Alexey V. Belyayev is a native of Omsk, Russia. He came to the United States in 2004 with his family, gained US citizenship, and received his BA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He began his first year at the Jackson School of International Studies, REECAS in 2011 and is currently focusing on trade between Russia and the United States.

 Una Bobinac graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bowling Green State University with a B.A. in international studies and minors in Russian and Spanish. She was born in Belgrade, Serbia and moved to the United States at the age of nine. Her exposure to various cultures has stemmed from extensive travel throughout Eastern Europe and studying abroad in Spain. Having had a politically tumultuous childhood, Una's desire to understand her area of origin and contribute to global conflict resolution had led her to pursue an M.A. degree in Eastern European Studies (with a special focus on the Balkan region) at the University of Washington. She has received the Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship and hopes to utilize those resources for first-hand research for a Master's Thesis concentrating on the Yugoslav Wars.  


 Petr A. Boldyrev graduated from the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia) in June 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in public administration. While a student, Petr took an active part in the research project “Russian Regions Branding Analysis” (National Research University Higher School of Economics in cooperation of AGT Group). Petr is excited to continue his education at the University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies in the REECAS MA program. Born in Moscow, Russia, Petr moved to Seattle with his parents in 2012, though visited Moscow often this past year to complete his BA degree.

Ryan Dalrymple is pursuing a Masters of International Studies and Masters of Public Administration. After being introduced to Russian language and culture as a missionary in Moscow, he returned to Brigham Young University where he double majored in Russian and Economics. During his undergraduate studies, Ryan interned at the Gadar Institute for Economic Policy in Moscow, where he researched methods to increase international investment into Russia’s oil and gas industry. Ryan received the summer 2012 Boba fellowship, which allowed him to complete an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan. While supporting U.S. foreign policy in Central Asia, he researched Kazakhstan’s investment climate, and barriers to entry for international businesses in Kazakhstan. 
Indra Ekmanis graduated with a BA in global studies and a minor in German from Arizona State University in 2011 and jumped right in to the REECAS MA program. Born in Germany to Latvian and American parents, Indra grew up with a strong appreciation for cultures and languages. This passion has manifested itself in her desire to study Latvia and the Baltics, as well as her love of Latvian folk dancing. Indra spent two months in 2010 as an intern with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riga while conducting interviews for her undergraduate honors thesis on the Latvian Singing Revolution. Indra hopes to return to Latvia this summer to study the impact of nationalism on youth and politics.
Jason Flint received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Cum Laude, with Honors in his major of History and a minor in Russian and Slavic Literature from the University of Washington in 2011. After spending three months in Vienna, his appreciation for the history of the Habsburg Empire became his central focus in his studies, specifically during the reign of Franz Josef through the disintegration of the empire after World War I. He speaks German, some Russian and is studying Czech. Currently Jason is studying how the particular breakup of the Habsburg Empire set the stage for cyclical bouts of radical right wing extremism in the former Habsburg lands throughout the 20th century up until the present day. After graduation, he intends to continue on for his PhD in History. He loves reading (especially Central European and Russian history), listening to a variety of music, and enjoying a perfect cup of Viennese Melange while relaxing on the Ringstrasse.
Stephanie Gentry Stephanie Gentry grew up in Plano, Texas, where her gymnastics coaches from the former Soviet Union first introduced her to Russian culture. After studying abroad in Moscow through the Bing Overseas Studies Program in the fall of 2008, she received her BA in International Relations with a minor in Russian language from Stanford University. Since then, she has been working in a variety of different industries, ranging from tech to nonprofit, and has been enjoying all that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer.  As a REECAS program graduate student, Stephanie intends to focus on Russian crime in an international context.

Karolina Lamb graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Russian. She first became interested in studying other cultures and languages at a young age as she traveled throughout Europe with her family. Karolina has focused her studies on Central and Eastern Europe, and she has become particularly interested in pre and postwar Polish-Jewish relations. Karolina speaks Polish fluently, continues to hone her Russian skills, and within the next academic year she plans to diversify her language skills by studying Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian.

