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NMSU 'global' series examines changing Eastern European border

From the rolling hills of Moldova to the Transylvanian Mountains in Romania, Eastern Europe is on the move, and it's the next stop for the College of Arts and Sciences' "Global Connections" series at New Mexico State University.

New Mexico State University geography professor Robert Czerniak (right) makes a toast with Rod Garnett, another Fulbright scholar, (center) at a well-known restaurant in Chisinau, Moldova. (Photo by Beth Czerniak)

New Mexico State University geography professor Robert Czerniak (sitting) conducts research with Tatiana Vozneac (left), a staff member at the Moldova State University and Elena Crestianicov (right), the director of the American Studies program at Moldova State University. (Photo by Beth Czerniak)

Geography professor Robert Czerniak will present "Moldova and Romania: On the Border of Change," as the second installment of the series at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Creative Media Institute Theatre in Milton Hall.

"Moldova and Romania are experiencing tremendous change - - from communism to capitalism, from foreign domination to self government, from old ideas to new opportunities, and from a state-owned landscape to a landscape strongly influenced by the decisions of individuals and private business," Czerniak said.

Czerniak, accompanied by his wife, Beth, spent six months abroad last year as a Fulbright scholar where he taught geography courses at the Moldova Technical University. He also conducted research on land use, in and around the capital city of Chisinau. His next stop was Romania.

"Some of my favorite sites in Moldova were the Capriana Monestary and the Pucari and Milestii Mici Wineries," Czerziak said. "In Romania, it was the painted churches of Bucovina and visiting my grandparents' hometown of Solca."

Along with numerous photos of his trip, Czerniak will share maps of the area as well as slides of the landscape. Additionally, he'll talk about the people they met and discuss his grandparents and their migration to the United States.

Czerniak has been an NMSU faculty member in the geography department for 29 years. His research interests are in land use, community development, urban geography and transportation planning.

The "Global Connections" series features faculty members' exotic trips around the world. The purpose is to provide an opportunity for members of the campus and surrounding community to listen and ask questions of NMSU professors about the kind of global first-hand experiences they might never otherwise encounter.

The "Global Connections" series will be offered on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Creative Media Institute Theatre at Milton Hall. The series will run through April 2. The lectures are free and open to the public.