Alumni News

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In Their Words

Nathan Cerero (‘20) graduated with a Master's in History from the University of Edinburgh and is now working as an analyst with Civic Consulting Alliance, a nonprofit consulting firm in Chicago committed to leveraging cross-sector collaboration in order to drive change in the city and region.

After graduating from UIC, I continued my academic journey by receiving my Master's degree in History at the University of Edinburgh. Using the experience from the REEES Think Tank project, I expanded my research for my final dissertation project, titled “Legitimizing Titoist Yugoslavia,” where I explored the negative narratives in the historiography of Yugoslavia. The Think Tank offered me initial guidance from experienced mentors which I used for both my graduate program and my current full-time position. More specifically, my dissertation topic was founded on the work I started with the REEES Think Tank, which I am very grateful for.

Nickolas Khimerik (‘21) is teaching in Azerbaijan through the U.S. Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program. This is his second Fulbright award. Last year he taught English in Moldova. Nickolas also had the opportunity to take part in an archaeological expedition to Bukhara, Uzbekistan. After attending the 2021 ASEEES Convention, Nickolas also enjoyed participating in the University of Pittsburgh Undergraduate Research Symposium.

The REEES Think Tank gave me my first opportunity to research something I’m actually passionate about. I got to meet celebrities such as Sean Guillory, whose podcast I have been a listener of for years prior. The conferences, most notably ASEEES, were a good opportunity to appreciate the culmination of people's research and see ‘how the sausage is made’ in many regards.

Stephen Octable (‘21) is a senior at Howard University, majoring in Political Science and Criminology with a minor in Russian. He looks forward to continuing to build his Russian-language skills.

Group research is required a lot in Air Force ROTC; the Think Tank definitely assisted with pacing myself when completing group work. In Fall 2022 I began an internship with the US Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection. I currently serve as an Research Specialist focused on gathering information and turning it into extended reports to be read and assessed by our Branch Chief.

Raneil Smith (‘22) graduated from the University of Miami with a B.A in History in 2023 and is now pursuing a medical degree at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

Before starting at the University of Miami, I knew very little about Slavic Studies. After gaining an interest in Russian imperial history from a BBC documentary series on the topic, I took to learning about Russia’s past as a hobby. The REEES Think Tank allowed me the opportunity to pursue academic research in a field of study that I genuinely found fascinating. I also attended national conferences and got to hear about the exciting work that historians are doing in Slavic Studies. After participating in the Think Tank, I began Russian language studies through an online class. I currently work on my Russian language skills as a hobby.

The Think Tank congratulates De’Vonte Tinsley (‘20 and ‘22) as he begins his doctoral studies in History at University of Pennsylvania, Fall 2023.

The experience I learned while working with the Think Tank contributed heavily to my success in applying for graduate school. The Think Tank prepared me by offering me a valuable opportunity to work with renowned scholars in the field. Those scholars then helped train me in research techniques that prepared me for graduate school.

Where Are They Now

Isabelle Kinney (‘22) will start her MA program at the University of Michigan in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies in 2024. An ASU Dean’s Medalist, Isabelle graduated having completed over 200 credit hours in four years. Read more about Isabelle’s spectacular accomplishments here:

Rosa Lovo (‘20 and ‘22) recently graduated from the University of Richmond and now works at ReEstablish Richmond, connecting refugees and new immigrants to the resources needed to establish roots, build community, and become self-sufficient. Rosa reflected that the Think Tank strengthened her time management and project planning skills and served as a great resume builder.