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Summer Travel/Research Grant Recipients


CREEES offers up to $2,000 in support for research travel in the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe.

Featured Student Narrative

Dana Phelps

Dana Phelps, Anthropology PhD, Albania

With generous support from the CREEES Travel Grant, I was able to conclude the preliminary dissertation research phase for my PhD in Anthropology. In 2014, Albania became a candidate for EU membership and I seek to understand in which ways heritage (monuments,museums, and archaeological sites) is positioned for full EU accession. At the same time,Albania is significantly increasing its relations with Turkey. The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has been intensively active in Albania constructing mosques and restoring Ottoman heritage sites. This summer, through heritage site visits and interviews with government officials, NGOs, and local communities, I came to see the tensions that are present as Albania seeks to “Europeanize” on the one hand and “Islamicize” on the other. One of the goals of this summer’s research was to identify a singular field site where I could study these heritage trends, emerging tensions, and repercussions for Albanian religious identity in one critical setting. I pinpointed the UNESCO listed Ottoman-period city of Gjirokastra as my field site. EU and TIKA heritage projects are proliferating in this “museumcity” and the local community, which is made up of several religions and ethnicities, is likely to be impacted by these initiatives. My doctoral research, thus, will investigate these externally imposed heritage imperatives, the tensions emerging, its impacts upon the Albanian heritagescape, and its significance for Albanian religious identity. Thank you to CREEES for providing me the opportunity to travel to Albania  to solidify the foundation of my PhD dissertation research project.

Grant Recipients


Ioanida Costache (Music PhD, 4th Year)- Romania

Beatrice Smigasiewicz (Art & Art History PhD, 1st Year)- Warsaw, Poland

Alexandra Sukalo (History PhD, 2nd Year)- Kyiv, Ukraine

Beata Szymkow (History PhD, 4th Year)- Warsaw, Poland and Lviv, Ukraine


Sabauon Nasseri (History PhD, 2nd Year) - Moscow, Russia

Dustin Condren (Slavic PhD, candidate) - Moscow, Russia

Kristo Nurmis (History PhD, 3rd Year) - Riga, Latvia

Benjamin Kim (REEES ‘17) - Warsaw, Poland

Alexandra Sukalo (History PhD, 2nd Year) - Kyiv, Ukraine

Joshua Tapper (History PhD, 1st Year) - Moscow, Russia


Jinyi Chu, Slavic PhD, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Beijing, Shanghai, and Tula

Nicholas Levy, History PhD, Russia, Poland, and Ukraine


Koji Hirata, History PhD, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Moscow

Will Meadows, M.F.A., Joint Program in Design (Art and Engineering), China, Central Asia, and Italy

Dana Phelps, Anthropology PhD, Albania

Beata Szymkow, History PhD, L'viv, Wroclaw and Krakow

Alina Utrata, History '17, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and the Hague


Jason Cieply, Slavic Languages and Literatures PhD, Russia

Brian Kim, Slavic Languages and Literatures PhD, Finland

Nicholas Levy, History PhD, Moscow, Russia, Kyiv, Ukraine, Warsaw and Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland

Orysia Kulick, History PhD, Ukraine

Lori Weeks, Anthropology PhD and JD, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania


Jason Cieply, Slavic PhD, Ukraine

Markian Dobczansky, History PhD, Ukraine

Lukas Dovern, History PhD, Czech Republic

Emily Grelle , REEES MA ‘13, Russia

Justine Issavi, Anthropology, Turkey

Dennis Keen, REEES MA ‘13, Kazakhstan

Gabor Simonovitz, Political Science PhD, Hungary

Amanda Wetsel, Anthropology PhD, Kyrgyzstan


Kara Downey, Political Science PhD

Alexander Frese, History PhD

Carolin Krahn, Music PhD

Kevin Miller, History PhD

Bruce O'Neill, Anthropology PhD

Maya Rostowska, REEES MA ‘12

Vladimir Troyansky, History PhD