When Anastasia Tkach (MARS-REERS ’16) first arrived in Ukraine in July 2015, she intended to research apathy and disillusionment in the wake of Euromaidan. But while interviewing members of various activist organizations in Kyiv, she realized that few were either apathetic or disillusioned. “Activism was still happening,” says Tkach. “There were demonstrations on the streets and a lot of reforms passing.” Read more.
Andrew Lohsen (SIPA ’15) became interested in corruption while living in St. Petersburg on a Flagship Language Fellowship (2007-8), where he frequently encountered low-level officials seeking bribes. While working on security and nuclear nonproliferation issues at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism (2010-13), he became convinced that systemic corruption was a critical problem for Eurasian states. The desire to take more direct action against corruption prompted him to enroll in Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in 2013. Read more.
Angela Wheeler (GSAPP ’16) grew up in Berlin, Massachusetts. It was “a little farm town with a defunct downtown,” she recalls. But when she was about to graduate high school, Berlin received a Main Street Grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the city restored some of the dilapidated, vacant buildings. Read more.
Lauren Bisio (MARS-REERS ’15) admits that returning to an academic setting after eight years as a modern dancer was not easy. “Dancing and going to rehearsals and working a lot of different part-time jobs to pay the rent, I was used to constantly multi-tasking,” she says. “Going from that to spending eight hours reading one book in the library was definitely monotonous. Read more.
Casey Michel (MARS-REERS ’15) never intended to go to graduate school. So much so, that when he accumulated a series of parking tickets as an undergraduate at Rice University, where he majored in English and Sports Management, he did not plan to pay them even after the university administration threatened to withhold his transcript. (Click here to read more).
Ilke Zekiye Denizli (SIPA ’15) was born in Istanbul and moved with her family to New Jersey when she was seven. The family planned on returning to Turkey, but “it just never happened,” says Denizli, who found herself straddling two worlds. “Home’s not here, home’s not there, home’s just kind of this weird hybrid.” (Click here to read more).
We're delighted to see our Harriman Junior Fellow and research assistant (East Central European Center), Filip Tuček, featured on SIPA's "A View From the Class."