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Eurasian-related events have become a regular part of Indiana University’s cultural programming: every week lectures are held, holidays are celebrated, and even cooking competitions have become a frequent occurrence on campus. The Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center is closely involved with many of these events, and we do our best to report on cultural and academic moments of note throughout the year. The internet doesn't yet let us share plov via the IAUNRC website, but we do try to highlight as many lectures, visiting professors, and festivals as we can.

Professor Edward Lazzerini, Director of the IAUNRC and the Initiative’s Coordinator at IU, was invited this October to Kazan, where he was able to spend nearly a month working with the VKI’s Russian partners on the future of the Initiative.

The Inner AsiCILC Pinnacle Award Logoan and Uralic National Resource Center was awarded in August 2011 a 2010-2011 Pinnacle Award Honorable Mention by the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC).

The IAUNRC has long developed and provided lesson plans to K-12 educators – the first Central Asia-related school units were written and published by the Center in 1978, and can still be found online today. As local and national standards have changed over the years, moreover, the IAUNRC has worked to stay ahead of the curve and made sure to continuously update its lesson plan offerings. In the past year especially, the Center has significantly improved and expanded the free lesson plans available on its website. Today, the IAUNRC offers more than twenty lesson plans free to elementary, middle, and high-school teachers on a variety of subjects and geographic topic areas.

Ambassador Szapáry had come to Bloomington to mark the annual celebration of Hungary’s 1848 revolution, where he gave a brief historical address. The day prior, however, he gave a public lecture on the economic crisis currently faced the countries of the EU (including, of course, Hungary), and possible ways out of this conundrum. And conundrum it is: as Ambassador Szapáry pointed out, this isn’t just a period of economic shrinkage, “this is a triple crisis. You have a financial crisis, you have a debt crisis, and you have a growth crisis. This is very, very serious.”

Following his talk, Professor Werth was gracious enough to sit down for an interview with the IAUNRC e-News and discuss his research, religious policy across the span of the Russian Empire’s Eurasian landmass, and the serendipity that leads us to explore strange and unexpected places.

According to Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, a longtime observer of the Finnish educational system from both inside and out, when discussing education we shouldn’t get lost talking about statistics, or achievement numbers, or enrollment figures. In the end, he noted in a recent lecture at IUB, we’re talking about children – about people. A highly regarded international expert on educational reform and achievement, Dr. Sahlberg has worked extensively with the World Bank, OSCE, and many other international organizations.

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