Central European Institute Promotions
What We Do
The institute is an umbrella organization with country-specific, endowed chairs established to develop relations between the United States and their respective countries. The endowed chairs oversee academic initiatives and student learning. In addition, the center organizes study abroad programs, exchange programs, scholarships and a foreign lecture series.
The CEI’s business activities focus primarily on networking events and student-consulting projects. Our main business networking events include the annual Zebegény Executive Networking Retreat and Quinnipiac Alumni Reception in Zebegény, Hungary, and the annual Mielżyński Executive Networking Retreat and Alumni Reception in Warsaw, Poland. Both events attract executives from the region’s top global and local companies as well as key political leaders.
The Central European Institute’s main cultural programs include the Art as Ambassador project and the Artist in Residency program. The CEI also works with Central European-American community members in Connecticut, and the Honorary Consulate of Hungary in Hamden.
Hungarian-American Business Leaders Scholarship
This unique scholarship enables students from Hungary to come to the U.S. to gain work experience and earn a master’s degree on Quinnipiac’s beautiful Connecticut campus. Nestled in the heart of New England, two hours from Boston and 90 minutes from New York City, Quinnipiac offers a unique opportunity for international students to learn about American business through a distinctly hands-on approach.
Spotlight: Laura Moreno '17, MBA '18
Central European Institute builds a bridge between students and companies
The Student Consulting Team within Quinnipiac University’s Central European Institute provides consulting services to international companies on a range of business-related topics. Established in 2016, the faculty-led team is composed of QU graduate students in the MBA and law programs and undergraduate majors in economics, entrepreneurship, international business, marketing, and psychology.
In addition to developing business plans to help international companies establish a presence in the U.S., the team analyzes websites, performs market research, conducts focus groups, and prepares and presents materials for businesses, diplomatic officials, investors and other stakeholders.
Over the past three years, the consulting team has worked with multiple Hungarian and Polish start-ups planning their entry onto US market. The team is now expanding its services to offer the same business consulting services to Central European companies’ intent on improving their brick and mortar operations.
“I am very excited to begin my career and honestly it's thanks in large part to CEI. The work done there has been a talking point in every single stage of my interview and it's what set me apart from the other applications.”David Menville '19
Two Quinnipiac students recently completed a competitive international program at the MNB Summer School of Economics in Hungary, hosted by the Central Bank of Hungary, and Corvinus University of Budapest, an official partner of Quinnipiac.
Londyn Zografakis ’20, an economics major, and Alex Robiner ’18, a graduate of the economics program, focused on “Central and Eastern Europe in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities in Finance and Geopolitics.” Our Central European Institute sponsored Zografakis and Robiner.
The program is designed to offer undergraduate and graduate students from around the world an in-depth understanding into finance and geopolitics. It is comprised of 17 lectures, a half-dozen case studies, 2 simulation games, 3 cultural trips, 3 company visits, 3 networking opportunities and 2 weeks in Budapest.
Two members of Bobcat Nation participated in this year’s Teaching English in Poland program through the Kosciuszko Foundation.
Samantha Paradee ’18, MS ’19, photographed here, is currently working as an assistant teacher at a camp in central Poland.
“This program is incredibly beneficial to my future career as I am interested in teaching English around the world,” she said. “The program allows me to get started on that dream before I am even finished with college.”
Quinnipiac faculty member Katarzyna Kowalczyk, who teaches modern languages, literatures and cultures at Quinnipiac, recently taught a two-week camp for 7- to 18-year-olds on the English language and American culture in the central Polish city of Minsk Mazowiecki.
The International Economics Research Team
The International Economics Research Team
The CEI International Economics Research team is made up of 5-10 current Quinnipiac students with interests in economics, research and international affairs. The team meets weekly and works with Professor Ball to conduct regular analysis on the economies of Central Europe with a focus on Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Romania.
The group posts weekly reports on exchange rates and interest rates on www.InvestCEE.com, a website devoted to economic and business in the CEE region and wholly run by QU students and alumni. The group also produces quarterly reports and reports on special topics for the region.
As part of the CEI International Economics Research Team, Bryan Doherty ‘20 spent the month of June in Budapest, Hungary and said he was immediately taken back by the beauty of the historical city. Doherty said that feeling lasted the entire trip, as he took in the sites of the famous churches, monasteries and other ancient architecture along his daily commute.
“I interned at the Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB), where I researched topics concerned with the International Monetary Policy group. The majority of my research consisted of analyzing the detrimental presence of deflation of the Japanese economy. I found his topic to be truly interesting and the fact that I was able to apply my knowledge of economics that I obtained from my studies at Quinnipiac was satisfying to say the least.”Bryan Doherty ’20
Past Student Experience
Student Exchange Program
Fostering a world-sized classroom
The Central European Institute offers opportunities each year for undergraduate students at Quinnipiac to spend a semester at Kozminski University (KU) in Warsaw, Poland. The opportunities include airfare and a monthly living allowance. Since Spring 2017, undergraduate business students have been selected to take part in the Erasmus+ Student Exchange Program at KU.
