Alumni Interview #9: Darina Dvornichenko

Impressions and thoughts from SPS alumni on their experiences with the Schools of Political Studies

Darina Dvornichenko (Ukraine)

Darina Dvornichenko

1) Tell us a little about yourself, your professional and academic path and interests as well as any other infomation that might let us know more about you.

My name is Darina Dvornichenko and I am a graduate from the International Relations Department at Odessa I. Mechnikov National University from which I have a PhD degree in political science as well as 10 years of academic experience as a university-level educator. I have published over 35 publications in Ukrainian and English. Besides, I have experience as a guest lecturer both at Ukrainian and oversea universities and I have developed more than 5 blended courses combining online and face-to-face learning. Given that my PhD thesis focused on Europeanization, my research interests lie in the field of transformation caused by the European integration. In 2018 I was the author of a successful application for the Jean Monnet Module “EU as a Global Actor and Agent of Change” aimed at being a critical assessment of the EU’s role in reforming Ukraine. I can say that I am a leader eager to contribute to a better educational and research environment in Ukraine.

2) Which SPS did you attend and in which year did you graduate?

I attended the Visegrád School of Political Studies in 2019. 

3) What was your most memorable experience during the training cycle?

My most memorable experience was when I participated in the World Forum for Democracy 2019. I am first and foremost thankful to the Visegrád School of Political Studies for the great opportunity to develop and learn from my European colleagues.

4) What were your impressions of the World Forum for Democracy 2019?

Participating in the World Forum for Democracy allowed me to gain a vast network of contacts comprising of other representatives from research centers, NGOs and universities.

5) What impact did the SPS where you studied have on what you’re doing now? Did it push you to get involved in a particular project, political party or other?

My participation in the Visegrád School of Political Studies pushed me to found my own NGO “Agents of Change!” which deals with non-formal education. We organise workshops on media literacy and work in the Odessa region with the following target groups: youth, civil society and teaching staff. 

6) If you could give one piece of advice to someone about to start the new training cycle, what would it be?

Enjoy every moment of your training! It is awesome!

7) What are you up to nowadays?

Since October 2019, I have been doing a fellowship at the Democracy Study Centre founded by the German-Polish-Ukrainian Society (GPUS). The area of my focus is women’s rights and I currently work on a project within the framework of the DSC fellowship aimed at women empowerment and capacity building. I will be doing this until June 2020. Besides, I am looking for new opportunities such as Postdoc scholarships for 2020.