I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, and just graduated from Yale University where I majored in Political Science and studied Russian and Indonesian. While in Russia I will be exploring the participation of women in the workforce and politics under the guidance of the Independent Women's Social Center in Pskov. I am particularly interested in how formal institutions (such as laws and written codes) interact with informal institutions and conventions (stereotypes and traditions) to affect women's participation in the workforce, as well as how these opportunities have been changing since the fall of the USSR.
Although I have been to Russia twice-once to St. Petersburg and once to Tver-I have never spent an extended period of time in Russia. I am therefore very excited for the opportunity not only to improve my Russian but also to experience the culture first-hand for ten months. When I return to the United States I plan to enter graduate school (figuring out which programs to apply to is my main task for August!).
In my spare time I enjoy horseback riding, soccer, piano and traveling.