Professor | Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
After serving for six years as Senior Advisor to the Ukrainian Language Education Centre (UKEC), Olenka Bilash is currently the Acting Director of ULEC at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta. She is founder of the summer high school Osvita program, author of NOVA, a Ukrainian language development resource intended for non-native Ukrainian speaking children, and a proponent of the power of technology to increase connections between people and programs.
Olenka is passionate about building bridges between people, cultures, disciplines and institutions. She was the Principal Investigator of the Research Initiative on Democratic Reforms in Ukraine and Co-Director of the Contemporary Ukraine Research Forum, two digital humanities projects to increase capacity of Ukrainian studies on four continents.
A professor in second language education at the University of Alberta, she facilitates teacher education workshops world-wide. She serves on several Advisory Boards, and acts as the North American representative to Linguapax, an organization that advocates globally for pluri-lingualism, multilingual policies and language-use.
As former Associate Dean for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, she helped to launch the University of Alberta’s practices with international graduate students; she strives to build research capacity through co-authorship in all of her projects in Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Ukraine.
She has instructed on qualitative research methodology at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, intercultural competency at Ukrainian Catholic University, and as Visiting Professor at the Universities of Curitiba and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro.
Dr. Bilash has received numerous awards, including the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship and the Stephen A. Freeman Award for best publication in Second Language Education.