The idea for The Institute for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (IREES) emerged in 2017, after global and domestic events had turned the nation’s attention to this critically important country and region. Russian language enrollments among USF students were impressive, as were enrollments in Russian history and culture classes. Several indicators suggested that such an institute would generate considerable university and community support.
The IREES formally launched on October 9, 2017, when Dr. Lilia Shevtsova gave a fascinating talk to over 130 people at the University Club in downtown Tampa. A prominent Russian political analyst and outstanding public speaker, Dr. Shevtsova captivated the audience with her intelligent examination of current events. Her insightful talk inspired a range of audience questions and revealed the tremendous interest in her subject. She also spoke to over 150 students on the USF campus, with many standing in line afterwards to ask her additional questions and to learn more.
This highly successful launch confirmed that USF was the right place to build The Institute for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (IREES). Since that time, support for the Institute's work has exceeded our expectations.