Please meet our current student award winners!
Ryan Dalrymple is pursuing a Masters of International Studies and Masters of Public Administration. After being introduced to Russian language and culture as a missionary in Moscow, he returned to Brigham Young University where he double majored in Russian and Economics. During his undergraduate studies, Ryan interned at the Gadar Institute for Economic Policy in Moscow, where he researched methods to increase international investment into Russia’s oil and gas industry. Ryan received the summer 2012 Boba fellowship, which allowed him to complete an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan. While supporting U.S. foreign policy in Central Asia, he researched Kazakhstan’s investment climate, and barriers to entry for international businesses in Kazakhstan.
Indra Ekmanis graduated with a BA in global studies and a minor in German from Arizona State University in 2011 and jumped right in to the REECAS MA program. Born in Germany to Latvian and American parents, Indra grew up with a strong appreciation for cultures and languages. This passion has manifested itself in her desire to study Latvia and the Baltics, as well as her love of Latvian folk dancing. Indra spent two months in 2010 as an intern with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riga while conducting interviews for her undergraduate honors thesis on the Latvian Singing Revolution. Indra hopes to return to Latvia this summer to study the impact of nationalism on youth and politics.
Alexey V. Belyayev received a FLAS award for the 2012-13 academic year. A native of Omsk, Russia, Alexey came with his family to America in 2004, gained citizenship, and received his BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He began his first year at the Jackson School of International Studies, REECAS in 2011 and is currently looking at trade between Russia, Eastern Europe, Germany and the United States.
Having completed and M.A. in East Asian Studies at Columbia University in 2009 and a year of language study at Xinjiang University in 2010, Darren Byler is currently studying in the Social Cultural Anthropology PhD program at the University of Washington. He is interested in phenomenology of urban life as expressed through the visual, material culture and the built environment in Northwest China and Central Asia. His most recent research has analyzed public parks of Xinjiang as sites of cultural displacement and the pervasive threat of ethnic and economic violence in the region. Future projects will focus on the art community of Urumqi centered around the government-sponsored art district Qi Fag Jie. Darren is fascinated with the ways in which differently positioned artists, musicians, and poets represent “being Chinese” in the desert and mountain landscapes of Central Asia and how these representations are in turn related to understanding of human ecology and politics
Nicola Castle-Bauer is a sophomore in the Jackson School majoring in Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian studies, focusing on forced migration and the changing social and political position of ethnic minorities in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, and the Caucasus. She loves to travel and to immerse herself in foreign languages, and hopes to continue to do both for the foreseeable future.
Indra Ekmanis is a first-year master’s student focusing on the Baltic States and Latvia in particular. She graduated with a BA in global studies and a minor in German from Arizona State University. Indra spent two months as an intern with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riga and was fortunate enough to interview former President Vaira Vike-Freiberga and dissident singer Ieva Akuratere for her undergraduate research on the Latvian Singing Revolution. She also worked as a counselor at Kursa, a Latvian summer school in Shelton, Washington, to prepare herself for the change in climate when moving from Arizona to Seattle. Indra hopes to return to Latvia this summer to study the impact of nationalism on youth and politics.
Wes Kovarik is originally from Vancouver, Canada and graduated from UC San Diego in 2009 with a degree in International Studies. His undergraduate interests included nationalism and ethnicity, extractive industries, and geopolitics. At the University of Washington he is pursuing a Juris Doctor and a Masters in International Studies. His language training in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian allows him to research security, trade, and financial regulation agreements affecting the region. His current academic interests include international law, nuclear security, and energy development.
Justin Paulsen hails from Kingwood, Texas, “The Livable Forest”! He first came in contact with Russia through a two-year church mission, living in Orenburg, Saratov, Togliatti, and Engels. He has not been able to give it up since, finishing a double Political Science and Russian major at Brigham Young University, then coming straight to the UW for master’s work, and even reading Dostoevsky’s The Idiot for the third time this summer. In addition to the REECAS program, he is pursuing an MPA at the Evans School, where he also works as a research assistant for the Evans Policy Analysis and Research group doing research for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is happily married and has a little boy and baby girl to keep him busy and happy!
Jessica Redinger is a senior in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures majoring in Russian and Eastern European languages and linguistics. She received a FLAS to study intensive Russian language and culture in St. Petersburg, Russia this summer. She studied at St. Petersburg State University through the Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and will continue to live and study in Russia for the upcoming school year. Jessica’s goal is to become fluent in Russian and better understand the Russian culture as it will help her with her future graduate-level research and career plans.
