Profiles of Local Faculty Fellows

Dan Marek, LFF
Palacky University, Czech Republic (1994-97)

The first CEP Local Faculty Fellow, Dan Marek, began as a student in the first courses offered by CEP at the Politics and European Studies Department of Palacky University in 1991. CEP Fellow Troy McGrath was instrumental in helping him apply for an MA program in European Integration and Cooperation offered at Hull University in Britain. “Thanks to him and other CEP lecturers, I gained academic and language skills that enabled me to successfully complete the program,” says Dan.

Becoming a lecturer at the Politics and European Studies Department of Palacky University in September 1993, Dan also continued in a PhD program in political science there. “Soon after signing my contract, I was told that Palacky University had no money to pay my salary in the upcoming term due to cuts in the university budget,” he says. With help from CEP, Dan was able to complete his year of teaching at the university. Dan Marek’s situation was not uncommon, and served as a catalyst for the creation of the CEP Local Faculty Fellowship program (initially called the Eastern Scholar program). Reflecting on it, Dan says, “CEP’s decision has had an enormous impact in preventing many young academics from leaving universities and has significantly improved the quality of higher education in the region.” Dan Marek is currently Jean Monnet Lecturer in European Integration at Palacky University.

Ernest Aksen, LFF
Belarus State Economics University, Belarus (1998-99)

Ernest’s participation in CEP gave him a unique opportunity to share ideas with the international academic community. He has found this communication very fruitful, inspiring him to do economic research, develop new courses, improve the courses he teaches and introduce new teaching methods. As many of the alumni of his university hold key positions in the government and economics sectors, his courses, based on western materials in economics, management and finance are likely to have considerable influence on future decision-making in Belarus.

Olga Sergienko, LFF
St. Petersburg State University, Russia (1998-2000)

Continuous communication and meetings with the CEP Fellows and alumni network, as well as active participation in outreach projects, make Olga feel more than ever a part of the CEP community. The CEP experience has given her enthusiasm and motivation for her career in teaching. Olga and another CEP-Russia alumna, Inna Blam from Novosibirsk State University, organized a summer school in St. Petersburg in June 2001. Based on this summer school experience, they have produced a publication entitled Basics of Environmental Management and Accounting, which is being used as teaching material in the 2001-02 academic year. Plans are underway for follow-up to the joint efforts between their two institutions. Olga has also been actively involved in the creation of the CEP Alumni Association in Russia.

Elena Limanova, LFF
Novosibirsk State University, Russia (1998-2000)

In her two years as a Fellow, Elena had the opportunity to apply new methods of teaching with more student interaction. “Even better,” she says, “other lecturers took notice and learned from the CEP Fellows.” CEP also gave Elena a connection to the international academic community – an opportunity to establish professional contacts which last beyond the CEP experience. “Commitment to the idea of civil society – this idea cannot be introduced and developed by individuals alone; it needs a group of people,” Elena maintains. “CEP provides such a community.” As teachers, CEP Fellows transfer the benefits to students, multiplying this effect. Since her fellowship ended, Elena says, she has never felt without CEP. The most essential benefits remain: contact with Fellows, the alumni network, and the opportunity to advise students. She has also remained part of the CEP team as coordinator of the CEP Alumni Association in Russia.