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Russian Area Studies Program Hosts Spring Events on Eastern Europe

VILLANOVA, Pa. –The recent emergence of nationalist and populist forces in Eastern Europe, coupled with the rise of Russia and its invasion of Ukraine, have sparked global concern about its political future. This spring, Villanova University’s Russian Area Studies Program is offering two talks that explore many facets of Eastern Europe’s global impact. The events aim to bring scholarship and critical thought to illuminate an often complicated and controversial geographic area. Both events are free and open to the public.

The first event, “Russia in the Headlines: A Conversation with former NPR Moscow Bureau Chief Lucien Kim,” will take place on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. From 2016 – 2021, Kim served as the Moscow Bureau Chief for National Public Radio and is currently a fellow at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. He began his career in 1996 as the Berlin correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, covering stories in Germany, eastern Europe and Central Asia. In 2003, he moved to Moscow to serve as business editor and columnist for The Moscow Times. Over the course of his career, Kim has contributed to outlets including Bloomberg News, Newsweek, Buzzfeed, Slate, and Reuters.

On Monday, April 11 at 6 p.m., Yuliya Brel-Fournier, PhD, will give a virtual talk on "Modern Belarus: From first Democratic Election (1994) to Last Dictatorship in Europe." Brel-Fournier is an assistant policy scientist at The Center for Applied Demography and Survey Research (CADSR), Biden School of Public Policy & Administration, University of Delaware. A native of Belarus, she earned her doctorate in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, researching the political ramifications of the fall of the Soviet Union on the nations of Poland, Romania and Belarus.

Introduced in 1996, the Russian Area Studies Program provides undergraduates with a structured, multidisciplinary understanding of this complex region of the world and Russia's relations with other countries in the area. The program prepares undergraduate students for a professional career in Russian studies in government, academia or business.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.