Dr. Oksana Lutsyshyna

Writer teaches Ukrainian and more at U. of Texas

AUSTIN, Texas – Oksana Lutsyshyna, a well-known Ukrainian author, is a lecturer in the Ukrainian Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Uzhhorod in the Zakarpattia region of Ukraine, since 2001 she has lived in the United States, first in Florida, then in Georgia and now in Austin, Texas. Dr. Lutsyshyna studied several literary traditions (Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, French) and cultural theory, as well as language teaching methodology. She has been an adjunct instructor at several universities in Florida. She taught Russian, French, English as a second language, academic writing, African literature (her master’s thesis was on Assja Djebar, an Algerian writer), Russian literature and even Melville.

Judge Elias T. Xenos

Michigan lawyer appointed as administrative law judge

DETROIT – Elias T. Xenos has been appointed to the position of administrative law judge with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Detroit. As a federal judge, Judge Xenos holds hearings and issues decisions on appeals from initial determinations under Title II (Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance) and Title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) of the Social Security Act. The decisions he makes crucially affect the lives of claimants, some of whom are society’s most vulnerable and, in the aggregate, involve significant Social Security program dollars. Judge Xenos is also an adjunct professor at Wayne State University, teaching courses in construction management law. Before his judicial appointment, he practiced law in Michigan for 13 years, representing clients in all stages of real estate transactions, civil litigation, business transactions, bankruptcy, corporate restructuring and immigration.

Remembering a once-forgotten priest – Father Nestor Dmytriw

HILLSIDE, N.J. – During 2016, Canadians celebrated the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada. It is therefore fitting to remember Father Nestor Dmytriw, the first Ukrainian Catholic priest to celebrate the divine liturgy in Canada – at Terebovlia, Manitoba, in April 1897. In addition to his spiritual duties, Father Nestor Dmytriw was an avid historian, a natural leader, editor-in-chief of the Ukrainian language newspaper Svoboda and a supreme secretary and auditor of the Ukrainian National Association (then known as the Ruthenian National Association). Father Dmytriw died on May 25, 1925, and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Hillside, N.J. Ironically, Father Dmytriw’s gravesite was unmarked for over 60 years. He was the “forgotten priest” who had done so much for our early Ukrainian settlers in Canada and the USA.

Dr. Volodymyr Dubovyk at the University of Texas at Austin.

Professor from Odesa in Texas on Fulbright

AUSTIN, Texas – Dr. Volodymyr Dubovyk, an associate professor of international relations and director of the Center for International Studies at Odesa National University in Odesa, Ukraine, is spending the 2016-2017 academic year in Austin, Texas, on a Fulbright Scholarship. St. Edward’s University and the University of Texas at Austin jointly invited the scholar. At St. Edwards Dr. Dubovyk is hosted by the Kozmetsky Center and its director, Dr. Sharyl Cross, while at UT Austin he is affiliated with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and its director, Dr. Mary Neuberger.

Adrian Bryttan with students from the Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School.

Scholar brings Scythians to the Catskills

TANNERSVILLE, N.Y. – Students at two local schools in upstate New York, Hunter-Tannersville Middle/High School and Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School, recently had a unique opportunity. They were treated to a special preview by Adrian Bryttan of his “Gold of the Scythians” presentation at the Mountain Top Library in Tannersville on October 8. Local art teachers had invited him to bring the gold-leafed sculptures he had created and to demonstrate how he molded them. At the same time he explained the history of the Scythians. Arts Alive, the magazine published by the Greene County Council on the Arts, praised Mr. Bryttan’s outreach: “This was an extraordinary experience for the school students, teachers and young artists.

Fathers Roman Mirchuk (left) and John Terlecky.

