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WVU student awarded Global Democracy Ambassador Scholarship

West Virginia University student is one of ten Ukrainian students to receive the Global Democracy Ambassador Scholarship for Ukrainian Scholars, a scholarship aimed at helping Ukrainian students pursuing their undergraduate degrees in the United States.

Mark Vodianyi is from Kyiv City, the capital of Ukraine. He is currently a sophomore studying political science at WVU. 

“I am one of the ten winners of the first cohort, and the ten are all Ukrainian students that were selected from a pool within the U.S., so I am really proud that I’m representing WVU in this program,” said Vodianyi.

The scholarship covers tuition and fees for one academic semester and a stipend for personal use during the semester as well.

The requirements for the scholarship included being a Ukrainian student studying at a U.S. institution, graduating between May 2023-2024, and completing an essay explaining how the invasion of Ukraine and its current situation has affected them personally and how they hope to support Ukraine in the future post-war.

Vodianyi says after he earns his degree from WVU he hopes to pursue graduate school in the U.S., specifically law school, and try to absorb all the knowledge he can through his studies so he can implement them in reconstruction of Ukraine.

 “My plan was to go to law school and study criminal law so that one day I could have a chance to bring the soldiers who are guilty of committing crimes against humanity in Ukraine to justice,” said Vodianyi. 

“I feel professionally and morally obliged.”

 During his time on campus, Vodianyi says multiple initiatives and charities have come together to help support his fellow Ukrainian citizens during this time.

“I am just so grateful for this outpouring of support from WVU, the U.S., and other countries for Ukraine, it’s just incredible.”

The Global Democracy Ambassador Scholarship was established by Chef and humanitarian José Andrés, global human rights and pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov, social entrepreneur and KIND Snacks Founder Daniel Lubetzky, and Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

In addition to the Global Democracy Ambassador Scholarship, Vodianyi has also been accepted for the Summer 2023 International Affairs Program Track, hosted by The Fund for American Studies, and awarded a full scholarship.