Khamza Sharifzoda is originally from Dushanbe, Tajikistan. He completed his undergraduate degree with honors at Nazarbayev University, focusing on the politics and governance of the post-Soviet countries. He also studied abroad at Charles University in the Czech Republic and traveled extensively for his research purposes in other Eurasian countries, especially in Russia and Ukraine.
Emma Steiner is from Houston, Texas and attended Knox College before transferring to University of Texas at Austin due to her interest in Russian. There she majored in History with a minor in European Studies. While at UT Austin, Emma completed an honors thesis on housing reform under Nikita Khrushchev, which sparked a continued interest in housing reform and inequality in Russia today.
Clare Szigethy studied at Sarah Lawrence College for her undergraduate career. While there, she took an interdisciplinary approach to studying Russian culture and politics. Her main research focus lies in contemporary Russian politics.
Beryl Taylor is originally from Boston and completed her undergraduate degree at Bard College 2015. She has studied abroad in Petrozavodsk and Saint Petersburg, as well as taught English at Smolny College in Saint Petersburg.
Emily Walton’s academic background is based in Russian-area studies, partly inspired by her family history—she is of Lithuanian descent on her mother’s side. She graduated with a BA in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and a BA in Political Science from Miami University of Ohio in 2016 and studied abroad in Estonia at Tallinn University and in Russia at Higher School of Economics. During the 2017-2018 academic year, she was a National Security Education Program David L. Boren Fellow and lived in Riga, Latvia.
Blake Wilcox completed his undergraduate degree at Brown, where he concentrated in Slavic studies and German Studies. Before coming to CERES, Blake served as a research assistant in the German Studies department at Brown, worked as a business consultant in Washington, DC and participated in the American Councils’ Business Russian Language and Internship Program.
Kyra Zoubek is a recent graduate of American University’s School of International Service. As part of a military family, she has had the chance to travel and live in many places, including two years in Kyrgyzstan which inspired her to study International Relations and Russian culture.