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Event series to promote, strengthen relationship between Penn State and Ukraine

A series of lectures and performances, hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of both Ukrainian independence and the University's partnership with Ukraine in 2016 and 2017.

Titled "Ukraine: A Celebration of Nation," the series will include lectures, roundtables, readings and performances from Ukrainian scholars, artists and writers from the United States, Ukraine and several other countries. A full schedule can be found on the series website.

The first event took place on Sept. 14, when Solomiya Ivakhiv, a violin and viola professor at the University of Connecticut, performed "Ukraine — Journey to Freedom: A Century of Classical Music for Violin and Piano." The recital and an accompanying masterclass were co-sponsored by the Penn State School of Music and the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literature in the College of Liberal Arts.

On Oct. 25, Sergiy Zibtsev, laureate of the GCI/UNEP/OCHA Green Star Award and head of the Regional Eastern European Fire Monitoring Center at the Institute of Forestry and Landscape-Park Management, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv, will deliver a lecture, "The Risk of Catastrophic Fire in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone of Ukraine," from 2-3 p.m. in 118 Agricultural Sciences and Industries Building. The presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion.

On Oct. 28, Serhii Plokhii, Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History and director at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University, will give a distinguished lecture, "What's Past is Prologue: The Ukraine Crisis in the Historical Perspective," from 4-5 p.m.

The series culmination will be a performance by DakhaBrakha, a world music quartet from Kyiv, at 7:30 p.m. on April 4, 2017, in Schwab Auditorium.

The celebration is thanks in large part to the generosity of real estate developers Helen and Alex Woskob of State College. Their  relationship with Penn State dates back to 1992, when the Woskobs established the Ukrainian Agricultural Exchange Program, enabling collaboration between the College of Agricultural Sciences and partners in Ukraine.

Since then, the Woskobs have made multiple contributions to Penn State, including the Woskob New Century Fund and the Woskob International Research in Agriculture Scholar Program in the College of Agricultural Sciences, and the Woskob Family Endowment in Ukrainian Studies in the College of Liberal Arts.