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WCED Graduate Fellows, 2018-19

Jeremy Boo is a doctoral student at the Department of Political Science. He has degrees in political science and economics from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. His M.A. thesis focused on how elite interactions and ethnic mobilization have influenced the judicial adjudication of electoral disputes. Jeremy is studying how religion and ethnic identity shape nation and state-building and how they influence politics in the present. He plans to explore these interests in the context of Southeast Asia.

Andy Buschmann is a doctoral student in political science. Before coming to Michigan, he obtained a Master’s degree in politics from St Antony's College, Oxford University. During his undergraduate studies in politics and sociology at Humboldt University Berlin, he was a visiting student at the University College London and the City University of Hong Kong. His work focuses mainly on the linkages between democratization and social movements and is predominantly situated in the Asia Pacific region, specifically Myanmar.

Betty Compton is pursuing an M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. Her research interests include the Chechen-Russian Wars, Chechen masculinity, Salafism in the North Caucasus, and ethnicity-based prejudice in the Russian Federation. As an undergraduate, Betty spent a summer at St. Petersburg State University studying Russian language and art. She received a B.A. in Russian and Eastern European Studies from Wesleyan University in 2011.

Mekarem Eljamal is pursuing an M.A. in Middle Eastern and North African studies. She earned her B.A. in Middle Eastern and North African studies and international studies at the University of Michigan. After completing her undergraduate degree, Mekarem worked in Haifa, Palestine/Israel at a research institute. Her research interests center on Palestinian citizens of Israel and how space and place-making processes have influenced their conceptions of identity, belonging, and non-belonging.

Raul Gălan is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. He received a B.A. in social research and public policy, with minors in Arabic language and history from New York University Abu Dhabi. His research interests are situated at the intersection of social movement theory, nationalism, and the sociology of religion. In his undergraduate thesis, “Actions of Contention among Romanian Christian Orthodox Groups,” he explored the strategies and repertoires of contention that contemporary Romanian religious social movements adopt when challenging the country’s political and cultural status quo. He has published a book in Romanian on the evolution of the public educational system in Northern Transylvania between 1880 and 1960. Raul plans to conduct a comparative study on the role of religious social movements in the post-revolutionary state-building processes in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Arakel Minassian is an M.A. student in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. His work focuses on Armenia and Armenian national identity, especially in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. Before beginning at U-M, Arakel completed his undergraduate education in liberal arts and worked as a writer and investigator at Hetq, an online newspaper based in Yerevan, Armenia. During his graduate study, he hopes to gain an intellectual grounding in the study of the post-Soviet space as a whole.

Irene Morse is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Political Science. She graduated with a B.S. in international political economy from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she was part of the McDermott Scholars Program. As an undergraduate, she was awarded the Archer Fellowship and the Critical Language Scholarship and spent time studying Arabic in Morocco and Oman. She has worked as a teacher in Istanbul and learned Turkish. Irene’s current research interests lie in determining the factors that contribute to successful democracies in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly the roles of identity politics, societal polarization, and freedom of the press.

Tyler C. Paige is a second-year Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies M.A. student. For his thesis, he is working on a project regarding visual discourse in the late Soviet period, using tools from both anthropology and history. Tyler has studied Russian for nearly seven years, including some time in Russia. He holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Adelina Pinzaru is a first year doctoral student in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. She received a B.A. in foreign languages and literatures (English and Korean) from the University of Bucharest, Romania. After graduation, she spent three and a half years in South Korea as a Korean Government Scholarship Program grantee, and obtained her M.A. in Korean literature from Seoul National University. During her master’s studies, Adelina engaged in interdisciplinary research focused on the May 18th democratic uprising in Kwangju, and she intends to continue with a comparative study discussing censorship and resistance in South Korea and Romania during the decades preceding democratization.