Yaryna Andrushko, a visiting scholar and researcher from Ukraine, embarked on a transformative journey that led her to the shores of the United States, where she has been making a significant impact in the field of psychology. In a recent interview, she shared her experiences, aspirations, and passions, giving us a glimpse into her life.

When asked about what brought her to the USA, her response carried a weight of profound significance. She explained that the ongoing war in Ukraine, which began in February 2022, was one of the primary catalysts for her decision to seek refuge and for a fresh start in America. Her courageous spirit and unwavering determination propelled her to seek security and the opportunity to restart in a new land.

When reflecting upon her initial impressions of living in the USA, her eyes lit up with admiration and gratitude. She expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the support provided to individuals with disabilities, particularly in terms of mobility. Yaryna found  empowering the abundance of resources available to assist those with disabilities to access facilities, stores, and urban centers. Such inclusive measures reinforced her belief in the importance of equal opportunities for all, regardless of physical limitations.

However, amidst her newfound appreciation for her adopted home, Yaryna confessed that she occasionally felt the pangs of homesickness. She longed for the warm embrace of her friends and family back in Ukraine, as well as the familiar tastes and aromas of her homeland’s cuisine. Yet, her dedication to her work and the pursuit of knowledge serve as a constant source of inspiration and resilience during moments of nostalgia.

Yaryna’s academic pursuits center around the field of psychology, a discipline in which she has excelled both professionally and academically. With a career as an associate professor in the Ukraine University and with a vast scientific publication collection, she brings a wealth of expertise and a passion for understanding the intricacies of the human mind and behavior. In addition, she operates a private therapist office, where she has made a lasting impact on countless individuals seeking healing and personal growth. Likewise, she has supported women who have experienced different types of violence. Her research focus at Penn State revolves around trauma, aiming to enhance her assistance to individuals who have been traumatized by the war in Ukraine, thereby helping the Ukrainian community affected by the war, not only those living in the USA but also in different parts of the world.

In sharing more about herself, Yaryna revealed her vibrant and sociable nature. She finds peace in connections with nature and through her passionate hiking activity that allows her to fully immerse herself in the beauty of the world. Alongside her love for nature, she is also a lover of dancing, music, and connecting with people. Her commitment to personal well-being and mindfulness practices further enhance her capacity to empower others in their journeys of self-discovery and inner healing.

Furthermore, Yaryna’s expertise extends to the field of art therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). By combining the creative process of art with the principles of therapy, she facilitates a transformative experience for individuals seeking emotional and psychological well-being. Yaryna’s multidimensional approach to healing emphasizes the importance of holistic care and the integration of various therapeutic modalities.

Yaryna’s journey with Global Connections began shortly after her arrival in the USA. Seeking to improve her English skills, she reached out to her colleagues for guidance on finding language lessons. Through a colleague, she discovered a program that connected her with Bob Persiko, who became her mentor. Bob not only assisted her with formulating articles in English, but he also provided invaluable support with grammar, a subject she found challenging.

Being a member of Global Connections has had a significant impact on Yaryna’s life. She appreciates the opportunity to participate in various events and engage with a diverse community. Among her cherished moments with Global Connections, the recent hiking encounter at Stone Valley and Shaver’s Creek stands out as a favorite. When asked what advice she would give to someone interested in getting involved with Global Connections, Yaryna’s response was simple: Just do it! She emphasizes the importance of participating in activities and connecting with others, recognizing the value of socializing and expanding one’s horizons.

In contemplating the meaning of life, Yaryna offers a heartfelt perspective. For her, life is about living in a way that is worthwhile and filled with love. She believes in the power of giving and sharing with others, not just in personal endeavors but also within the community and society at large. She embraces the concept of the boomerang effect, trusting that when you give something good, it will eventually come back to you in a positive way, even if not immediately apparent.

Yaryna Andrushko’s inspiring journey exemplifies the transformative power of seeking new experiences, embracing connections, and making meaningful contributions to the world. Her dedication to psychology, love for nature, and commitment to personal growth continue to shine brightly, illuminating the lives of those around her. As we shine a spotlight on Yaryna Andrushko, her story serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of embracing new beginnings.¬†