Brigid Connor has long been fascinated by the intersection of Russian music and history and holds degrees in both music and humanities.  Her senior paper examined the role of bells in Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” in relation to contemporary Russian identity while her master thesis explored the English reception of Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Kaschei the Immortal as Wagnerian” in the context of the Great Game.   A FLAS fellowship recipient for Russian studies, Brigid continues to investigate the music of post-Petrine Russia.

Jacob Parsley graduated summa cum laude from Portland State University with a BS in Political Science (2009) and a BA in Russian (2013).  After serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, he studied at Russian universities in Moscow and St. Petersburg.  Jacob has traveled widely in Russia and several former Soviet republics, and has a 3+ FSI oral proficiency rating in Russian.  Jacob is a recipient of two federal grants for Russian, a 2012-2013 David L. Boren Scholarship and a FLAS Fellowship at Stanford.  He is interested in post-Soviet civil society, language politics, and Soviet legacy, and intends to pursue a career in the federal government.

Charles Powell earned his BS in Physics from Brown and an AA from Bard College at Simon’s Rock, and spends much of his time pondering the history and future of science.  He wrote his thesis on computational quantum chemistry, and has laboratory experience modeling plant hormones and playing with plasma rockets. Charlie has studied Mandarin Chinese and Russian, and is a FLAS recipient in Russian.  At Stanford, Charlie hopes to reconcile his passions for science, pedagogy, and languages by researching the institutions and methodology of science in the Soviet Union.

Caroline Schottenhamel graduated from the University of Passau, Germany in 2011 with a BA in International Cultural and Business Studies with majors in Slavic cultures and history and with minors in Russian and Spanish languages and business studies.  Her thesis examined interculturality in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Igrok.  In 2009-2010, she studied at the Kazan State University upon receiving a DAAD Scholarship (German Academic Exchange Service).  Her primary interests are Russian and Eurasian history, politics, and culture.

Robin Swearingen received his BA in English Literature from Reed College in 2008, with a thesis entitled “Modes of Disinheritance in Kafka.”  He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Youth Development sector in Kazakhstan from 2010-11, and worked as a coordinator for Eurasia Foundation’s program, “Equal Before the Law: Access to Justice in Central Asia,” based in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan from 2012-13.  During this time, he studied both Tajik and Russian languages and developed a keen interest in Central Asian cultures and strengthening of civil society.  A FLAS recipient for Russian, his interests include ethnic relations and nationalism, economic development, and the Soviet legacy.

Sheena Wildes graduated summa cum laude from Central Washington University, with a double major in history and Russian language and a minor in interdisciplinary literature-focused honors.  During the summer of 2012 she attended the Davis School of Russian immersion language program at Middlebury College, and during the 2012-2013 academic year, she received a David L. Boren scholarship to further her studies at Saint Petersburg State University.  Her academic interests include Russian and European women’s history and women’s issues, the representation of women in literature, and the interaction between literary expression, political issues, and cultural norms.  As a FLAS recipient at Stanford, Sheena looks forward to deepening her knowledge of these topics and to continue exploring the many facets of Russian culture.



Emily Grelle earned a B.A. in English with minors in European Studies and Psychology from CSU, Chico in 2010. In 2008 she participated in the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg and studied at the St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University in 2009. Recently, she taught at the Anglo-American School of St. Petersburg for a year and a half.  She spent last summer in Siberia conducting interviews for her research on Grigori Rasputin upon receiving a grant from CSU, Chico. As an FLAS recipient at Stanford, she wants to further explore her interests in translation and Russian literature.  

Yehgou (Myles) Ji graduated with honors from Amherst College in 2008 with her thesis titled “Bakst: Cultural Fantasies and Artistic Innovation in the Ballets Russes” which observed the cultural phenomenon that swept Western Europe in of the beginning of the twentieth century. After graduation she studied translating and interpreting English, French, Korean, and received a prestigious award for translating a Korean novella into English. Myles is interested in Russian literature and folklore and paganism of Russia and Eurasia. After graduation she hopes to continue her research in these areas as well as write and teach.

