Thanking Dr. Barbara Hancin-Bhatt and Dr. Carol Leff for Their Service to the EU Center



The European Union Center leadership wants to express its gratitude to Barbara Hancin-Bhatt and Carol Leff, two members of our Executive Committee who have announced their retirement from our university.

As Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs for the College of LAS and in her previous role as Director of the Global Studies program, Barbara Hancin-Bhatt has been indefatigable in leading the debate on the best way to educate our students to the reality of our global role. Always mindful of the importance of the well being of our students, Barbara has taught us that academic rigor and a safe and engaging global education are mutually reinforcing goals.

As one of the founding members of the European Union Center, Carol, whose specialization is Eastern European politics, taught us the crucial role that Eastern European countries play for the construction of a united Europe and in a transatlantic perspective. Her unrelenting commitment to students and research alike has been central in defining the identity of the EUC. Carol will continue to advise the EUC and to contribute to our curriculum and our research.

On behalf of the EUC colleagues, I want to thank Barbara and Carol for their service and reaffirm the Center’s commitment to their human and intellectual priorities.  After announcing their retirement, many colleagues reached out to me to bear witness to their contribution. We are including some of the testimonies below.

On behalf of the EUC,

Emanuel Rota

EUC, Director


What Dr. Hancin-Bhatt’s colleagues say:

“I really appreciate her passion for student success.  Some of my favorite times with Barbara have been during our Cookies with the Dean sessions in which she has shared some of her journey with students to assure them that they needn't take always take direct path to arrive at their goal.” – Venetria K. Patton, Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Barbara is a tireless advocate for students; she listens carefully to them, draws on extensive experience in her academic discipline and the field of student affairs, and develops creative solutions for individuals and the college, as a whole. She is amazing. – David Tewksbury, Executive Associate Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Area Centers, Office of the Dean of LAS

Barbara’s passion and commitment for all students to have a global educational experience will be one of her most significant and enduring legacies in the College of LAS.” – Isabel Molina, Associate Dean of Inclusive Excellence, Office of the Dean of LAS

“During my seven months as interim associate dean in LAS, I have truly appreciated Barbara's wisdom, generosity, and caring for our students.” – Stephen Downie, Interim Associate Dean for Curricular and Academic Policy, Office of the Dean of LAS


What Dr. Leff’s colleagues say:

"For nearly three decades, Carol Leff was a valued colleague who contributed in immeasurable ways to both the research and teaching missions of the Department of Political Science." – Thomas Rudolph, Professor of Political Science and Department Head

“Carol Leff has always been one of Political Science’s leading dissertation chairs. In addition to serving students in her areas of expertise, she takes on struggling students in related fields and gives them support they do not find elsewhere in the department.  Students regularly tell me they could never have earned their PhD without her!” – Bob Pahre, Professor of Political Science and former Department Head

“Carol is the ultimate department citizen, never saying no to work that benefits others. She prioritized engagement with students—undergraduate and graduate—over all else, and that kind of altruism is rare and under-appreciated.” – Brian Gaines, Professor of Political Science

“It has been a real pleasure working with Carol as a colleague in the department of political science and at the European Union center. I always appreciate her insights on politics in Europe, an area of the world that I also study, during numerous events and conversations. And I admire her for the thoughtfulness and compassion she puts into mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. I can’t count the times a student has told me that Professor Leff is their favorite. Carol has indeed served as a role model for me, and I grateful for all the opportunities to work with her and to get to know her.” – Kostas Kourtikakis, Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science