The division’s three M.A. programs—East Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, and Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies—attract students from around the globe, building a strong community of scholars. These one-year, multidisciplinary programs provide intensive study for students interested in deepening their understanding of history, culture and contemporary policy problems. Below is a list of all M.A. students across our three programs.
Jasmine Alexander-Greene graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Russian and a minor in History. Her undergraduate career included preparing the Ambassador Jack F. and Rebecca Matlock Archives, summer study at St. Petersburg State University and advanced Russian at Indiana University’s Summer Language Workshop. Jasmine has been an ACTR Post-Secondary Scholar-Laureate and finalist for a Fulbright English Teaching grant to Russia. Her academic interests include political folklore, urban anthropology, late Soviet history, and patriotism and national identity under Putin. She will use her time at CREEES to investigate the present-day position of Russian monotowns.
Steven Newman is joining the CREEES program as a co-terminal Stanford student. He majored at Stanford in International Relations, specializing in Europe & Russia and International Security, with a minor in Modern Languages (Russian and Italian). Steven interned at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria and will study Czech this summer in Olomouc, Czechia on a scholarship from the Czech Ministry of Education. He plans to improve his mastery of the Russian language while studying at CREEES and to reach an advanced working level in other Slavic languages. Steven is interested in how Eastern European and Eurasian satellite states have navigated their post-Soviet independence, and hopes to pursue a career promoting US diplomatic relations and developing global business opportunities.
Sanja Savic is a co-term student, who completed a double-major in Slavic Languages and Literatures and Psychology and a minor in Italian as an undergraduate at Stanford. Her studies focused on human semiotic potential in foreign languages and literatures, language acquisition and linguistic relativity. She has worked as a research assistant at the Stanford’s Language and Developmental Lab and as a teaching Fellow for Stanford’s Psychology One program. She was awarded the J. E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement. While at CREEES, she plans to investigate the interaction between language and identity in Balkan countries.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Carly earned a degree in International Relations from Franklin University Switzerland, completing a semester at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; an internship in refugee counseling with Caritas Germany; and a Tajiki Persian immersion program with American Councils in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. After volunteering for EU Border Management Northern Afghanistan, Carly compared international counter-narcotics initiatives in Tajikistan and Afghanistan as part of her Bachelor’s thesis. Following graduation, she returned to Tajikistan as a Resident Director for the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) and later moved to Göttingen, Germany, to work in academic publishing. As a CREEES student, Carly hopes to research migration and the politics of development and humanitarian work in Eurasia and achieve Russian proficiency. She is also completing a professional certification in Humanitarian Logistics from the Fritz Institute.
Alex graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in International Studies and Russian with a specialization in Global Security. Before Stanford, she spent two years at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she worked on politics, human rights, and independent media in Eurasia. In addition to two intensive Russian immersion programs, Alex received an academic year FLAS Fellowship to complete the Russian Overseas Flagship Capstone Program in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Her interests include post-Soviet democratization, US-Russian relations, and the interactions between politics, historical memory, and civic consciousness in Central Asia. Alex is from Portland, Oregon.
Justin Tomczyk graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in Russian Studies and Informatics. His undergraduate career included FLAS fellowships in Kyiv, Ukraine during summer 2015 and a year of study at the Russian-Armenian Slavonic University in Yerevan, Armenia during the 2017-2018 academic year. Following the completion of his degree and the 2018 Velvet Revolution, Justin Tomczyk remained in Yerevan to work as a researcher specializing in political stability in the post-Soviet space. His research interests include Armenia-EU relations, regional integration in the South Caucasus, and energy politics in the former Soviet Union.
David Addison Harrison
Born and raised outside of Philadelphia, PA, David graduated from Tufts University in 2017 where he double majored in Economics and International Relations with a focus on Latin America. At Tufts, he combined interests in language and cultural studies with international trade and economic development. Since graduation, David has worked as a management consultant and developer at Booz Allen Hamilton. His work centered on the commercial energy sector – primarily with projects based in Latin America, where he witnessed both the benefits and repercussions of massive investments in energy infrastructure. While working with teams across Latin America, David became interested in building a deeper understanding of regional geopolitics, environmental issues, and renewable energy investment through graduate study. While at Stanford, David plans to pursue his MA in Latin American Studies as part of a dual degree MBA with the Graduate School of Business. Through pairing these two programs, David plans to focus his research on environmental issues and the influence of foreign investment on Latin American politics and economic development, while building the entrepreneurial skill sets to implement novel solutions in the region through sustainable business practices.
María Cristina Fernández
María Cristina was born and raised in Guatemala City to a Guatemalan mother and a Cuban father. After spending a year between high school and college to give classes to Q’eqchi’ girls in Petén, Guatemala, she started the Anthropology program at la Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. After her first year of college, she had to flee the country with her family due to threats against her mother who denounced a case of corruption. She continued her education at the night school of Boston College where she got a BA in Sociology. At her time at Stanford, María Cristina will focus on the decolonization of education in rural Central América, studying models of education that are built by and for indigenous communities with a focus on ancestral knowledge, their cultural practices, and history. She wants to understand the relationship between alternative education, community autonomy, and self-sustainability so that emigration and acquiescence to the capitalist market stop being necessary for economic survival.
