DATE: February – December 2010

Launched in 2004 by Ambassador Ronald N. and Eileen Weiser to link the University of Michigan (U-M) and Slovak academic communities, the Weiser Professional Development Program was expanded in 2009 to seek applicants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kaliningrad, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Visiting faculty from institutions of higher education in these countries spend up to one month in Ann Arbor partnering on research with U-M faculty. The program is administered by the Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE).

The 2010 competition produced seven fellows from five countries who will visit U-M this year:

  • Vilma Brukiené, lecturer in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the Institute of Odontology, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, Lithuania, will research the use of synthetic enamel coating on stainless steel crowns for use in children. Her host advisor is B.H. Clarkson, professor of dentistry in U-M’s Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, and Endodontics.
  • Oxana Chorna, associate professor of finance and banking and director of the Institute of International Finance, Dnipropetrovsk University of Economics and Law, Ukraine, will work on financial management problems in transitional countries with her host advisor, Professor Barbara Peitsch of the College of Business at U-M Dearborn.
  • Guram Kvirkvelia, principal researcher at the Centre of Archaeology, Georgian National Museum (GNM), Tbilisi, Georgia, will collaborate with Professor Christopher Ratté, director of the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology. They will work on artifacts uncovered in the Vani region of Georgia during a joint expedition of the GNM and U-M.
  • Ilona Michailovic, associate professor of criminal justice, Faculty of Law, Vilnius University, Lithuania, will research violent conflict and its legal regulation from a gendered perspective; her host advisor will be Catharine MacKinnon, Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law.
  • Ruben Mirakyan, associate professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Arabic Studies at Yerevan State University, Armenia, will pursue the complex issue of Islam in the United States with his host advisor Alexander Knysh, professor of Islamic Studies and associate director of the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies.
  • Branislav Ondrášik, assistant professor and director at the Institute of Mass Media Communication, Faculty of Media, Bratislava School of Law, Slovakia, will visit U-M during Fall 2010 to examine political communication and campaigning in the 2010 Michigan gubernatorial and congressional elections. His host advisor is David A. Howell, assistant director of the Center for Political Studies and director of studies, Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, Institute for Social Research.
  • Dainius H. Pauza, professor and principal investigator in the Institute of Anatomy, Kaunas University of Medicine, Lithuania, will work on a research project with his host advisor, José Jalife, M.D., Cyrun and Jane Farrehi Professor of Cardiovascular Research, professor of internal medicine, professor of molecular and integrative physiology, and co-director of the Center for Arrhythmia Research.

SPONSOR: Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia