Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Alumni Spotlights

A Sampling of Post-Degree Activities of our Alumni

Bianna Golodryga giving Hookem signBianna Golodryga

BA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (Summer 2000)

As of 2018: Co-host, “CBS This Morning”; recipient of 2018 UT College of Liberal Arts Pro Bene Meritis Award
Previously: Bianna began her television career as a bureau producer from the New York Stock Exchange for CNBC, where she produced live coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a reporter and anchor, Golodryga covered the Boston Marathon Bombings and the 2016 election. Throughout her career, she has reported for ABC, Yahoo!, CBS, CNN and more. Presently, she is Senior Global News Analyst at CNN.

Michelle KelsoMichelle Kelso

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (2001)

As of 2016: Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Affairs, Georgetown University
Previously: Directed a Romanian non-profit, the Association for Dialogue and Civic Education, which focused on tolerance and democracy building (2005–2010; and made a documentary film, "Hidden Sorrows: The Persecution of Romanian Gypsies During WWII," that has screened in seven countries, numerous film festivals, and aired on three national television channels (2005). She has also been a photo stringer for USA Today and the Associated Press. 

Michelle has also consulted for the Council of Europe, USAID, non-profits, Holocaust compensation programs, as well as the Romanian government. She has been the recipient of several prestigious national awards, including two Fulbright fellowships.

Lance EricksonLance C. Erickson

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (2001)

As of 2019: Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer, Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Astana
First job after graduation: Ukraine Country Director, Sidvim, Inc., Kyiv, Ukraine
Previously: Vice Consul at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (2015–17); Press Attaché, U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria (2013–15); Assistant Director, Center for Slavic and East European Studies, The Ohio State University (2007–12); Assistant Director for Student Services, Russian and East European Institute, Indiana University (2005–07)

Matthew G. Andersson

BA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (Spring 1984)

As of 2018: President of Indigo Aerospace & CEO of Indigo Airlines (with charter service to Russia)
Previously: Consultant, Charles River Associates (Advice, Russian aviation sector, to the President, V. Putin; US State Department, Blue Ribbon Panel, Russian Telecommunications Technical Assistance Conference; Executive, AT&T International (business development and strategic investments in Moscow, Minsk, Kiev, St. Petersburg); Executive Advisor, Booz Allen Hamilton (Russian aerospace markets) 


Brian SelmanBrian Selman

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (Fall 2016)

As of 2017: US Department of State Foreign Service Consular Fellows Program, Warsaw, Poland


David Balan

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (1999)

As of 2015: US Military training officer for Tajik Border Guards, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Previously: English teacher, Buryatia, Siberian Bridges Inc. (2 years); followed by a year with the Peace Corps in Ukraine; then deployed with the US Military to Iraq and assigned to the Ukrainian sector with additional duties of translator/interpreter. 

Maria RassokhinaMaria Rassokhina

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (2014)

As of 2015: Assistant, Financial Integrity Group, International Monetary Fund (Washington, DC)
First job after graduation: Program Assistant, Eurasia Foundation (Washington, DC), US-Russia Social Expertise Exchange (SEE) and the US-Russia University Partnership Program (UPP)
Previously: Regulatory Representation Assistant for Russia and Holland, Emergo Group (Austin); Research Assistant, St. Petersburg City AIDS Center (Russia)

Seda Gul Aysoy

MA, Post-Soviet Russian Cinema (Summer 2005)

As of 2018: Regional Program Manager, Digital Opportunity Trust
First job after graduation: Docent at Simon Wiesenthal Museum

Emily Liverman

MA, Slavic Languages and Literature (2008)

As of 2017: Associate Director, Indiana University Bloomington Kelley School of Business
First job after graduation: Assistant Director for Student Services/Graduate Coordinator at the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University Bloomington (eight years).


Lisa Sang Mi Min

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (2010)

As of 2017: PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley; including 6 months in Almaty on a grant supported by American Councils’ Title VIII Research Scholar Program


Andy BamberAndy Bamber

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (2009)

As of 2016: Founder and Director of Business Development of independent consulting firm, CONTENT COLAB
First job after graduation: Business Development Manager, Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia
Previously: Peace Corps volunteer in Azerbaijan (2003-2005); developed the founding corporate social responsibility (CSR) report for Kazakh-French uranium mining joint venture KATCO, in partnership with London-based consultancy Edward-Austin (early 2016); returned to Kazakhstan to focus on growing his consulting firm (December 2016)

Eliot StoneEliot Stone

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (2012)

As of 2019: Account Executive, MineralSoft; founder of TravelTuva and Cultural Transformations LLC; author, forthcoming ethnography exploring the lives and careers of Tuvan musicians, artists, and scholars; also works to bring the Tuvan throat-singing group Alash to tour the US every year
Previously: Program Specialist, Texas Historical Commission; conducted anthropological fieldwork in Tuva based on a long-standing interest in Tuvan music, during which he developed fluency in the Russian language, gained deep understandings of Tuvan culture and history, and became a skilled Tuvan vocalist, receiving multiple awards in Tuva for his performances (2011, 2013)

Brenda GonzalezBrenda Gonzalez

MA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (Fall 2016)

As of 2018: Law student, Tulane University; accepted into the Stanford US-Russia Forum, which brings Russian and American students together for a year of joint research in public policy, business, economics and other disciplines
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Tomsk, Russia (2017–18)

Kerri Matulis

BA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies; Psychology; Minor in Russian Language and Culture (Fall 2014)

As of 2017: Graduate student, Columbia University
Previously: Internship, UNICEF, Astana, Kazakhstan (summer 2017)


Katherine AlbertiKatherine Alberti

BA, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies (2014)

As of 2017: Internship at, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw, Poland (3 months)


CREEES Alumni Lance Erickson and Brian Selman speak about their paths to a career in diplomacy.

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Job Placements of our Alumni

Foreign Policy Studies Department, Brookings Institution
Assistant Professor of Russian language, University of South Alabama
Program Assistant, US Department of Commerce's SABIT Program
English teacher in Buryatia, Siberian Bridges, Inc.
International Lawyer
Program Assistant, Eurasia Foundation
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Samara, Russia
Writing Center Consultant, New Economic School, Moscow
Military Intelligence Officer
Executive, AT&T International
Consular Fellow, US Department of State
Program Assistant, Center for Safe Energy, Earth Island Institute
Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine
Assistant, Chemonics International, Eastern Europe/Russia section
Regulatory Representative Assistant, Emergo Group (ATX)
Staff Assistant, International Monetary Fund (DC)
Immigration/International Law, Russian and Eastern European foreign national cases
Translator/Interpreter with the US Military, Training Officer with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Corporate travel specialist for a global ground transportation company in Dallas, called Savoya
Developments finance professional with US Government (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) focus on Easter Europe/FSU


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    The University of Texas at Austin
    2505 University Avenue, Stop F3600
    Burdine Hall 452
    Austin, TX 78712