Since receiving my BA (’73, Russian, Russian and East European Studies), I have drawn extensively and intensively on my University of Michigan experience. As a U.S. diplomat, I worked in the world I once studied in Ann Arbor, using Russian and then learning several other Slavic languages (Serbian/Croatian, Bulgarian and Ukrainian) during State Department postings in the region (Belgrade, Moscow, Sofia). Along with my wife, Michigan alumna Anne Chermak (AB ‘73), I now reside in San Francisco and Rovinj, Croatia, where we assist in business and media development. Most recently, I lectured as a Fulbright Specialist in Ukraine, working with the journalism faculties at universities in L’viv, Uzhgorod and Zaporizhzhia.

I fondly recall Carl Proffer’s class on Gogol and Joseph Brodsky’s lectures and am particularly pleased to see the continued commitment to teaching the languages and literatures of the Slavic world and the evident excellence with which this goal is pursued.