Weekly Updates

March 26 - April 9, 2021
NEW Episodes!
Spanish Civil War Refugee Children in the USSR

In the late 1930s, the Soviet Union took in about nearly 3,000 child refugees of the Spanish Civil War. These kids, aged roughly from 5 to 12 years old, were placed in boarding schools in Leningrad, Moscow and elsewhere in the USSR. Their stay in this strange new land was supposed to be temporary. But fascist victory in the Spanish Civil War and the outbreak of WWII made them exiles for the foreseeable future. Now responsible to their rearing and education, Soviet officials and their Spanish minders transformed these children into hybrid Hispano-Soviets. They were steeped in patriotism for their two homelands and taught to emulate Spanish and Soviet heroes, scientists, soldiers, and artists. How did these Spanish children fare in the Soviet Union and live through the multiple traumas of their childhood? What did it mean to Hispano-Soviet? What was their fate and memory of growing up as a refugee? Here’s Karl Qualls with this little known story.


Karl Qualls is the John B. Parsons Chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Professor of History at Dickinson College. He’s the author of From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after World War II. His new book is Stalin’s Niños: Educating Spanish Civil War Refugee Children in the Soviet Union, 1937-51 published by the University of Toronto Press.

REEES Part-Time Graduate Student Assistant Position, Academic Year 2021-2022

The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES) is seeking a half-time Graduate Student Assistant (10 hours per week) for the 2021-22 academic year.

Please note that this position will be available pending the confirmation of funding.


1) Assist in the following ways with the annual European and Eurasian Undergraduate Research Symposium (to learn about the Symposium, please visit

  • Help create and distribute publicity materials for the Symposium.
  • Help with logistical arrangements, scheduling, and correspondence with students and faculty participating in the Symposium.
  • Work with accepted students individually to help them revise their papers and prepare to present at the Symposium.
  • Attend meetings of the Symposium organizing committee to participate in planning the event.
  • Be present at the Symposium, which will take place in Spring 2022, to help ensure that the event runs smoothly.
  • Assist with other Symposium-related tasks as needed.

2) Assist the REEES Associate and Assistant Directors and Engagement Coordinator with organization, publicity, correspondence, etc. for events sponsored by the REEES outreach program. (To learn about REEES outreach, please visit These events may include Pitt’s high school Model United Nations simulation, professional development workshops for educators, sending speakers to local schools, development of training and curriculum materials, etc.

3) Assist the Center with data collection and preparation of materials for REEES grant proposals and reports

4) Assist the Center with other duties as assigned.

This position covers up to half of tuition, plus a stipend of approximately $4,150 per semester. To apply, please submit a cover letter, CV, and short writing sample (approximately 3 to 5 pages) by Monday, April 15, 2021.

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • Academic or professional experience related to Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and/or Eurasia.
  • Cannot hold a concurrent hourly student position;
  • Enrolled in a University of Pittsburgh graduate program in the arts, humanities or social sciences; students enrolled in credentials offered by the University Center for International Studies preferred
  • 3.5 GPA or above
  • Proactive approach to responsibilities, planning and project management. Ability to take initiative.
  • Experience in proofreading and light content editing
  • Excellent written, speaking and organizational skills; demonstrated ability to work both independently and with a team in an office environment where multitasking and high attention to detail are essential.
 The University of Pittsburgh is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and values equality of opportunity, human dignity and diversity. EOE, including disability/vets

