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Conference Agenda - THE THIRD NORTHEAST COLLEGIATE ROMANIAN CULTURAL CONFERENCE

  • 9,00-10,00 registration, coffee and tea
  • 10-10,25 Opening remarks (Prof. John S. Micgiel, Director, The East Central European Center, Columbia U.), Nadia Crisan (First Secretary Embassy of Romania Washington))
  • 10,25-10,45 Dr. Mona Momescu - Romanian Studies - an interdisciplinary field
  • 10,45-11,15 Revd. Prof. John A. McGuckin - Romanian Monasticism
  • 11,15-11,35 Dr. Mihaela Albu - Romanian-American Writers
  • 11,35-12,05. Dr Filon Morar - Romania in the International Media
  • 12,05-12,30 Razz Serbanescu - Better Business Bureau - a bridge for Romanian-American business
  • 12,30-2,00 Lunch break
  • 2,00-2,30 Prof. Doru Tsaganea - Development Opportunities after Romania's Admission to NATO
  • 2,30-2,50 Andrei Postelnicu - Romania's image abroad - Why itís awful and how it can be fixed
  • 2,50-3,20 Dr. Michael M Dediu - Romania and Mathematics
  • 3,20-3,50 Dr. Theodor Damian - Theology and Philosophy: The Image of God in Our World Today
  • 3,50-4,05 Kirsten Muetzel - Economic Development in Romania
  • 4,05-4,30 Mark Meyer - Resolving Investors Concerns in Romania
  • 4,30-5,00 Ella Veres - Is there a way out of the Eastern European Cultural Ghetto?
  • 5,00 Closing Remarks
  • 7,00 Dinner at Casa Romana


Presentersí Profiles

Prof. John S. Micgiel is the Director of the East Central European Center, the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Europe, the Associate Director of the Harriman Institute and an Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs. His research interests include the modern history of East Central Europe and contemporary politics in East Central and Western Europe.

Dr. Mona Momescu - Romanian Studies - an Interdisciplinary Field.
How can we define Romanian Studies? Is there a methodology that enables the students and researchers to get a coherent image of Romanian Studies? From ethnology to history, from literature to contemporary popular culture, Romanian Studies seems to become a keyword for those who are interested in or want to develop a career in "facts about/evaluation of Romania". The presentation will highlight some of the plus and minuses of this generous domain, as well as the risks the specialists take if they start from the old or more recent stereotypes. Dr. Mona Momescu (mmm2120@columbia.edu) is a lecturer at Ovidius University, Constanta and the current incumbent of the Nicolae Iorga Chair of Romanian Language and Culture at Columbia U.

Revd. Prof. John A. McGuckin - Romanian Monasticism.
Romania, over many centuries, developed a world-renowned monastic culture that often held the nation together in numerous times of political oppression. After the fall of Byzantium as an independent Empire, the Romanian Voivodes continued the support of Monasteries on Mount Athos that allowed this remarkable treasure house of ancient culture to survive. The Romanian monasteries in turn were influenced by Greek Athonite culture, but soon developed distinctive traditions of their own in theology as well as architecture. This talk outlines some of the characteristics of the great monasteries of Romania which today are rightly seen as world heritage sites. Prof. John McGuckin (jam401@columbia.edu) is a priest of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate, (Archdiocese of Western Europe) and is currently Professor of Byzantine Christianity at Columbia University, and Professor of Church History at Union Theological Seminary.

Dr. Mihaela Albu - Romanian-American writers.
The presentation focuses on the activity of the most important Romanian/American writers, who now live and write in the US, but who never abandoned their Romanian identity Dr. Mihaela Albu (malbu_10@yahoo.com) is an associate professor at the University of Craiova. Between 1999-2003 she was the incumbent of the Nicolae Iorga chair of Romanian Language and Culture at Columbia U. This semester she has taught a course on the Dacian Empire at Columbia U

Razz Serbanescu - Better Business Bureau - a bridge for Romanian-American business.
Presentation of Better Business Bureau Romania, in premiere to the Romanian community in the US; suggestions as how to best achieve desired results within the scope of realizing BBB Romania, in the US, and in Romania. Razz V. Serbanescu (Romania@BBB.ro, www.BBB.ro) is President and CEO of Better Business Bureau Romania

Dr. Filon Morar - Romania in the International Media.
Romania is either absent, or present with rather exotic stories in the international media. Is this a peculiarity of the "Romanian case"? Will this change after joining the EU? What can be done to project an image of Romania closer to reality in the media? The presentation attempts to provide food for thought and incite reflection upon the subject. Filon Morar (filon.morar@romaniaun.org) is Second Secretary at the Romanian Mission to the UN and Assistant Professor at the School of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest. He teaches classes in Party Systems and Electoral Systems and he published three books on Party Systems in Eastern Europe.