Dennis Keen has been in love with Central Asia since he first lived in Kazakhstan in the summer of 2005 on a student exchange program. He went on to study Russian at the University of California, Santa Cruz and graduated in 2010 with a BA in Language Studies. He was a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship in Anthropology for 2010-2011, living in Kyrgyzstan and conducting research on local falconry traditions. A recipient of the FLAS for Kazakh, Dennis continues to pursue his passion for Central Asian language and culture. 

David Parker graduated from Middlebury College in 2010 with a BA in Russian and East European Studies. His undergraduate thesis explored the cult of the Soviet rock musician Viktor Tsoi. In 2011, David spent a semester in Moscow on a translation internship with the School of Russian and Asian Studies. After returning to the US, David worked as a Russian-language intern with the World Wildlife Fund. His academic interests include early and late Soviet culture, the work of Andrei Platonov, and the events of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe.

Laura Weigel graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2009 with a BA in Russian and International Studies. In 2007-2008, she received a David Boren scholarship to study intensive Russian at Moscow International University. During this time, she researched international adoption law and its implications for the Russian orphan population. Following graduation, Laura worked for American Councils in Russia and Armenia as a participant recruiter for the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. Her research interests focus on social and economic development in the former Soviet Union.



Noorie Bajaj graduated from Vanderbilt University in May of 2011 and holds a BA in Russian and European Studies. Her BA thesis explored the heroin epidemic in Russia and the EU byway of Afghanistan. Her interests include Russian politics, U.S.-Russia-Afghanistan relations, and conflict resolution in post-Soviet states. In 2011, Noorie spent the summer in Moscow at the Higher School of Economics. She is also a FLAS recipient. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career with the United States government.

Maya Rostowska graduated from University College London on the Dean's List with a B.A. hons degree in European Social and Political Studies and Russian in 2010. She then spent a year at MGIMO University in Moscow, where she researched her undergraduate dissertation on civil society in contemporary Russia. She is also a graduate of the Moscow School of Political Studies. After graduating from UCL, Maya worked for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Her research interests include political language in post-communist states and Western perceptions of the former Soviet bloc.

Madina Tugizova graduated with honors and distinction from Stanford University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Slavic Languages and Literatures in 2011. She has spent extensive time in Russia and Uzbekistan, including the Stanford Overseas Seminar in St. Petersburg and an internship at a health clinic in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She is interested in immigrant and international health, and plans to enter medical school after completing the CREEES MA program. Madina is a recipient of the FLAS Fellowship in Uzbek.

Zachary Witlin graduated from Tufts University in 2010 with a B.A. in international relations and political science. He researched energy politics in Kyiv, Ukraine last year as a Fulbright Fellow affiliated with Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, before studying Russian with the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. The previous summer, he interned as a contractor for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's bio-defense program. His interests in Eastern Europe include post-Soviet foreign relations, nationalism and ideology, and political culture, with emphasis on Ukraine and Russia. He holds a FLAS Fellowship in Russian.



Andrew Bogrand received a BA in 2009 from Claremont McKenna College in history and government. His undergraduate thesis examined Vladimir Solov'ev's Three Conversations. In 2009-2010, he worked abroad as a research assistant for Washington State University's Emerging Business Initiative while studying Russian at the University of Oxford. His interests include late imperial and twentieth-century Russian and East European history as well as post-Soviet human rights issues. After graduation he hopes to pursue a PhD in history or work with an international NGO.

Jeffrey Carr was already fascinated with Siberia long before he spent two years there as a missionary for the LDS Church. He received a BA in English/Creative Writing from Utah State University in 2009 and is interested in the literature, history, and anthropology of Siberia, as well as rhetoric in U.S. and Russian depictions of each other. After Stanford, he plans to enter a PhD program and pursue writing projects. He is a recipient of the FLAS Fellowship in Russian.

Maria Mammina graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in 2007 with a BA in English Literature. From 2007 to 2010, she worked as a patent prosecution assistant at an intellectual property law firm and in 2008 studied Russian at Astrakhan State University on the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship. Maria's interests include nationalism, ethnic relations, and Central Asian diasporas within Russia. After Stanford, she hopes to pursue a career in either journalism or law. Maria is a recipient of the FLAS Fellowship in Russian.

