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

I went to Wake Forest University and received my BA in Political Science with minors in International Relations and Spanish.

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

I appreciate the emphasis on language study. Some programs do not grant credit for language classes, which I consider a vital component of my graduate studies. Another advantage is that the summer is reserved for language training or an internship, so that I can build on classroom concepts with real experience.

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

The people. The region has had such a tumultuous history, but the people I met while traveling were optimistic and tenacious. The geopolitical issues facing the region are fascinating and multifaceted, but it was the almost defiant attitude of the people that really solidified my interest.

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

I have backpacked and traveled throughout the region.

Q: What are your research interests?

I am interested in transnational crime, particularly human trafficking. I am also fascinated by the development and growth of democratic institutions in Eastern Europe and the political socialization of youth in the region.

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

I would like to work at an NGO or research institution in the region, then return to the States and work with a think tank or government agency.

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

I love camping, hiking, and pretty much anything outside. I also play basketball, tennis, and swim, so I often go to the gym for stress relief or in my free time. Of course, there’s always time for a good beer on a sunny day!

Q. What is your favorite visual reminder of the regionpolish-anchor and why?

The Polish Anchor embodies the tenacity of the Poles and their unending fight for independence, no matter the odds.