Slavic and Eurasian Studies

CREEES Funding Bolsters Student Professional Development Experiences

Wed, December 13, 2017
CREEES Funding Bolsters Student Professional Development Experiences
Zachary Miller Adamz (center left) in Vladivostok at a memorial commemorating ethnic Koreans in the Russian Far East
CREEES is proud to be able to provide UT undergraduate and graduate students studying our region with funds for professional development activities


CREEES Professional Development Awards are available to students in all majors at UT Austin interested in professional development in the realm of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Awards are meant to help cover travel costs associated with competitive internships, job interviews, research/fieldwork, or presenting at academic conferences in the U.S. and abroad. Funding is provided from a series of sources, including the McWilliams Endowment for Russian Studies, the Polish Studies Endowment, the Texas Chair in Czech Studies endowment and the U.S. Department of State Title VI National Resources Center grant for Russian/East Europe.


Awardees for Summer and Fall of 2017

Aleksej Demjanski (Fall 2017), Panelist for "Painting Politics: A Panel Discussion on Macedonia's Colorful Revolution" at Indiana University-Bloomington

Thanks to CREEES' professional development funding I was able to speak at the "Painting Politics: A Panel Discussion on Macedonia's Colorful Revolution" panel at Indiana University-Bloomington alongside Dr. Marina Antic and Dr. Aneta Georgievska-Shine. The panel, where I and the other panelists discussed the recent pro-democracy and anti-corruption protests in the Republic of Macedonia, also coincided with the opening of "The High Stakes of Macedonia's "Colorful Revolution"" art exhibition which was housed at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. This was a wonderful opportunity to share my niche research and personal experiences to broader public and it was all made possible thanks to CREEES.

Nikidrea Rey (Summer 2017), Professional internship at the US Embassy in Moscow

"Thanks to the Professional Development Fund offered by the Clements Center for National Security, I'm able to intern abroad this summer at Embassy Moscow. Working in the Executive Office under the Ambassador's Staff Assistant allows me to gain insight into embassy operations on a broad spectrum as well as Ambassador Teft's and Deputy Chief of Mission Tracy's regional priorities. I've learned bits of history and culture from exploring the city and engaging the local staff members. Everyone has been amazingly open and friendly. I'm happy to be here and grateful for the opportunity."

Bryce Aspelund (Summer 2017), Participant in the Middlebury Summer Russian Language Program

"The Middlebury College Summer Russian Language Program is quite possibly the best program I have experienced in advancing my ability to speak and interact in the Russian language. For 8 weeks, we took a Language Pledge to speak, read, listen, surf the internet and live in Russian. At first, it was a challenge to make the change but after only a couple days, it just became the norm. After only a few short weeks of living in Russian, I could feel the improvement in my every day life. The program is set up to find your weaknesses and help push you past them because of the necessity of living in the target language. I was in the advanced level and found that this was exactly what I needed to really increase my level. The teachers, the classes, the extracurriculars were all amazing and the people that I've met there will continue to be close friends for the rest of my life. It was an unforgettable experience and I would love to return, should I ever have the opportunity. Thanks to the funding from CREEES, I was able to attend and really expand my abilities speaking Russian."

Jessica Terry (Summer 2017), Professional internship with US State Department in Washington, DC

CREEES MA candidate Jessica Terry was offered an internship with the U.S. Department of State's European and Eurasian Affairs Bureau in the Office of Policy and Regional Affairs. This office covers 50+ countries and deals with a wide variety of issues, including nuclear nonproliferation, tracking the Ukraine crisis, and the sale and movement of chemical weapons from this region into other volatile regions (Syria especially at the moment). Many of these issues cover Eastern European countries and Russia, and are transnational in nature. I would be given the opportunity to experience the D.C. side of State Department operations, which means rather than seeing policy implementation for this region, I would gain an inside perspective into policy creation.