Two priests celebrate 40th anniversaries

STAMFORD, Conn. – Two Ukrainian American clergymen recently celebrated the 40th anniversaries of their priestly ordinations with celebrations in Kyiv and Rudno, near Lviv. The Very Rev. Mitred Archpriest Roman Mirchuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, who currently resides in Mykolayiv, Ukraine, and the Rt. Rev. Mitred Archpriest Msgr. John Terlecky, a pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s Stamford Eparchy, visited the Three Holy Hierarchs Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Seminary in Kyiv on September 27.

Photographer chronicles life in Hutsul village

NEW YORK – The evocative photography of Lida Suchy was featured in The New York Times blog about photography, video and visual journalism called “Lens.”

“Life, Up Close, in a Ukrainian Village,” written by Jonathan Blaustein, told readers about a unique project by Ms. Suchy, who hails from Syracuse, N.Y.

The December 5 article begins:

“Growing up, Lida Suchy listened to her parents’ tales of the Ukrainian homeland, which they fled because of Soviet persecution during World War II. At night, her father, Zenon, told her bedtime stories about Baba Yaga, the Ukrainian witch, but also tales from his summers spent among the Hutsul culture, deep in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine. …”

“These stories had a magical place in my mind,” said Ms. Suchy, who was born in 1960 and raised in North Dakota and upstate New York. “I was really interested in confronting the reality of what was there with myths he had created in my head about what home was like.”

Ms. Suchy was able to visit her father’s hometown, Kolomyia, after the fall of communism. That visit led her to a long-term photodocumentary project about the people of a village in the Hutsul region of Ukraine – a project she has conducted for 24 years.

At the Gunn Award presentation (from left) are: Canadian Immigration Historical Society jury member Dr. Gerard Van Kessel, Kassandra Luciuk and Michael Molloy, CIHS president.

Doctoral candidate wins Gunn Award

TORONTO – Kassandra Luciuk, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Toronto, was awarded the Gunn Award for her research paper on Ukrainians living in Cold War Canada. The Gunn Award (which carried a cash prize of $1,000) is presented jointly by the Canadian Immigration Historical Society (CIHS) and the International Migration Research Center (IMRC) at Wilfrid Laurier University. The award recognizes the best fourth-year or graduate-level research paper on the historical evolution of Canadian immigration policy or a historical analysis of Canadian immigration related to specific places, events, or communities. Ms. Luciuk’s essay was chosen from a very strong field of candidates. Titled, “‘There is only one Ukrainian People’: Ukrainian Canadians, symbols of self, and the negotiation of legitimacy in Cold War Canada,” the essay explores how Taras Shevchenko, the best known 19th century Ukrainian poet and nationalist, became a symbol for the two Ukrainian Canadian organizations competing for support during the Cold War years – one socialist and Communist and the other anti-Communist and nationalist.

Dr. Jelena Pogosjan

New director named at Kule Folklore Center

EDMONTON, Alberta – The staff of the Kule Center for Ukrainian and Canadian Folklore and the Bohdan Medwidsky Ukrainian Folklore Archives at the University of Alberta welcomed Dr. Jelena Pogosjan as their new director. Dr. Pogosjan has been a professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (MLCS) at the University of Alberta since 2002 and has served as associate chair for undergraduate studies. She received her M.A. (1992) and Ph.D. (1997) from the Department of Russian Literature at Tartu University, Estonia. She continued her research at the Laboratory of History and Semiotics at Tartu University, and taught folklore among other disciplines for over 10 years at the university. Her primary areas of research interests include the history of iconostases, official culture of the Russian Empire and the history of the printed calendar.  Dr. Pogosjan’s CV and List of Publications can be viewed at: https://www.ualberta.ca/arts/about/people-collection/jelena-pogosjan.

Patricia Zalisko

Artist awarded fellowship at VCCA

AMHERST, Va. – Patricia Zalisko of Estero, Fla., has been awarded a fellowship by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). The VCCA is located near Sweet Briar College in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia. Ms. Zalisko will be among approximately 25 fellows focusing on their own creative projects at this working retreat for visual artists, writers and composers. A typical residency ranges from two weeks to two months.