MA Student Profiles

 

2016—2017 M.A. Students

Kelly Davis is pursuing a Master’s degree in European and Mediterranean Studies in completion of the BA/MA program at NYU. As an undergraduate she minored in German and studied abroad in Berlin, Paris and Dublin, where she studied cultural identity and national narrative. She has a number of different passions that have led her to grasp an understanding of environmental and social issues and fueled her role in student activism on NYU’s campus. Her other intellectual passions are reflected in her undergraduate thesis on perceptions of guns and security in Ireland and Germany, and her desire to pursue research on community gardens in Berlin. With her Master’s she aims to explore the accessibility and promise of higher education in Europe as well as increase her expertise in understanding the structure and impact of grassroots organizing. Through these topics, she hopes to foster a developing interest in transatlantic relations on both policy and community organizing levels.

David Eichert is enrolled in the Master's in European and Mediterranean Studies program at CEMS. Originally from Northern California, he graduated with university honors from Brigham Young University, where he double-majored in Political Science and French Studies. His honors thesis took him to Belgium, where he was privileged to research European separatist party politics with the European Free Alliance. Furthermore, after graduation he interned at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society under Professor Jonathan Zittrain, and studied international human rights law at the Riga Graduate School of Law in Latvia. He has spent a considerable amount of time living & working in Francophone Europe and thinks that Belgian waffles and fries are better than French baguettes, but just barely. David's research interests include Europe's overlapping legal regimes, genocide studies, and human rights promotion (including the rights of historically oppressed ethnic groups, minority religions, and LGBTQ+ people). After completing his studies at NYU, David plans to enroll in a joint JD-PhD program and study international human rights law.

Daniel Hoffman is enrolled in the joint Master’s in Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. He holds a B.A and M.A. in Journalism from Sciences Po Paris. Fluent in French, English and Hebrew, he has lived in Paris, Washington D.C. and Jerusalem. Most recently, while in Israel, he served as editor-in-chief of Haaretz’s French-speaking culture and lifestyle magazine, Essence. His freelance work has appeared in La Vie, Le Parisien, RTL and RTL-TVI. His academic interests include religious trends in the Middle East, the history of Jerusalem, and various aspects of modern Israeli society.

Alec Newell is enrolled in the Master’s in European and Mediterranean Studies at CEMS. He received a B.A. in History from Bard College in 2015.  He specialized in early 20th century British cultural history, focusing his research on the impact of the First World War on the English modernist art movement, Vorticism. While studying at Bard College, Alec also acted as a history and writing tutor in the Bard Prison Initiative program, aiding incarcerated students in working towards an Associates or Bachelors degree. In the future, he intends to continue studying the dynamics between pop culture and visual art in post World War I England.

Joshua Roberts is enrolled in the Master's in European and Mediterranean Studies program at CEMS. He earned a B.A. from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU, where he developed a concentration focusing on the sociology of religion, particularly Islam in the Middle East and North Africa. He also minored in French. His primary research interests include the history of Islam in France, how North African communities in France figure into narratives of national identity, and political debates revolving around Islam in France.

Simone Somekh is enrolled in the joint M.A. program in Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. Born and raised in Italy, he is completing his B.A. at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. Simone has worked with publications based in Milan, Jerusalem, New York, Tokyo, and Berlin, covering a wide range of topics. At Tel Aviv Fashion Week 2015, he was the youngest reporter to work in the press room. His interests include media framing analysis, foreign policy, research on pop culture, and anything related to Beyoncé.

Alexander Vlachakis is enrolled in the joint Master’s in Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. He worked on issues of trans femininity as part of his Sociology Master's at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. Originally from Greece, he moved to Paris in 2012 and graduated from the University of Paris­Sorbonne where he received a B.A in English with a minor in General Linguistics. He speaks French and Greek fluently and has been occasionally working as a language assistant for immigrants in Athens and Paris. Over the past two years, he was briefly involved in several initiatives concerning reception and housing of refugees in Europe a subject he wishes to work on as part of his graduate studies in Journalism at NYU.

Kyle Walker hails from the dusty lands of the Rio Grande valley and calls Albuquerque, New Mexico home. He left at 18 to study physics and philosophy at the University of Tulsa, but the most important thing he learned at the university was how to dance. This came in handy when, studying abroad in Vienna, he attended a ball at the former winter palace of the Habsburgs. Now, Kyle is pursuing the joint Master's in Journalism and European and Mediterreanean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. The former editor in chief of his college newspaper, he has also written for the Overseas Press Club Bulletin, the Bigheart Times, and This Land magazine. Despite the many challenges of standing six feet and seven inches tall, Kyle still makes time for dancing and playing the accordion. His interests include the politics of European integration; international law and criminal justice; poetry, literature, and the arts; and the modern-day fallout of erstwhile European empires.

 
2015—2016 M.A. Students

Anna Bokun is enrolled in the Master's in European and Mediterranean Studies program at CEMS. She earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Chicago. After graduation, she has worked as a Research Fellow at the Illinois State Board of Education, analyzing data pertaining to school districts and education legislation. She has also studied at La Fundación José Ortega y Gasset in Toledo, Spain, where she gained interest in European cultural identity. Her research interests include post-communist divergence, border creation, and collective memory in Central and Eastern Europe. On a grander scale, she is curious about the relationship between revolution and power, most notably in the Russian Revolution and early 20th century movements.

