EEMI Conducts Wartime Symposium with Sixteen Ukrainian Delegates

symposium flyer
January 01, 2023

On September 2, 2022, EEMI conducted a symposium on “Russia's War, the World's Food: The Successes and Challenges of Ukrainian Agricultural Producers in the Midst of War” in the Lehman Auditorium of the Science and Engineering hall.

The event was extraordinary in that it was conducted at the height Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and yet featured the presence of 16 Ukrainian delegates fresh from the war. Remarkably, many of the delegates were from the Eastern side where most of the fighting was going on and continues to the date of this article. Interest in the event was reflected by the fact that more than 400 people attended the symposium despite it being held on a Friday afternoon before the 2022 Labor Day weekend.

Jonathan Deason

Welcome addresses were provided by John Lach, Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and Jonathan Deason, Director of GW’s Environmental and Energy Management Institute.





The Ukrainian delegation was organized by Dr. Lina Dotsenko, CEO and co-founder of the Ukrainian organization BRIDGES, a Kyiv-based NGO that provides agricultural consulting and technical support to Ukrainian agricultural companies and policymakers in cooperation with leading US institutions. Vlad Konovalchuk, Ph.D., Director of Research and Consulting at BRIDGES, was the principal planner and organizer of the event.

Dr. Lina Dotsenko Dr. Vlad Konovalchuk

(left) Dr. Lina Dotsekno, (right) Dr. Vlad Konovalchuk 


On the EEMI side, Visiting Scholar Mark Pollins led the EEMI team in making all the arrangements, assisted by EEMI Visiting Scholar Oksana Melnyk, a Ukrainian-American lawyer who was educated in both the U.S. and Ukraine. Oksana, an expert in strengthening developing nations' governmental policies, coordinated the presentations of the Ukrainian and American participants. Dr. Ed Saltzberg, EEMI Director of Professional Education, organized and conduced the associated web-based webinar of the event.

Oksana Melnyk with Taras Saulyak view of the conference room

(left) Visiting scholar Oksana Melnyk with Taras Saulyak, (right) View of the presentation facilitated by Dr. Ed Saltzberg 


Among the notable speakers were Taras Saulyak, First Secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy of the United States, and Dr. Leo Chalupa, GW Professor and former GW Vice President for Research.

Taras Saulyak at presentation  Dr. Leo Chalupa

(left) Taras Saulyak speaking during the event, (right) Dr. Leo Chalupa

Ukranian delegate speaking

All of the Ukrainian delegates made presentations, reflecting many incredible and heart-wrenching stories. A video recording of the event can be seen here.

Important information about the status of tuition and events in Ukraine can be seen on the slide presentation provided by Dr. Konovalchuk, which can be viewed at this link: Ukraine Sept 2 2022 Symposium.