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WCED Graduate Fellows, 2012-13

Adrian Deoanca is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. His research interests focus on the transformations of postsocialist societies in Central and Eastern Europe with an emphasis on Romania and Russia. In particular, he studies how the postsocialist developments of rail infrastructure and rail industry express the transformations of state, mobility, and workers' culture. Adrian holds an Anthropology from the Bucharest-based National School of Governance and an M.A. in Nationalism Studies from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He is also trained in journalism (B.A., Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania), and has worked for several years as a professional journalist for various Romanian newspapers and magazines.

Rebecca Dulemba is a first-year M.A. student in REES. Her research focuses on the formation of and mainstreaming of extremist social formations, particularly political parties, in Central and Southeast Europe and the role of cultural memory and religion in these groups. She is interested in the ways that visual culture and youth culture intersect with politics and extremism. Rebecca has studied and researched in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. She received a B.A. in Slavic and East European Studies from Ohio State University.

Evan Fralin is a first-year M.A. student in REES. He plans to research the transition to capitalism in Russia and the role of the state and society in making capitalism work in Russia. Evan taught himself Russian from old textbooks and internet resources. He holds a B.A. in music and French from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.A. in public and international affairs from Virginia Tech.

Reina Saco is a first-year M.A. student in REES. Her areas of interest are history, geography, linguistics, and ethnic studies. While an undergraduate, she was president of the Russian Club and organized cultural and educational events. Reina’s undergraduate honors thesis focused on religious influences on the Stars Wars films and religions that have developed as a result of the series. She graduated with a B.A. in English literature and Russian from the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Benjamin Sweeney is a REES M.A. student. He is interested in social aid distribution and the interplay of this aid with political and social development in former Soviet states, specifically in the Caucasus and Central Asia. During the 2011-12 academic year, he studied Georgian language in Georgia on a Boren Fellowship. Before coming to U-M, Ben was a Fulbright fellow to Georgia in the field of political science. His research focused on pensions, targeted social assistance, and aid especially to those displaced in the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.