Laura Bright is enrolled in the Master's in European and Mediterranean Studies at CEMS, with a concentration in European Politics and Policy. She attended Texas State University as a recipient of the Terry Foundation Scholarship, earning a B.A. in International Studies with a European focus and a minor in Spanish and Honors Studies. Her passion for European history led her to attend the University of Leeds and travel extensively throughout the United Kingdom studying medieval history. Laura also spent time in France conducting research to determine the exact position from which Claude Monet observed the landscape painted in The Cliff, Étretat, Sunset, using it to calculate the date and time of the scene depicted. Her research team’s work was published in multiple scholarly journals and respected sources worldwide. Her academic interests include cultural policy and diplomacy, as well as the interrelationship between politics and cultural institutions.

Amanda Carter is enrolled in the European Policy and Politics Master’s program at CEMS.  She received a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University in International Relations with a concentration in International Organizations and a regional Europe track.  She spent part of her junior year in Geneva, Switzerland studying international organizations and international law.  While in Geneva, she also held a position at an NGO, Global Social Observatory, for which she attended and reported on the meetings of the ILO, the UNHRC and the WTO.  Having a passion for women’s studies coupled with extensive European travel, she was inspired to write a research paper on the effects of the European integration on the proliferation of human trafficking and impunity of traffickers.  Since graduation, Amanda has been working as an International Program Manager at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  Her current academic research interests include European integration and its impact on social structure,  international law, and governance of marginalized groups in the EU. 

Jesse Coburn is enrolled in the joint Master’s in Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University. He has also studied at the Freie Universität Berlin, where he conducted research on the spatial politics of Cold War Berlin on a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His writing has appeared in Time Out New York, PIN—UP, and Stadtaspekte. Jesse is an editor-at-large at the German architecture magazine ARCH+, where he previously served as an assistant editor. His research interests include mass housing and urban peripheries, border disputes in recent European history, and informal and disruptive practices in cities.

Amanda Islambouli is pursuing a Master’s degree at CEMS, in her final year of NYU’s accelerated BA/MA program, and received her undergraduate degree in Global Liberal Studies, with a concentration in Politics, Rights, and Development. She minored in both French and Arabic/Middle-Eastern studies, and wrote her undergraduate thesis on the Syrian refugee crisis response in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan. She also spent her junior year living in Paris, taking classes at NYU Paris and Sciences Po, during which time she traveled to Lebanon to conduct research for her thesis. She is a volunteer interpreter working with refugees at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and is also a member of the NGO Committee on Migration at the United Nations, where she works mainly on migrant children rights. Her academic interests include supranational governmental bodies, humanitarian studies, and foreign relations.

Jon Meyer is enrolled in the Master’s in European and Mediterranean Studies program at CEMS. He holds a B.A. in European and Mediterranean Studies and Political Science from New York University. During this time, he studied abroad in Germany and interned with the American Friends of Bucerius, an organization that works closely with other German-American institutions to bring awareness to transatlantic issues. His undergraduate research focused on the preservation of degenerate art during World War II, illustrating the dynamics between the enforcement of cultural policies and weaknesses of the Nazi regime. Jon’s current interests explore German politics, minority groups in Germany, cultural schisms between East and West Europe, and the use of visual arts as political statements.

Qiyao Pan is enrolled in the European and Mediterranean Studies Master’s Program at CEMS. She received her B.A. in Romanian Language and Literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University in China. She has also studied at the University of Bucharest and has extensive travel experience in Europe. Her primary research involves Holocaust in Romania during the Second World War. Her other research interests include European culture studies, modern European history, and cross-cultural studies. After completing her M.A. degree, Qiyao will pursue a PhD in History.

Carol Schaeffer is enrolled in the joint Master’s in Journalism and European and Mediterranean studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. She earned a B.A. in History of Art from Whitman College and an M.A. also in Art History at University College London. An ardent linguist, she speaks fluent French after living in Paris as well as German and smatterings of some Slavic languages. Following her M.A., she travelled throughout much of Europe. She began moving towards journalism following her travels, as she freelanced on issues relating to policing in the US. She is interested in policing, human rights and the region vaguely mapped as east of Berlin.

Katherine Whittaker is enrolled in the joint Master’s in Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. She earned a B.A. in English and Spanish with a minor in art at Elon University. During this time she studied abroad in Peru, India, and Argentina. After graduating, she was hired to teach English and work in a dormitory in Thessaloniki, Greece. Katie has been published in the Susquehanna Review; she has also written numerous articles for art organizations in Philadelphia. She is interested in issues of art and public and collective memory in the Mediterranean, and the way art is used as a vehicle for social change. 

