SALISBURY — A local economics professor has signed up to help a Ukrainian program recruit students who will help the country’s economic recovery.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College economics faculty member Brad Scott has signed on to help interview applicants to Ukraine Global University, a program created by the office of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with the Kyiv School of Economics and other universities.
The program selects Ukrainian university students to continue their studies abroad with the intention of returning to Ukraine to help with reconstruction following the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.
Scott said he responded to a memo from the Kyiv school principal seeking investigators to help with the program. Scott, who holds a master’s degree in applied economics, interviewed 38 students in June for the program. There were over 2,000 applicants.
“I’ve interviewed students interested in studying economics, math, data science, computer science, at all levels,” Scott said.
Scott said he draws on his experience on college interview panels and his work with students to help facilitate the process. He worked directly with a PhD student in Milan to assess the candidates. He said he would volunteer again next year. He said the experience was energizing and he enjoyed every moment of it.
“I think it’s a really cool way to use my education and experience,” Scott said.
He holds dual American and Italian citizenship and previously worked on the ground in Kuwait and said he always approaches his work with an international perspective. He said he felt the need to help in some way as the war continues.
“Obviously it’s a terrible situation that’s going on in Ukraine,” Scott said. “I think it’s an unfortunate thing that we forget: it always happens.”
Scott said he remembers calling his family to tell them he was in danger in Kuwait following an IS attack in 2015 and the terror of war coming to where you live.
“I also don’t understand total war like Russia does,” Scott said.
Scott cited countries that suffered from war and even saw geographic divides like South Korea as examples of how economies can recover when built on growth drivers.
“Use your knowledge, use your staff, make sure your staff are trained,” Scott said. “That’s obviously what President Zelensky, Ukraine Global University and the Kyiv School of Economics, this cohort think.”
Scott said Ukraine would look for ways to bring innovation to the country and joining NATO would be a big step forward. The country is currently in candidate status with no membership status in the immediate future.