Amber Frankland graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a BA in Russian and East European Studies and Linguistics. She wrote her BA thesis on discourses surrounding top Soviet and American racehorses in international competition during the 1950’s and 1960’s. In the course of her undergraduate career she studied abroad in Saratov, Russia and interned at the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg. Her academic interests include language politics and policy in Russia and Central Asia, Eurasianism, Turkic-Russian language contact, and the role of cultural exchanges in international diplomacy. She is a recipient of a FLAS grant for Kazakh.
Pat Goodridge recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in linguistics and took Russian political history courses. His undergraduate research focused on first- and second-language acquisition of Russian. An avid blogger, he does regular guest posts on the critical languages for Career Linguist and writes Russian vocabulary articles for Transparent Language’s Russian Language and Culture Blog. He was the only undergraduate to attend Duke’s 2016 Slavic Summer Institute, and this summer is studying Kazakh at UW-Madison on a State Department Title VIII grant. He is a recipient of an academic year FLAS grant for Russian.
Persia Goudarzi graduated from University of California, Los Angeles, where she double majored in Aerospace Engineering and Russian Studies. A Domestic Russian Flagship student at UCLA, Persia received a certificate in Russian Language and Culture for STEM Majors and a Critical Language Scholarship from the State Department. Her senior thesis focused on the development of NATO-Russia relations in the post-Cold War era and Russia’s pivot to Asia. A FLAS recipient, Persia’s academic interests include Russian foreign policy, Sino-Russian relations, Geopolitical developments in Central Asia and the evolution and future of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Jules Hirschkorn is a graduate of Boston University where he majored in aerospace engineering with a concentration in Russian language. In addition, he spent a summer term in St. Petersburg studying Russian language and culture. After graduation, he received a commission in the US Air Force and subsequently served 11 years on active duty, primarily as a special operations pilot. Jules is pursuing an interest in contemporary geopolitics and language. He currently serves as a reservist in the USAF.
Benjamin Kim was born in Boston, MA and raised in Columbia, SC. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in 2005. During his 11 years of service in the Army, Ben has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan as an Infantry platoon leader and company commander, respectively. Ben currently serves as an Army Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in training based at the US Embassy in Warsaw, Poland. He will be stationed in Europe until January 2017. After graduate school, Ben hopes to serve in the arena of defense cooperation or as a military attaché at an embassy.
Hristiana Petkova obtained a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles with a double major in Political Science and Russian Studies. She combined her two fields of study by focusing her honors thesis on recent Russian foreign policy making, including a possible explanation for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In 2015, she recieved the David L. Boren scholarship to study abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan for an academic year in order to achieve professional fluency in Russian. At Stanford, she hopes to continue exploring Russia’s foreign policy mechanisms, focusing especially on the role of status and prestige in the former Soviet region.
Andrew Postovoit graduated from the United States Military Academy, with a B.S. in American Politics. He commissioned as an Army Officer in 2008 and has served in a variety of capacities, currently as a Foreign Area Officer. Andrew studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA and spent the last year conducting Eastern European regional studies and travel at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany. After graduate school, Andrew plans to serve in the field of defense cooperation in Eastern Europe.
Skyler Samuelson graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in 2017 with a B.A. in Russian Literature and Language. In her undergraduate thesis she explored the theme of the underground in African American and Russian literatures through Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. Her other Russian interests include Teffi, Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, Russian translation, and singing Russian songs. Her other great passion is rowing, and she will be rowing for Stanford’s lightweight women’s team while in the CREEES program.
Abigail Thompson is a native of Columbia, MO and graduated from the University of Alabama in spring 2016 with a BA in Economics and Political Science and a MA in Applied Economics. Having received a minor in Russian as well, Abigail spent summer 2016 as a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace at the Russian School at Middlebury College in Vermont, and then spent the last nine months completing both a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and a Critical Language Enhancement Award in Irkutsk. Abigail will be completing a dual degree between Stanford’s Law School and CREEES, in hopes of developing a career as a multidisciplinary resource for those dealing in Arctic affairs.