The essence of Ukraine’s undying spirit – Vasyl Stus

An affiliated lecturer in Ukrainian studies at the University of Cambridge Bohdan Tokarsky wrote recently:

“This spring, facing a global pandemic in response to which we have had to isolate ourselves, many turned to literature for encouragement and direction. Boccaccio, Defoe and Camus may teach us a great deal about life in the shadow of plagues, but few authors provide a better example of surviving and finding meaning in isolation than Vasyl Stus (1938-1985), one of Ukraine’s most sophisticated 20th-century poets… For his uncompromising moral stance and defiant behavior, prison administrators repeatedly placed him in solitary confinement. In 1983, after his diary had been smuggled out of the camp and published outside the USSR, he spent an entire year alone in a cell. Two years later, he was dead…”

Mazurkevich gets diplomatic appointment to U.S. Embassy in Kyiv

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce has appointed Dorian Mazurkevich as the U.S. intellectual property attaché for Eurasia, with the diplomatic rank of first secretary. In his new position, Mr. Mazurkevich will oversee intellectual property rights and enforcement issues in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, the Western Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asian regions. He will also be responsible for launching the region’s inaugural office.

Mr. Mazurkevich is based at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv as of the end of January.

Deputy Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Dale Tasharski conducted the swearing-in ceremony at the Herbert C. Hoover Building in Washington on October 28, 2019. Mr. Mazurkevich’s wife, Christina; his mother, Ulana; and his aunt and godmother, Larissa Matusiak, were in attendance.

Nicholas Siokalo awarded Carnegie Hero Medal

MORRIS PLAINS, N.J. – The Andrew Carnegie Hero Fund, which honors individuals who risk their lives to save others, recently awarded the esteemed Carnegie Hero Medal to Nicholas “Kolia” Siokalo. This past September, Mr. Siokalo saved a young child from drowning in a riptide at a beach in Belmar, N.J.

Litynska becomes second Ukrainian woman in history to climb Earth’s Seven Summits

KYIV – Lviv-born Oksana Litynska accomplished one of the most advanced climbers’ feats – she climbed the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. The last one on her list was Mount Vinson (4,892 meters) in Antarctica, which she successfully ascended on December 28, 2019.
In May, she reached the world’s highest point, Mount Everest (8,848 meters), and became the third Ukrainian woman to do so. Now she is a part of an exclusive club of around 70 women in history who achieved the Seven Summits program.

Boston Holodomor committee chair inducted into Educators Hall of Fame

Greater Boston Committee for the Remembrance of the Ukrainian Famine Genocide

SALEM, Mass. – During ceremonies held on November 14, 2019, in the ballroom of Salem’s historic Hawthorne Hotel, attorney and political science professor Paul Thomas Rabchenuk was inducted into the Northeast Regional Educators Hall of Fame.
He was the recipient of the Dr. Edna Mauriello ’44 Lifetime Achievement Award based on his years as a teacher, his public positions and as a long-time advocate for genocide education and awareness. For the past 12 years, he has held the position of chair of the Greater Boston Committee for the Remembrance of the Ukrainian Famine Genocide, 1932-1933, the Holodomor.

Luciuk honored with Cross of Ivan Mazepa

KINGSTON, Ontario. – Prof. Lubomyr Luciuk was honored by Ukraine with the Cross of Ivan Mazepa, which was presented on December 6, 2019, by Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko. Prof. Luciuk says he first learned he had been awarded this medal on August 23, 2019, when he received information about Presidential Decree No. 622 signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine. The Chancellery of Honors announced that the government of Canada had approved Prof. Luciuk receiving this medal through a notice in the Canada Gazette on October 26, 2019.

Priest presents pysanka to Pope Francis

TERRYVILLE, Conn. – The Rev. Dr. Paul Luniw, pastor of St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church in Terryville, Conn., and judicial vicar of the Stamford Eparchy, recently attended the 24th International Congress of the Society for the Law of Eastern Churches in Rome, whose topic was “Fifty Years of Encounter Among the Eastern Churches: How Canon Law Assists in the Ecumenical Dialogue.” The keynote speaker was Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. After a private tour of the Vatican gardens, a private audience was held in the Vatican palace with Pope Francis. During the audience, as seen in the photo above, Father Luniw presented Pope Francis with one of his masterpiece ostrich pysanky.

Educator receives award for Holodomor lesson plan

TORONTO – HREC Education, of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC), a project of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, announced on October 1 that its national panel of three education adjudicators has selected the 2019 winner of the HREC Educator Prize for Holodomor Lesson Plan Development.
This year, the judges have awarded one prize of $1,000 (Canadian) to Dr. Thomas R. Mueller of the California University of Pennsylvania in California, Pa.

Intern from Ukraine participates in ULEC project

EDMONTON, Alberta – From June to September, the Ukrainian Language Education Center of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies hosted Nadiia Shapovalova, a student of the Oles Honchar National University in the city of Dnipro, as an intern sponsored by the Globalink Research Internship program run by the Canadian NGO Mitacs.
For 20 years, this organization has been implementing educational and scientific research programs in Canada, in close cooperation with 70 universities, 6,000 companies, and the federal and provincial governments. The main objective of Mitacs Globalink is to build constructive partnerships that support industrial and social innovation both in Canada and abroad.

Selected for White House Leadership Development Program

WASHINGTON – Yaro T. Kulchyckyj of the U.S. Department of State was among the 18 U.S. civil servants selected for the White House Leadership Development Program (WHLDP) for 2018-2019.
The WHLD Program helps build the next generation of leaders in the executive branch. Its aim is to strengthen enterprise leadership across the government by providing senior level federal employees with expanded perspective and skillsets to address challenges facing the country. It is sponsored by the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the President’s Manage­ment Council (PMC), and supported by the Performance Improvement Council (PIC).