At Lawrence Central’s October 23rd meeting at the Oread Hotel PhD Candidate Laura Dean spoke to us about her travels in the Ukraine. She is ABD and finishing her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Kansas. She has a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2013) and a Master of Arts in Political Science (2011) from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in International Studies focusing on Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (2006) from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts in World Politics (2003) from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
In 2007-2008, she was awarded a Fulbright Research Fellowship to Latvia where she examined the exploitation of women, focusing on sex tourism and trafficking. She studied Russian for three years with a Foreign Language Area Scholarship (FLAS) from the US Department of Education Title VI Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas. She also worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Department of Political Science from 2011-2012 and a Research Assistant for the Institute for Policy and Social Research 2010-2011 at the University of Kansas. While on Ambassadorial Scholar she conducted 15 months of fieldwork for my dissertation in Ukraine, Russia, and Latvia from May 2012- August 2013.
Laura speaks Latvian, Russian, have reading knowledge of Spanish and is learning Ukrainian. In her free time she likes to read obscure East European authors, travel to places most people have never heard of, and volunteer at local women’s shelters.
We also had a brief update by Rotary District 5710’s Paul Harris Society chair Chuck Udell about Rotary’s Paul Harris Society and how all the wonderful rotary sponsored and funded programs around the globe are supported by donations to the Rotary Foundation and even that a portion of these funds also come back to the clubs in the form of District Grants to help local clubs with the resources needed to spread these great programs to those most in need of them.
A great reason to consider the society is while a Rotarian may not be able to directly serve somewhere else in the world, by being a Paul Harris Society member they can support those who do. This is the important giving that makes all the other programs possible, without your commitment, the ideal of service fostered by Rotary would not be possible.
We thank both Chuck and Laura for visiting with us!