Graduate Students

See profiles of past REEES MA students.

Learn about alumni accomplishments and opportunities.

Tom Koritschan graduated from the University of Zurich with a BA in East European History and Political Science after previous BA studies in Classical Piano. His undergraduate thesis introduced a theoretical framework on the relationship between higher education and foreign policy in the post-Soviet space. He has lived in Prague, Kiev and Moscow, and served as an interpreter in Georgia and Abkhazia. He has worked on a research team investigating Soviet energy politics and at a startup company entering the Russian-speaking market. Tom’s academic interests include the history of upbringing in the Russian Empire, Soviet Pedology and sports education, and the interaction between social values, travelling, politics and education.

Ophelia Lai studied politics and East European studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on temporality in the thought of Hannah Arendt. Her interests include identity, collective memory and image-making in the post-communist space.

Amanda Lorei studied English as an undergraduate student at Stanford and comes to CREEES as a co-terminal student. Last summer, Amanda completed a language course and homestay in Moscow. She enjoys reading Russian literature and plans to study the intersection of politics and creativity in Soviet-era literature. 

Laura Marti graduated from Stanford University, where she studied Russian language, history and culture. While an undergraduate, Laura also studied biology and chemistry, and hopes to ultimately attend veterinary school following her time at Stanford. Laura assisted the political science department, translating documents for a project on the Soviet Union’s involvement in Afghanistan before 1979. A FLAS recipient for Russian, Laura plans to study the stray dog populations in Eastern Europe and their impacts on public health.  

Ian McGinnity graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2011 with a BA in International Relations and Russian & Eastern European Studies. He then spent three years working for a public policy firm in Washington, DC, where he was a part of a legislative team that advocated to the US Federal Government on energy, security, and tax issues on behalf of clients that included universities, research institutes, and Fortune 200 companies. Ian left Washington to research renewable energy development, energy security, and energy finance in Armenia through a US Fulbright Scholarship, where he also worked as a Resident Fellow for the Regional Studies Center. He is a recipient of both a summer and academic year FLAS grant.

Uve is from Estonia and holds a bachelor's degree in adult education from Tallinn University. During his undergraduate studies, Uve was an avid intervarsity debater and continues to support and promote debate as an engaging method for civic education.

After graduating from Tallinn University in 2009, he spent five years managing the Unitas Foundation, an educational non-profit based in Tallinn. Uve helped launch a range of initiatives for researching and teaching history in contemporary ways, from setting up digital archives to developing web-based and participative educational methods. These projects include co-operation with the Stanford University Libraries.

Working with reconciliatory history and human rights education programs, his expertise covers the intersection of national identities, history and politics, especially in the context of Estonia and the Baltic states. He has also written on these themes for Estonian and international periodicals.

Uve is currently researching a similar range of topics pertinent to Ukraine in the aftermath of the 2014 revolution.

Margarita Velmozhina graduated from Lewis University in 2015 with a degree in Biology and minor in Mandarin Chinese. Initially, her passion for health care was only in the medical aspect of clinical care, however, her interests expanded to the social, economic and political determinants of social welfare policies and social spending concerning health care. She is interested in conducting research on the health care systems of both Russia and China. She participated in the STARTALK program in 2010, studying Chinese, and in subsequent years, she worked as a teaching assistant for the Russian STARTALK classes.

Isaac Webb moved to Kyiv, Ukraine on a Fulbright Fellowship after graduating from Washington & Lee University in 2013. There, he studied the relationship between the Ukrainian government and the country’s disabled population. He also worked as a journalist, covering the EuroMaidan Revolution and ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine for a variety of publications. After returning from Kyiv, he was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he researched and wrote about Ukrainian politics and American foreign policy. A 2015-2016 FLAS recipient, Isaac has written for the Atlantic, World Policy Journal, VICE, Eurasia Outlook, Kyiv Post, Russia Magazine, and Interpreter Mag, and made appearances on the BBC, CTV, and Radio New Zealand.