About Us

This program addresses the issue of systemic racism and discrimination by supporting and promoting the advancement of students and scholars from underrepresented and underserved populations in the field of REEES. Since the inaugural program initiated by Dr. Amarilis Lugo de Fabritz in 2019-2020, the Think Tank has defined how faculty can work together with university administrators, professional organizations, faculty, and representatives from both the private and nonprofit sectors to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and other underserved and underrepresented students in their study of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. The program initially included students and faculty from three universities, but has transformed into a network of students from across the United States championed and supported by leading organizations and scholars in the field.

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The Think Tank

Think Tank Scholars collaborate in student-driven research teams with faculty mentors from across the United States. They participate in the Summer Research Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; present at the national convention for the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; and publish digital  projects on this site. We provide Think Tank Scholars with access to celebrated research collections and scholarly databases, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops.

The Lab

The Lab complements the Think Tank, offering professional mentorship to students interested in REEES careers intersectional with and/or outside of academia. Lab Scholars collaborate in student-driven policy research teams with faculty, data science, and policy experts. In 2020, they undertook a cybersecurity simulation with Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins. In 2021, they grappled with the public issue of disinformation as it relates to Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia. The 2021 Lab culminated in a policy report competition.