Helena Eglit is Estonian and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tartu, where she majored in History and minored in Political Science. Her BA thesis examined Western Orientalism, double standards, and westsplaining towards Eastern Europe. Helena's professional and academic experience includes working as a Research Assistant on a project for Princeton University, holding the position of Global News Editor at the Estonian newspaper of record, serving as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Tartu, and studying abroad at UCL and Sciences Po Bordeaux. She's passionate about advocating gender equality, which has led her to organize tech events for women and youth across the Baltics, Portugal, and the Bay Area. In addition to Estonian, she has pursued French, Latvian, and Russian and hopes to enhance her Finnish language proficiency at Stanford. During her postgraduate studies, Helena aims to specialize in researching Russian disinformation in the Baltics and contribute towards deorientalizing the field.
Nazrin Garibova graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2020 with a major in Government and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. In 2021, she was granted the Fulbright ETA award to Baku, Azerbaijan. Her primary work the past several years has been leading the Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) Azerbaijan branch, a project that repairs and connects the historic mountainous paths of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia into a long-distance trekking route. Since last year, Nazrin’s work at the TCT has involved developing a Caucasus Conservation Corps through partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. At Stanford, Nazrin plans to explore the formative political and social contexts of Turkic East Caucasian groups following the Russo-Persian wars and Turkmenchay Treaty, and the implications of the Eastern Caucasus’.
Anna Harvey graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College with a double major in Russian and Italian and a certificate in Security Studies. She received Dickinson's James Fowler Rusling Award for excellence in scholarship, awarded annually to one graduating senior. Her undergraduate focus was on Russian security and international relations, and she wrote her Security Studies capstone on Russia's use of propaganda and nationalism to build support for the invasion of Ukraine. She spent a summer studying at Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow and an academic year in Bologna, Italy. For the 2022-2023 academic year, Anna worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Cahul, Moldova, improving her comprehension of Russian and exploring the local culture. At Stanford, she hopes to continue her studies of Russian-Ukrainian history and relations.
Artur Kalandarov graduated from Bowdoin College with a BA in Government and Legal Studies (magna cum laude) and Russian (with distinction). As an undergraduate, he wrote an honors thesis on Carl von Clausewitz and the Soviet and American interventions in Afghanistan. As a Senior Associate at the Cohen Group, a strategic business advisory firm based in Washington D.C. Artur advised clients on business operations and geopolitical trends in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He has previously been published in The Hill, Newsweek, Defense One, The National Interest, The Defense Post, Small Wars Journal, and several academic publications. Artur previously interned at the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School and the Urban Justice Center.
Mátyás Kisiday graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in History, earning honors and distinction. His thesis examined the transformation of the political police and informant network in socialist Hungary under János Kádár into a dynamic, controllable device that reflected the leader’s temperament and values reflected in his famed slogan, “whoever is not against us, is with us.” Mátyás’ intellectual interests took him to Budapest during the last summer of his undergraduate studies, where he conducted research in the Historical Archives of the State Security Services that served as the basis for his thesis. As a CREEES student, Mátyás hopes to build on his previous work by examining the modern-day impact of Hungarian socialism on contemporary authoritarian trends in Hungary under Viktor Orbán, and continue his studies of the Hungarian language.
Dvorah Landau graduated Summa Cum Laude Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts University with a B.A. in history in 2023, specializing in Balkans studies from the eighteenth through twentieth-centuries. Her undergraduate research focused on the understudied British philanthropist Adeline Paulina Irby, whose travel-writing publications about the Balkans were integral to British public agitation against Ottoman rule in Bulgaria. As a historian, her principal interests lie in understanding the cultural and political mechanics that lead to the development of stereotypes, and tracking these ideas over time. At CREEES, Dvorah hopes to research the Serbian Chetnik leader Dragoljub Draža Mihailović as he was portrayed by domestic actors in the United States. Through her work she intends to reflect on American perceptions of Serbia from the Second World War until the modern day.
Grant Thieroff graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2022 with a B.A. in Public Policy, writing his senior thesis on statistical correlations between countries’ ‘legal origins’ and their consequent risk of civil war during the post-World War II period. As an undergraduate, Grant worked in various internships that included the Congressional Office of Tom Malinowski, the Legislative Affairs Office of USAID, and a research assistantship with an archival organization documenting the collective memory of the Armenian diaspora. He has also provided pro-bono translation work to the independent news outlet Vlast.kz to bolster English-language media coverage of Central Asian politics and affairs. Grant has been a Critical Language Scholarship participant in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and, more recently, a summer student at the Yerevan State University’s department of Russian Philology. During his time at Stanford, he hopes to study relations between civil society and governmental regimes in Eurasia, especially with respect to authoritarian trends and incidences of color revolutions.