Eugene Bondarenko is a first-year REES MA student. He is interested in the evolution of interethnic relations in the former Soviet Union, with a focus on Ukraine, Western Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and the Baltic States. He has conducted an oral history project in Ukraine on interethnic relations in post-Stalinist political prison camps. He holds a BA in history and Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies from the University of Michigan.
Dustin Gamza is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Political Science. His research interests include the influence of religion and nationalism in post-communist states, particularly how each has affected intra-state conflict. He is also interested in how electoral systems may be used to moderate ethnic and religious conflict in new democracies, and how religious resurgence and religious politics influence elections and policy outcomes in Eastern European and Central Asian nation-states. Dustin holds a BA from Duke University, where he studied Political Science. He also attended the London School of Economics, where he studied Government and Russian while working on the 2010 British General Election as a parliamentary candidate’s campaign aide.
Frank Hennick is a first-year REES MA student. Before beginning his graduate work in Ann Arbor, Frank worked for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Macedonia, where he studied the Macedonian language and developed an academic curiosity about the Balkans. His interests are anchored in nationalism, nostalgia, and attitudes toward Ottoman history in the ex-Yugoslav countries and Turkey. Frank received a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin.
Matthew Parelman is a dual-degree student in REES and Law. He studied for two years in St. Petersburg, first on study abroad and most recently as a Fulbright research fellow. Matthew is interested in the role of law in the development of democratic institutions, and is currently researching the influence of Russian Constitutional Court decisions on the separation of powers. Matthew graduated from the George Washington University with a BA in Russian Language and Literature and International Affairs.
Brendan Reardon is a dual-degree student in REES and public policy. Before his arrival at the University of Michigan, Brendan served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan. During those two years, Brendan learned about Russian and Central Asian political, social, and economic issues following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He also learned Russian and Kazakh. Now that he is back in the United States, Brendan intends to explore ongoing democratization throughout the former Soviet Union, with particular focus on the role of opposition parties in this process. Prior to his Peace Corps service, Brendan received his BA in history from Northwestern University.
Anna Whittington is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of History, focusing on Soviet identity in the post-Stalin period, particularly in Central Asia. Prior to coming to Michigan, she received her AB in History from Harvard University and an MA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from Stanford (2011). She has held internships at human rights organizations in Moscow and St. Petersburg and in the Political-Economic section at US Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan, where she focused on human rights and child labor policy.
Mary (Kathleen) Wroblewski is a first-year doctoral student in history. Her research looks at liberalism, migration, and citizenship in Eastern Europe and the United States. In particular, she is interested in the global intellectual networks that influenced ideas about nationalism, law, and educational policy in Poland and the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She holds graduate degrees in education (MA, University of Michigan); law (JD, Indiana University); and history (MA, Indiana University). She has a BA in history is from the University of Michigan.