Walk of fame – Our graduates

Liubov Abravitova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of South Africa

Liubov graduated International Relations Department in 2002.

“Five years of study at the International Relations Department have certainly become a solid foundation in pursuing my dream of representing a strong independent Ukraine in the international arena. The well-balanced knowledge I received was not a mere transfer of information from professors to students. Instead, it was a basis for new ideas and an impetus for further self-improvement. No university can teach you all the intricacies of diplomatic work, while very few universities can provide the “tools” for such work. Both my own experience and the examples of a number of modern-day Ukrainian diplomats attest that our department does pass such “tools” to its students. It is always nice to hear the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine laud our Alma mater alumni. I hope that we will see our graduates among the heads of this institution in the near future!”

Liubov Abravitova

Dmytro Byliev, Charge d’Affairs of Ukraine in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Dmytro graduated International Relations Department in 2011

“Analytics and language skills are the two bulwarks around which one should build their profile in diplomacy. Those are sort of a basic professional toolkit that allows having comparative advantages in the world of international diplomacy. Solid academic background is a matter of utmost importance. This leads me to how grateful and respectful I am towards the team that led us through five years of studying at the IR department of Odesa I. I. Mechnikov National University. Its professional academic team showed us the horizons and gave us the tools to navigate this infinite sea of IR theories, methods, monographs, and authors. The secret of their highly efficient performance in teaching was that every single one of them approached their task as something personal. There was no place for imitation or formalism.”

Dmytro Byliev

Maryna Vorotnyuk, PhD, Research Fellow in the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (London, UK); Member of the Board, Foreign Policy Council „Ukrainian Prism”

IR ONU 2005 alumna

Maryna worked as a researcher at the Centre for International Studies of ONU (2006-2013); a research fellow at the Odesa Branch of the National Institute for Strategic Studies; and a visiting lecturer at Comenius University in Bratislava. After several years of work in the Centre for European Neighbourhood Studies at the Central European University (Budapest, Vienna), she starts work in RUSI.

“I really like the sense of our collective belonging to something common and meaningful, to the idea that we all represent the “Odesa School of IR.” It has its own history and a connection between generations of professionals. At ONU, we have heard that “We see further than others because we stand on the shoulders of the giants” from our early student days.”

Maryna Vorotnyuk

Evgeniia Gaber, PhD, Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine), and Non-Resident Senior Fellow in the Centre in Modern Turkish Studies (Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)

IR ONU 2007 alumna

In 2009-2014, Evgeniia worked at the IR Department and in 2014-2018 she was an interpreter and then the second secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in Turkey. Evgeniia worked as a Deputy Director of the G. Udovenko Diplomatic Academy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in 2018-2020. She defended her dissertation “Regional dimension of Turkish-American relations in the post-bipolar period” in 23.00.04 – Political problems of international systems and global development – at Taras Shevchenko National University. She is the author of more than 40 scientific papers and co-author of several collective monographs on foreign policy of Ukraine, Turkey, and security issues in the Black Sea region and the Middle East.

“Every time during official talks and the most difficult translations I thank my Alma mater. I still use the theoretical knowledge and practical skills that I gained while studying at the IR Department. Diplomats, political scientists, analysts, and interpreters – these are the versatile soldiers with knowledge of several foreign languages that graduate ONU IR department. Thank you very much for everything!”


Valeriia Lozova, International Atomic Energy Agency intern (Vienna, Austria)

Valeriia graduated International Relations Department in 2015.

Master of International security and nonproliferation (University of Georgia, USA), Fulbright and Muskie scholar, visiting researcher at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

“It is the broad knowledge and serious training at the International Relations department that makes its alumni so competitive. High level of English became a very important advantage in competing for the scholarships I received. ONU IR department has a very rigorous approach to language studies. On top of that, the fact that all the professors are truly passionate about their spheres of interest and actively participate in international scientific events played a special role in my development as a professional. Such attitude inspires students to develop, constantly improve, and explore. For me, personally, the existence of a unique field of research at ONU – weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation became crucial. The IR department’s Dr. Polina Sinovets is the director of the only nonproliferation center in the country. I am very grateful to my dear IR department that it has become a place of inspiration, where students are always treated with warmth and respect!”

