Rapid Response Research in Ukrainian Studies

  • Dr. Roman Petryshyn, Dr. Olenka Bilash MacEwan University
Keywords: ideology, Euromaidan, Orange Revolution, Ukraine, symbols


In this paper we discuss a rapid response project that brought together action researchers from two countries and several universities to provide academic commentary on events emerging during Ukraine’s 2014 Euromaidan protest demonstrations. This is a case study of real time engagement over a six-month period. It identifies the results, the complex global and local infrastructure that enabled project exploration to take place and explains its success. Outcomes provide evidence that supports Roger’s (1995) contention that globalization of universities has created a system with a capacity for both top-down centralization and bottom-up decentralization as well as Beerkens’ (2008) notion of isomorphism or local reinvention. This combination should be understood and utilized in action research projects. Supporting Morley’s (2013) claim, analysis of the underlying social context demonstrates that when bottom up local and top down global factors are engaged, maximum results are achieved. This paper may be of particular interest to faculty members who have strong ties to local minority discourse communities or those studying civil movements or unrest and wish to use Rapid Response Research (RRR) methods.

Author Biography

Dr. Roman Petryshyn, Dr. Olenka Bilash, MacEwan University

Dr. Roman Petryshyn holds a Ph.D. in Sociology of Race and Ethnic Relations from the University of Bristol, England and a Diploma in Social Sciences from the University of Birmingham, as well as a Masters and Bachelor degree in Clinical psychology from Lakehead University. Dr. Petryshyn is the Director of the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC) at Grant MacEwan University where he holds the Drs. Peter and Doris Kule Chair in Ukrainian Community and International Development. He has worked as a Research Associate in the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, and with the Governments of Ontario (Citizenship Branch) and Alberta (Cultural Heritage) where he was engaged in multicultural programming. His research and publications focus on the integration of Ukrainian minorities in Britain and Canada. He edited Changing Realities: Social Trends Among Ukrainian Canadians and has contributed articles to several published compilations. Since 1991, Dr. Petryshyn has been actively engaged in structuring and delivering technical assistance projects in Ukraine and Russia through MacEwan University’s representative office. He was Project Manager for the “Agricultural Curriculum” and the “Agri-Business Learning Materials” projects (1991-95); coordinator of research for the study “Reform of the Novosibirsk Health Care System”; Manager of the “Yamalo-Nanetsk and Tyumen Organizational Readiness” project (1996-97); co-director of the “Canadian Business Management Project in Ukraine” (1997-2000); and the “Health Education Learning Project” in Russia (2000-2004). He is active in the Canada Ukraine Research Team, administered jointly with the Faculty of Education, University of Alberta, studying and improving the educational services available to children with disabilities in public schools of Alberta and Ukraine. Currently, Dr. Petryshyn is a co-director of the of the “Inclusive Education for Children with Disabilities in Ukraine” project (2008-2013).

Dr. Olenka Bilash is professor of second language education in the Department of Secondary Education, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta and North American representative to LINGUAPAX, a UNESCO cat-affiliated organization designed to advocate for all languages in the world and plurilingualism.  She has worked with teachers of minority or new languages on six continents for four decades, including long term projects in Brazil, Japan, Korea and South Africa.  She has authored textbooks, learning resources and curriculum documents, supervises graduate students from many countries and teaches children of all ages through demonstration lessons for teachers and through coaching. A former Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research she has also worked with universities to help develop a culture of research.  She has taught a course on qualitative research methodology in Ukraine, served on the Premier’s Consultative Committee on Ukraine-Alberta relations, hosted and coordinated programs for visiting professors from Ukraine, contributed to Alberta’s member of Canada Ukraine Research Team (for inclusive education), was the first director of the Ukrainian Resource Centre at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta and is now Senior Advisor to the Ukrainian Language Education Centre. Recipient of Canada’s distinguished 3M National Teaching Fellow in 2010, as well as a variety of research awards, Dr. Bilash is eager to explore the use of technology in increasing student and faculty engagement. ‪She has held posts at the University of Calgary and as a visiting scholar at the University of Curitiba and the Pontifica Universidade Catolica de Rio de Janeiro. Her research interests include: language planning and policy, oracy and literacy development, teacher professional development, identity formation and transformation, global citizenship awareness education, and student-faculty engagement.

How to Cite
Roman Petryshyn, Dr. Olenka Bilash, D. (2014). Rapid Response Research in Ukrainian Studies. Social, Health, and Communication Studies Journal, 1(1), 1-26. Retrieved from https://journals.macewan.ca/shcsjournal/article/view/246