Ellison Center Summer Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellows
Thanks to his FLAS award, during the summer of 2012 Matthew Boyd studied advanced Serbian at the Azbukum Center for Serbian Language and Culture in both Belgrade and Novi Sad, Serbia. There, he deepened his understanding of the language and the literature of the region. While in the Balkans he also took the opportunity to do research at the National Library in Belgrade and the Matica Srpska in Novi Sad on the Punk and New Wave youth subcultures active in the former Yugoslavia from the late 1970s through the 1980s. This was a wonderful chance both to locate primary texts and to escape the blistering heat on the Belgrade streets.
Wes Kovarik is originally from Vancouver, Canada and graduated from UC San Diego in 2009 with a degree in International Studies. At the University of Washington he is pursuing a Juris Doctor and a Masters in International Studies. His FLAS award allowed him to spend the summer in Novi Sad, Serbia advancing his skills in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian. These language skills will allow him to research security and trade agreements affecting the region while helping to better understand regional politics more generally. His current academic interests include international law, nuclear security, and legal development.
Jessica Redinger is a senior in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures majoring in Russian and Eastern European languages and linguistics. She received a FLAS to study intensive Russian language and culture in St. Petersburg, Russia this summer. She studied at St. Petersburg State University through the Council for International Educational Exchange (CIEE) and will continue to live and study in Russia for the upcoming school year. Jessica’s goal is to become fluent in Russian and better understand the Russian culture as it will help her with her future graduate-level research and career plans.
John Simeone grew up in the Hudson River valley of New York state. Prior to college, John spent an academic year living in Vladimir, Russia (2002-2003). During the summer of 2005, he was an intern at Lake Vodlozersky National Park in the Arkhangelsk and Karelia regions of northwestern Russia. In 2007, he received his BS from Cornell University in Natural Resources and Development Sociology. In 2008, John enrolled in Middlebury College’s Summer Language School for Russian, and in June of 2010 he was the Resident Director for an ACTR (American Councils) 'Golden Ring' program in Vladimir. As a dual degree student (MA in REECAS and MS in Forest Resources), John's research focuses on Russian Far East forest sector development. Thus, when John received a FLAS for summer 2012, he jumped at the opportunity to study Russian in Vladivostok. This was his first chance to visit the region he has been studying!
Taylor Zajicek is a first year master’s student in the REECAS program, and a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. In the summer of 2012, Taylor used his FLAS award to study intensive Russian at the Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service. While pursuing bachelor degrees in history and political science at Whitworth University, Taylor studied in the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Estonia — experiences that informed his historical interests in Russification, nationalism, immigration, refugee resettlement, and Russian-Islamic relations. Taylor eventually hopes to do comparative work on Russian and Turkish political reform in the early 20th century. Aside from writing, Taylor is a photojournalism devotee and has done work for a variety of publications and organizations. He lives to scuff around, camera in hand — his not-so-secret ulterior motive for traveling abroad.