Ukrainian Cybersecurity Law Expert Makes Most Of FSU Visit

June 21, 2024

"Dr. Andrii Paziuk poses for a group photo in front of an FSU seal."


Florida State University’s Ukraine Task Force (UTF) hosted Andrii Paziuk, a professor of international and comparative law at the National Aviation University in Kyiv, Ukraine, on campus June 6-12. The goal of the visit was to connect with colleagues, establish relationships for future collaborations and discuss future opportunities for students in Ukraine.   

Paziuk specializes in cybersecurity, technology and human rights law and has been a legal adviser to the Government of Ukraine for the past 15 years. He currently advises the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the National Security and Defense Council.

Established in 2022, the UTF was initially created to forge partnerships between FSU and Ukrainian scholars and to educate the FSU community about Ukraine. It falls under the purview of the Learning Systems Institute (LSI), which focuses on how individuals and organizations perform complex tasks and how to help them achieve their performance goals.

Researchers at LSI are currently working on projects in Malawi, Egypt, Rwanda and Zambia.

“This program provides opportunities for Florida State University and for counterparts to exchange and collaborate on research projects and enrich each other with knowledge, skills and shared experiences,” Paziuk said.

As director of FSU’s UTF, Vilma Fuentes is responsible for facilitating connections between Ukrainian universities and FSU faculty through LSI. She organized Paziuk’s visit.

“Dr. Paziuk is engaged in practical, cutting-edge work that explores the intersection between law, technology and international relations,” Fuentes said. “His visit has provided us with an opportunity to see how different parts of the university can collaborate more robustly with each other and with Ukrainian academics.”

Communicating Information: FSU College of Communication and Information

On Friday, June 7, Paziuk met with Michelle Kazmer, dean of the College of Communication and Information, which is home to FSU’s School of Information. The school offers undergraduate and master's degrees in information technology and cybersecurity and is the only school in Florida that’s part of the iSchool organization, which represents over 120 universities with common interests in research and teaching.

For lunch, Paziuk and Fuentes met with Steve McDowell, assistant vice provost for international initiatives; Jim Clark, FSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Rick Burnette, senior vice president for strategic planning. The group discussed potential research collaborations, conferences and short-term non-degree certificate programs between FSU and partners in Ukraine.

Information Security and Privacy: FSU Information Technology Services

That afternoon, Paziuk met with representatives from Information Technology Services (ITS), including Bill Hunkapillar, chief information security officer at FSU; Joseph Bringham, program director of Technology Services at FSU; and Melonie White, director of Risk, Compliance, and Privacy at FSU. During the meeting, Paziuk learned about the ITS Information Security and Privacy Office, which is responsible for protecting the FSU community and infrastructure from cyberattacks. The group agreed to share publicly available cybersecurity protocols that can help Ukrainians improve their cybersecurity infrastructure.

“We discussed opportunities at FSU like this security operations center, which manages all cyber threats and governs the cybersecurity infrastructure at the university,” Paziuk said. “We don’t have this experience in Ukraine, and we agreed that we will discuss further and develop some plan for how we can establish such a virtual campus for Ukrainian students to take part in learning activities together with students at FSU.”

International Students and Scholars: Global Perspectives and Opportunities

On Monday, June 10, Paziuk spoke to a Global Perspectives undergraduate course about the war in Ukraine and its implications for the United States. The course introduces students to the basic concepts, theories, functions and behaviors associated with intercultural communication. Paziuk also met with representatives from the Center for Global Engagement to discuss opportunities for Ukrainian doctoral students to come and study at FSU.

“We can use this as an opportunity for closer cooperation,” Paziuk said.

That afternoon Paziuk attended meetings at LSI to learn about some of the systems and initiatives they oversee, including the Florida Center for Research in STEM and CPALMS, a unique platform developed by LSI to support K-12 education in Florida. The group discussed ways that LSI’s courses and expertise can be used to develop the digital skills of Ukrainians who have been displaced by war.

Magnetic Field Research: Tour of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

On Tuesday, June 11, Paziuk toured the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab) with Amy McKenna, research scientist and manager of the Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ICR) Facility. He also met with Laura Greene, chief scientist of the MagLab and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Greene served as co-chair of FSU’s Ukraine Task Force alongside Steve McDowell before Fuentes took over in 2024.

“Dr. Paziuk is engaged in practical, cutting-edge work that explores the intersection between law, technology and international relations,” Fuentes said. “His visit has provided us with an opportunity to see how different parts of the university can collaborate more robustly with each other and with Ukrainian academics.”

Human Rights: FSU College of Law

Some of the most productive conversations took place when Paziuk met his peers in the College of Law. Erin Voloj Dessauer, executive director of the Institute of Law, Technology and Innovation at the FSU College of Law, noted that although FSU has several innovative courses on law and technology, Paziuk has a unique specialization that can complement and enhance existing courses on Cyber Law and Cybersecurity Law. The later is an area of growing research which has a lot of relevance for international law, human rights, diplomacy and other academic fields.

Terry Coonan, executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights at FSU, and Paziuk discussed collaborating on human rights courses and developing new courses related to international cybersecurity law. Since 2022, Paziuk has been instrumental in helping the Prosecutor General of Ukraine introduce a program of digital evidence preservation for documenting war crimes and grave human rights offenses committed during the ongoing military conflict in the country. Paziuk explained the relevance of these conversations by noting that “academic cooperation is a diplomacy tool for getting voices heard and truths shared.”

The visit fostered invaluable discussions on ways FSU can collaborate with universities in Ukraine and allow the UTF to expand its work.

For more information about the UTF at FSU, visit or email Vilma Fuentes at