Andrew Lazarev ’20 spent his spring semester at Koźmiński University (KU). Andrew was our third student to participate in this unique program since we launched it in 2017.
While in Warsaw, he attended our 4th Annual Alumni and Executive event where he networked with over 80 executives, leading academics and diplomats.
Students from KU also come to Quinnipiac to study. Adrian Sabala studied entrepreneurship and management in Spring 2017. Michal Leszko arrived on campus in Fall 2017 to enroll in the School of Business. In Spring 2018, Philina Dzienisz spent a semester taking graduate courses on information system strategy, decisions making for business and corporate governance and Kamil Stachowiak taking undergraduate courses on finance, integrated marketing communications, marketing research and population and society. In Fall 2019, Damian Kowalczyk and Magdalena Jarolin enrolled in various business courses, as well.
Support the CEI
Building for the future
Donations enable the Central European Institute to advance its mission of building international bridges between the people of the United States and Central Europe. These opportunities for engagement are enriched with bold programs and activities in education, business and culture.
Endowed Faculty Chairs for Central Europe
The Central European Institute (CEI), housed in the School of Business, is an umbrella organization under which country-specific endowed chairs are established to develop relations and programs in culture, academia and business between the United States and the nations of Central Europe.
The István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics was established in 2008 to oversee relations with Hungary.
The Novak Family Polish Chair was established in 2014 to oversee relations with Poland.
Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences
The inaugural faculty chair of the Central European Institute, the István Széchenyi Chair in International Economics is a permanent, endowed faculty position. The position was established in September 2008 thanks to a generous gift from an anonymous donor. Christopher Ball, associate professor of economics in the College of Arts and Sciences, currently holds the faculty chair position.
Ball worked in Budapest, Hungary, from 1994–98 at the Hungarian Atlantic Council and as a fellow for the Institute for Current World Affairs. In 2003 he was hired by Quinnipiac as an assistant professor of economics in the School of Business. Building on his unique connections in Hungary, Ball launched a foreign lecture series in the business school bringing notable individuals from Hungary to speak at Quinnipiac.
In 2008 he became the first endowed chair at Quinnipiac and began focusing on building programs with the Central European region. In 2011 he established CEENET Inc., which is a private association of professionals in Connecticut with Central European connections who promote bilateral business and diplomatic relations between Connecticut and Central Europe. In 2013 he was inaugurated as the Hungarian Honorary Consul for Connecticut. He continues to serve in that role and the Hungarian Honorary Consulate is housed at the Central European Institute. In addition, Ball served as executive vice president of Light Sources Inc., a multinational manufacturer headquartered in Orange, Connecticut, and currently manages his private consulting business.
Novak Family Polish Chair, Central European Institute
The Novak Family Polish Chair is an endowed faculty position established in 2014 to oversee relations with Poland. Made possible by a generous gift from Pete and Kasia Novak, the faculty position also was supported by a Quinnipiac University matching gift. Alex Storozynski was named the first Novak Family Polish Chair. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, president emeritus and vice chairman of the Kosciuszko Foundation of New York, Storozynski kindly agreed to serve as the chair part-time for two years to help launch our programs in Poland.
In July 2017, Gedeon Werner was appointed the first full-time chair. Werner has extensive experience working for the U.S. government, NGOs, foundations, academia in both the U.S. and Poland, and in the business world. Prior to joining Quinnipiac University, Werner served as the president of a private Polish asset management company with business interests in commercial and residential real estate, pharmaceuticals and airline catering. Before joining the business world, he spent over 15 years in international higher education where, among other jobs, he worked with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland as the executive director of the Polish-American Management Center at the University of Lodz in Lodz, Poland. While in Lodz, he led the university’s efforts to internationalize business management curricula, established academic partnerships and launched new academic units and programs.
Director of Operations, Central European Institute
Before joining the Central European Institute in 2012, Hanna Hejmowski worked at Hitachi Capital and Yale University. Hejmowski spent her childhood in Poland and immigrated with her family to the United States in 2000. Shortly afterward, she enrolled at Quinnipiac University, graduating in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in international business and a minor in European Union studies. In 2016, she earned a master's degree in organizational leadership. Her unique background and special ties with Poland have helped establish and expand various programs and initiatives with Poland since the launch of the Novak Family Polish Chair in 2014.
In 2017 she was appointed to the Polonia Advisory Council (PAC) of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York where she joins other American-Polish leaders in providing the Consul General with advice on special projects and U.S.-Polish relations in general. Hejmowski was invited to join PAC in recognition of her active involvement with the Polish community in Connecticut as well as for her leadership in the success of the programs with Poland through the CEI.
Hejmowski was awarded the Erasmus+ Faculty and Staff Mobility grant to work with Kozminski University in Warsaw, Poland. The aim of the program is to gain knowledge and new insights from colleagues or projects in another institute of higher education. The Erasmus+ Program allows academic and non-academic staff or professionals to spend a teaching and/or training period or the chance to network and learn among international counterparts during one week at another institution of higher education. The program is funded by EU.
