Current Student Bios
A Few of Our Current Students
Coming from a variety of regions, backgrounds and disciplines, TAM students create a unique community focused on diverse topics related to Europe and the transatlantic relationship. Whether at UNC or abroad, students attest to the supportive and inclusive environment TAM fosters, and many graduates cite the community as one of the best aspects of the program.
Class of 2022
Mercer is from Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from UNC-CH in May 2020. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in History and Contemporary European Studies with a Hispanic Studies Minor. She received Highest Honors on her senior history thesis, “Resistance Made in Hollywood: American Movies on Nazi Germany, 1939-1945.” She is an avid reader and film fan. Her love of history and want for social change motivates her academic pursuits. Mercer is enrolled in the European Governance Tack of TAM. She intends to study the rise of right-wing politics in Europe and in the future hopes to live in the DC area to foster the Transatlantic Relationship at home.
Salim is a native Charlottean (though born in San Francisco, CA and relocated as a baby). He received his undergraduate education at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and graduated this past May, 2020. He majored in Political Science (BS) with a concentration in International Politics, and 2 minors in German and Geography. He spent a semester of study in Mannheim, Germany and is looking forward to spending his second year of TAM in Berlin, Germany at Humboldt Universitàt. He will potentially spend the Spring 2021 semester studying in Ankara, Turkey at METU. He’ll be starting Turkish instruction this semester at UNC, adding to his linguistic abilities in German and Arabic. His research interests are currently indeterminate, but he would like to focus on EU security and integration policy, and ways to build a more collaborative, cohesive Europe.
Salim has recently started writing for The Daily Tar Heel. Check out some of his work here:
Philip is 23 years old and comes from a city called Jonkoping in Sweden. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in Conflict Transformation Studies with a concentration on political science from North Park University in Chicago. His research interests within TAM and for the future are within the foreign policy of the European Union, especially related to CFSP. He will continue the second year of TAM studies at the University of Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden.
Jalyn will be studying between UNC and Grenoble, France in the Transatlantic Studies track.
He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2017 with a B.A. in Global Studies and minors in French and Arabic. During his time in undergrad, he studied abroad in Morocco, France, and Jordan. After graduation, he did two years of youth development work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.
As of now, his research interests include immigration into the EU from Africa and the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Syrian refugee crises, social and education policies, multilingualism, and anti-trafficking efforts for missing and exploited children.
Clayton Petty, originally from Pinehurst, North Carolina, graduated magna cum laude with International Honors from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2019 where he holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in German and Music Studies, as well as a minor in European Studies. A Lloyd International Honors Scholar, Clayton received the competitive Anne F. Baecker Scholarship to study at the Universität Stuttgart in 2018 and was inducted to the Kappa Eta Chapter of the National German Honorary Society Delta Phi Alpha (Nationale Deutsche Ehrenverbindung) for his accomplishments and commitment to the collegiate study of German. Upon graduating from UNC Greensboro, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures presented him with the Undergraduate German Award for Academic Achievement and Student Excellence. Now furthering his education, Clayton currently attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is pursuing the Transatlantic track of UNC’s Transatlantic Masters (TAM) Program and will be attending Humboldt Universität zu Berlin for his second year of graduate study. His research interests are centered around international environmental law and policy development, sustainable transportation, and corporate social responsibility. For his thesis, Clayton is researching comparative political responses, policy approaches, and revisions made to legal systems and corporate strategy in Germany, the United States, as well as the greater European Union as a result of Volkswagen AG’s 2015 Diesel Emissions case. He plans to address the shift in European public opinion and political attitudes regarding the sustainability of diesel motors and their role in climate change, as well as the renewed push for the advancement of sustainable transportation policy in the EU and abroad, while also accentuating the effects of this case on international environmental and consumer protection law.
Class of 2021
Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Bridget Killian is a recent graduate of UNC Chapel Hill where sheobtained Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Global Studies with a minor in History. During her time at UNC, she developed an avid interest in environmental and political activism, which fueled her academic pursuits. Her research interests include sustainability policy development and the role intergovernmental organizations play in combatting global environmental issues. She will spend her second year completing the program through the VU Amsterdam.
Maura Kitchens graduated in 2019 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Contemporary European Studies and minors in Geography, and German. Maura calls Wilmington home, but has also lived in the DC area and Charlotte. She will pursue study on the Transatlantic Track. She hopes to use the knowledge she has gained both inside and outside the classroom to act as a champion of social justice, mental health awareness, international relations, geopolitics, and migration practices in the future. Instead of going overseas in the fall of 2020, Maura is working on her thesis. She plans to go to Spain this spring.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Abigail Lantz spent the past four years working at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington D.C. As an Associate I for the Financial Security and Mobility team, she conducted policy research on the financial well- being of American families to create opportunities for economic mobility and access to the American dream. In this role, Abigail executed a major qualitative research project on workers vulnerable to poverty across 11 U.S. locations. Abigail also worked as a Program Assistant for Pew’s Government Relations team, communicating and strategizing Pew’s federal policy objectives on financial security and mobility, antibiotics resistance, substance use prevention and treatment, dental health, drug safety and criminal justice reform. Abigail also interned at the U.S. Embassy in Paris and independently researched and published diplomatic cables on French counterterrorism efforts after the 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attacks. She also interned at the MacArthur Foundation, the Office of the Mayor of the City of Chicago, and the U.S. Senate. Abigail graduated in 2014 with a B.A. in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was a scholarship student-athlete. While at UNC, she studied abroad in Rome, Italy. Abigail’s research interests include conflict management and alternative forms of dispute resolution and diplomacy, including access to economic opportunity and gastrodiplomacy. In her second year of TAM, she is pursuing coursework through Gothenburg University.
Sarah Lime grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with majors in German, International Studies, and Women’s Studies. Enrolled in the Transatlantic Studies track, Sarah is looking forward to studying at the Humboldt University in Berlin. During her time as a TAM student, Sarah hopes to expand upon the research she conducted for her senior honors thesis, titled “Reinstituting the Laws of Nature: Nazi Constructions of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality.” Instead of going overseas in the fall of 2020, Sarah is working on her thesis. She plans to go overseas this spring.
LoLo Morley is from Winston-Salem, NC. She received her B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill with majors in Contemporary European Studies and Peace, War, and Defense and a minor in Hispanic Studies. She is part of the German-Turkish Studies track of TAM. She is now in Berlin for her second year of the program. Her research interests revolve around the relationship between right-wing populist parties, their constituents, and refugees, and how they directly or indirectly affect each other.
Jay Morgan graduated from American University December 2014 with a double major in an awkwardly longinterdisciplinary form of PoliSci called CLEG (Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government) and International Studies. He has lived in the DC area since graduating with a stint in Berlin working for the German Bundestag in 2016. He is on the Transatlantic Studies track. Now in his second year of the program, he is in Berlin and plans to study at Humboldt University. He is interested in researching the EU’s efforts to craft a common foreign policy.