REEES Undergraduate Student Ambassador
Looking for an internship in a field you already care about? Want some extra help paying those tuition bills? You’re in luck! The Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES) is now accepting applications for an Undergraduate Student Ambassador for the 2021-2022 academic year. 
This position is a great way to build your résumé in a way that demonstrates a professional commitment to international education, policy, and research! We are pleased to be able to offer the successful applicant a tuition remission scholarship of $3,500 per semester as compensation. This position is open to Pitt undergraduate students. Students pursuing a REEES credential will receive priority consideration.
Ambassadors are expected to work an average of 10 hours per week, depending on the Center’s needs and the intern’s academic schedule. Responsibilities of the position include:
  • Promoting the Certificate in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, the Related Concentration in European and Eurasian Studies, and other REEES undergraduate credentials through class visits 
  • Holding weekly office hours
  • Serving as the REEES liaison to relevant student groups on campus
  • Assisting with REEES and REEES-affiliated events, including student conferences and other gatherings 
  • Being a resource for other Pitt undergraduates interested in learning about REEES
  • Assisting REEES students with the digital portfolio requirement of REEES certificates 
  • Serving as our Global Ambassador to the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) and ex officio member of the Global Ambassador Committee
The position reports to the REEES Academic Advisor.
To apply, please send the following to Trevor Erlacher, REEES Academic Advisor, at by April 9, 2021:
  • A cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications for the position; please also note any scholarships you will receive and any other student positions you plan to hold during the 2021-22 academic year, as well as the number hours you will work in those positions
  • A résumé
  • The name, email address, and phone number of one reference (e.g. professor, advisor, employer), noting their professional relationship to you
Finalists will be invited for an interview via Zoom.

Call for Applications: Faculty Small Grants

REEES small grants are open on a rolling basis to all Pitt faculty working on topics related to our region. For more information on eligibility requirements and further details about the application process, please see the website. For any additional information, please contact Gina Peirce. Funding for successful proposals submitted in September – December must be spent by June 15, 2021.

Application deadline:  Rolling

**COVID-19 Advisory: At this time, the University of Pittsburgh is not allowing any non-essential travel by faculty, students, or staff on University business. Research, conference participation, and most other teaching-related travel qualify as non-essential travel.


Call for Applications: Course Development Grants

REEES offers faculty small grants on a rolling basis for course development or language module development. Proposals are sought to enhance teaching on the cultures, languages, politics, economies and societies of Central/Eastern Europe/Eurasia, Russia and the former USSR. REEES faculty from all A&S departments and professional schools are eligible to apply. Funds may be requested to support a variety of activities. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Acquisition of special instructional materials (e.g., databases, monographs, periodicals, films or electronic media).
  • Bibliographic searches.
  • Payments to students for assistance with any aspect of course development. Note, however, that no payment may be given for any student work unless and until that arrangement has been approved by REEES, due to the possible complexities involved in paying students.

Application Deadline: Rolling

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program 2022-2023

The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program 2022-2023 competition is NOW OPEN. The Scholar Program offers diverse opportunities for U.S. academics, administrators, and professionals to teach, research, do professional projects and attend seminars abroad.

For information on the variety of scholarships available, visit the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program online. 

Application Deadline: September 15, 2021

The ASEEES Exploring Career Diversity Conversation Series: A Spring 2021 Pilot Program

Are you interested in learning about careers beyond academia? Are you curious how academic skills can be transferred into other professional sectors? Are you interested in learning about resources for job acquisition? ASEEES is pleased to announce the Exploring Career Diversity Conversation Series for graduate students or recent graduates who are interested in broadening their career horizons. The events provide a space for informal conversations in Zoom breakout rooms with professionals in career fields outside of academia or within academia outside the professoriate. This spring, ASEEES will offer five opportunities to join a career-focused Zoom discussion. More details about the sessions can be found below. 

Eligibility for participation: 

  • Be a student in or a recent graduate (degree received in the last five years) of an MA/PhD program 

  • Be a member of ASEEES. You may renew your membership for 2021 online if you have not already done so.

Participants may sign up to take part in any or all conversations. Please note: sessions will not be recorded. To register for one or more of these sessions, please click through to the Members' Site

This initiative is supported by the Committee for Careers beyond Academia.

