LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas is mourning the death of Alexander Tsiovkh, director of Ukrainian studies and associate professor of practice in the KU Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREES), who died Dec. 23. He was 63.
"On behalf of the university community, I extend condolences to Alexander Tsiovkh's family, friends and colleagues. His scholarship and knowledge of Ukraine helped enlighten discussions on an area of the world that has been at the center of international attention," said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.
CREES staff members also offered their condolences:
Mariya Omelicheva, CREES director: “CREES is a community, and Alex has been central to expanding and strengthening it not only through teaching, but also taking an active part in the Center’s social events and academic programming and adding a hint of humor to serious and mundane stuff.”
Vitaly Chernetsky, associate professor of Slavic languages & literatures and associate director of CREES: “Dr. Tsiovkh collaborated actively with the U.S. Department of State as an expert and as an accomplished interpreter. At KU, several generations of students, especially REES graduate students, are grateful to him for his in-depth expertise in Ukrainian politics and society and comparative study of national politics of post-Soviet countries. He will be greatly missed."
Originally from Lviv in western Ukraine, Tsiovkh was director of Ukrainian studies and an expert on Ukrainian history and politics. Since 1994, he organized and directed the KU Intensive Ukrainian Language and Culture summer program at Ivan Franko University in Lviv, which attracted many students not only from KU but from all over the country. He joined the university in 1993 as a visiting professor of Ukrainian studies and quickly became indispensible to both graduate and undergraduate programs in Russian, East European & Eurasian studies by offering methodologies and capstone seminars, as well as a number of graduate courses on nationalism, borderlands and other aspects of Eastern European and Eurasian history and politics.