2014—2015 M.A. Students

Nicholas Beck is enrolled in the Master's in European and Mediterranean Studies at CEMS. He is an active duty Army officer with over 13 years of professional experience.  His past assignments include a one-year tour of duty in the Republic of Korea, two deployments to Iraq at both the tactical and strategic levels, and most recently, a year of professional training at the US Embassy in Warsaw, Poland.  Nicholas has extensive travel experience in Europe, having visited 24 countries there in both official and unofficial capacities.  His academic research interests include the influence of Catholic culture on European society, as well as the role of religion in the secular public sphere.  Upon completion of the CEMS M.A. program, Nicholas will be assigned to the United States Embassy in London.

Jesse Coburn is enrolled in the joint Master’s in Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University. He has also studied at the Freie Universität Berlin, where he conducted research on the spatial politics of Cold War Berlin on a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). His writing has appeared in Time Out New YorkPIN—UP, and Stadtaspekte. Jesse is an editor-at-large at the German architecture magazine ARCH+, where he previously served as an assistant editor. His research interests include mass housing and urban peripheries, border disputes in recent European history, and informal and disruptive practices in cities.

Meichen (Paris) Liu received a joint bachelor’s degree in English and Finance from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in Guangzhou, China. She taught English in Poland and travelled extensively in Europe during her senior year in college. She is now a graduate student in the joint program of journalism/European and Mediterranean studies, where she expects to receive her master's degree in 2015. Her primary research interests involve the interactions between Europe and Asia, and especially those that have emerged during the past century. She has a particular interest in the history of European Jewry during the Holocaust, and is currently studying the effects of Jewish immigration to Shanghai during World War II on more recent interactions between China and Europe.

Mary Rogers-Szolc is enrolled in the Master’s in European and Mediterranean Studies at CEMS, with a concentration in European Culture and Society. She holds a B.A. in French and German from the University of Oklahoma. She spent part of her sophomore year studying archeology in Oxford, England where she gained interest in the effects of cultural identity through European colonization. She also studied European languages and literature in Stuttgart, Germany and traveled extensively throughout Europe as a junior. Her academic interests include globalization, nationalism, law, and cultural identity in Western Europe, particularly in Germany. After completing her M.A. degree, Mary will pursue a law degree.

Adrija Roychowdhury is enrolled in the Master’s in European and Mediterranean Studies program at CEMS. She holds a Bachelors degree in History from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. She also holds a Master’s degree in Modern Indian History from Department of History, Delhi University. Most of her research papers during undergraduate and postgraduate years have focused upon European colonization of India and the ripples they have left behind. Her current research interests include European cohabitation in India over 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and the kind of multicultural space created by them, focusing mainly on the Armenian, Portuguese, Scottish and British settlements.

Kavitha Surana holds a B.A. in Modern European History from Columbia University. She is currently pursuing the two-year Global and Joint Program Studies degree with the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies and the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Over summer 2014 she interned in the print and TV departments of The Associated Press' Rome bureau, where her work was published in The Guardian, Washington Post, Businessweek, ABC and Euronews, among others. During her time at CEMS she has also interned at CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS and Storyhunter.tv, a video journalism startup. She is currently the co-editor of Europe·NYC, the monthly newsletter of The New York Consortium for European Studies. Her academic interests include E.U. institutions; governance & regulations; and comparative capitalism, labor markets & welfare state research, with a special focus on Southern Europe. On the journalism side, she specializes in multimedia storytelling.

Athanasios G Taskas is enrolled in the Master’s in European and Mediterranean Studies program at CEMS, with a concentration in European Culture and Society. He holds a B.A. in history from Michigan State University, where his undergraduate research focused on modern European Culture and Migration, European Nationalism, and the history of modern Hellas. His primary research interests include the Macedonian Question, nation-building in the Balkan Peninsula, Transnationalism and Diaspora Studies tied to the Macedonian Issue, and Cultural Identity in the Balkans. 

Emily C. Tchir is enrolled in the Master’s in European and Mediterranean Studies at CEMS, with a concentration in European Culture and Society. She earned two bachelor's degrees from Pace University, the first being in Adolescent Education with a concentration in Social Studies, and the second being in History. She spent her undergraduate years as a student researcher and utilized her thesis to focused upon Elizabethan Era educational systems for the everyday people and how it formed the strong English nationalism. Her research on the achievement gap in two Hudson Valley Communities was published in the academic journal, Afro-Americans in New York Life and History in 2013. Additionally her student teaching was spent focusing on European History in both middle and high school. Her strong cultural and familial ties to Poland led her to attend Jagiellonian University in Krakow in a summer program where she studied Polish language, literature and history. Her research focus is in Polish history and the formation of it's cultural identity between the time periods of World War I and World War II. Her strong interests in individual European countries and the evolving EU drive her love to travel and gain cultural appreciation for individual nations.

Katherine Whittaker is enrolled in the joint Master’s in Journalism and European and Mediterranean Studies at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and CEMS. She earned a B.A. in English and Spanish with a minor in art at Elon University. During this time she studied abroad in Peru, India, and Argentina. After graduating, she was hired to teach English and work in a dormitory in Thessaloniki, Greece. Katie has been published in the Susquehanna Review; she has also written numerous articles for art organizations in Philadelphia. She is interested in issues of art and public and collective memory in the Mediterranean, and the way art is used as a vehicle for social change.