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

I studied at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, majoring in Politics and minoring in Russian Area Studies.

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

I really like the variety of classes available in the REEES track – classes in the history, political science, IR, and language spectrum that are fascinating and challenging. I also appreciate the heavy language focus of the program and I’m looking forward to improving my Russian while I’m here.

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

I have always been fascinated by the former Soviet Union, in particular Russia, since when I began studying Political Science it was an area I knew little about. I had the opportunity to study in Russia last year and during my stay there my interest in the region was cemented.

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

I studied for one semester at Peter the Great State Polytechnic Institute in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

What are your research interests?

My research interests include state usage of violence to achieve political goals, as well as how nationalist sentiments can be manipulated by states.

What would you like to do after you graduate?

After graduation I would like to work for the United States government in the foreign service.

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

In my free time I enjoy watching foreign films and playing soccer – I am also an avid reader and (very) amateur writer.

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

My favorite reminder of Russia is this picture I took out the window of my dorm in springtime. For me it really captures the strange industrial charm of the blocks of flats that encircle Saint Petersburg. This is very close to Akademicheskaya metro station, and it was one of my favorite places, since every metro stop had its own quaint little “town” around it.