Theodore (Theo) Miller graduated summa cum laude from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University in 2010 with a BA in Russian and minors in history and political science. A native of Bloomington, Indiana, he has attended the Indiana University summer language workshop three times (Russian in 2008, Ukrainian in 2009 and 2010), and has also spent a year studying at the Moscow University for the Humanities. After earning an MA from Stanford he plans to pursue a PhD in history or political science, or perhaps a degree in law or public administration.

Caitlin Montgomery graduated Cum Laude from Georgetown University with a BSFS in International History and a certificate in Jewish Civilization. Her certificate thesis explores the works of Vasily Grossman how he offers a viable counter-narrative of the Second World War in the Soviet Union. She is interested in further studying WWII in the USSR, and exploring how rise of Russian nationalism affected national minorities in the postwar context. Upon completion of her MA at Stanford, she hopes to pursue a PhD in history.

Pawel Waluszko graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with BA degrees in Political Science—International Relations, and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Waluszko traveled extensively through Russia and former Soviet Bloc countries, and participated in several student research groups relating to Russian foreign relations. His academic work focused on democratization and post-communism in Eastern Europe, with emphasis on Russia and Poland. At Stanford, Waluszko hopes to explore Russian—European Union relations and energy policies of post-communist countries.

Anna Whittington received her BA in history from Harvard in 2009 and wrote her thesis on postwar German emigration from the USSR to West Germany. She completed semesters in Moscow and Berlin, interned at the Memorial Society in Petersburg, worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant near Nuremberg, and will spend the 2010 summer at the US embassy in Astana. Her primary interests are postwar and post-Soviet linguistic policy and migration, particularly in Central Asia. She is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Uzbek.

Rebecca Young graduated cum laude from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with a BA in Political Science, Russian, and International Studies in 2010. She spent one semester studying Russian language and history at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University and has spent summers interning for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Air Force. Rebecca would like to focus on the security, political and diplomatic aspects of the U.S.-Russia relationship while at Stanford. Following the MA program, Rebecca would like to work for the State Department or an international NGO.

Ioanna-Nikoletta Zyga graduated from Athens University of Economics and Business in 2009 with a BA in International and European Economic Studies. Zyga held internship positions with the Parliament and the MFA of Greece and worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Russia, Eurasia and South Eastern Europe of Panteion University on projects pertinent to politics, energy and economy. She spent a summer in Moscow studying Russian Foreign Policy at the Institute of International Relations of the MFA of Russia (MGIMO). Ioanna's interests include state building and conflict resolution in the post-soviet space and pipeline diplomacy. Following graduation she aims to enter the Foreign Service.



Jill Golden received a BA in Russian Studies from Carleton College in 2004 and an MA in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University in 2008. She has interned at the Woodrow Wilson Center and the National Library of the Czech Republic. From 2004 to 2009, she was the acquisitions specialist for English, German and Russian materials at the Marshall Center Research Library in Garmisch, Germany. She would like to study Russian history and information policy at Stanford, and then return to work as a library professional. She is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Russian.

Sean Loosli received a 2009 BA from Harvard in Slavic Languages and Literatures with a Secondary Field in Psychology. He spent two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Moscow and surrounding cities, and his Harvard senior project examines the growth of the LDS Church in Russia. Sean investigated issues of religious freedom in Russia and Eastern Europe during an internship with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. He also carried out an internship in Russian-language curriculum development at Moscow State University’s Center for International Education. Sean is interested in post-Soviet human rights and religious freedom. He hopes to work in government or at an NGO. Sean is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Russian.

Kenneth Martinez graduated with highest honors and distinction from UC Santa Barbara, with a BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures and an honors thesis entitled “Putin: Building Legitimacy in a Democracy.” Kenneth spent a summer in Tomsk on the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship and traveled on the trans-Siberian railroad while working on a photojournalism project. Upon completion of the CREEES MA program he hopes to work in foreign affairs and attend law school.

