Dear REEEC Community,
It has been my pleasure to see many of you again as I returned to Urbana-Champaign from my sabbatical to resume my duties as Director of REEEC. I hope to see most of you, if I haven’t already, at our Fall Kickoff event on September 3, punctuated by a New Directions lecture by outgoing Acting Director Zsuzsa Gille (see our events calendar).
There is much to look forward to in the coming year at REEEC, and I hope that you return from summer travel and research refreshed and ready, as do I, ready to serve you for two more years as Director. Sabbatical leave is a great privilege, and I tried to take full advantage of the opportunity to work again on my various projects, to reacquaint myself with Czech language and culture, and to gain some perspective on my work at home. I look forward to continuing the work at REEEC, developing with you the programming and research support that makes our academic community so dynamic.
The face of REEEC is changing, as it does periodically. We bid a fond farewell to Alisha Kirchoff as Associate Director in July, with best wishes for her pursuit of a PhD in Sociology at Indiana University. As I write you, we are in the midst of interviewing candidates from a strong pool for the Associate Director position and hope to have a new person in the office by mid- to late September. Our Program Coordinator, Katrina Chester, will also be transitioning into a new job as a Grants and Contracts Specialist in Illinois International Business Operations early in the semester. Congratulations to her! We will soon begin a search for that position as well, so do let us know if you know of any potential highly qualified applicants.
We are putting the finishing touches on a slate of visiting speakers for the Fall semester that promises to be very engaging—watch our calendar for details. And if you have suggestions for speakers that you would like to hear in the future, please do fill out our speaker nomination form, dead center on the REEEC website homepage.
Best wishes for the coming semester!
David Cooper, Director