Vera Andrushkiw with CREES Director Roman Szporluk and Donna Parmelee, circa 1990

CREES offers its condolences to all who knew Vera Andrushkiw, who passed away on March 18, 2022. Ms. Andrushkiw made valuable contributions to the study of Ukrainian on the University of Michigan campus and was very active in the Ukrainian community in Ann Arbor and the metro-Detroit area. Born in 1942 in Ukraine, she fled the devastation of World War II and immigrated to New York City in 1949 along with her parents and brother.

Studying under Professor Assya Humesky at U-M, Ms. Andrushkiw completed all the requirements for a Ph.D. Candidate Degree (‘93) in Slavic Languages and Literatures, except for a doctoral thesis. Ms. Andrushkiw was a lecturer at U-M from 1991-95, Wayne State University from 1985-97, and an Adult Education instructor in Warren and Grosse Pointe for many years.

In addition to being a lifelong educator, Ms. Andrushkiw was also an activist and philanthropist. With the Committee in Defense of Human Rights in Ukraine, she and other Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA) members organized demonstrations, letter writing campaigns, press releases, and blood drives on behalf of detained Ukrainian dissidents in 1972. Following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Ms. Andrushkiw worked as a tour guide and translator in Ukraine and Czechoslovakia. From 1999-2006, she served in various roles at the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, including Director of USAID Community Partnerships Project and Vice-President for External Relations.

CREES is grateful for Ms. Andrushkiw’s many years of support of U-M students interested in Ukraine and Ukrainian studies through the UNWLA’s Branch 50, in which she was very active. This year the Ukrainian Research Grant has been named in her honor.