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March 29, 2022 – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) will present a virtual panel discussion, “Events in and around Ukraine: What is Happening and Why It Matters,” at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 31.

Register for the webinar at https://siue.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_F_BuTBy2ScSMgRkFS3uixQ.

      Moderated by Kenneth Moffett, PhD, chair and professor in the Department of Political Science, the panel will feature distinguished faculty experts who will help explain the pressing current events occurring in Eastern Europe.

      Panelists include Olga Bezhanova, PhD, chair and professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature; Sorin Nastasia, PhD, director of the International Studies Program and associate professor in the Department of Applied Communication Studies; John Shimkus, former Congressman and faculty member in the Department of Political Science; and Suranjan Weeraratne, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Political Science.

      The panel seeks to provide the context needed for understanding the issues surrounding the situation in Ukraine and to answer participant questions.

      “Many in the SIUE community have been preoccupied about the situation in Ukraine,” said Nastasia. “As a faculty from the Eastern European country of Romania and a communication teacher-scholar, I am particularly interested in helping explain aspects related to the outpouring of refugees and the dissemination of information in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

       The discussion will focus on various aspects of the war including global and regional implications, effects on U.S. foreign policy and speculation on how it might eventually end.

       “The panel on Ukraine is terribly important given there is a lot of concern locally, nationally and globally about what is happening over there,” Weeraratne explains. “The Russian invasion is the biggest outbreak of inter-state violence in Europe since the end of WWII. It is a real shock for a lot of people studying conflict, because very few people thought that Putin would unleash a war of this magnitude.”

Central to SIUE’s exceptional and comprehensive education, the College of Arts and Sciences offers degree programs in the natural sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences, and communications. The College touches the lives of all SIUE students helping them explore diverse ideas and experiences, while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of the global community. Study abroad, service-learning, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities better prepare SIUE students not only to succeed in our region's workplaces, but also to become valuable leaders who make important contributions to our communities.

Photo: (Top L-R) Kenneth Moffett, PhD, chair and professor in the Department of Political Science; Olga Bezhanova, PhD, chair and professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature; (Bottom L-R) Sorin Nastasia, PhD, director of the International Studies Program and associate professor in the Department of Applied Communication Studies; John Shimkus, former Congressman and faculty member in the Department of Political Science; and Suranjan Weeraratne, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Political Science.