Traveling abroad as an exchange student in high school and college profoundly influenced Julie's social interests and political awareness. Her interest in Russian gender dynamics developed in Moscow while Julie conducted research for her senior honors thesis on the post-Soviet female detective novel on a Stanford University Undergraduate Research Grant. Reading the novels of best-selling pulp novelist Dar'ia Dontsova introduced her to ideas of New Traditionalism, a post-Soviet discourse advocating the female's return to a patriarchal domestic sphere – a domestic arena, nonetheless, that contains the potential for empowerment and political action.
Her honors thesis entitled, "Imagining Post-Soviet Reality: Depictions of Justice and Gender in Dar'ia Dontsova's Detective Fiction" won Stanford University's Golden Medal Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Honors Thesis in Comparative Literature. In 2004, Julie graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Comparative Literature, with Honors and with Distinction. In 2005, she completed an MA in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at Stanford while on a Foreign Language Area Scholarship.
Julie looks forward to having the opportunity to further her understanding of the unique and complex aspects of women's advocacy in Russia. By studying organizations of Soldiers' Mothers in St. Petersburg and Moscow, she will acquire first-hand knowledge of how activists' identity as women relates to their political goals and ideals.
Julie looks forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the impact and reception of women's political behavior in Russia during her Fulbright year in order to formulate a valuable comparative legal perspective to apply to her studies of the American legal system when she enters Columbia Law School in the fall of 2006.