Prof. Doru Tsaganea - Development Opportunities after Romania's Admission to NATO.
If security represented the major problem before this event, now cooperation in the economic, politic and social fields between Romania and the other NATO members is essential. The presentation will focus on the mechanisms of such forms of cooperation. Prof. Doru Tsaganea teaches Political Sciences at Baruch College; he was the recipient of a Fulbright post-doc in Romania, during which he acted as a professor at the College of Political Sciences, University of Bucharest.

Andrei Postelnicu - Romania's image abroad - Why itís awful and how it can be fixed.
To most of the world, Romania is known for prostitutes, institutionalized children, and corrupt politicians. Misguided efforts by Romanian officials to promote the country's rich history and past in order to promote its present achievements go unnoticed and ignored. As a result, Romania's image is the subject of frustration to Romanians everywhere, be they in positions of authority or ordinary people. The presentation will seek to explore the reasons for Romania's deplorable image and the surprisingly easy ways in which it can be improved. Andrei Postelnicu (Andrei.Postelnicu@ft.com) is a Reporter for Financial Times, US Capital Markets

Dr. Michael M Dediu - Romania and Mathematics.
Many Romanian mathematicians achieved remarkable results, which contributed to the progress of the field. Names lake Spiru Haret, Traian Lalescu, Dimitrie Pompeiu, Simion Stoilow, Gheorghe Titeica, Dan Barbilian (also a poet,Ion Barbu), are well known in the mathematical community. Dr. Michael M. Dediu (michael.dediu@derc.com) is President of DERC, Inc. (Dediu Research & Consulting) a Boston based company involved in Quantum Computing, Information Technology, Nanotechnology, International Business, Education, Artificial Intelligence, and Universal Translation

Dr. Theodor Damian - The Theology and Philosophy: The Image of God in Our World Today.
From the perspective of a theologian and professor of philosophy, the presentation analyzes our contemporary world from the perspective of its major problems and discusses how the image of God in man is the ground of our existence and of our multi-level relationships. A correct understanding of man's condition before God and in the world can help improve the problems that we are confronted with. Dr. Theodor Damian (tdamian@metropolitan.edu) is a Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, editor of the cultural review Lumina lina, poet.

Kirsten Muetzel - Economic Development in Romania.
Many people have heard of Romania's economic struggle since the revolution in 1989, but many are not familiar of what development efforts are underway to advance Romania's economic situation. Peace Corps Romania supports Romanian communities in their economic development efforts. Also, USAID currently funds a multi-million dollar microfinance project with the goal of developing the Romanian Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Sector. Come learn about economic development projects that are making a positive difference in Romanian communities. Ms Muetzel (klm2107@columbia.edu) is a CPA, currently completing her MA program at SIPA. Ms. Muetzel worked in Romania in a Peace Corps program during which she engaged in social work and teaching.

Mark Meyer - Resolving Investor's Concerns in Romania.
Concerns of Foreign Investors in Romania and the efforts that are slowly emerging to resolve these matters. Mr. Meyer (mmeyer100@aol.com) has been an Associate Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law at Universitatea Crestina Dimitrie Cantemir in Bucharest, and he is Chairman of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce, which is the largest bilateral trade organization in the world devoted to Romania. Mark Meyer is the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the oldest Bar Association in the United States.

Ella Veres - Is there a way out of the Eastern European cultural ghetto?
Ella Veres presents her bi-cultural experience thru art. Ella Veres (www.ellaveres.com) is an itinerant writer/performer/artist, affiliated with the off-Broadway Neighborhood Playhouse Theater. Her journalistic work has been published in various Eastern European national papers and in The New York Times. Her photography and word exhibition Farewell, My Transylvania! and its concurrent performance are in continuous display throughout the country.