invasion It has already displaced nearly 7 million people since the end of February and left devastation, destruction and disruption in the Eastern European country.

In an effort to deliver a share of promise to its academic brethren in Ukraine during this turbulent and uncertain time, Purdue is welcoming 20 faculty members and researchers through the recently established Ukrainian Scholars Initiative earlier this month .

“Our aim is to make at least a small contribution to help the people of Ukraine in this hour of crisis,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “Our hope is that we can shelter these scholars and offer a change to continue their work and then see them back in a safe and free Ukraine. But as long as they are with us, I have no doubt that they will share and perhaps share with our students the priceless value of freedom and the constant need to protect it from their enemies.”

The program attracts a deep diversity of scholars

Scholars from Ukraine are preparing to attend for at least 12 months in a wide variety of disciplines – from chemistry, library science, psychology, linguistics, sociology and neuroscience to political science, management, history and earth and planetary science.

And they are surviving the devastation that closed their universities and devastated major Ukrainian cities such as Mariupol, Kharkiv, Odessa and the capital of Kyiv.

Purdue Ukrainian scholar Tatiana “Tanya” Gordienko, who was pursuing her doctorate in media and communications at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy before the war, wants to resume her studies at Purdue. “This opportunity means a lot to me,” she says. (Purdue University photo provided) Download image

For doctoral student Tatiana “Tanya” Gordienko, Purdue will play an essential role in helping her complete her Ph. When she arrives next month via Purdue’s Ukrainian Scholars Initiative as one of 20 individuals.

“This opportunity means a lot to me,” said Gordienko, a former journalist whose husband, veteran photojournalist Vitaly Nosach, will remain – at least in the short term – because all Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60 are forced to leave the country. is not permitted.

Gordienko will resume her studies at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, researching news consumption in society and visual depictions of the COVID-19 pandemic and other crises in Ukraine. She is pursuing her doctorate in media and communication at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

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Gordienko was familiar with Purdue through its highly regarded online writing lab, which was recommended by a professor as a doctoral class resource for improving English academic writing skills.

“I remembered Purdue’s logo very clearly, and when I opened the link, I said, ‘Oh, I know this university’ and thought it was a great way to study, to get new experiences. There will be place,” Gordienko said. “And the more I read about Purdue, the more impressed I was.”

‘Our life used to be good’

Scholar Ihor Lantukh, professor of psychology, economics and history at the National University of Kharkiv Lantukh, specializes in entrepreneurship after the abolition of slavery in the 19th and 20th centuries. He plans to resume his research at Purdue, examining psychological aspects as well as historical parallels in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He will be joined by his wife and their newborn daughter in America.

“Our life used to be good, we used to dream about our daughter’s future. All our lives have been destroyed by Russia, ”said Lantukh. “Now, we are looking for opportunities to survive and raise a child, dreaming of one thing: peace in Ukraine and the day we will be able to return home.”

Borenko: the beginning of a lasting academic relationship

Yarina Borenko obtained a safe passage to Poland, the first stop on the way to Purdue and leaving behind, for now, the devastation in her home city of Kyiv. His family and those close to him, he said, are safe. Thank God. And some of his friends and colleagues have joined Ukraine’s forces in the fight against Russia, the second conflict between the two countries since 2014.

“This is the second time. You know what to expect, but you understand that many people will not return,” said Borenko, who studies human rights and citizenship.

Borenko, who also serves as a trainer and consultant for the Skills Lab at the Women’s League of Donechana in Mariupol, arrived at Purdue on June 16. Christopher Yeomans, Professor and Head of Purdue’s Department of Philosophy, will also serve as host for Borenko. said he would be welcomed by the Human Rights Program, which Yeomans co-directs.

“Everyone at Purdue felt this was a historical injustice that demanded a response and an appropriate response to the kind of institution we are,” Yeomans said.

Pavlishchuk: hope to resume research efforts

Anna Pavlishchuk, a chemistry faculty member at Kyiv’s Taras Shevchenko National University before the war, planned to continue her research at Purdue, investigating new metal complexes and their magnetic functionality. This focus is important for developing contrast agents for MRI and other imaging techniques.

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As Russia invaded his country, Pavlishchuk said Kyiv has never looked as empty as it is now – even at the height of the shutdown stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although her university buildings remain closed, classes resumed in early April, despite the war as they first went online in February due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Despite the heartbreaking circumstances that brought Pavlishchuk to America, he is excited about the opportunity to resume his research from Purdue while continuing to support his students in Kyiv. “One of the most wonderful things (during this time) is how people are helping and supporting each other,” she said.

The Purdue Ukrainian Scholars Program, which was launched on March 25, is designed to directly help faculty members and scholars in Ukraine whose academic activities have been derailed by conflict, said the Dean of Purdue’s International Programs Mike Brzezinski said.

While at Purdue, Ukrainian visiting scholars will either engage in their own research or support research conducted by Purdue faculty members, he said. Additionally, some scholars are enrolled in doctoral programs and will be at Purdue in the dissertation research phase.

Stacy Connaughton, director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute and Purdue Peace Project, which is co-hosting Gordienko, believes Purdue has a responsibility to care for one another in times of pressure, especially In response to a conflict such as what is happening with Ukraine.

“I believe that really strongly,” she said. “This certainly aligns with our mission as a leading global university. We do research that makes a difference. We do transformative teaching that has a tremendous impact. During such extreme crises, humanity’s needs are at stake. We are all welcome to continue our shared commitment to this.”

Read more about the Ukrainian scholars and their online journey at Purdue.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked as one of the 10 most innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in each of the past four years, Purdue offers world-changing research and out-of-this-world exploration. Committed to practical and online, real-world learning, Purdue provides a transformative education for all. Committed to affordability and access, Purdue has capped tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students to graduate debt-free than ever before. See how Purdue never stops in its constant search for the next giant leap at

Writers: Philippe Fiorini, [email protected], 765-430-6189; Katie Donworth, [email protected]

media Contact: Tim Doty, [email protected]

Source: Mike Brzezinski, [email protected], 765-494-9399

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