Students and student organizations of UCU received awards for leadership from the Ihnatowycz Family Fund for Young Leaders to implement their own projects.
This year, for the first time, six UCU students who are active in civic life were awarded by a fund created by a Canadian businessman of Ukrainian descent, Ian Orest Ihnatowycz, and his wife, Dr. Marta Witer. The goal of the award is to support young leaders who are prepared to take on responsibility for the future of the country and are now implementing projects intended to make long-term changes in communities.
The first recipients of the Ihnatowycz Family Fund for Young Leaders were: students of the Philology program, Maria Banias and Vira Honchar; student Marta Sanduliak of the Ethics-Politics-Economics program; and students of the Social Work program, Maria Vachynych, Vasyl Budz, and Andrii Rubtsov. The winners receive a scholarship and the opportunity to implement their own leadership initiatives.
During the awards ceremony, UCU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Sophia Opatska noted that one of UCU’s key tasks, written in its mission statement, is to form leaders. This task would be exceptionally difficult to implement without the support of the university’s benefactors:
“We are exceptionally happy that there are people like the Ihnatowycz family who share the university’s mission of forming a new generation of leaders. Benefactors like Mr. Ihnatowycz are making a significant contribution not only in preparing young people in their specializations. They also help us form independent and creative personalities, citizens of their country, patriots of their land, leaders of their people.”
The high point of the awards ceremony was a speech by the acting director of the UCU Center for Leadership, Andrew Rozhdestvensky, dedicated to the model of “leadership based on character,” from which the students had the opportunity to gain useful information about what a leader is and what qualities he or she should possess in order to be successful.
“Research regarding the model for effective leadership began in 2009, when leading experts tried to grasp whether there exists a direct connection between leaders’ decisions and the global state of the economy,” explains Andrew Rozhdestvensky. “It turned out that leaders’ decisions from 2004 to 2008 directly influenced the consequences and length of the global economic crisis. It would seem that decisions made at that time by highly-competent people who had degrees from leading business schools set the world on the edge of economic collapse. By analyzing the behavior of leaders, it was possible to create a model of an effective leader, composed not only of competencies but of dedication and character, which allow a structured view of leaders’ behavior, not only from the point of view of competencies but from the moral and ethical component. Research into character revealed 11 virtues, namely: vision, drive, collaboration, courage, integrity, prudence, justice, humaneness, fortitude, accountability, and critical judgement, which we teach at our center.”
Additional recipients of grants from the Ihnatowycz Family Fund were students of the organizations One Ukraine and the UCU Student Association for projects intending to improve communications between east and west. The student organization Enactus-UCU also received a grant for an initiative to develop leadership in social enterprises.
Young student leaders will be able to receive awards and grants to implement their own projects next year, also. The competition should be announced in spring 2019.
Reference: Ian Orest Ihnatowycz is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian investment company First Generation Capital Inc. The Ihnatowycz family supports research in methods of teaching in the model of leadership based on character. Ian Ihnatowycz has been a benefactor of the UCU Center for Leadership since its establishment. This year he also started supporting students and student organizations of the university interested in developing and acquiring leadership qualities.