REEI MA Students
Gregory Aimaro majored in contemporary global studies at Lewis University, and has received additional training through the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute and IU’s own SLW. He has participated in the US Memorial Holocaust Museum’s research seminar. His research interests are the Holocaust and German Occupation in Ukraine.
Alexandra Blaha graduated from the Anglo-American University in Prague, Czech Republic and is interested in how hydrocarbons, energy policy, and economics impact Russia’s foreign policy.
Robert Breen is an Active Duty Air Force Officer, coming to us from the US Air Force Academy. He’ll train to be a pilot and then teach history at the USAFA. He would like to purse the Air Force’s Regional Area Specialist (the Air Force’s everyday diplomats) career track.
Megan Burnham studied Comparative Politics and Cultures at Michigan State University and her interests are quite topical, focusing on Russian media rhetoric and interference.
Alyse Camus double majored in REES and American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is pursuing a dual degree with Library Science and is interested in the intellectual and artistic interactions between Russia and the US in the early 20th Century. She will be working with Wookjin Cheun this year as the Library Assistant GA.
Stephen Chu graduated from Wheaton College and is interested in international security issues in contemporary East and Central Europe, especially as they pertain to Russia and the US. He is currently serving in the US Army as a Foreign Area Officer (FAO).
Tiffany Confer studied Russian and Slavic Studies at the University of Arizona and she plans to pioneer rehabilitation and sports clinics for peoples with disabilities in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Kayleigh Fischietto, originally hailing from Cleveland, OH, earned a BA from Georgetown University with a major in Russian Language & Literature. In 2014 she spent a semester in St. Petersburg studying Russian while volunteering at the Hermitage. Her research interests include gender and sexuality in early post-revolutionary Russia as well as the interaction between Finnic peoples and early Novgorodians. She is currently completing a dual MA/MLS in order to pursue a career in Slavic area studies librarianship.
Brianna Greenwald received BAs from CUNY's Hunter College in Spanish literature and Russian. During her undergraduate studies, she worked at Cabrini Immigrant Services as an office manager and the Hungarian Cultural Center as an assistant event coordinator. After studying abroad and teaching ESL in Ukraine, Brianna decided to pursue an MA in the field with a focus on public policy and the region's marginalized populations.
Bryan Holyfield earned a B.S. in Social Sciences and Secondary Education from William Carey University in 2012. He spent the last two years teaching United States and World History in a public school setting. His interest in Russia and Eastern Europe comes from living in Moscow and Siberia for 9 years. He intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Russian History and has interest in examining both Russia’s educational system and its place within a World History curriculum.
Teuta Ismaili graduated from the University of Zagreb and will focus her research on nationalism in the Balkans, particularly the period around the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. She will be working for REEI as the Webmaster GA this year.
Karissa Jackson graduated in 2014 with a BA from Centre College (Danville, KY), where she majored in Russian Studies and International Studies. She first studied abroad on a Project GO scholarship to Kazan, then spent another summer in Kiev. In 2012 she was awarded an NSEP Boren Award to study Russian culture and language in Moscow, where she also interned at the American Center as an adviser of higher education and English tutor at the International Library. Upon graduation she was selected as a Fulbright ETA to Moldova and spent the year teaching courses and leading extra-curricular activities at Comrat State University. Pursuing an MA, she is interested in identity, nationalism, and memory in the former Soviet Union.
Nicholas Jackson studied Comparative Politics and Cultures at Michigan State University. He has been working in various capacities for a couple of years and is looking forward to studying and researching diplomacy, especially as it pertains to the former Yugoslavia.
Amanda Lawnicki graduated in May 2014 with a BA from Beloit College in International Relations and Russian. She first became interested in Eastern Europe after learning about the Ukrainian Holodomor in a high school dual-enrollment class. She eventually studied abroad in Moscow, and later through SIT in Serbia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Following graduation, she received a fellowship from Beloit's Weissberg Program in Human Rights to work at the Center for Peacebuilding in Sanski Most, Bosnia & Herzegovina. For her MA, she is interested in studying democracy and civil society in post-communist/post-conflict Eastern Europe, and in particular the Western Balkans.
Kayla MacDavitt has already moved to Bloomington. She is currently a FEMA reservist and studied Psychology and Russian at St. Thomas University. She is excited to study the region in preparation for a career serving her country in the civil or foreign service.
Madeleine McCann this year’s incoming Byrnes Fellow, studied Russian and East European Studies at the University of Chicago. She’ll be researching national conflicts and minority politics in Russian borderlands and preparing for a PhD program.
Lina Meilus graduated with a BA in International Studies and a BFA in Fine Art from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2013. Her interest in Russia and Eastern Europe comes from her Lithuanian heritage and growing up listening to stories about WWII and life in the Soviet Union. Lina studied abroad in St. Petersburg and interned with an orgazation that teaches Russian to the children of labor migrants. Lina is interested in labor and migration and demographic shifts in Russia as well as how Soviet institutions adapted and changed during the transition from a communist to a capitalist state.
Sharon Miller, majored in history at McGill. Her research interest is in contemporary Russian history and politics.
Nikola Parlic the inaugural Erne Fellow, studied International Political Economy and Russian at Beloit College. He looks forward to increasing his linguistic proficiency and researching and understanding the political and economic challenges of Russia and Serbia.
Morgan Richardson graduated from the University of Tulsa, and has just returned from a year in Kazan on Fulbright. She will be pursuing a dual degree with SPEA and is interested in the relationship between media usage and regime type.
Michelle Schulte graduated from Kenyon College with a Classics major and is pursuing a dual degree with Library Science. Her research interest is in language usage in the library space, as well as access.
Brittany Shelmon, originally from Lafayette, Indiana, graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2013 with a BA in History focusing in 20th Century Wars and Post-Conflict Societies. She became enticed with Eastern Europe during her time studying abroad in the Former Yugoslavia. Through the dual degree program with SPEA and REEI at IU, she looks forward to continuing her study of the Balkans. Brittany is excited to start her classes at IU and to meet others with similar interests.
Thomas Tyler is from Poquoson, Virginia and graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a BA in History. His interest in the region stems from a biography project his freshman year of high school, in which he read about Josef Stalin and became engaged with the region’s history. He went on to study abroad in Moscow and minor in Russian studies during his undergraduate years. His regional academic interests include twentieth century military conflicts such as the Soviet War in Afghanistan and First Chechen War, and also span to broader topics such as Russian foreign policy.
Mark Tyson graduated from James Madison University and comes to REEI after spending time in Kiev, living off the tourist-beaten path, working as a private English tutor, and improving his language skills. He is interested in researching corruption and political systems.
Austin Wilson studied history at IU before teaching English in China for a year. He is excited to return to IU to research Soviet/Russian-Chinese relations before and after the Civil War.
Jeff Wineberg graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in History and is interested in researching ethnic Russians in former Soviet countries and ethnic minorities within Russia.