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WVU offers expert perspectives on Russia-Ukraine war

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West Virginia University has more than two dozen experts who can offer insights into different aspects of the Russia-Ukraine war, including faculty and students who have lived in Ukraine.

Policy, politics and law

Erik Herron, Eberly Family Professor of Political Science, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of Political Science. Herron has traveled extensively over decades to conduct research in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including multiple election observation missions specifically to Ukraine. In all, he has visited the country 19 times. Herron’s research includes studying the vulnerability of states that border a hostile, larger power, specifically Russia, and how that proximity affects the ability of those countries to provide basic services to their people.

Email: esherron@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Pat McGinley, Charles H. Haden II Professor of Law, WVU College of Law. For more than 20 years, McGinley traveled to Ukraine, helping the country build and maintain a democracy, noting “how easily democracy can slip away from us if we do not hew to the rule of law.”

Email: patrick.mcginley@mail.wvu.edu

(Include James Jolly, Director of Marketing and Communications, WVU College of Law.)

Paolo Farah, associate professor and coordinator, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Research Collaborative on Global Challenges and Local Responses Initiatives, John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics, Department of Public Administration. Farah is also a member of the board for the European Society of International Law.

Email: pdfarah@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Boris Barkanov, teaching assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. He studies the political development of the great powers and how this shapes domestic and global politics and policy results in energy, finance and security. He’s interested in Russia and the other states of the former Soviet Union, China, the EU and its member states (especially Germany and France) along with Japan. Russian is one of the four languages he speaks. He wrote his dissertation on the domestic factors shaping Russian energy policy since the late Soviet period.”

Email: Boris.Barkanov@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

David Hauser, teaching assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Hauser’s research and teaching focus on international conflict and range from the origins of Great Power conflicts and interventions to the dynamics of the 21st Century conflicts. He can provide context for ongoing developments.

Email: david.hauser@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

John Kilwein, associate professor, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of Political Science. Kilwein’s teaching and research interests include judicial politics, public law and public policy. He can speak about the potential effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, specifically in relation to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Email: John.Kilwein@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Jay Krehbiel, assistant professor of political science, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Krehbiel’s research focuses on comparative political institutions with an emphasis on western Europe and the European Union. In part, he can address the responses of other countries in the region to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Email: jay.krehbiel@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Economy and energy

Olga Bruyaka, associate professor, management, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, is a Ukraine native who can explain the human toll of the invasion and the impact on global businesses and economies. She teaches courses in strategic management and global business communication. Bruyaka has also studied and worked in Ukraine.

Email: Olga.Bruyaka@mail.wvu.edu 

(Include Jake Stump, Director of Research Communications jake.stump@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Alexander Kurov, Fred T. Tattersall research chair in finance and professor, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, can speak about the effect of the war in Ukraine on financial and commodity markets. His research has been featured in international media including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Bloomberg. He teaches courses in investments, derivative securities, quantitative investment analysis, and energy finance. 

Email: Alex.Kurov@mail.wvu.edu 

(Include Jake Stump, Director of Research Communications jake.stump@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Scott Schuh, associate professor, economics, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, conducts research on and teaches macroeconomics and monetary economics. Schuh, who worked 26 years as an economist at the Federal Reserve, can address issues surrounding macroeconomic forecasting, monetary/fiscal policy, exchange rate and sanctions.

Email: Scott.Schuh@mail.wvu.edu 

(Include Jake Stump, Director of Research Communications jake.stump@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

John Saldanha, Sears chair in global supply chain management and associate professor, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, can speak about disruptions to the supply chain. Saldanha has a decade of experience serving on a variety of cargo vessels around the world. He teaches supply chain management, logistics and distribution and supply chain analytics.

Email: jpsaldanha@mail.wvu.edu 

(Include Jake Stump, Director of Research Communications jake.stump@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Ednilson Bernardes, professor and program coordinator in global supply chain management, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, can also discuss supply chain issues. Bernardes spent time in the Brazilian Air Force ad worked in the air transportation sector prior to coming to WVU. 

