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

I majored in Peace, War, and Defense with a minor in Russian at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

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

I love the learning environment! The professors and students are all very knowledgeable and make the classes go by quickly. I feel as though I am not only learning from the staff but also from the students. 

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

My Russian studies really started in the summer of 2018. My dad had started learning Russian and encouraged me to join him. I really wanted to learn a language and study abroad, so I found a scholarship offered by the Department of State to learn critical languages. I applied and thankfully received it. Since then, I have been studying Russian! 

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

In 2018, received the Department of State’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship to study Russian in Moscow, Russia for the summer. I stayed in the Bolshoi Ballet Academy for six weeks and enjoyed intensive Russian Language and culture courses. 

Q: What are your research interests?

I am very interested in national security as a whole, but I am particularly interested in Russia’s role in international affairs and American foreign policy. 

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

Coming into UNC, I had completely different career plans, but after meeting and learning from my professors, those plans have changed. I assume that the same will happen after I graduate from the Master’s program. However, I know that after graduation I would like to continue to work on Russia and/or national security.

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

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends, eating and cooking, and watching terrible movies and TV shows. 

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

I have so many pictures from my trip to Moscow that I love and are my favorites, but this one is from one of my last nights and is currently my background. I had gone to the “Floating bridge” with my host family and friends to say goodbye to everyone. It was our last sunset altogether. I hope to return and have a few more with all of the people that I met in Russia.