Julianne Maila is a native of Concord, Massachusetts. She holds a BA in economics and history from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and worked as a financial analyst in accounting at Ernst & Young, LLP before studying historic preservation at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation in New York. After completing a needs assessment of historic preservation issues in Lithuania, her love for Eastern European culture and language led to overseas studies of Lithuanian and Russian languages at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas and Vilnius University in Vilnius. Julianne’s research interests lie in economic investment and business development in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, particularly in regard to sites of historical significance.

 Sarah McPhee is a Distinguished Graduate with a Master’s degree in history from Texas A&M University Central Texas, with a focus on twentieth century political history. She taught secondary English Language Arts for three years in Texas, but could not ignore her life-long interest in Russian history, politics, and culture. Presently she is interested in exploring how Orthodoxy and secularism have influenced Russian nationalism and foreign policy. Sarah continues to improve her Russian language skills and hopes to continue her language study in Russia during summer quarter 2014. In her free time she enjoys activities with her three school-age children, exercise, gardening, reading, writing, dining, socializing, and following world events.

Justin Paulsen hails from Kingwood, Texas, “The Livable Forest”! He first came in contact with Russia through a two-year church mission, living in Orenburg, Saratov, Togliatti, and Engels. He has not been able to give it up since, finishing a double Political Science and Russian major at Brigham Young University, then coming straight to the UW for master’s work, and even reading Dostoevsky’s The Idiot for the third time this summer. In addition to the REECAS program, he is pursuing an MPA at the Evans School, where he also works as a research assistant for the Evans Policy Analysis and Research group doing research for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is happily married and has a little boy and baby girl to keep him busy and happy!

Alex Whan is a first year master's student in REECAS and hails from Issaquah, Washington. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, in European Studies from the University of Washington with a focus on security studies in the former Yugoslavia and former Soviet Union. Alex studied the Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian language, for which he holds a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for the 2013-2014 year. As an undergraduate he also studied Russian and Dutch briefly, and spent a year in the Netherlands through the University of Washington Honors Program from 2011-2012. His travel-study has also included exploration around Eastern Europe and time in Georgia and Azerbaijan, where he wrote on the evolution of Russo-Georgian relations after the 2008 South Ossetia War. In the fall of 2012, Alex spent three months living and interning at the United States Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania. Alex is actively involved in the application process for the US Foreign Service, where he hopes to begin his career after graduate school.

David Wishard's studies of Andrei Tarkovsky at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts converted him into an aficionado of Eurasia and its history. He is in REECAS studying the intersection of Russian Orthodox theology and language ideologies with the process of self-making in contemporary Russian family systems. He is also studying post-socialist civil society development, privatization, and social historiography, all with a particular attention to the role of ideology and psychology. He has skills in Geographic Information Systems and hopes to one day synthesize them into his research in Eurasia.
Taylor Zajicek is a first year master’s student in the REECAS program, and a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. While pursuing B.A.s in history and political science at Whitworth University, Taylor studied in the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Estonia—experiences that informed his historical interests in Russification, nationalism, immigration, comparative empires, and Russian-Islamic relations. Taylor eventually hopes to do comparative work on Russian and Turkish political reform in the early 20th century. In the summer of 2012, Taylor used a FLAS award to study intensive Russian at the Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service. Aside from writing, Taylor is a photojournalism devotee and has done work for a variety of publications and organizations. He lives to scuff around, camera in hand—his not-so-secret ulterior motive for traveling abroad.

Elizabeth Zherka is a UW alumna, having earned her Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, in European Studies from the Jackson School in 2008. Her minor was Women Studies and she received a Certificate in European Union Studies from the Center for West European Studies. Elizabeth is a dual citizen with the UK and the US, and has traveled extensively in Europe. She is currently pursuing her MAIS, as well as a certificate in International Development Policy and Management from the Evans School of Public Affairs. She has held TA positions in the Jackson School and the Political Science department, and is teaching a course on modern European culture in the Experimental College in 2012. Elizabeth was awarded the Boba fellowship for the summer of 2011, which helped support her costs to travel to Kosovo, where she conducted empirical research for her thesis as well as held an internship with Iniciativa Progresivë. Elizabeth holds a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship for the 2011-2012 academic year in Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian. Her thesis is focused on post-conflict civil society and capacity building in the Former Yugoslavia, specifically whether local women’s non-governmental organizations in post-conflict Kosovo have built human security.



The Ellison Center
REECAS Program
Box 353650
203B Thomson Hall
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-4852 phone
(206) 685-0668 fax