Indiana State University Newsroom

Professor receives Fulbright award for summer session in Ukraine

May 3, 2011

Indiana State professor Boris Blyukher's Fulbright award he received a decade ago is still paying dividends.

Blyukher, who teaches in the department of built environment in ISU's College of Technology, will spend about six weeks at the Kharkov Polytechnic University in Ukraine. At the institution, he will be lecturing to students and professionals while also helping to develop the curriculum in environmental science and occupational safety. He will be visiting the university in May and June.

"I was excited," said Blyukher, who did not seek out the award. "This is an honor. No question about that."

In 2001, Blyukher received a Fulbright award to teach for a semester in Slovenia. After that award, he said he was put on a list of Fulbright specialists. Though he sought out his initial award, it was university officials in Ukraine that inquired with the Fulbright organization about possible candidates to help the school this summer. After receiving a list of candidates, Blyukher said, university officials narrowed the list and eventually inquired about him visiting.

While Blyukher likes teaching American students, he also enjoys teaching in countries such as Ukraine, former Soviet satellite nations that in recent decades have embraced democracy.

Safety management and occupational safety also have a major social impact as well, he added.

"This new generation of students, they started understanding this, not just the engineering aspect, but the social aspect of labor protection," Blyukher said, "and this is very important for me because after graduation, they will become managers. Some of them will become ministers or handle big government departments."

Though he has received requests to teach at universities elsewhere around the world, the manner in which the Ukranian university sought him out was in a more competitive fashion, Blyukher said.

The occupational safety professor has good memories of his time teaching in Slovenia. He is an adjunct professor at a university there, where he teaches biennially. Since he was there last summer, his schedule was free to teach in Ukraine this year.

He will remain busy before next fall. After his time in Ukraine, he will be teaching at a university in Kosovo, his first visit to the country that was once part of the former Yugoslavia.

He enjoys visiting the region of the world, as he is interested by its culture and history.

It "is very interesting from a historical point of view. All of those countries are much older than the United States," he said. "The United States is a young country, a baby, compared to there."

Boris Blyukher

Contact: Boris Blyukher, professor, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-3953 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or