Email: Ednilson.Bernardes@mail.wvu.edu 

(Include Jake Stump, Director of Research Communications jake.stump@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Bingxin Li, associate professor, finance, John Chambers College of Business and Economics, researches and teaches courses on energy finance and financial risk management. She is also a faculty member on the Center for Innovation in Gas Research and Utilization.

Email: Bingxin.Li@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jake Stump, Director of Research Communications jake.stump@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Immigration and global perspectives

James Friedberg, Hale J. and Roscoe P. Posten Professor of Law, WVU College of Law. Friedberg is the founder of the WVU Immigration Law Clinic and teaches immigration law, international law and international trade.

Email: james.friedberg@mail.wvu.edu

(Include James Jolly, Director of Marketing and Communications, WVU College of Law, james.jolly@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Alison Peck, director, WVU Immigration Law Clinic. Peck teachers and writes in the area of global sustainable development, including immigration.

Email: alison.peck@mail.wvu.edu

(Include James Jolly, Director of Marketing and Communications, WVU College of Law, james.jolly@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Clarissa Estep, director, WVU International Studies Program, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Estep can address the international system, theories and international institutions.

Email: clarissa.estep@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Amber Brugnoli, associate vice president and executive director, Office of Global Affairs. Brugnoli articulates and implements the University’s vision for comprehensive internationalization. She also serves as the WVU liaison with external international programs and opportunities and provides expertise to internal units regarding international risk management and traveler concern. Brugnoli has published and spoken in the areas of post-conflict reconstruction and military detention operations.
Email: amber.brugnoli@mail.wvu.edu
(Include Hank Oliver, Director of Global Advancement at WVU, Office of Global Affairs, henry.oliver@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

William Brustein, special assistant to the president for Global Affairs and Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of History. His research interests include European political and religious extremism. Brustein can provide an historical perspective on Russian fears of Ukraine falling under Western influence.
Email: william.brustein@mail.wvu.edu
(Include Hank Oliver, Director of Global Advancement at WVU, Office of Global Affairs, henry.oliver@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

History and Literature

Robert Blobaum, Eberly Family Distinguished Professor, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of History. He teaches Modern Europe, Central and Eastern Russia and Imperial Russia history. He specializes broadly in the social, political and cultural history of Poland in the first decades of the 20th Century and is the current president of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America.

Email: robert.blobaum@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Lisa Di Bartolomeo, coordinates both the Russian Studies program and the Slavic and East European Studies program in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. She is the faculty advisor for the Russian and East European Club and is spearheading a drive to collect cash and buy clothes and supplies for displaced people in Ukraine.

Email: Lisa.Dibartolomeo@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Jessica McGee, Director of Marketing and Communications, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, jessica.mcgee1@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Personal perspectives

V’yacheslav “Slava” Akkerman, professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Ukraine native

Email: vyacheslav.akkerman@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Paige Nesbit, Director of Communications and Marketing, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, paige.nesbit@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Diana Lobai-Akkerman, visiting lecturer, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Ukraine native

Email: diana.lobai@mail.wvu.edu

(Include Paige Nesbit, Director of Communications and Marketing, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, paige.nesbit@mail.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Sergiy Yakovenko, associate professor, Department of Human Performance — Exercise Physiology, Department of Neuroscience, WVU School of Medicine, Ukraine native

Email: seyakovenko@hsc.wvu.edu

(Include Cassie Thomas, Director of Communications and Marketing, WVU School of Medicine, cassie.thomas@hsc.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Valeriya Gritsenko, associate professor, WVU School of Medicine Department of Human Performance – Physical Therapy, Department of Neuroscience, Ukraine native

Email: vgritsenko@hsc.wvu.edu

(Include Cassie Thomas, Director of Communications and Marketing, WVU School of Medicine, cassie.thomas@hsc.wvu.edu on correspondence.)

Khyrstyna Pelchar, WVU Ph.D. student, Ukraine native
(Contact Shauna Johnson, News and Information Manager, University Relations/Communications, sjohns13@mail.wvu.edu)

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.

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