Research & Regional Faculty Associates

REEEC Research Associates

REEEC Associates are colleagues who fall under at least one of four distinctions: 1.) they are currently employed by the university in a non-faculty position but wish by zero-time appointment to certify scholarly interests that would not be clear from their appointment; 2.) they are independent scholars who possess research interests in Russian, East European, and/or Eurasian studies and affiliation with REEEC gives standing to their individual research efforts; 3.) they are recent graduates from Illinois who were affiliated with REEEC during their studies at Illinois and wish to stay connected to the community; 4.) they are former Illinois faculty who were affiliated with REEEC and wish to stay connected. If you are interested in becoming a REEEC Associate, please contact REEEC at

REEEC Regional Faculty Associates

REEEC Regional Faculty Associates are faculty at smaller universities and colleges in our region who specialize in Russian, East European, and/or Eurasian studies. We invite others to join our community. If you are interested in becoming a REEEC Regional Faculty Associate, please contact REEEC at

Research Associates

  • Sara Brinegar,
    Former REEEC MA student and current History PhD student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. The role of the development and exploitation of oil in the formation of the Soviet Union, with particular reference to Azerbaijan.
  • Francis Butler,
    Slavic Languages and Literatures. PhD, Slavic, University of California, Berkeley. Early Russian writings; Kievan Rus.
  • Donald Chenoweth
    Russian politics
  • Ralph Clem,
    Emeritus Professor of Geography, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University. PhD, Geography with a concentration in Soviet Studies, Columbia University.
  • Celia Elliott,
    Director, External Affairs and Special Projects, Department of Physics. Since 1993, Eliot has assisted former nuclear weapons and bioweapons scientists from the former Soviet Union (FSU) to adapt to their new globalized world, traveling to the FSU 27 times. She is the author of two books that have been published in Russian by the International Science and Technology Center, one on preparing grant proposals and one on preparing scientific papers for publication in Western technical journals, and is finishing a third book on technical communications for scientists and engineers.
  • Rick Esbenshade
    Hungarian History
  • Erik Herron,
    Eberly Family Professor, Department of Political Science, West Virginia University. PhD, Political Science, Michigan State University.
  • Jack J. Hutchens,
    Instructor Polish and European Literature, Loyola University Chicago. Slavic Languages and Literatures PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Richard L. Jaehne,
    Director, Illinois Fire Service Institute. Former NATO commander. NATO involvement in the Balkans; International/homeland security; counter-terrorism.
  • Sara Kendzior,
    Journalist, researcher, and consultant. Op-ed columnist for Al Jazeera English and for the Vitae section of The Chronicle of Higher Education. PhD in Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis. Political anthropology, the internet and digital media, dissident politics, diaspora, nationhood, state conflict and violence, Islam, former Soviet Union, Central Asia, Uzbekistan.
  • Jung Ah Kim
    Lecturer, Russian Languages and Literatures, Seoul National University. PhD, Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois. 19th c. Russian literature; Dostoevsky.
  • Sanja Koric,
    Engineer Specialist, Facilities and Services
  • Barbara Maggs
    Russian History
  • Katherine McCarthy,
    PhD, History, University of Pittsburgh. Croatian history.
  • Ivan P. Nikolov,
    Director, Center for International Programs, Valdosta State University, Georgia. PhD, University of Sofia, Bulgaria. International education, Bulgarian education.
  • Richard Remnek
    Russian politics; EU enlargement and Eastern Europe.
  • Curtis Richardson,
    Independent Researcher and REEEC instructor. 20th century Russian literature; international disarmament and security.
  • Matthew Rosenstein,
    Director, Global Education and Training, Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies, University of Illinois. PhD, Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Illinois. 20th century Russian literature; international disarmament and security.
  • Helen Sullivan
    Librarian, Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library, University of Illinois
  • Elizabeth Talbot
    Retired Outreach Coordinator of REEEC. PhD, Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of North Carolina. Reviewer of textbooks on REEES for the Library Journal.
  • Alexandra Tipei
    Illinois alumna (BA, 2004) and Champaign native. PhD, History, Indiana University. Modern and Eastern Europe.
  • Brenda Trofanenko
    Trofanenko is an Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Culture, Community and Education at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. She is also a visiting professor at the University of Toronto.
  • Sasha Tsenkova,
    Professor in International Development and Planning, University of Calgary, Canada. PhD, Architecture, Technical University, Prague; PhD, Planning & Geography, University of Toronto. Comparative urban and housing policy in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Richard Vogen,
    Director of Planning, College of ACES. MBA, University of Illinois. Former Director of the International Operations for the US Grains Council. Russian grain market development and agribusiness management.
  • Rade Zinaic,
    Independent Researcher. PhD, Social and Political Thought, York University, Toronto. Knowledge production on the Balkans; Balkan revolutionaries; Marxism; dissidents; Cultural Studies; and South Slavic folklore.

