CREEES MA Students

Laurel Grace Baker

Laurel graduated from the University of Michigan with Highest Distinction, earning a B.A. in Russian (Highest Honors), a B.M.A. in Vocal Performance, and Minors in Linguistics and Translation Studies. Her thesis challenged the linguistic field’s current assessment of adult second language acquisition, and her other undergraduate research largely concerned Eurasian folk music and advocacy for Russian indigenous peoples. As an applied linguist, Laurel has held various freelance-writing and English-teaching positions, and has spent two summers in Europe and a semester at La Sorbonne Nouvelle (via Middlebury in Paris) honing her skills in Italian, French, German, and Spanish. At Stanford, she hopes to improve her Mandarin and Russian, explore Sino-Russian-E.U. Relations, and continue to champion her anthropological pursuits in indigenous visibility and folk music.

Nate Bogardus

Nate graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan with a double major in Russian and International Studies with a concentration in security, norms, and cooperation. During his undergraduate studies Nate followed his growing interest in Russian literature to Saint Petersburg, where he interned at the Museum of Nonconformist Art. Among his research interests is Soviet nuclear enthusiasm, development, and testing, particularly in Kazakhstan. He has also worked on a project to identify and record combatants who fought in both the Russian Imperial and Red armies. Outside of school Nate enjoys whittling and hiking. Nate is from New Haven, Connecticut.

Xingru Chen

Xingru Chen graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University with a double major in Russian Language and Finance. She spent her junior year studying at Pushkin State Russian Language Institute in Moscow. She aspires to learn and apply interdisciplinary knowledge into the studies of political economy of Russia and evaluations of business opportunities in Post-Soviet countries. During her college years she interned at CHN-RUS Energy Cooperation Investment Fund, People’s Daily, Institute of New Structural Economics at Peking University, Center for Public Diplomacy Studies, and worked as a volunteer for several business and cultural exchange activities between China and Russia. As a CREEES student, Xingru hopes to probe into economic and political dynamics between China and Russia/Central Asia and improve her mastery of the Russian language.

Estelle Ciesla

Estelle Ciesla graduated from University College London with a B.A. in Politics, Sociology and East European studies. During her undergraduate career, she served as student president of the School and Slavonic and East European Studies. Estelle spent a year in Russia, living in Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Kazan. Her academic interests include surveillance studies and technopolitics. She has written her undergraduate dissertation on the impact of facial recognition cameras in Russia. At CREEES, she plans to further investigate the impact of technology on Russian politics by exploring how Russian opposition groups use social media to mobilize support.

Oliver Corcoran

Oliver Corcoran graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in Russian and East European Studies, and History; a minor in Global Medieval Studies; and language certificates in Italian and Spanish.  While at the University of Pennsylvania, he served as the Russian Department language assistant.  He has spent summers studying abroad in Bishkek and Moscow, and also worked at Tinkoff Bank in their start-up telecoms division in Moscow.  As a CREEES student, Oliver hopes to research questions of energy security in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, in particular the way green energy transition could be used to help smaller nations in these regions escape exploitative asymmetric interdependencies in the energy sector.


Jacqueline Kline

Jacqueline Kline graduated from Smith College in 2022 with a double major in Russian, East European, & Eurasian Studies and Film & Media Studies, writing her capstone project on the nineteenth-century travel diary of a Russian monk in Orthodox Ethiopia. In her senior year, she studied abroad at Prague’s Film and Television Academy (FAMU). Since graduating, she has interned remotely at SRAS, a Slavic study abroad company, and has an article forthcoming in Vestnik, a student journal.

Daria Novikov

Daria Novikov graduated magna cum laude from The Ohio State University with B.A.s in Political Science and Russian and was twice awarded the Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship. During her senior year, she worked at the Kennan Institute, studying the Great Soviet Encyclopedia and brain drain from modern Russia. She assisted Ohio State faculty with policy research and translated her great-grandmother’s memoirs from Russian into English. Daria has spent two summers assisting the Policy and Research department as a Council Aide at the Cleveland City Council. Most recently, Daria worked with to translate war coverage into English. During her time at Stanford, she plans to learn Ukrainian and study the effects of Soviet repressions and disinformation on post-Soviet civil societies.

Claire Rips-Goodwin

Claire graduated with honors from the University of Kansas, receiving a bachelor’s in Russian and Eastern European Studies and a minor in history.  Her B.A .honors thesis evaluated the role of native reformers in building Uzbek nationhood in the late imperial period and the colonialist dynamics inherent to early Soviet nation building. Claire is interested in inter-ethnic relations within the Soviet Union and Russia as well as religion under totalitarianism. At CREEES she hopes to continue to investigate Soviet attitudes towards Central Asia and their relationship to broader trends of 20th century imperialism.