John Simeone John Simeone grew up in the Hudson River valley of New York state. Prior to college, John spent an academic year living in Vladimir, Russia (2002-2003). In 2007, he received his BS from Cornell University in Natural Resources and Development Sociology. In 2008, John enrolled in Middlebury College’s Summer Language School for Russian, and in June of 2010 he was the Resident Director for an ACTR (American Councils) ‘Golden Ring’ program in Vladimir. At the University of Washington, John is researching the ecological effects of Russia’s timber trade with China for his MS in the School of Forest Resources and export tariffs on Russian timber affects property rights and investment in the Russian Far East for his MA in the Jackson School. His non-academic interests include walking in the woods and mountains, backcountry skiing and snowboarding, and playing the Scottish Highland Bagpipe and Irish flute.
Nicholas Steiner is a Master’s candidate in the Jackson School of International Studies REECAS program where he focuses on Eurasian development and security issues. He also works as an Intelligence Analyst Intern for Microsoft Global Security and has held prior positions with the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Defense Institute for Security Assistance Management. While an undergraduate at Wittenberg University, he received a Boren Scholarship and traveled widely throughout China. He is happily married to Seattle’s most mischievous and lovable Vietnamese oil painter, and together they have a 6 month-old daughter who is equally mischievous and lovable.
David Wishard‘s studies of Andrei Tarkovsky at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts converted him into an aficionado of Eurasia and its history. He is in REECAS studying the intersection of Russian Orthodox theology and language ideologies with the process of self-making in contemporary Russian family systems. He is also studying post-socialist civil society development, privatization, and social historiography, all with a particular attention to the role of ideology and psychology. He has skills in Geographic Information Systems and hopes to one day synthesize them into his research in Eurasia.
Julianne Maila is a native of Concord, Massachusetts. She holds a BA in economics and history from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and worked as a financial analyst in accounting at Ernst & Young, LLP before studying historic preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation in New York. After completing a needs assessment of historic preservation issues in Lithuania, her love for Eastern European culture and language led to overseas studies of Lithuanian and Russian languages at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas and Vilnius University in Vilnius. Julianne’s research interests lie in economic investment and business development in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, particularly in regard to sites of historical significance.
Taylor Zajicek is a first year master’s student in the REECAS program, and a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. While pursuing B.A.s in history and political science at Whitworth University, Taylor studied in the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Estonia—experiences that informed his historical interests in Russification, nationalism, immigration, comparative empires, and Russian-Islamic relations. Taylor eventually hopes to do comparative work on Russian and Turkish political reform in the early 20th century. In the summer of 2012, Taylor used a FLAS award to study intensive Russian at the Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service. Aside from writing, Taylor is a photojournalism devotee and has done work for a variety of publications and organizations. He lives to scuff around, camera in hand—his not-so-secret ulterior motive for traveling abroad.
A native of Southern California, Sarah Zaides completed her BA in History at the University of California, San Diego. After graduation, she spent a significant amount of time in St. Petersburg and Moscow before returning to work for a non-profit in San Diego. A graduate student in the History Department’s MA/PhD program, Sarah is interested in the cultural, political, and ideological exchanges between Soviet Russia and the Middle East during the Cold War. She also works on Soviet Jewish identity vis-à-vis cultural production and intellectual history. In her spare time, she enjoys skiing, live music, and yoga.
Undergraduate Gross Fellowship
Genesee Rickel is in her fourth year of study and is majoring in Russian Language & Literature and International Studies. She is currently researching Russian feminist critiques of Tolstoy’s treatment of the woman question in Anna Karenina, and plans to also develop a research project focusing on the use of ty and vy in Soviet and post-Soviet film. While in Sochi, she began to outline the later linguistic research project, while also further developing her Russian language skills. After college she hopes to work in the non-profit sector, focusing on human rights issues in the Caucasus.
H. Stewart Parker Fellowship
Tyson Sadleir is a PhD student in the Slavic Department. His interests are centered in Balkan and Kartvelian linguistics. He has studied Macedonian, Turkish and Georgian extensively and seeks to reconcile these languages through the context of Turkish linguistic influence via the Ottoman Turks. This fall Tyson Sadleir will go to Skopje to study Bulgarian and Macedonian. He is looking forward to this opportunity to study Southeast Slavic languages, which are quite unique among the Slavic languages because of the influences other Balkan languages have had on them. He hopes to learn more about these linguistic influences, and is particularly interested in the influence of Turkish on Bulgarian and Macedonian syntax. In order to help him in this goal, Tyson will study advanced Macedonian and Bulgarian for two months at the Center for Foreign Languages in Skopje, Macedonia.