Isenberg School of Management and Kyiv School of Economics Celebrate Partnership, Introduce Four Exchange Students to Campus Community
The Isenberg School of Management hosted an event on Nov. 2 to celebrate and discuss its partnership with the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine and introduce four exchange students to the campus community.
In March 2022, UMass Amherst signed a series of memoranda of agreement with KSE to assist scholars and students affected by Russia’s war on Ukraine. The agreements were finalized by KSE President Tymofiy Mylovanov and Rector Tymofi Brik and John McCarthy, now Provost Emeritus and former senior vice chancellor for academic affairs for UMass Amherst.
There are 15 virtual scholars based in Ukraine and the four exchange students currently studying at UMass Amherst are Asta Motrenko, Iryna Horoberts, Khrystyna Burhina and Marharyta Nechytailo.
The event showcased the efforts of both institutions to keep Ukrainian academia alive amidst challenging times.
“UMass Amherst is proud to do its part while Ukraine is being illegally invaded. This partnership is the most productive relationship we have had in the shortest period of time,” said Kalpen Trivedi, the vice provost of global affairs and director of the International Programs Office. Trivedi emphasized the significance of the partnership not only for the two institutions but also as a “way to keep Ukrainian academia alive.”
The gathering featured insights from professors Anna Nagurney and Bogdan Prokopovych of the Department of Operations & Information Management and the Department of Management, respectively. Speaking by video, Timofii Brik, vice president for international relations at KSE, praised the program for giving the Ukrainian students this cross-cultural experience.
The exchange students shared their experiences and answered audience questions about their transition from Ukraine to the U.S. The students discussed their academic life, the difference in teaching styles and the cultural shift from living in the city of Kyiv to the rural town of Amherst. They expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to experience the American education system and noted the differences between studying at UMass Amherst and KSE. When asked about their impressions of Amherst, they were unanimous in their appreciation for the town's beauty and tranquility.
The students expressed an interest in using this opportunity for the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine. “When the military comes back and the exiled people return, I want them to live a normal life. I want to work in economics and help heal my country,” said one of the students.
The event concluded with an appeal to the UMass community for continued support for Ukraine. The students expressed their gratitude for the support they have already received from UMass, particularly praising their liaison, international exchange advisor Claire Novotny, for facilitating a smooth transition.
Trivedi is enthusiastic about the future of the program, which could include virtual classes in Poland and possibly sending UMass exchange students to KSE. “We want to continue this successful relationship and stand ready to take this partnership to the next stage,” Trivedi said.