CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
UI opens Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa will celebrate the opening
of its new Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES)
on Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber.
The center, which is designated as a National Resource Center with a
three-year, $827,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, is one
of only 11 of its kind in the country. It will support a wide range of
projects and activities in the Colleges of Medicine, Law, Business Administration,
and Liberal Arts.
The keynote speaker for the inauguration will be Dr. S. Frederick Starr,
a leading authority on Russian affairs. Starr is former president, distinguished
fellow and senior advisor on International Programs for the Aspen Institute,
a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. He is currently chairman of the Central
Asia Institute, School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins
University. Starr also founded the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian
Studies at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and is planning
a new university to be built by the Aga Khan in Tajikistan in Central Asia.
Also speaking at the event will be David Skorton, UI vice president
for research, and Michael McNulty, UI associate provost and dean of International
The inauguration is open to the public. A reception will follow the
The new center was developed from the UI's six-year-old bachelor's degree
program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. The center will
support faculty research and aid in redesigning that program so that it
reflects the sweeping changes that have occurred since the collapse of
the Soviet Union.
"The REEES program has come a long way in a very short time. It
is a real tribute to all the UI faculty in the program," said Steven
Hoch, director of the new center and professor of history.
The new center is also integrating Russian, East European and Eurasian
Studies into the curricula of UI professional schools. Specialized courses
are to be developed in journalism and mass communication; business, finance,
and marketing; post-communist legal change, law and political conflict,
democratization in post-communist states; and comparative health systems.
The new center will also bring more visiting faculty from Russia, East
Europe, and Eurasia to teach at the UI.
"There is a pressing need in business for people to have specific
area-related marketing skills and to be knowledgeable about investment
opportunities and accounting practices in emerging markets," said
UI Professor of Finance Paul Weller, who directs REEES activities in the
College of Business Administration.
The center will also support a group of graduate fellows who are studying
languages that are not frequently taught in the United States. This year's
fellows include: Julie M. Kirchner, a second-year law student who is studying
Hungarian with the hope of pursuing a career in international law/public
policy; Robert Thomson, an MBA student who is studying Polish with plans
to pursue a career in international business focusing on Eastern Europe;
and Roman Terrill, a third-year law student studying Russian, with the
hope of pursuing a career in international law, with special emphasis on
financial and commercial transactions involving Russian clients and business