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210 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1397

Phone: (608) 262-3379
Fax: (608) 890-0267



News & Highlights


Welcome to our New REECAS M.A. Students


This fall, CREECA welcomes four students to the M.A. program in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (REECAS).
Our students come from diverse backgrounds and have a variety of interests. Here’s a little bit more about them. If you see them around campus, please say hello and introduce yourselves!


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Clockwise from the upper left: Lauren Schulte, Brian Kilgour, Alexander Gran and Mike Panaro.


Lauren Schulte is from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. She recently graduated from Lawrence University, where she majored in history and Russian, with a minor in gender studies.
Lauren is interested in the Caucasus, specifically Chechnya. She hopes to examine the ways in which the intersections of race, gender, and religion shaped and influenced conflicts in Chechnya and former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Her future goal is to work for an NGO in Russia or Eastern Europe.


Brian Kilgour graduated from Carleton College in 2011 with a double major in Russian and international relations. He was a Fulbright Graduate Student Researcher in Ulan-Ude during the 2011-2012 academic year, where he focused on culturally sustainable tourism development in Buryatia.
Brian returns to academia after working for a time at Epic. He intends to pursue his interest in ethnic communities in Russia's borderlands and their relationships with both Moscow and bordering neighbors. Upon completion of the M.A. program, Brian hopes to continue his academic career and earn a Ph.D.


Alexander Gran was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he studied history and Russian. He is interested in Soviet history and Soviet foreign policy during the Cold War era. Alexander hopes to pursue academic research at the Ph.D. level.


Major Mike Panaro holds a B.S. in International Politics from the United States Military Academy (2000). His interests include military transformation and modernization efforts, particularly in Russia and Ukraine. He was most recently assigned as the Country Desk Officer for the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan at the Headquarters of U.S. Army Central.
MAJ Panaro has traveled extensively and participated in FAO internships in the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He has also served as a Cavalry Troop Commander and a Tank Company Commander in Iraq, and has held numerous other military assignments in the United States, Germany, and Kosovo.


Congratulations to REECAS MA Graduate, Major Dan Singleton!


danMajor Dan Singleton joined the REECAS MA program as a Eurasian Foreign Area Officer (FAO) in fall 2013. His goal was to gain deeper knowledge of the region’s history and politics and to further his study of regional languages. During his time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, MAJ Singleton studied Turkish in addition to advanced Russian.


MAJ Singleton came with a background in international politics and says he benefitted most from his regionally focused courses such as History of Russia, History of Central Asia and Modern Eastern Europe.


For incoming FAOs, MAJ Singleton has a few words of advice. He recommends that those picking up a new language begin with an intensive summer language program. And that new students, especially those with families, live close to campus. At present MAJ Singleton is in Germany, settling into his new job as political-military officer in the United States European Command. He will be working as a desk officer in the Black Sea region.


Congratulations to CREECA Students!


It’s been a great year for graduate students in the REECAS M.A. and certificate programs. We are pleased to announce that the following awards and honors were received over the past academic year:


MayaLisa Holzmann (History; Mellon-CES Dissertation Completion Fellowship)


Melissa Miller (Slavic Languages and Literature; UW-Madison Teaching Academy Future Faculty Partner and L & S Teaching Fellow Award)


Brian Pikaard (M.A. in REECAS; 2014-15 Boren Fellowship)


Read more about these

outstanding students here!



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