2017 Ukrainian Studies Minor Graduates
l-r: Samara Sawchuk, Ashley Halko-Addley, Christina Rybalka
Ukrainian Studies at the University of Saskatchewan has a long and respected history. In 1944, it was the first institution in North America to offer a Ukrainian language class. It has evolved in keeping with the times, student interests and demand. Currently, Ukrainian Studies is offered as a Minor program at St Thomas More College, which is responsible for its delivery and provisioning.
In 2017, the first cohort of students with a Ukrainian Studies Minor graduated. The students included Samara Sawchuk, Ashley Halko-Addley and Christina Rybalka. Congratulations to the recent graduates. Job well done!
Consul Generl of Ukraine, Andrii Veselovskyj and STM Dean, Dr. Kumaran
On June 1, 2017 the Consul General of Ukraine, Mr. Andrii Veslovskyi, visited STM and PCUH. Discussions were held on how the Government of Ukraine could help the exchange of students and faculty members between Ukraine and Canada. Prof. Kordan raised the issue of creating an international umbrella cultural organization funded by Ukraine and Canada along the lines of Germany’s Goethe Institute or the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute to facilitate such exchanges. Dean Arul Kumaran suggested such an institute could serve to invigorate STM’s Spring Session in Ukraine program by introducing bursaries and other forms of support. The Consul General confirmed that the concept was currently under consideration and that he would convey STM’s interest to co-operate in such an endeavour.
On 26 August 2016, Mr. Leland MacLachlan, a graduate student in the University of Saskatchewan’s Dept of Political Studies, successfully defended his MA thesis titled “Democracy Promotion or Self Promotion? Canadian Bilateral Electoral Observation Missions to Ukraine, 2004-14.” An integral part of Canada’s development assistance to Ukraine and part of Canada’s engagement with democratization efforts abroad, Canada has recently undertaken a series of bilateral electoral observation missions to Ukraine. The scale, scope and bilateral character of these missions — unusual by any measure — underscore Canada’s unique and ‘special’ relationship with Ukraine. But given that international standards and norms are to be respected, this also suggests possible difficulties associated with the rationale, objectives, and nature of these missions. Utilizing mission reports, government documents and also relying on expert interviews with observer participants, Mr. MacLachlan examines the rationale, objectives, and nature of Canada’s recent bilateral electoral observation missions to Ukraine, exploring many of these concerns and criticisms.
This thesis was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Bohdan Kordan as part of the PCUH’s Canada-Ukraine Initiative. The purpose of the Initiative is to nurture and encourage a wider understanding of current Canada-Ukraine relations at the governmental and non-governmental level.
Leland MacLachlan MA Thesis Committee (left to right): Roy Romanow (member); Bohdan Kordan (supervisor); Leland MacLachlan (candidate); Natalia Khanenko-Friesen (external member); Joe Garcea (member); Neil Hibbert (chair)
Spring Session in Ukraine is again on offer this year, May 2-June 6, 2016. The program is organized in co-operation with STM’s university partner – Ternopil National Pedagogical University (TNPU), Ukraine. The program enables students to take a combination of UofS language and culture courses for university credit. Prof. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen, the founding director of Spring Session in Ukraine, will travel with the students to deliver the course ANTH 233 “Anthropological Perspectives on Ukraine,” and will coordinate the program with the TNPU program Director, Olena Huzar. Six students are scheduled to participate in the 2016 Spring Session in Ukraine program.
As a part of the course curriculum, students will also undertake a number of activities. These include visits to various historic sites and sites of recent civil protests (2013-2014) in Lviv, Ukraine; meet and dialogue with local volunteer groups; listen to special lectures by local faculty from the Ukrainian Catholic University; and write reflective papers on their engagement with local Ukrainian groups and individuals.
In addition, as a part of the program, curriculum students will travel to a number of other centres to explore the multicultural and historical heritage of Western Ukraine, for example, Kam’ianets Podilsky, and enjoy a two-day stay in the Carpathian Mountains where they will endeavour to hike the highest mountain in Ukraine, Mount Hoverla.
Prof. Khanenko-Friesen with the 2015 SSU Participants,
During the 2015-2016 academic year, the Ukrainian Studies Minor offered Ukrainian language courses (UKR114 and 117, and UKR 214 and 217), a course in political studies (POLS 465 Nationalism) and two courses in anthropology (ANTH 236 Ethnicity in Action: Ukrainian Canadian Experience and ANTH 233 Contemporary Ukraine). The new course ANTH 236 Ethnicity in Action: Ukrainian Canadian Experience was developed and taught in Term 1, 2015-16 by Prof. Natalia Khanenko-Friesen (STM Teaching Award 2015-16).
To allow for students to complete all three levels of Ukrainian language instruction at the UofS, third-year Ukrainian language courses UKR 314 and 317 are offered through STM’s Spring Session in Ukraine. All students participating in this program are signed up to take these two courses.
Overall the program enjoys good student enrolments and has attracted the first registrants for the Minor degree. For a number of consecutive years now, the language courses — taught by Prof. Nadya Foty-Oneschuk (who was nominated for an STM Teaching Award in 2015) — have registered a record number of students — the highest in North America for first-year Ukrainian language courses.