Regional Faculty Associates

  • Elise Ahn, Project Manager, International Projects and UW-Madison Partnership with Nazarbayev University, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Marina Balina, Professor of Russian Language and Literature, Illinois Wesleyan University. 20th century Russian literature.
  • David Borgmeyer, Director of the Center for International Studies, Saint Louis University. PhD, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Cultural Identity and Civil Society in Russian and Eastern Europe, and 19th century Russian Literature
  • Charles Bukowski, Director of the Institute for International Studies, Bradley University. PhD, University of South Carolina. Politics and economics of Yugoslavia and the former Yugoslav Republics, especially Slovenia.
  • Andy Bruno, Associate Professor of History and Faculty Associate in Environmental Studies, Northern Illinois University. PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. History and Russian Studies.
  • John P. Carlson, Professor of Agriculture, Western Illinois University. PhD, Iowa State University. International Agriculture.
  • Terry D. Clark, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Graduate Program in International Relations, Creighton University. PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Russian and Lithuanian politics, democratization theory.
  • Laura Assistant Professor of Political Science, Millikin University. PhD, University of Kansas. Comparative politics, social movements, human rights, transnational feminism, gender and politics, migration politics and policy.
  • Kyle Evered, Assistant Professor of Geography, Michigan State University. PhD, University of Oregon. Cultural, environmental, and political geographies of Middle Eastern and post-Soviet regions.
  • Carol Gayle, Associate Professor of History, Lake Forest College. Russian and East European History, and Russian literature and film.
  • Elza Ibroscheva, Associate Professor of Mass Communications, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. PhD, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Bulgarian mass media industries; visual media analysis.
  • Daniel Kaiser, Professor of History, Joseph F. Rosenfield Professor of Social Studies, Grinnell College. PhD, University of Chicago. Medieval and early modern Russian history; Russian law; family life and urban culture.
  • Ann Kleimola, Professor, History Department, University of Nebraska. Eastern Europe, Medieval Russia, Women.
  • Mark Richard Lauersdorf, Associate Professor of Languages and Linguistics, University of Kentucky
  • Brian Locke, Associate Professor of Musicology, Western Illinois University. Music in the Czech Lands (Art music, Popular Music, Jazz), Nineteenth and Early-Twentieth Century Music, Jazz in Europe.
  • Jacek Lubecki, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Coordinator of International Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.
  • Susan Mikula, Professor of History, Benedictine University.
  • Anna Muller, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, University of Michigan-Dearborn. PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington. Modern and cultural history in Central and East Europe and gender in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union.
  • Rosina Neginsky, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, English and Liberal Studies/Individual Option, University of Illinois at Springfield. European cinema, international women writers and the Symbolist Movement in Europe.
  • Bruce Newman, Professor of Marketing, DePaul University. Editor, Journal of Political Marketing. Political Marketing and Consumer Behavior.
  • Joel Ostrow, Professor of International Business and Political Science, Benedictine University. PhD, University of California, Berkeley. Political and economic transformation of the postcommunist states of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
  • Ronald Pope, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Illinois State University. PhD, University of Pennsylvania. Russian politics and society, business and legal culture.
  • Stephen D. Press,, Associate Professor of Music History, Illinois Wesleyan University. PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Sean Pollock,, Associate Professor of History, Wright State University. PhD, Harvard University. History.