Lauren Nelson graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2009 with a BA in International Studies: Russia and Eastern Europe. She has spent summers studying Russian at Middlebury and in St. Petersburg and time studying in Prague and interning with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. After Stanford, Lauren intends to focus on the relationship between the U.S. and Russia, human rights, and international communication. Lauren is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Russian.

Raughley Nuzzi graduated cum laude from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service with a BSFS in International History and a certificate in Russian and East European Studies; his BA thesis explores the Iranian Crisis of 1946. He has studied at the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg and worked as a research assistant for Blair Ruble, director of the Kennan Institute. Raughley is interested in Stalin’s foreign policy, the Caucasus, and the early years of the Cold War. He hopes to enter a Ph.D. program and then to work for the government. Raughley is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Russian.

Andrew Roth plans to simultaneously complete his Stanford BA in Slavic Languages and Literature, Mathematics and his CREEES MA in 2010. He attended Stanford-in-Moscow and the Bard-Smolny program in St. Petersburg and has interned at the Moscow Bureau of The New York Times. His interests include energy security, democratization and transparency in Russia and Central Asia. After Stanford, he plans to work in journalism or with an international N.G.O. in Russia. He is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Russian.

Andrew Dale Straw graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 with a double major in History and CREEES, then studied and worked in Moscow for three years. At Stanford he will pursue interests in Russian history, current Russian politics, Russian youth culture, immigration, and modern art. He hopes to enter a PhD program in Russian history. Andrew Straw is the recipient of a FLAS fellowship.

Greg Ter-Zakhariants plans to complete his Stanford BA in Economics and his CREEES MA simultaneously in 2010. Born in St. Petersburg to a Russian-Jewish mother and a Russian-Armenian father, he moved to Israel in 1990 and to the United States in 1997. As a member of the Stanford Men’s Gymnastics Team, he has earned numerous awards, including the recent NCAA Championship title. He is interested in studying the political and economic effects of the transition from Communism. He plans to use his experience at CREEES to develop his career plans.

Seokyoon Wi received his BA in Russian from Korea University. As a Second Secretary in the Spokesperson’s Office and Eurasia Division in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, he worked on Korea’s bilateral relationship with Uzbekistan. He also worked in intelligence, analyzing the relationship between Russia and North Korea. After finishing his MA, Seokyoon will study in Russia for two years, and then hopes to work at the Korean Embassy in Moscow.



Scilla Bennett graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Brandeis University with a BA in Russian Language and Literature, May 2008. In 2005, Scilla volunteered at an AIDS clinic in Tengeru, Tanzania, and later traveled to Yaroslavl, Russia, as a volunteer. In Russia, she worked with orphans, the elderly, and the deaf, and as a volunteer to help build small construction projects. In the summer of 2007, Scilla attended American Councils Advanced Area and Russian Language Studies in Vladimir, Russia. She has also worked for John Snow, Inc., an international public health firm and currently volunteers at Global Healing, an international public health NGO working in Georgia, Armenia, Honduras, and beyond. Scilla’s interests are primarily related to international public health issues in Russia. In the future, she plans to work with an international NGO in public health. She is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Russian, Stanford University, 2008-2009.

Tatyana (Tanya) Colman Bulloch graduated Phi Beta Kappa, with Honors in General Scholarship from Trinity College with a BA in International Studies, Russia Eurasia and a double minor in Russian and Human Rights, May 2008. Tanya has written two theses, “The Truth Will Not Be Televised: The Russian Media’s Representation of the Second Chechen War” and “Fifty Years of Statelessness: The Case of the Meskhetian Turks of Krasnodar Krai.” Both were published in Lingua Moderna, Trinity College’s online journal for modern languages and cultures. Tanya studied at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, in the spring of 2007. While there, she volunteered as an editor for Memorial Human Rights Center. At Trinity College, Tanya worked as a Teaching Assistant in Russian History during the Spring 2008 semester. She is currently the Student Editor for the Stanford CREEES Chronicle. Tanya’s interests include democratic transitions and human rights. In the future, she plans to work for the government on these issues. Tanya is a recipient of the FLAS fellowship in Russian, Stanford University, 2008-2009.

