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Q: Where did you study as an undergraduate? What was your major(s)?

I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Leadership.

Q: What do you like about UNC’s graduate program in Russian and East European Studies?

Two things have stood out to me so far. I love being surrounded by like-minded individuals who share their passions for culture, language, and people of diverse backgrounds. The second thing I like is the professors. Our program has some of the most intelligent and experienced professors with extensive backgrounds in the region.

Q: Why did you choose to specialize in this region of the globe?

I developed a deep interest in language and culture at a very young age, but it wasn’t until I immigrated to the U.S. that I experienced diversity. I grew very fond of it, and I have always wanted to serve my country as a public servant. One day I plan on doing just that. I have a desire to give back by promoting U.S. diplomacy abroad.

Q: Do you have work and/or study experience in the region?

Aside from traveling throughout the Balkan countries as a child and young adult, I had the opportunity to intern with the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia, where I met some of the most remarkable people. The genuine desire to use the tools of U.S. Foreign Policy to improve the daily lives of people in a small, unremarkable area of the world was genuinely inspiring to me. The same feeling has motivated me to pursue the Global Studies program at UNC.

Q: What are your research interests?

I want to focus on the Balkan region, specifically internal issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina that hold it back from reaching its national potential.

Q: What would you like to do after you graduate?

After I graduate from the Global Studies Program, I aspire to use my formal education and skills to become a professional in foreign policy in the Department of State or another government agency.

Q: What are your hobbies? What do you like doing in your free time?

My hobbies include training for races, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends. In my free time, I like to be outside exploring various parks, trails, and trying new restaurants.

Q. What is your favorite visual reminder of the region and why?

I have so many great pictures from our family trip to Bosnia this past summer. I had the opportunity to show my kids a little piece of me and where I came from. My inquisitive children had many questions about the war and my childhood there. This picture shows how far we’ve come. Sarajevo, a city known for the longest military siege in modern history, is slowly thriving again.