Alex is a B.A. student double majoring in Russian and Eurasian Studies (REST) and International Politics. His research interests include NATO and Russian security, the Russian diaspora, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the politics of historical memory. As an undergraduate, Alex has been fortunate to write articles on some of these issues for PONARS Eurasia and The Cipher Brief.
I would advise REST students to take advantage of opportunities on campus to further their expertise. The Cipher Brief, a national security-focused publication, has a partnership with GMU called the Academic Incubator that allows students to publish their analyses. Volunteering to cover events with the Schar School or other Mason colleges also allows you to start getting published. Campus RSOs like the Russian Club also allow you to network with similar-minded students and get advice on study abroad programs that people did. Luckily, the club is still active virtually!
Alex is also applying for the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Scholarship in Azerbaijan in 2021-2022 and is seeking a graduate degree program in strategic studies. Even though he is passionate about Eurasia, having studied in Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and lived in Russia, Alex wants to generalize his skill set to better serve in the State Department or as a private sector security analyst down the road.
Most of my professors and career mentors advise me to diversify beyond Russia. I adhere to the classic international affairs formula: know a region (i.e. Russia) + know a functional area very well (arms control, alliances, energy, etc.) that can be applied to other regions.
Alex has been taking advantage of all that Mason has to offer. Here are his publications, including a new op-ed on Belarus: