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.
Central European-American Business Leaders Scholarship
This unique scholarship enables students from Central Europe to come to the U.S. to gain work experience and earn a master of business administration (MBA) 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. The institute currently recruits Hungarian and Polish students for scholarships, but hopes to expand into surrounding countries soon.
QU Now profile
Central European Institute builds a bridge between students and companies
The university’s Central European Institute for hands-on learning, networking and international working experience is the ideal place for students wishing to develop a better understanding of the nations of Central Europe.
The institute, based on the university’s York Hill Campus, builds bridges between the United States and Europe by fostering relationships in academics, business and culture. The institute accomplishes this through country-specific endowed professor chairs who develop programs with their respective nations.
Laura Moreno ’17, MBA ’18 (pictured above), was accepted into the Central European Institute’s Student Consulting Team after spending a semester studying in Barcelona, Spain. Moreno developed her work experience through the Central European Institute’s Student Consulting Team, which helps companies enter the U.S. market.
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.
Past Student Experience
Student Exchange Program
The Central European Institute offers opportunities each year for two 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, three undergraduate business students have been selected to take part in the Erasmus+ Student Exchange Program at KU. Alexander Bernstein and Christopher Lutz spent a semester at KU during Spring 2017. Andrew Lazarev is studying at KU during Spring 2018.
In 2017, two students from KU came 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.
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.
Assistant Director, 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.
CEI Scholars 2018
2018 Central European Scholars
Milena Sadurska has a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Poland. She also studied economics at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Before coming to the U.S., she gained her work experience at MoneyGram and Philip Morris International. 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 accounting/finance field.
Bence Hausel has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from University of Szeged, Hungary, and a master’s degree in international economy and business from Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary. He also studied business economics during his master’s program at University College London, United Kingdom, and Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands. Before coming to the U.S., he gained his work experience in finance at Wizz Air in Budapest, Hungary, and MTU Maintenance Lease Services B.V. in Amsterdam, Netherlands. During his stay in the U.S., he will complete an MBA in finance within one year, and during the final year, he will complete a practical training in the aviation industry.
Marcell Molnar has a bachelor's degree in international relations from Corvinus University of Budapest. He studied international relations at Mathias Corvinus Collegium, where he took part in the Leadership Program. Before coming to the U.S., he gained his work experience at Nexperia and the United Nations Youth Association of Hungary. 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.
Wiktor Bednarek has a bachelor’s degree in engineering in telecommunications from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland. He holds two master of science degrees — one in computer science from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology and another in software engineering for technical computing from Cranfield University, United Kingdom. He has gained his work and scientific experience at Files Per Hour in Hamburg, Germany. During his stay, he will complete an MBA with a specialization in finance within one year, and during the final year, he will complete a practical training in IT/finance.
Internship/Occupation in U.S.
Kongsberg Automotive Fluid Transfer Systems
Henkel Corp., Kyle Hamilton Consulting, Vanessa Research, Inc., Otis Elevator Company – United Technologies
Quinnipiac University Poll
Vanessa Research, Inc.
ConMed Corp., Legg Mason & Co., LLC, Forevermark US, Inc.
City Line Distributors
Olympic Steel Corp., United Technologies
Stratis Group, Travelers Insurance, UnitedHealth Services, Inc.
Internship/Occupation in U.S.
Vanessa Research, Inc.
ASE Ameriseal, Lynx Analytics, Vanessa Research, Inc.
Travelers Insurance & Young America Capital
Shred It, Henkel Corp., and United Illuminating/Avangrid Inc.
Birinyi Associates & Henkel Corp.
LinkVehicle, Touchstone Research, Upcycle and United Technologies
Fossil Free Indexes & Henkel Corp.
United Illuminating, InterMerchant Services and Walmart
Charter Oak Communities, Rippowam Corp. and Henkel Corp.
Davidson Company Inc. and United Illuminating
Alexandra Zita Pleier
IHS Herold, Inc. and United Technologies
Phone: 203-582-8737 (U.S. office)