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Amarandi Barrett | Carrboro, North Carolina
B.A. Environmental Studies, UNC-Greensboro

I grew up between Chapel Hill and Greece, and in 2017 I earned my masters in Southeast European Studies from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. My research interests are in the Western Balkans and Greek security studies, especially in regards to their relations with the US, Turkey, and Russia. More about Amarandi >>

Alastair Ferenbach | Johnson City, Tennessee 
B.A. Russian and Global Studies, Sewanee

Regions like Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Caucasus are especially rich areas for someone with an interest in linguistics and cultural identity formation. I feel that much of the post-Soviet world is underrepresented in both academia and public channels. I am fascinated with the social and political dynamics of ethnolinguistically diverse regions. More about Alastair >>

Kathryn Goodpaster | Fayetteville, North Carolina
B.A. Peace, War, and Defense, UNC-Chapel Hill

My Russian studies really started in the summer of 2018. My dad had started learning Russian and encouraged me to join him. Since then, I have continued to study Russian, on my own and at UNC. 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. More about Kathryn >>

Ermina Kroening | Bosnia and Herzegovina
B.A. Public Leadership, North Carolina State University

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. More about Ermina >>

Haley Morris | Monroe, Louisiana
B.A. Geography and Russian, Brigham Young University

I lived in western Ukraine for 18 months and just fell in love with it. I am fascinated with political geography and how what goes on in Eastern Europe impacts us across the globe. I love the political geography of Eastern Europe, specifically how the region is a shatter belt and a buffer between Western Europe and Russia today. More about Haley >>

Nika Mukasashvili | Tbilisi, Georgia
B.A. Political Science, Tbilisi State University           

I am from Georgia, South Caucasus. Therefore, it was always the core of my interest to research the region’s regional politics, ethnic conflicts, and democratization. In Georgia, I worked as a researcher at Tbilisi State University and in several non-governmental organizations. More about Nika >>

Caroline Prout | Marietta, Georgia
B.A. History and Government, William & Mary

My family emigrated from Finland prior to Finland’s independence from Russia, so I have always had a connection to the region. It wasn’t until my sophomore year in undergrad that I took a class on Russian History since Stalin and that’s what sparked a deeper dive into the history, culture, and religion of Russia. More about Caroline >>

Alex Weber | Mebane, North Carolina
B.A. Languages, Literature, and Cultures, UNC-Greensboro

I love Russian politics, music, and culture. I first discovered Russian in 2018 when I decided to search for new music options. Fast forward three years, and I still love the region, culture, and language of Russia. I would love to study the melding of Orthodox theology with Russian politics in greater detail. More about Alex >>