Alumni Profiles

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 If you're a graduate of our department, please let us know what you're doing so that we can include you here! Contact Jordon Ropson with your information.


John Alexander, A.B. in Russian and Classics, 2012

After graduating from UGA, I spent a summer at the Arabic-Persian-Turkish Language Immersion Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on a FLAS fellowship. I then moved to Scotland to attend the University of Glasgow, where I joined two other UGA graduates - including Winn Davis, another Germanic and Slavic Studies graduate - in pioneering a new International Master's program in Russian, Central and East European Studies. For the second year of that program, I went to Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland, and I liked it so much there that I stayed to find a job. I began an internship with the Kościuszko Institute and was hired by them to help organize a major cybersecurity conference, which took place in September, 2015. After that, I moved to Warsaw, where I now work for a large translation and marketing firm as a content reviewer. I am currently applying to Ph.D. programs in History.


Justin Cade, A.B. in Germanic & Slavic Languages and History, 2006

Justin Cade 200x200.jpgI graduated from UGA in December 2006 with a dual degree in History and Germanic and Slavic Languages. My undergraduate degree prepared me well for a Master’s program in Slavic and East European Studies at Ohio State. Since receiving my MA in 2009, I have taught intermediate-level Russian courses at OSU, performed contract work in support of the U.S. Navy, managed a State-Department-sponsored research grant on organized crime and corruption in Russia and worked on the Language Flagship programs at American Councils for International Education.

I currently work with international programs in the College of Arts and Sciences at Georgia State University. Among my primary responsibilities is assisting incoming international exchange students in obtaining visas, registering for courses and helping them with other aspects of adjusting to academic life in the US. For some exchange programs, I help a small handful of outbound GSU students with things like visa applications, course registration and networking with our partners abroad. Lately I have been busy working on 17 spring break study abroad programs in the College from Japan to the Virgin Islands and everywhere between!

One could say I lucked into my current position. I had been working in international education for about five years, mostly in the Washington, DC, area. Tired of DC-area real estate prices and a little homesick, I made the decision to move closer to home and actually found my job at Georgia State while browsing higheredjobs.com one evening. I would have been happy to have found a job anywhere in the South, but returning home to the Atlanta area was an ideal scenario. 

My degree in Germanic and Slavic Languages provided me with the language skills and cultural expertise necessary for a career in an increasingly interconnected world, but the impact of my degree goes well beyond what I learned in Joe Brown Hall. Had someone told me in high school that by the time I left college, I would speak two languages and would have studied abroad in Russia, I never would have believed them. The department enabled me to discover my academic strengths and passions while developing me both as a student and as a person in ways I never thought possible, and the cross-cultural communication skills I mastered in the department come in handy every day as I help make the world a smaller and more accessible place for American and international students alike. 


Jeremy Johnson, A.B. in Russian and History, 2005

Jeremy200x200.jpgI am currently a PhD candidate in the interdepartmental program in Anthropology and History at the University of Michigan. I run the University of Michigan Eurasia Collective, which is an interdisciplinary workshop that brings together graduate students and faculty with an interest in East Europe and Eurasia for cultural activities, lectures, and works-in-progress workshops. I have been the instructor for the introduction to Russian studies course and I am also affiliated with the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, where I did my MA work.

After graduating from UGA I took a position as a research associate at the Kettering Foundation, where I worked with scholars and policy-makers on issues of democratization.  I went on to pursue an MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Michigan and a PhD in Anthropology and History.  My research focuses on issues of language, literacy and nationality in the South Caucasus during the 1920s and 1930s. While completing my course work I received FLAS fellowships for studying the Armenian, Russian and Georgian languages. As a young scholar of the region, I was invited to participate in a State Department panel about the 2008 Georgian-Russian war and I have been involved with several projects involving the region.  While pursuing research abroad I received fellowships from American Councils and the Melon Foundation. I taught courses in Anthropology and writing at Tbilisi State Medical University. I also managed and ran American Councils’ language school in Tbilisi and was the local coordinator for several study abroad programs including the Critical Languages Scholarship program for Russian.  Currently I am based in Ann Arbor as a Doroles Zohrab Liebmann pre-doctoral fellow.  My dissertation is entitled “Literacy Unveiled: Citizenship, Nationality, Gender and the Campaigns to Eradicate Illiteracy in the Soviet South Caucasus 1922-1936” and is based on archival research in Georgia and Armenia.

My studies at UGA strongly shaped my interests and career path. I use the critical, analytical and language skills I developed at UGA daily. As someone who studies an understudied but strategically important part of the world, I have many possible career opportunities after my dissertation defense next spring.  While I hope to gain employment as a professor at a tier-one research university, I know that there are many other ways to utilize the skills I have acquired as a student of Russian studies.


Joseph Wolpin, A.B. in Russian and History, 2003

jwolpin200x200.jpgI graduated from UGA in 2003 with degrees in History and Russian. Following graduation, I was fortunate to receive both the Fulbright scholarship, which allowed me to conduct independent research in Russia, and the Marshall scholarship, through which I earned a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Russian and Post-Soviet studies. Seeking to broaden my educational background, I then studied law, graduating from Harvard Law School in 2009. Currently, I work as a capital markets lawyer in London with the international law firm Linklaters LLP. I previously worked in Moscow for more than three years as well, and having advised on a number of IPOs and debt issuances by Russian companies, I used my Russian language skills regularly. However, following the introduction of Russia-related sanctions by the United States and European Union, my work with Russia has significantly decreased. Nevertheless, Russia remains and will continue to be an important player in international relations and business, and my time in the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies at UGA provided me with invaluable linguistic skills and cultural understanding that has allowed me to stay professionally involved in this fascinating part of the world.   

 
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