Lithuanian dance group, the Žaibas Lithuanian Dancers of Madison, Wisconsin, after their performance at The Overture Center’s International Festival on February 29.
In this issue: From the Director, Featured Stories, Welcome to CREECA!, Staying Connected, & Community Updates
From the Director
Dear friends of CREECA,

As you are aware, CREECA has postponed its public activities until the COVID-19 situation improves. During this challenging time, CREECA remains committed to its mission of supporting research, teaching, and outreach on our world regions. Until public events launch again, we will continue to deliver accurate, high-quality information about our world regions virtually by way of our newsletter and social media.

I am deeply grateful to all of you—faculty, students, alumni, staff members, other university-based affiliates, and local residents—for your patience and flexibility as you have smoothly transitioned and quickly adjusted to working remotely, Times like these have the bright side of helping one to appreciate the privilege of participating in an academic community united by and devoted to a common cause—our interest in Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia.

Please follow this link to read my full letter to the CREECA community.
May you all be safe and healthy,
Ted Gerber, Director of CREECA
Featured Stories
CREECA works in many ways to fulfill its mission as a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Centerboth through face-to-face and online engagementMembers of CREECA have been busy in 2020 by volunteering their time and lending their expertise to represent Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia in the local community, particularly at professional development opportunities for K-12 educators. Click here to read about the exciting outreach events that CREECA affiliates have participated in lately.
On February 28, 75 educators and language advocates on campus gathered to address the most pressing challenges in world language education today. Participants–including several CREECA affiliates–discussed the current landscape and brainstormed ideas to strengthen language education at UW-Madison based on the results of a campus-wide survey among 3,300 undergraduates. Click here to read more about the symposium and language learning programs on campus.
Welcome to CREECA!
A warm welcome to Carole Long, who joins our team as the new IRIS Financial Specialist. She holds a degree in marketing from MATC and is an experienced financial specialist. She has worked most recently at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) and previously at UW-Madison in DoIT and MDS. In her new role, she is excited to work in international studies and connect with teachers and students with unique perspectives and life experiences. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, baking, cooking international cuisine, and exploring Wisconsin with her husband on their motorcycles. Contact information for Carole can be found here
Staying Connected
Engaging Eurasia:
A Fellowship for High School and Community College Educators
Applications Due: May 1, 2020
Learn more about this opportunity here ! 
The year-long, competitive fellowship is open to both part-time and full-time educators at the high school and community college level who are interested in deepening their understanding of the history and current events of the post-Soviet space. Fellows will do this through in-person (at Harvard University) and online sessions with expert faculty and scholars. In addition to content regarding regional and international conflicts and disputes, the fellowship will provide an overview of mediation theory and strategies and participants will participate in a conflict negotiation simulation focused on the region.
Host Dr. Natalie McCauley and her guest, Karen Evans-Romaine, professor of Russian at UW-Madison and director of the UW-Madison Russian Flagship Program, discuss ways to promote students’ autonomy, how technology has evolved and what it means for language teaching, how Evans-Romaine uses songs in her classroom, and many other practical aspects of language teaching. They also talk about how our field has changed over the years, and the importance of mentorship and faculty support. Follow this link to listen now.
Community Updates
News or updates to share? Write to us at:
Robert K. Evanson (PhD in Political Science, 1979) is professor emeritus of Political Science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has co-edited (with Robin Alison Remington) Globalization and Regime Change: Lessons from the New Russia and the New Europe (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020). Evanson also wrote two chapters, “The Czech Republic and the Sudeten Germans: The End of Conflict?” and “Conclusions,” and co-authored (with Paul Wallace) a third chapter, “Terrorism or Non-Violence: Competing Paradigms for Post-Cold War Europe and Russia.”

Melissa Miller (PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures) is assistant teaching professor in Russian at the University of Notre Dame. In 2019, she was appointed Director of Undergraduate Studies in Russian and Concurrent Faculty in Gender Studies at Notre Dame, and she received a Summer Residency Fellowship from the National Humanities Center. She has also recently published two articles: “The Hunt for an Eternal Legacy: Putin and the Vampire Legend in Modern Russia,” co-authored with Colleen Lucey and published in Folklorica: Journal of the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Folklore Association Volume XXII, and “Chekhov and Zola’s Naturalism” in The Russian Review.

David Ost (PhD in Political Science, 1986), of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, has been awarded a senior fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Social Science, in Princeton for the 2020-2021 academic year. The title of the book project he will undertake there is “Workers, the Neo-Fascist Allure, and the Transformation of the Left.” Ost's most recent work in the last several months include:
  “Historicizing the Polish Left: A Critique of Michal Sierminski’s ‘Transformative Decade’” in Studia Litteraria et Historica;  “The Ouvrierist Ivan Szelényi and the Missing Sociology of Labor” in Inequalities and Transitions: Prospects for a Critical Sociology, edited by Tamas Demeter; “Down With 1989! The Peculiar Right-Wing Backlash Against 1968 in Poland” in East European Politics and Societies; “The Endless Innovations of the Semi-Periphery and the Peculiar Power of Eastern Europe” in The Future of (Post) Socialism, edited by Dijana Jelača, Danijela Lugarić, and John F. Bailyn.

Congratulations to John Riordan (MA in REECAS, 2003), who has been appointed incoming director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for Tajikistan. He is the former director for USAID Uzbekistan. Read more about John’s professional trajectory in this alumni spotlight from our October 2018 newsletter.

Shannon Spasova (PhD in Slavic Languages & Literatures) is assistant professor of Russian and the Technology Specialist in the Center for Language Teaching Advancement at Michigan State University. In July, she starts a new role as editor of The FLTMAG, a free magazine on technology integration in language teaching and learning. Spasova has also designed this Russian classroom exercise based on a YouTube video titled  "How to Stay at Home for a Long Time and Not Go Crazy,” in which Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov reflects on his extended time under house arrest.

Katia Levintova (Professor of Political Science and Global Studies, UW-Green Bay) was recently promoted to full professor at UW-Green Bay and has received the university's Founders Award for Excellence in Teaching.
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Private gifts ensure that CREECA maintains its excellence as one of the leading centers for the study of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. Donations support research grants for graduate students, training in critical world languages, and lectures and cultural events that impact the wider community. Gifts of any size are most welcome and gratefully appreciated. To donate, please visit this site.

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