Stephen Hyland ’21
I completed my undergraduate degree in Global Security & Intelligence Studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Arizona campus.
What do you like about UNC’s graduate program in Russian and East European Studies?
I appreciate the wealth of knowledge available about such a rich and diverse region that can be learned through the curriculum, professors, and my fellow students. The diversity in research topics pursued are fascinating and really illuminate the complexity of the region from geopolitics to family life.
Why did you choose to specialize in this region of the globe?
I was fortunate enough to spend some time in the region through my service in the military and was entranced by the history and cultures I was exposed to. Once I began to learn about the diversity and importance of the region, I desired to deepen my understanding.
Do you have work and/or study experience in the region?
I spent approximately a year in Eastern Europe, primarily in Romania, through my service in the U.S. Army.
What are your research interests?
While generally interested in security studies of the region, I am trying to narrow down to a relevant and appropriate research topic. Currently, I am exploring anti-communist insurgencies at the end and following WWII such as the Cichociemni unit of the polish resistance or the Romanian resistance.
What would you like to do after you graduate?
I will continue my service as a U.S. Army Officer and bring a new understanding of the region to assist in achieving U.S. National Security and NATO objectives with our allies.
I have the blessing of three wonderful children and a beautiful wife, who is also a medical professional. When together we enjoy the outdoors, local cultural events, and focus on quality time as a family. Personally, I enjoy cooking, entertaining friends, scuba diving, and traveling.
What is your favorite visual reminder of the region and why?
In general, I don’t take a lot of pictures on my travels so excuse the narcissism of being center in it. I was fortunate enough to participate in Romania’s 100th Unification Day celebrations. This picture reminds me of the pride, solidarity, and community I witnessed while I was there. I have a deep respect for the Romanians and other Eastern Europeans for their reverence for history, resilience to adversity, and hope for the future.