Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ziua Independentei

Wishing all of my friends in Moldova a Happy Independence Day! This is the 20th anniversary of Moldova's independence.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Radio Free Europe article: "The Post-Soviet Generation Looks To Future In Europe's Poorest Country "

The Post-Soviet Generation Looks To Future In Europe's Poorest Country

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, with a per capita GDP of about $3,000 and a population of about 3.5 million.

August 18, 2011

By Vasile Botnaru, Paul Hodorogea, Alla Ceapai

CHISINAU -- Moldova turns 20 years old next week.

For the full story, see this link:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bringing Eastern Europe to USFSP

On several occasions while teaching and lecturing in Moldova I was able to bring in guest speakers from America (e.g., speakers for the virtual "roundtable" discussion about the 2010 mid-term elections in the U.S.) to Chisinau.

This summer (for the first time!) I was able to bring in a guest speaker from overseas into my classroom at USFSP, via a skype videoconference.

My friend Chuck Vernon, Managing Partner at Vernon|David (with offices in Bucharest, Romania and Chisinau, Moldova)spoke to my Law and Politics class about how he ended up practicing law in Eastern Europe, what it is like to manage a law firm, the kinds of transactions he negotiates, and much more. My students (and I) learned a great deal from the presentation and Q&A session. How cool is it that we could bring someone with this kind of expertise right into our classroom in St. Pete?!

This example is the first (of many, I'm sure!) that demonstrates how my Fulbright experience will benefit my students in Florida.

For more information about Vernon|David, see

Monday, August 1, 2011

WDC for Pre-Departure Orientation 2011, part 2

It was great to be back in Washington, DC. I was able to squeeze in visits with old friends on Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court around my sessions at the State Department's Eurasia Pre-Departure Orientation.

Pictured here, visiting with my favorite U.S. Senator: Jeanne Shaheen

I picked up more prizes for my Supreme Court Bingo game (that we play on the first day of my public law courses) while at the Supreme Court's gift shop. There I stumbled across this amusing sign: "Please Do Not Strike the Gavels." The Curator's Office just installed a fabulous new exhibit. Pictured here, part of the Bench from when the U.S. Supreme Court met in what is now the Old Senate Chamber in the U.S. Capitol.

One evening I went to dinner in Georgetown, where I wanted to see the Ukrainian Embassy. I did not realize, until reading Ross Baker's (one of my mentors from Rutgers) book Strangers on a Hill: Congress and the Court that the Ukrainian Embassy was once William Marbury's home! Yes, the William Marbury of the landmark Marbury v. Madison (1803)case.

2011 Pre-Departure Orientation

The State Department hosts a Pre-Departure Orientation for Fulbrighters heading overseas. Last year, I found the Moldova country sessions with returning Fulbrighters to be the most valuable part of the preparation for my trip.

I was delighted to return to Washington, D.C. again this summer to participate in the Eurasia PDO, this time as one of the returning Fulbrighters.

I was so impressed with the range of interesting teaching assignments and research projects that this year's Fulbright Scholars and Students will be undertaking throughout Moldova. I am so excited for the Fulbrighters and for their host institutions!