Jasmine Alexander-Greene graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Russian and a minor in History. Her undergraduate career included preparing the Ambassador Jack F. and Rebecca Matlock Archives, summer study at St. Petersburg State University and advanced Russian at Indiana University’s Summer Language Workshop. Jasmine has been an ACTR Post-Secondary Scholar-Laureate and finalist for a Fulbright English Teaching grant to Russia. Her academic interests include political folklore, urban anthropology, late Soviet history, and patriotism and national identity under Putin. She will use her time at CREEES to investigate the present-day position of Russian monotowns.
Zach Cowan completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University, where he focused on the study of Russia. As an undergraduate, Zach pursued work in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and actively engaged with Russian communities in both Russia and the US. Zach studied in Moscow through an exchange program before joining Amazon in Seattle, where he spent time in business management and oversaw strategic programs at the company. Zach’s academic interests include domestic affairs in Russia, governance, and the impact of demographic change in the country.
Steven Newman is joining the CREEES program as a co-terminal Stanford student. He majored at Stanford in International Relations, specializing in Europe & Russia and International Security, with a minor in Modern Languages (Russian and Italian). Steven interned at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria and will study Czech this summer in Olomouc, Czechia on a scholarship from the Czech Ministry of Education. He plans to improve his mastery of the Russian language while studying at CREEES and to reach an advanced working level in other Slavic languages. Steven is interested in how Eastern European and Eurasian satellite states have navigated their post-Soviet independence, and hopes to pursue a career promoting US diplomatic relations and developing global business opportunities.
Sanja Savic is a co-term student, who completed a double-major in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Psychology and a minor in Italian as an undergraduate at Stanford. Her studies focused on human semiotic potential in foreign languages and literatures, language acquisition and linguistic relativity. She has worked as a research assistant at the Stanford’s Language and Developmental Lab and as a teaching Fellow for Stanford’s Psychology One program. She was awarded the J. E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement. While at CREEES, she plans to investigate the interaction between language and identity in Balkan countries.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Carly earned a degree in International Relations from Franklin University Switzerland, completing a semester at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; an internship in refugee counseling with Caritas Germany; and a Tajiki Persian immersion program with American Councils in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After volunteering for EU Border Management Northern Afghanistan, Carly compared international counter-narcotics initiatives in Tajikistan and Afghanistan as part of her Bachelor’s thesis. Following graduation, she returned to Tajikistan as a Resident Director for the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) and later moved to Göttingen, Germany, to work in academic publishing. As a CREEES student, Carly hopes to research migration and the politics of development and humanitarian work in Eurasia and achieve Russian proficiency. She is also completing a professional certification in Humanitarian Logistics from the Fritz Institute.
Alex graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in International Studies and Russian with a specialization in Global Security. Before Stanford, she spent two years at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she worked on politics, human rights, and independent media in Eurasia. In addition to two intensive Russian immersion programs, Alex received an academic year FLAS Fellowship to complete the Russian Overseas Flagship Capstone Program in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Her interests include post-Soviet democratization, US-Russian relations, and the interactions between politics, historical memory, and civic consciousness in Central Asia. Alex is from Portland, Oregon.
Justin Tomczyk graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Russian Studies and Informatics. His undergraduate career included FLAS fellowships in Kyiv, Ukraine during summer 2015 and a year of study at the Russian-Armenian Slavonic University in Yerevan, Armenia during the 2017-2018 academic year. Following the completion of his degree and the 2018 Velvet Revolution, Justin Tomczyk remained in Yerevan to work as a researcher specializing in political stability in the post-Soviet space. His research interests include Armenia-EU relations, regional integration in the South Caucasus, and energy politics in the former Soviet Union.