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KU professor first non-Slovene national to be named Ambassador of Science by the Republic of Slovenia

Friday, December 13, 2019

LAWRENCE  — Marc Greenberg, director of the University of Kansas School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, was recently named a 2019 Ambassador of Science by the Slovene Ministry of Education, Science & Sport in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Awarded annually, the Ambassador of Science prize recognizes individuals for excellence in research and achievements in their field of study. Greenberg was selected from a pool of six nominees in the Ambassador of Science category, recognizing his contributions to Slovene linguistics and promotion of the Slovene language. Greenberg is the first non-Slovene national to receive this award.

“We’re one of the only institutions in the country to offer Slovenian, and to a large part, that’s because of Dr. Greenberg and his efforts,” said Ani Kokobobo, chair of the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures. “I think, in many ways, this award is a recognition of his lifetime effort, advocacy and research in the area of Slovenian.”

“It is a great honor, not only for Dr. Greenberg, but for the Slovenian community in the United States and for the University of Kansas,” said Barbara Nelson, honorary consul of the Republic of Slovenia in Kansas City. “To be the first non-Slovenian to be recognized as the Ambassador of Science  by the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport is a rare accomplishment and one that all Slovenians, especially those who know Dr. Greenberg, can be extremely proud.”

Greenberg received his master of arts at the University of Chicago in 1984 and doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1990, both in Slavic linguistics. He began his tenure at the University of Kansas in 1990. He has held numerous prestigious fellowships, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, US Department of Education, the Swiss Science Foundation and the Moravian-Silesian Regional Research Fund. In 2017 he was elected to the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts as a corresponding member.

The award ceremony was televised in Slovenia and can be viewed online with a free login.

The Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures is part of the KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures. The Department offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree tracks with Russian, Polish and south Slavic emphases.

Photos: Top, Marc Greenberg, front row far right, and other award winners (courtesy Government of the Republic of Slovenia); Right, Marc Greenberg 


In Memoriam

Reed Rankin ✝ 12/29/2019

The faculty and students in the Department Slavic Languages and Literatures are deeply saddened that one our undergraduate majors, Reed Rankin, passed away last week (12/29) in Fredonia, Kansas. Reed was a beloved student in the department and is fondly remembered by his peers and professors. He began studying Russian as a Freshman and stayed with a challenging but rewarding language for three and a half years, tackling introductory, intermediate, advanced levels, and even continuing his studies into his senior year with Russian for the Professions. We know that he was planning further study in Moscow in the next academic year, prior to matriculation at KU School of Law.

A thoughtful student, Reed often contributed insight and posed challenging questions in class. ​​ Reed’s dedication to the study of Russian language, culture, and history was tremendous and fueled by infectious curiosity. He showed great acumen in translating from Russian into English, always finding English-language equivalents for Russian cultural concepts through skillful use of one-liners from American films. We also treasured his ability to speak in fluid Russian about rural, farm life in Kansas, and the effects that natural phenomena, like floods, on a farming community. He was a pleasure to know and teach, and will be remembered for his kind and polite demeanor. Our thoughts are with Reed’s family at this time

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KU’s Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies program is one of only 12 federally-funded national resource centers in the US
Only doctoral program in Slavic Languages and Literatures between the Mississippi and the West Coast
100% of graduate students in the Slavic program had funding in academic year 2012-13
KU's Libraries house over 500,000 volumes of Slavic books and electronic editions
Two of the department’s last four doctoral candidates have won a Fulbright grants to conduct dissertation research abroad