Valeriia Lozova

Nataliia Melnyk, PhD, First Secretary of the Mission of Ukraine to NATO

IR ONU 2002 alumna.

 “I recall my studies at the department of International Relations of Odessa National University (1997-2002) and doctoral studies (2002-2006) with warmth, tenderness, and deep gratitude. The thorough knowledge, well-built program, and interaction with prominent international political scientists, who had already gained international recognition in the USA and Europe (S. Appatov, I. Koval, V. Glebov, O. Brusylovska, V. Dubovyk, S. Glebov, P. Sinovets, and D. Kuzmin), allowed me to enter the diplomatic service of Ukraine immediately after graduation. I would also like to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Prof. I. Koval, who devoted many years to the Department of International Relations; to all my English, German, and Turkish teachers for their patience and innovative methodologies in teaching foreign languages to students; and to all the Department staff for creating a unique atmosphere of kindness and inspiration. I always advise enrolling in our program if one dreams of working for the diplomatic service of Ukraine”.

Nataliia Melnyk

Pashaieva Kseniia, Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science, Chief Specialist at Odesa Regional Office of the Hennadii Udovenko Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine at the MFA

IR ONU 2016 alumna

In 2017-2021 she pursued postgraduate studies at Odesa I. I. Mechnikov National University. In 2021 she defended her dissertation thesis: “Factors of the political transformation of the South Caucasus countries”.

“Studying at a university is an important stage in the life of an individual, at which the formation of a future specialist must be influenced by experienced and talented professionals. The teaching staffs of the Department of International Relations of the FIRPS fully correspond to this criterion. In my opinion, the Department of International Relations is the best option for acquiring knowledge and developing professional skills that meet the needs of our time. In addition, the department has a unique atmosphere that stimulates scientific and professional growth, pushing you to reach new horizons, and your teachers are a personal example to follow”.



Rusova Olga, PhD, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Thailand

IR ONU 2011 alumna

In 2011-2015 she pursued the postgraduate studies at Odesa I. I. Mechnikov National University and two years later defended her dissertation thesis «Weimar Triangle states in the European integration and security processes» at the Institute of International Relations at Taras Shevchenko National University. She worked as a Chief Specialist at Odesa Regional Office of the Hennadii Udovenko Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine at the MFA (2016-2020). In 2019/20 academic year, she took part in a nine-month postgraduate diploma programme in the theory and practice of International Relations and European Integration at the Estonian School of Diplomacy. Olga is the author of more than 15 research articles and publications and the co-author of the joint monograph about foreign policy in the post-truth era. She also developed the certified distance learning course on cyber diplomacy and digital policy for the diplomats and civil servants.

“With Odesa National University is associated the extremely important period of my life – the time of personality development and professional advancement. A great many times the acquired knowledge has been of practical value at work and the desire for self-improvement, which emerged when I was a student, still encourages me to strive for the individual balanced growth. I express my deep gratitude to the teaching staff of the International Relations Department for its competence, professional commitment, guidance and support!”


Violetta Udovik, PhD, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan for cultural and humanitarian issues

IR ONU 2008 alumna

Master of Law in Political Science from Tokyo University (Master Program for History of Politics and Diplomacy of Japan, 2009-2012). Fluent in Japanese, English, and Spanish. Was responsible for organizing many cultural events to promote Ukraine in Japan (2017-2020).

“While studying at the Department of International Relations, Political Science, and Sociology I had an excellent opportunity to not only study international relations but also undergo training in the UK and Germany, as well as visit Japan. I am very grateful to our professors for their knowledge, advice, and inspiration!”


Anton Yermakov, Media and Communications Specialist, EUBAM

IR ONU 2008 alumna

“The International Relations Department is a great place where a student can get everything she wants. Knowledge, friends, and academic achievements, fun - you just need to pick your priorities. The FIRPS provided me with a solid theoretical background, which came in handy at the beginning of my career. A potent English language school will give you all the tools to start an international career. I want to say a special ‘thank you’ to O. Naboka, A. Zakharchenko, and O. Brusylovska for teaching and understanding, for not letting me have too much fun and for what I received over these years!”



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