By Matt Riedl, news editor
Seven delegates from Ukraine, including one translator, met with the Newman University Cabinet on Friday to exchange ideas and network.
While at Newman, the delegates focused on mainly science and communications programs. The delegates, who are all professors or administrators associated with Uzhhorod National University in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, said they were impressed by Newman’s programs.
“We really think it’s a prominent university, not only locally but nationally,” delegate Svyatoslav Babilya said.
The group of professors discussed future exchange between the two institutions, in which each school would send research and similar products to the other. Mykola Sidak, professor of law, said Uzhhorod National is well-known in Ukraine for its medical programs, which include nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and even plastic surgery.
“A good way to start would be exchanging publications,” Sidak said. “Partnership starts from some joint work. We’re not talking about going full-tilt into student exchange. We understand how far away we are.”
Newman President Noreen Carrocci was receptive of the idea, but said she was concerned about students being able to communicate their message in Ukrainian.
“Language would be a big barrier,” Carrocci said. “That would be my concern.”
Regardless, the possibility is on the table for the two schools, Carrocci said, as translation is not a difficult process.
The Ukrainian delegates were highly complimentary of Newman and its students.
“We were impressed by your students,” Ivan Babushchak, professor of journalism, said. “They were asking questions and answering our questions. In general, I liked how open-minded people are.”
The stop at Newman was their last before returning to Ukraine.
Before coming to the university, the delegates spent two days in Washington, D.C., meeting Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran. Throughout the week, they stayed with members of the Wichita Rotary Club, to which Carrocci and her husband belong.
The trip to the United States was put on by Open World Leadership Center, a program of the Library of Congress that promotes international collaboration and exchange.
Provost Michael Austin said Newman’s participation in the program adds to the school’s international profile.
“It’s a good opportunity to share Newman University with people across the world, to cooperate in an international, global partnership, and to introduce faculty to the kinds of international education that are currently going on,” Austin said.
Austin said future collaboration between the two will be on a professor-to-professor basis.
The delegates left Friday with high hopes for a future partnership.
“We could work in the future and have some kind of exchange,” Yaroslava Hosynets, professor of botany and biology, said. “We would be very interested in working together.”