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York College of PA Hosts March 23 Virtual Panel Discussion, ‘The Crisis in Ukraine: Background and Geopolitical Implications’

March 11, 2022
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York College’s Center for Community Engagement and Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy will offer a March 23 panel presentation and discussion with three professors who will provide perspective on the crisis in Ukraine. Professors Chip Kauffman, John Weaver, and Klaudia Ćwiękała-Lewis will explain the factors that led up to this crisis, the human and political implications of this invasion of Ukraine, and current refugee relief efforts by neighboring Poland.

The Zoom webinar, which is open to the public free of charge, will begin at 3:30 p.m., March 23. Registration is required via Zoom. Questions for the panelists may be shared in advance at publicpolicy@ycp.edu.

The current crisis in Ukraine is complex, and many struggle to understand the historical, human, and geopolitical factors that have led to this point. Panelists will provide some background on the conditions that led to Putin’s rise to power, his inner circle, and his current temperament and objectives—including his perceived threat from NATO. They will also explore U.S. policies and missteps, why a no-fly zone is not an option, and the strategic objectives of Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. There will also be discussion of Poland’s relief efforts in response to the huge humanitarian crisis that this area of the world now faces.


Charles (Chip) A. Kauffman, Adjunct Professor of Russian Language and World Languages at York College, spent over three decades working as a language analyst and senior-level foreign affairs officer for the U.S. Government in Washington, DC. Much of his career was spent working closely with NATO partners and the U.S. military on various projects throughout Europe. A lifelong student of Russian and other languages, he was a university student in the former Soviet Union and has traveled in Russia following his retirement from government service. He has been teaching at York College since 2006, sharing his experience in languages and international relations.

John Weaver, DPA, Associate Professor of Intelligence Analysis, arrived at York College in the fall semester of 2015. Before arriving at York, he spent five years working for the Intelligence Community as a civilian in the Department of Defense. Prior to this, he served 20 years in the United States Army (retiring as a lieutenant colonel). Weaver spent the last six years of his Army career working at an operational level NATO headquarters in Europe.

Dr. Klaudia Ćwiękała-Lewis, Associate Professor of Nursing, is a board-certified Advanced Public Health Nurse (APHN-BC) and an active advocate and researcher as an Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Scholar at the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation. She is a trained disaster preparedness responder. Lewis was part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster medical assistance team for seven years and an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer since 2008. She is also currently the Regional Nurse Leader for the Central Pennsylvania American Red Cross. She was born and raised in Poland and is currently working with the State University of Applied Sciences in Włocławek as part of the global engagement initiative at York College.


Vinny Cannizzaro, Director, Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy, is a public policy expert with extensive experience in data analysis. His studies on the Latinx community, on local transportation needs, gun violence, and housing equity serve key community needs. He is also working toward democratizing data and making it available and understandable to all stakeholders. Events such as this one help the Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute achieve its mission of creating a more informed and active citizenry.