From the President: Champlain’s Support of Ukraine

Dear Champlain community,

I reach out to share this joint statement issued by the presidents of the members of the Association of Vermont Independent Colleges (AVIC), expressing our deep concern about the escalating war in the Ukraine, and our solidarity with those in and outside the region who are affected by the atrocities and aggression committed by Russian leadership. In particular, my thoughts go out to Champlain community members and their families who are dealing with the human and natural disasters of war.

I am heartened, yet not surprised, by the way our Champlain community has risen up in the face of this challenge. Champlain’s Office of International Student Services (OISS) has been providing support to students and other community members who are directly impacted by this conflict. Many Champlain faculty have incorporated the current issues into classroom experiences. Some of you are organizing events — thanks to David Kopec, Frank Canovatchel, and Jessa Karki for organizing the opportunities below that tap into our community’s expertise and support our students. One of our students, Elias Nikitchyuk ‘22, organized a rally for Ukrainian freedom this past Saturday at Burlington City Hall. The event attracted many community members and was covered by WCAX and Seven Days

A Champlain student talks into a mic
Champlain student Elias Nikitchyuk ‘22 organized a rally for Ukrainian freedom this past Saturday at Burlington City Hall. Photo by Alex Christian ’25 // Filmmaking.

Here are a few upcoming events that will address this topic; stay tuned to The View for additional offerings:

Office of International Student Services (OISS) Student Dialogues: Ukraine

Wednesday, March 9, 1:00–3:00 PM, OISS, Skiff Hall, Room 204 and virtually

The Office of International Student Services holds its second student community gathering/discussion about Ukraine. Note: this event is for Champlain students only. 

War in Ukraine: Crisis and Aftermath

Thursday, March 10, 2:30–3:30 PM, Champlain Room and via Zoom
A panel of Champlain College faculty (Frank Canovatchel, Fritz Burkhardt, Bob Mayer, and Craig Pepin) shed light on the Ukraine crisis. Panelists will give brief presentations and field questions from the audience. 

Jennifer Dickinson: Ukraine in Context

Thursday, March 10, 4:00 PM, Alumni Auditorium and via Zoom 

Champlain hosts Jennifer Dickinson, UVM Associate Professor of Anthropology and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, for a presentation and question/answer session. Dr. Dickinson, a linguistic anthropologist, is an expert on Ukrainian culture and identity. Her presentation will contextualize the current conflict in light of her research and deep knowledge of the region. 

I encourage those of you impacted by these events or who may be struggling at this time to seek assistance and support. I remind you that we have resources available to students and employees. OISS can be reached at (802) 318-0365, Students are also encouraged to reach out to our Counseling Center at Employees seeking support are encouraged to contact the College’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Invest EAP at (866) 660-9533, 24 hours a day or (web password: champlain).

Additional support services:  

During these turbulent times, I take comfort in the strength of our Champlain community, including our eagerness to learn, and our ability to draw comfort and support from each other. 


David Finney
Interim President, Champlain College

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