Kim Juárez Jensen
Born in metropolitan Monterrey, México, and raised in rural Denmark, contrasts and comparisons have always shaped Kim’s personal and academic paths. He earned his B.A. in Political Science in 2020 from the University of Copenhagen with studies abroad in both the US and the UK. Kim earned his B.A. on a thesis titled ‘Farewell Trust? Insights from a Natural Experiment’. The thesis investigates the effects of a real-world corruption scandal on Danish citizen’s levels of institutional trust. Governance and anti-corruption have not only been at the center of Kim’s academic work but also in his professional life. Kim has worked with anti-corruption and development at the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department for Humanitarian Aid, Migration and Civil Society, and in the Danish chapter of Transparency International. As an M.A. Student at CLAS, Kim hopes to specialize in political economy and expand his line of research on governance, institution building, and anti-corruption efforts to a Latin American context. Kim is also excited about the prospect of learning Portuguese and strolling around Stanford’s beautiful campus.
Raymundo is a recent college graduate from Sonoma State University, where he double majored in political science and French; with distinction. As an undergraduate researcher, he conducted an empirical study on the effects of racial priming of U.S. Latinx candidates at Michigan State University, and advocated for victims of unlawful incarceration and political intimidation at the Center for Civil and Political Rights. Further, he has served as an intern for both Human Rights First and at the International Rescue Committee, where he assisted in pro bono asylum cases and mentored refugees from Latin America. In his decision to attend Stanford’s Latin American Studies program, Lopez cited his desire to further contextualize his interests in elections, public opinion, race and ethnicity and methodology—through a Latin American lens. For instance, his senior capstone project, titled “Four Million and Forgotten: A Critical Race Theory Approach to Voting Rights in U.S. Territories,” posits U.S. Federalism as a critical agent in influencing matters of extra-territorial voting, fiscal policy, and racial/geographic identity in the Caribbean/Latin America (e.g. Puerto Rico). As such, Lopez hopes to ground himself in the historical roots of U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, the rule of law, and regulation to further refine his research. Upon graduation, Lopez plans to pursue a doctorate in political science and, ultimately, become a professor. Lopez is a product of the foster care system, and holds paternal lineage from Guatemala and maternal linage from Mexico. You can spot him at rustic holes-in-the-wall and reading speculative fiction.
Nathan graduated with honors from Columbia University in 2020 with a B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. As a dual citizen of Brazil and the United States, Nathan's interests lie in the intersection of popular culture and the emergence of global colonialism during the early modern period. In 2017 and 2018 he studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), where he began to connect the issue of endemic social inequality in postcolonial nations to questions of rampant urbanization and spatial justice. This was followed by an internship at the Mumbai-based startup X-Billion Labs where Nathan was able to apply his experience with agent-based pedagogy in inner-city American schools to a South Asian context. He has traveled to Kenya to learn about interfaith cooperation and has studied international law in Spain and France, where he co-drafted a proposal to the European Commission for an online database of practical legal information for Syrian refugees. As an undergraduate, Nathan held numerous leadership positions and published in peer-reviewed undergraduate journals such as Portales. Currently, he works for the World Aral Region Charity as Director of the New Arts Initiative, through which he went to Uzbekistan in 2019 to spearhead an ecology education program. Nathan has also recently completed a research project with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on migration, gang violence, and the democratic rule of law in Honduras. At Stanford, he will focus on the assimilation of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Brazil and hopes to continue his independent research on the role of saudade in the literary construction of Lusophone from the perspective of the subaltern. In his spare time he dances with Ballet Folklórico de Revolución, a traditional Mexican ensemble committed to raising awareness of border violence.
Hannah hails from occupied Piscataway land (Rockville, MD). She graduated from Stanford University in 2020 with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Human Rights. Her coursework and praxis focused on grassroots resistance to government-perpetrated human rights abuses. In particular, Hannah studies the historical and current damage of US imperial colonialism in Latin America, in recognition of her positionality as a white estadounidense.
Though messy, she hopes to work alongside local activists facing threat from US entities. Her journey of learned allyship has brought her as far as the Villa Grimaldi museum and peace park in Santiago, Chile where she translated testimonies of Operation Condor torture victims and the Movimiento de Víctimas de Crímenes del Estado in Bogotá, Colombia where she prepared a submission to the truth commission. It has also brought her closer to home. With Students for Workers Rights right here at Stanford, she continually pushes the Stanford administration to improve labor conditions for service workers. For the past two years Hannah also wrote alongside SLS students to continue border-related immigration work she started in Tijuana.
