Research

I study comparative politics and international relations, with a regional focus on the former Soviet Union and Latin America. My broad research interests include social mobilization, economic transition, and the political effects of migration and remittances. My previous projects have focused on international aid in Belarus and Ukraine, and Soviet-Cuban bilateral cooperation initiatives.

In June 2021 I completed my MPhil dissertation in the Politics and International Studies department at the University of Cambridge. My project compared how differing political conditions in Belarus and Ukraine affected the provision of international aid to victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. A summary of my findings was published on the website of Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

During 2019 and 2020, I conducted research on Soviet-Cuban educational exchange programs for my BA and MA degrees at Harvard University. From June-August 2020, I spent one month in Moscow and two months in Havana collecting hundreds of Soviet archival documents and conducting over 50 semi-structured interviews diplomats and graduates of Soviet universities. I completed the thesis, titled “From the ‘Island of Freedom’ to the Iron Curtain: Rethinking the Role of Soft Power in Soviet-Cuban Educational Exchange Programs,” in March 2020. The project was awarded a summa grade and won several prizes, including the Hoopes Prize and the Hammond Prize, for the best undergraduate thesis related to Spanish-speaking Latin America. In November 2020, I presented a paper based my research at the 2020 Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). A manuscript exploring some of my findings is currently under peer review for a special edition of Cahiers du Monde russe.

In another research project, I used qualitative interviews and archival documents to analyze Cuba’s reaction to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I presented preliminary findings at the Taras Shevchenko Conference at Indiana University in March 2020 and the virtual convention of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) in August 2020. The paper won a graduate award at the ASCE convention.

My research has been featured on two podcasts. Feel free to listen here and here!