  • Robert Przygrodzki, Course Instructor, Western Governors University. Architecture, Arts & Culture, Civil Society, Russia, Poland.
  • Joel Quam, Professor of Geography, College of DuPage. Regional Geography of the former Soviet Union (especially Russia, Estonia, Latvia).
  • Steven D. Roper, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nazarbayev University. PhD, University of Missouri. European and Post-Communist politics focusing on southern Europe, specifically Romania and Moldova; international law and human rights.
  • Nancy Scannell, Associate Professor of Business Administration, University of Illinois, Springfield. Finance, Money & Banking, Transitional Economies, European Union.
  • Edward A. D. Schatz, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto. PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • Anita Shelton, PhD, University of Washington. Professor and Chair of History, East Europe, Russia, modern Europe.
  • Susan Smith, Temporary Assistant Professor of History, Bradley University
  • Ronald Spahr, Professor and Chair, Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, University of Memphis. PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Finance and Banking in Russia; Consulting and teaching in an MBA program in Russia since 1995.
  • Charles Steinwedel, Associate Professor of History, Northeastern Illinois University. PhD, Columbia University. Russian/Soviet history; empire, nation, religion and social status in late imperial Russia; Bashkortostan and the Volga-Urals region.
  • Roshanna Sylvester, Associate Professor of History, DePaul University. PhD, Yale University. Russian history, history of crime, gender, class, ethnicity, urban history.
  • Paul Valliere, Professor of Religion, Butler University. PhD, Columbia University. Russian Orthodoxy and culture; modern religious thought.
  • Christine Varga-Harris, Associate Professor of History, Illinois State University. PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Russian/Soviet history; post-war Soviet cultural history.
  • Anika Walke, Assistant Professor of International and Area Studies, Washington University in St. Louis. In-depth analysis of the confluence of memory discourses and perceptions of migration in the German and Soviet/Russian contexts.
  • Robert Bruce Ware, Professor of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. DPhil, Oxford University. Political philosophy, Political Islam, Caucasus and Central Asia, Post-Soviet politics.
  • Theodore R. Weeks, Professor of History, Southern Illinois University. PhD, University of California at Berkeley. Minority nationality in Late Imperial Russia; Polish-Jewish relations.
  • Sally West, Professor of History, Truman State University. PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Imperial Russia, consumer culture, nationalities, world history.
  • William B. Whisenhunt, Professor of History/Political Science, College of DuPage. Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago. Russian and Soviet History; 18th and 19th century Russian intellectual, political and social; Russian-American relations.
  • Robert L. Whiting, Course Mentor, General Education: Geography, Western Governor’s State. PhD. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Richard Wolfel, Associate Professor of Geography, United States Military Academy. PhD, Indiana University. Cultural and political geography with regional interests in Central Asia; nationalism and the urban built environment, post-Soviet political development and the influence of nationalism on tourism.
  • Christine Worobec, Professor of History, Northern Illinois University. PhD, University of Toronto. Social and cultural history of Imperial Russia and modern Ukraine, focusing on Russian and Ukrainian peasantries, the history of women, and popular religion.
  • Tatyana V. Zabotina, Professor, College of Business and Management. PhD, University of SUNY-Binghamton. Market Microstructure, Investments, International Financial Markets, Time Series Analysis, Corporate Finance.
  • Russell Zanca, Professor of Anthropology, Northeastern Illinois University. PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Cultural anthropology of Central Asia, post-Soviet economies, Islam and Muslim societies, Eurasian labor migration and globalization.