Zhaojin Zeng (Fall 2017), Presenter at conference on "The Russian Revolution and its Consequences" at UC Berkeley, California

The UC Berkeley workshop "100 Years Later: The Russian Revolution and its Consequences" provided me with a great opportunity to engage my research with the larger community on Russian studies. Participants from universities across the United States examined the legacies of the 1917 Russian Revolution from multidisciplinary and transnational perspectives. My study analyzed the central role of the Soviet Union in transforming industrial technologies in Chinese factories in the Mao era. My paper's discussant, Covell Meyskenes, as well as other participants, offered insightful and constructive advice. Overall, this workshop was very helpful for me to further develop my research paper into a journal article.

Zachary Miller Adamz (Fall 2017), Presenter at conference on the deportation of Soviet Koreans from the Russian Far East in Vladivostok, Russia

I was invited to participate in the 80th-anniversary commemoration of the deportation of Soviet Koreans from the Russian Far East in 1937. The conference was held in Vladivostok, Russia, and as one of only a handful of experts on the subject, I was invited to share my original research at this conference by the conference organizing committee. Scholars participated from across the former Soviet Union, Austria, South Korea, and the United States.  Renown scholars and graduate student scholars - the second generation of Soviet Korean studies - presented in tandem, furthering and expanding research on this Korean diaspora community.  In addition to the conference presentations and symposium, there was a two-day tour of historic sites and memorials commemorating the history of ethnic Koreans in the Russian Far East. This grant is a great help in furthering my research as well and involvement within my field of study.

Jennie D Wojtusik (Fall 2017), Presenter at Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies conference in Chicago, IL

Upon returning from a Fulbright fellowship in Berlin, where I spent a year conducting dissertation research, I am now presenting at ASEEES the seminal argument to my dissertation in order to receive scholarly feedback before I begin the writing process. The paper I'm presenting is titled "The Legacy of German Idealism: Dostoevsky’s Philosophical-Political Intervention" and I was also asked to be a discussant on another panel during the conference.

Ryan Williams (Fall 2017), Stanford US-Russia Forum fellow

I was chosen to participate in the highly selective 10th Anniversary Stanford US-Russia Forum (SURF).  This program will dramatically improve my ability to find, upon graduation, work that is both relevant to my interests and worthy of my ambitions. SURF delegates participate in two conferences over the course of the year. The first conference will take place in Moscow over the Thanksgiving holiday. The second conference will take place in mid-2018 on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Past delegates have had their projects reviewed by the likes of Condoleezza Rice, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Ambassador Michael McFaul, Secretary of State George Shultz, Francis Fukuyama, Stephen Walt and many more. SURF research has been published in leading policy journals, presented at UN panels, and developed into real-world programs. This is not merely an intellectual exercise designed for my enrichment: it is an increasingly important example of cooperation between the United States and Russia at a time of heightened tensions.

Patricia Neuhoff, Terry Edwin Orr, Giuseppe Carlo Castellano II and Emily van Zanten (Summer 2017), Archeological excavation in Dobrogea, Romania

Under the guidance of CREEES Affiliate faculty Adam Rabinowitz, students participated in field work exploring questions of culture-contact in the Dobrogea region of Romania, with a particular focus on the archaeological remains of the ancient Greek city of Histria, founded by Miletus in the 7th century BC. Dobrogea has a rich history of culture-contact stretching back to antiquity. Students participated in the UT Austin-Institutul de Arheologies "Vasile Parvan" (Bucharest) project exploring the early part of this history through a combination of excavations in the Archaic Greek "zona-sacra" in the urban center, topographical surveys, and exploring the collection of the on-site museum. As a part o the program of fieldwork, they worked closely with Romanian counterparts, sharing knowledge, excavation techniques, and technical expertise. There were also be visits to other sites in the region that illuminate the different phases of cultural contact in the area, from the Dacian wars of the Romans to the settlement of German farmers and Russian Old Believers in villages along the Black Sea coast. More information on the dig can be found in this article.

Read more about Terry Orr's experiences in the UT College of Liberal Arts magazine, Life & Letters.
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