Skip to main content

Great Concordian: Bogdan Lytvynenko, driven Rhodes Scholarship recipient

‘My advice to aspiring journalists is to get involved with student media as fast as you can’
June 26, 2024
By Ian Harrison, BComm 01

Bogdan has short brown hair, is smiling and is wearing a striped blue and white shirt. Recently, Lytvenenko has been helping to conduct a study on systematic Russian disinformation.

International in outlook and emboldened with purpose, the Great Concordian who most recently crossed the university’s convocation stage is, in many respects, a herald of the future.

Fresh off his Department of Journalism degree with a minor in economincs, Bogdan Lytvynenko, BA 23, became just the 12th Rhodes Scholar in Concordia’s history last November.

The native of Dnipro, Ukraine, is now off to complete a double master’s in diplomacy and international relations at the London School of Economics and Sciences Po in Paris. At the conclusion of that two-year program, the University of Oxford awaits.

In the interim, Lytvynenko has maintained a relentless schedule as he endeavours to fortify his expertise in international relations, all while bearing the weight of his homeland’s ongoing resistance against Russia’s relentless invasion — a war that has inflicted immeasurable suffering upon the Ukrainian people, including his own family and friends.

Recently, Lytvenenko has been helping to conduct a study on systematic Russian disinformation with Concordia’s Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS). His work has included a series of podcasts that tell stories of his compatriots’ harrowing attempts to escape, survive and resettle in Montreal.

In Thessaloniki, Greece, Lytvynenko was also invited to participate in “TechCamp 2024: Empowering Ukrainian Voices,” an initiative co-led by the United States Department of State and DCN Global. The sole representative from Canada, Lytvynenko was tasked with providing technical training to Ukrainian professionals and students who are refugees in the European Union.

“I was able to deliver my seminars thanks to the valuable multimedia and video editing skills I acquired at Concordia,” says Lytvynenko.

When you reflect on your time as a Concordia student, what stands out?

Bogdan Lytvynenko: The standout feature, for me, was Concordia’s willingness to innovate — a quality I noticed from day one. From the very start, during Open House, I observed a modern approach aimed at carefully nurturing new students into future journalists.

Whether it’s for television, radio or online reporting, Concordia provides the technical requirements, the knowledge and access to experts. This commitment to innovation is something I’ll always associate with my alma mater, particularly because the professors adopt an individualized approach. They ensure that students aren’t just another number in the classroom but are seen as individuals with potential. This personalized attention extends beyond graduation, too.

What are some of the factors that have enabled your success?

BL: Exploring new boundaries and pushing beyond comfort zones has been a defining aspect of my journey so far. This mindset took root early in my university years, particularly when I became involved with The Concordian newspaper. Starting as an assistant news editor, I gradually rose to the positions of news editor and managing editor by my final year.

I was delighted to make an impact on Concordia’s student media, whether it was leading our office’s renovations or organizing our trip to the Canada-wide journalism conference NASH85 in Hamilton.

My reporting role was just as instrumental, as it allowed me to delve into stories that intrigued me, from Canadian politics and pro-democracy protests to the inspiring Afghan student who escaped the Taliban. Through these stories, I discovered the true power of journalism.

What advice do you have for students who may want to follow in your footsteps?

BL: Get involved with student media as fast as you can. While academic excellence is crucial for personal growth, it’s the hands-on experience of regularly publishing articles that truly propelled my trajectory. This practical experience was pivotal for me in securing internships at CTV News and CBC News in Toronto and London, U.K. Without my background in student media, navigating these opportunities would have been far more challenging.

How does it feel to be a Great Concordian?

BL: It's truly a great honour to play a part in shaping Concordia’s legacy, especially considering the remarkable achievements of both the university and its alumni over the past 50 years.

Whenever I find myself working abroad, whether at CBC News in London or alongside the U.S. State Department in Thessaloniki, proudly stating Concordia as my alma mater evokes a tremendous sense of pride.

Take pride in our Great Concordians!

Back to top

© Concordia University