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My Ukranian Summer

Shymonyak (left) as an objective observer at a protest outside of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) in Kyiv, Ukraine.

It’s not your typical summer vacation for a college sophomore: two months in Ukraine, conducting interviews with professors and students to research the causes of the increasing polarity between the east and the west, along with the resulting political, economic, social, and cultural consequences of polarization.

CHASS major and Park scholar Andriy Shymonyak can’t wait. The Ukranian-born student–he moved to the United States at age five–says his interest in Ukraine’s economy and politics was fostered under the guidance of Clifford Griffin, associate professor of political science and director of international programs in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“I have been working with Dr. Griffin since the beginning of my freshman year on my interests in international relations and the geographic region of Eastern Europe,” says Shymonyak. “His mentorship thus far has been priceless and I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”

When Shymonyak returns to campus this fall, he and Griffin will collaborate on papers they may submit to the North Carolina Political Science Association and the Southern Political Science Association.

Read more about Shymonyak and his Ukranian summer on the Park Scholars website.