I am originally from Texas, where I lived for 16 years, after which I moved to Kansas. In Kansas, I attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, pursuing a bachelor's degree of arts in Slavic languages and literature and history. I served a year in Army ROTC there. In 2021, I began my MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Illinois, where I will graduate in May 2023. In 2017, I began study of Russian language, and studied abroad in Russia in Moscow for five weeks in the summer of 2019. Upon returning from Russia, I began study of Ukrainian, and currently I am studying Polish. Previously, I have studied French in high school, a semester of German in Kansas, and Tatar over the summer of 2022.
I am interested in religion, theology, language, military history, ethnic relations and politics, and political history from Eastern Europe, specifically in Ukraine and Russia.
I am examining the role of Ukrainian kobzari, historically a group of wandering blind minstrels, in contemporary Ukraine. The kobzari claim to continue a tradition that is authentically Ukrainian and essential for the revival of Ukrainian culture in the face of Russian cultural influence. Especially with the war, I will be examining the activities of the contemporary guilds and artists, their statements and attitudes towards Ukrainian culture.
University of Kansas, BA in History and Slavic Languages and Literature, 2017-2020
University of Illinois, MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, 2021-2023