Kimberly A. Kline, associate professor and chair of Higher Education Administration at Buffalo State, is an expert in assessing student learning outcomes in higher education. That expertise took her to Kyiv, Ukraine, as a Fulbright Scholar in 2012–2013, where she taught a research methods course in the School of Social Sciences at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla.
However, in 2013, Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union were stymied by Russia, and unrest in Kyiv (the Ukrainian spelling of Kiev) developed into violent clashes and then armed conflict. At the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla, Kline’s students were involved in protests. “Students wanted to see reform in higher education,” said Kline. “They see educational freedom as key to building Ukraine’s future and they are fighting against corruption in higher education.”
In July 2015, Kline returned to Ukraine with a second Fulbright Scholarship and an assignment to assess Euromaidan, the original protest movement. “I wanted to talk to young adults in post-Euromaidan Ukraine,” she said.
Kline found that young adults are central to the continuing movement. “People kept telling me to go talk to the ‘peaceful warriors,’” she said. “What I found was a group of people from various backgrounds—doctors, therapists, fundraisers, child welfare workers—who are supporting Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines in the current conflict with Russia, victims of the conflict, and soldiers who are returning to civilian life from the front.”
Kline’s assignment led to her involvement as co-producer in a short video documentary Peaceful Warriors: Heroes, Higher Education, and the War Waged on Ukraine. The documentary will be shown on campus on Monday, November 16, at 5:30 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union Social Hall. Iaroslava Kutsai (pictured), a student Kline taught in 2013 and who previously delivered a campus presentation on student activism in Ukraine, will give a presentation about her ongoing role as a student activist, journalist, and peaceful protester.
The Fulbright Scholar Program has asked Kline to serve on the Eurasian selection board, which decides which Fulbright Scholar applicants should be forwarded to the host country. She also reviews all the applications for students from Ukraine who want to participate in the Fulbright Foreign Student Program in the U.S.
Kutsai's presentation and the screening are sponsored by the Faculty Student Association; School of the Professions; the Fulbright Association; Equity and Campus Diversity; Higher Education Administration Department; Graduate Association of Student Personnel Administrators; the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Student Life; University College; and Women and Gender Studies.
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