As an M.A. student, Hannah is hoping to continue decolonizing her knowledge base and advocacy, especially through exploration of indigenous models of resistance. In her free time, Hannah loves hiking, cooking, baking bread, and reading narrative fiction.
Areas of interest: North Korean affairs, media/propaganda in authoritarian regimes; effects of media and culture on inter-Asian relations
Areas of interest: Internationalization of business, evolution of the healthcare landscape in South Korea and East Asia at large
Areas of interest: Zen Buddhism and Japanese nationalism; transnational and transcultural religious development; Japanese-US relations
Areas of interest: Pre-modern Japanese literature and art; gender studies
Areas of interest: Causal relation between government acts and cultural background in East Asia; comparative studies between China and Japan
Sam Chetwin George
Areas of interest: Chinese foreign policy in the South Pacific
Areas of interest: Evolving gender roles throughout Chinese history, specifically focusing on how embedded beliefs surrounding women still influence policies, socio-cultural norms, and the status of women in modern China; international relations and policies
Areas of interest: Venture capital and entrepreneurship
Areas of interest: Korea in the colonial period; gender history; contacts with Christian missionaries in Korea and East Asia; history and memory
Areas of interest: Contemporary Korean popular culture; representations of societal issues and historical events in modern cinema, music, and literature; Korean historical memory, especially of the Japanese colonial era
Alice Siqi Han
Areas of interest: The nexus of China's economy, politics, and technology; the rise of China's tech industry
Areas of interest: Online social movements; youth political participation; social media; online communities; state and corporate involvement in media content moderation; contemporary Chinese culture
Areas of interest: Development of Cold War-era Japanese state and society and how the legacy of this development continues to shape contemporary Sino-Japanese and East Asian regional dynamics
Areas of interest: Modern, East Asian youth, the East Asian scholar-official, and the history of oration
Areas of interest: Political Economy; Authoritarian Politics; Distributive Politics; Chinese and East Asian Politics; Applied Game Theory and Quantitative Methods
Areas of interest: Spatiality in modern Chinese literature; Modern Chinese history; Japanese literary modernism; Digital humanities
Areas of interest: Social Stratification in Contemporary China; Media and Society; Comparative Gender Studies in East Asia; LGBT Studies
Areas of interest: US-China relations; Chinese engagement in Africa; the objectives and impacts of the Belt and Road Initiative
Areas of interest: Dynastic calligraphy and painting and its influence on contemporary ink art; cross-cultural influence between the arts of China and Japan; decorative arts from the Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties; Edo period screens; modern and contemporary Japanese photography
Areas of interest: Medieval Chinese Buddhism and society; Impact of Buddhist funerary rituals on the ancestral cult and filial piety
Areas of interest: The print culture history of shoujo manga magazines in Japan and North America. How East Asia Libraries in North America catalog, develop, and preserve manga collections. Art History; Fan Studies; History of the Book; Library and Information Science; Manga Studies
Areas of interest: Contemporary relations and foreign policies of East Asian nations; Interrelationship between the United States, Japan and China; US foreign policy toward East Asia; Chinese history, politics and foreign policy
Areas of interest: Fostering mutual understanding and avoiding conflict between the US, China, and Russia. The history of the three bilateral relationships: China and the US, Russia and the US, and China and Russia
Areas of interest: Foreigners in North Korea, focusing on foreign students and their experiences of everyday life and social control; anthropology; cultural studies
Areas of interest: Chinese migration and diaspora; women and gender history; identity formation; transnational history
Areas of interest: Contemporary history and politics; foreign policy, especially China’s role in global governance; international security; national identity and cross-cultural negotiation in authoritarian regimes
Areas of interest: Local governance in China, state-society relations in China, Central-local relations in China, and accountability in Authoritarian regimes
Lily Amelia Susman
Areas of interest: Culture and society in modern and contemporary China; East Asian transnational cultural history; Women and Gender Studies; Modernity, nationalism, and revolution
Areas of interest: Comparative study of the open innovation management system between the US and Japan; the impact of flow of people, talent and technology in organizations.
Areas of interest: Security in Northeast Asia, US-Japan alliance and Okinawa, Futenma relocation issue, Political leadership
Areas of interest: Zainichi Koreans, a Korean minority residing in Japan, and focus on identity studies, how they struggle with that identity, and how they manifest through social media outlets and the struggles they face online and in daily life from others/Japanese society.
Areas of interest: Economic history of modern China; Income inequality in China (the urban-rural divide); East Asian Buddhist art.
Areas of interest: Social and political history of late imperial China; Gender Studies
Areas of interest: China's economic, political and security objectives in the Central and South Pacific, especially in connection with the Belt and Road initiative
Areas of interest: Gender, kinship and family in late imperial China; translated novels and their influences on genre development
Shirley (Xuehan) Zhao
Areas of interest: Modern Chinese history, historical and contemporary Sino-Japanese relations, history and memory
Areas of interest: Comparative literature, focusing on the comparison of Chinese and American literature; environmental and medical humanities; theatre studies