Christopher (Chris) Allen Jones comes from American University with a master's degree in International Affairs, May 2008. He graduated with his BA in History/Political Science, summa cum laude, from Bradley University in 2003. His master's degree thesis was on the struggle for autonomy of the Republic of Tatarstan. He was a Boren Research Fellow, Russian and Tatar language at Kazan State University in 2007-2008. He also received a State Department Fellowship to study Tatar language at Arizona State University in 2004. His interests pertain to the study of Islamic communities in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and he has traveled extensively through both regions. His future plans include government research and policy work. He received a FLAS Fellowship for the study of Russian, Stanford University, 2008-2009.

Saya Snow Kitasei. Stanford University, BS in Earth Systems/Anthrosphere; Minor in Russian Language, Co-Terminal student in AM REEES. Her academic work includes research in molecular cardiology, plant genetics, paleoceanography, and subarctic ecosystem change. She worked as a writing tutor for the Program in Structured Liberal Education, Stanford University, 2006-2008. She was a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Hollings Scholar, 2006-2008. In addition to Russian, she has studied German, Japanese, and Norwegian. In the future, she hopes to do work related to international environmental and energy policy, particularly involving Russia. She received two FLAS Fellowships this year: one for Intensive Advanced Russian, Moscow State University, summer 2008, and the other for Russian, Stanford University, 2008-2009.

Larisa Marie Lehmer. Stanford University, BA in Russian Language, Culture, and History, BS in Biological Sciences, Co-Terminal student in AM REEES. Larisa has researched the economic significance of property rights in the transitioning economies of China and Russia at the Institute of the Economy in Transition in Moscow, Russia. She has conducted field research in the Central Pacific to characterize the migratory path of the Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle and provide concrete data on the establishment of a zone of protection for this critically endangered species. Larisa attended Middlebury Russian School in the summer of 2006 and Stanford in Moscow in the fall. Her interests include global energy politics, environmental conservation and security issues, international cooperation, and disease prevention. In the future, she is interested in going into academia, healthcare, law, or environmental policy. She is a recipient of a CREEES Summer Travel/Research Grant for study in Russia, summer 2008 and a FLAS Fellowship in Russian, Stanford University, 2008-2009.

John Colin Moore graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in International Business, magna cum laude in 1996. He is a Major in the U.S. Army Foreign Area Officer Program (FAO). He was affiliated with the George C. Marshall Center, Garmisch, Germany, 2005-2008, is a Military Aide to the Director, Deputy Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation, U.S. Embassy, Astana, Kazakhstan Advanced Security and Terrorism Studies, and Tactical Advisor for Georgian 22nd Infantry Battalion, Tbilisi, Georgia and Baghdad, Iraq. He was a Tank Company Commander, U.S. Army, Germany and Iraq, 2003-2004. He received the Silver Star for valor in Iraq, 2004 as well as the U.S. Army MacArthur Award, 2004. He is fluent in German and speaks both Russian and French at an intermediate level. In the future, he plans to work as a military attache in U.S. embassies in the former Soviet Union. He is also a Graduate Student Research Assistant, Preventive Defensive Project, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, 2008-2009.

Alan Russell Smith comes from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with an AB in International Affairs and Russian Studies, 2007. He received a research grant from the University of Colorado to process audio interviews regarding folk beliefs and bylichki in the contemporary Russian village. He studied Russian for several years at St. Petersburg State University and is interested in Russian politics, economics, law, history, and language. In the future he may enroll in a Ph.D. program in economics or pursue a job in international business operations in Russia. He received a FLAS Fellowship, Stanford University, 2008-2009

Jiwan Yoon graduated from Seoul National University with a bachelor's degree in English Literature and a Minor in International Relations in 2000. He did graduate work in International Studies from 2000 to 2002. He is currently Second Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea. He studied Russian beginning in high school and worked as a foreign liaison officer with Russia in the Air Force of Korea, 2004-2007. He is interested in the political and economic transition of former socialist countries. In the future, he plans to be stationed at the Korean Embassy in Moscow.