CREES Celebrates 50 Years with Alumni-Focused Reunion


By Rachel Brichta
Apr 04, 2011

DATE: April 1-2, 2011

EVENT: The University of Michigan’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a reunion on April 1-2, 2011, which was attended by approximately 120 students, faculty, alumni, and friends. The CREES reunion featured two alumni panels – one with academics, the other with alumni in professional fields. In addition, CREES co-sponsored an alumni event with the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, and CREES Director Doug Northrop moderated a discussion on the Center’s future.

Accomplished alumni were invited to share their experience as scholars or professionals with U-M area studies training in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. Speakers on “The Professors” panel reflected on the importance of knowing foreign languages and having interdisciplinary training in their pursuit of careers in academia. They also discussed the challenges of conducting research in the region during the Cold War and the staggering changes in the field as the Soviet Union and its satellite countries shifted from communist systems, many of them becoming more open to foreign researchers. Alumni on “The Professionals” panel represented diverse career options and spoke about a range of topics, including turning a passion for language into an impressive career as a foreign affairs journalist, running a Russian art gallery in Paris, pursuing war criminals for the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and representing multinational business clients in the Russian legal system. Alumni panelists were:

  • George Breslauer, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, University of California, Berkeley
  • Valerie Bunce, Aaron Binenkorb Professor of International Studies and Professor of Government, Cornell University
  • Douglas Rogers, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Yale University
  • Keely Stauter-Halsted, Stefan and Lucy Hejna Family Chair in the History of Poland, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Jill Dougherty, Foreign Affairs Correspondent and former Moscow Bureau Chief, CNN
  • Dianne Beal, Partner, Galerie Blue Square
  • Michael MacQueen, Senior Historian, Human Rights Law Division, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Timothy Stubbs, Partner and Head of Russian Banking and Finance, Salans Moscow
    CREES is a U.S. Department of Education-supported National Resource Center for Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. 

Streaming video from the event was available online, and video is available at www.ii.umich.edu/crees.

SPONSORS: Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies; Institute for the Humanities; International Institute; College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; and Rackham Graduate School

WEB LINK: www.ii.umich.edu/crees/alumni/50th