Exploring Careers in Secondary Education (Monday, 29 March; 4:30-6PM Eastern)

Matthew Lilly - Assistant Director, International Programs, Norfolk Academy
Katharina Matro - History and Economics Teacher, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Rachel Rothstein - Dean of Social Studies and Director of the Israel Poland Experience, The Weber School
Joy-Nicole Smith - Virtual Science Teacher and CEO of The Joy of Learning
Elizabeth Vann - Director, Advance Tutoring
Julie Zigoris - Author and former Humanities Department Chair, Jewish Community High School of the Bay

Exploring Careers in Academia beyond Teaching and Research (Friday, 2 April; 1-2:30PM Eastern)

Veronica Aplenc - Program Manager, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership, University of Pennsylvania
Alicia Baca - Outreach Coordinator, CSEES, Ohio State University
Zachary Kelly - Assistant Director, ISEEES, University of California, Berkeley
Brendan Nieubuurt - Librarian for SEEES, University of Michigan
Amanda Swain - Executive Director, Humanities Center, University of California Irvine

Exploring Careers in Government and Government-affiliated Organizations (Thursday, 15 April; 2:30-4PM Eastern)*

Cammeron Girvin - Library of Congress
Elana Jakel - US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Nina Murray - Foreign Service
Rachel Salzman - US Department of Commerce
Steven Stoltenberg - US State Department (retired)
*While all are welcome to join us, this session is targeted to US citizens or for people in advising roles looking for information to share with their advisees.

Transferring Skills from Graduate Programs into the Professional World (Thursday, 29 April; 2:30-4PM Eastern)

Imani Crawford - Founder, Black Bread
Emily Elliott - Managing Editor, East Lansing Info
Eileen Kunkler - Assistant Director, CSEES, Ohio State University
Isabel Lane - Director, Boston College Prison Education Program
Nellie Manis - Program Manager, Critical Language Scholarship Program, American Councils for International Education
Dawn Seckler - Director of Development, Bridgeway Capital

Exploring Careers in Business and Consulting (Thursday, 6 May; 1:30-3PM Eastern)

Cheryl Berriman - Senior Business Manager, Boston Consulting Group
Yakov Feygin - Associate Director, Future of Capitalism, The Berggruen Institute
Daniel Peris - Senior Portfolio Manager, Federated Hermes
Elise Thorsen - Senior Open Source Analyst, Novetta

The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies invites our BIPOC (black, Indigenous, and people of color) colleagues to participate in a two-year (2021-2022) pilot program, the ASEEES Initiative for Diversity and Inclusion. ASEEES recognizes that BIPOC scholars and students in our field have often experienced isolation and marginalization. The aim of this initiative is for ASEEES to provide structural support to create a community of BIPOC students, scholars, and professionals in the United States so that they can network, share their experiences and mentor each other.

We are pleased to offer complimentary two-year membership for 2021 and 2022 to eligible BIPOC students, scholars, and professionals who are working on topics in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia in or outside the academy or those who have an MA or PhD in the field but are working in unrelated areas or disciplines. Previous ASEEES members whose membership has lapsed are especially welcome to rejoin the Association at no cost in 2021 and 2022.

As part of the aim to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in our field and provide professional benefits and support for our BIPOC members, we request that those participating in this initiative be willing to engage with other BIPOC students and colleagues in a designated online networking platform.

ASEEES thanks Douglas Smith and Stephanie Ellis-Smith for their generous gift to fund this initiative.

Eligibility requirements to receive complimentary two-year ASEEES membership:

  • Undergraduate students, graduate students, scholars, or non-academic professionals who identify as BIPOC who are studying or working in the field, or
  • Professionals who identify as BIPOC who have an MA or PhD in the field but are working in unrelated areas or disciplines
  • Permanently residing in the United States
  • Willingness to engage with other BIPOC members in an online network

Please indicate your interest by completing this short information form. If you have not created a profile in the ASEEES membership database, please do so by going here. This information is required in order for us to process your complimentary membership.

Upcoming Events
Film Screening on April 6, 2021 - event registration

Crimea: Embattled Homeland, Suspended Lives
Roundtable Discussion on April 8, 2021 - event registration

Activism, Civil Society, and the Marginalized: A Human Rights Panel on Crimea Today
Panel Discussion on April 10, 2021 - event registration
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Center for Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies · 4400 Posvar Hall · 230 S. Bouquet Street · Pittsburgh, Pa 15260 · USA

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