Peter Novak, a Quinnipiac University trustee and a member of the Central European Institute board, is general agent of Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services Company. Headquartered in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Charter Oak is a local agency of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and has offices across Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Novak also is on the board of trustees of the Kosciuszko Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting educational and cultural exchanges between the United States and Poland and to increasing American understanding of Polish culture and history.
Novak is passionate about building programs that help future generations of young Poles and deepen the connection of U.S. and Poland. He has taken an active role in all aspects of developing CEI programs, including organizing several trips to Poland to build the relationships necessary to ensure the success of our programs.
The Central European Institute provides an annual report for stakeholders, donors and students each year. This report provides a broad look at the activities of the institute and plans for the coming year.
2019 Central European Scholars
Viktoria Keresztes has a bachelor's degree in international relations from Corvinus University of Budapest. Before coming to the U.S., she gained her work experience at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she worked for two years. During her stay in the U.S., she will complete an MBA degree within one year, and during the final year, she will complete a practical training in the human resources field.
Jakub Kozak has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Warsaw University of Technology. Before coming to the U.S., he gained his work experience at SoInteractive, Netsprint and StepStone Services in Warsaw, Poland. During his stay in the U.S, he will complete an MBA degree within one year, and during the final year, he will complete a practical training in the IT sector.
Aleksandra Rusin has a master’s degree in law from University of Wrocław, Poland. She also studied law at University of South Wales, United Kingdom and was awarded postgraduate diploma in commercial and corporate law. Before coming to the U.S., she gained her experience in journalism at naszaswidnica.pl, and in Radio LUZ. She also gained her work experience in technology at Nokia Solutions and Networks. During her stay in the U.S., she will complete an MBA degree within one year, and during the final year, she will complete a practical training in technology industry.
Norbert Szabo has a bachelor's degree in finance from Babes Bolyai University of Cluj Napoca. He was part of the GTK Business Consulting Group, where he took part in the Business Leadership Program. Before coming to the U.S., he gained his work experience at East Grain SRL and East Cargolog SRL as a logistics specialist. During his stay, he will complete an MBA with a specialization in supply chain management within one year, and during the last year, he will complete a practical training in supply chain management.
Bence Hausel (2018–20)
- MTU Aero Engines North America, Inc., UncommonGoods LLC., Deloitte & Touche
Milena Sadurska (2018–20)
- Bombardier Inc., Yale School of Medicine, Soludos, LLC.
Marton Kovacs (2017–20)
- Ashcroft, Inc., Bravo Store Systems
Csilla Abran (2019)
- Henkel Corp., Kyle Hamilton Consulting, Vanessa Research, Inc., Otis Elevator Company – United Technologies
Wiktor Bednarek (2019)
- 37 Ways Inc.
Katarzyna Bogumil (2019)
- Quinnipiac University Poll, WunderLand Group
Laszlo Dinca (2019)
- Vanessa Research, Inc.
Marcell Molnar (2019)
- MA Selmon Co Inc., Ashcroft
Katarzyna Tworowska (2019)
- ConMed Corp., Legg Mason & Co., LLC, Forevermark US, Inc., WESTMED Practice Partners
Aleksandra Wojcik (2019)
- Kongsberg Automotive Fluid Transfer Systems
Marcin Ambrozej (2018)
- Olympic Steel Corp., United Technologies
Attila Deli (2018)
- ShopRite, City Line Distributors
Ferenc Fazekas (2018)
- Vanessa Research, Inc.
Katarzyna Michalska (2018)
- Stratis Group, Travelers Insurance, UnitedHealth Services, Inc.
Márton Kis-Dörnyei (2017)
- Travelers Insurance & Young America Capital
Málna Pólya (2017)
- ASE Ameriseal, Lynx Analytics, Vanessa Research, Inc.
Attila Erdély (2015)
- Shred It, Henkel Corp., and United Illuminating/Avangrid Inc.
Márta Lörincz (2015)
- Birinyi Associates & Henkel Corp.
Katalin Németh (2015)
- LinkVehicle, Touchstone Research, Upcycle and United Technologies
Dániel Tubik (2015)
- Fossil Free Indexes & Henkel Corp.
Ildikó Dombi (2014)
- Travelers Insurance
Bence Erdélyi (2014)
- United Illuminating, InterMerchant Services and Walmart
Éva Bartalos (2013)
- Charter Oak Communities, Rippowam Corp. and Henkel Corp.
András Herczeg (2013)
- Davidson Company Inc. and United Illuminating
Alexandra Zita Pleier (2013)
- IHS Herold, Inc. and United Technologies
Dániel Erdélyi (2011)
- Birinyi Associates
Blanka Balázs (2011)
- United Technologies
Special thanks to The Hungary Initiatives Foundation for its continued support of the activities of the István Széchenyi Chair and our Hungarian scholars.
Director of Operations
Phone: 203-582-8737 (U.S. office)