Ukrainian student uses Union studies to promote awareness for peace

Yuliya Filippovska

Yuliya Filippovska understands the destruction of war better than most. The Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Studies with a major in Humanities & Culture was forced to flee her home country of Ukraine because of the Russian invasion.

“After the full-scale invasion in February 2022, I was urged to leave immediately to keep my four-year-old son safe,” Filippovska said. “I left the rest of my family behind. It was not an easy decision, as either one — to stay or to leave — seemed to be right. The war itself was not right – to say the least.”

Filippovska’s doctoral research is devoted to confronting tensions and conflicts, processing social divides and polarizations individually and collectively in public space before it all escalates into violence on the streets – and in war. She believes it is part of a collaboration between people and countries that is so much needed now. That commitment led to her being selected as the first recipient of the Dr. Deri Joy Ronis Scholarship in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. The scholarship was established this year to support the work of emerging doctoral scholar-practitioners who are working toward creating a better world.

Dr. Diane Allerdyce, Associate Dean and Chair of Union’s Humanities & Culture Ph.D. Program in Interdisciplinary Studies stated, “Yuliya exemplifies the spirit of the Dr. Deri Joy Ronis scholarship because her life, her work, and her doctoral research have been devoted to confronting the inefficacy of war and the need for collaboration between people and countries.” Dr. Allerdyce and the Ronis family were instrumental in establishing the scholarship.

“Yuliya’s emphasis on facilitating public dialogue to help people navigate the complexities of information flow in the 21st century is ideally aligned with the principles of peaceful conflict resolution that Dr. Ronis espoused. I believe her work will be an important contribution to furthering democratic ideals in international and interpersonal relationships,” Dr. Allerdyce said.

Filippovska is humbled by the honor.

“I am honored to be part of Dr. Ronis’s legacy. She was committed to the peaceful resolution of conflict, as am I. I believe that peace is a natural process that organically comes after tensions and conflicts are faced, processed with awareness, and transformed. I will do my best to live up to her legacy and Union’s belief that I can make a small contribution to a better world.”


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