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 2024 – this is our largest TAM class ever with twenty-nine students. Please read a few of their bios below.
Cassandra Alvarino is from Greensboro, North Carolina and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2022 with degrees in Global Studies and Contemporary European Studies. She wrote an undergraduate honors thesis titled, “Turks in Germany: Analyzing the Voting Behavior of Germany’s Largest Minority.” Cassandra is on the European Governance track in TAM and planning to go to Gothenburg during her second year. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, environmental policy-making, international law, the politics of green energy, and European social policy.
Sinan (Turkish, German) holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Bamberg, Germany. Sinan completed his degree with an undergraduate thesis on the “Counterterrorism Policy of the European Union”. He has undertaken an academic exchange semester at Istanbul Bilgi University in Fall 2019, studying Turkish foreign and domestic policies, and has studied at Charles University Prague in Fall 2020, whereby he gained expertise in the security policy domain. Sinan has interned as a DAAD PROMOS grantee in the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation’s Greece foreign office based in Athens, researching policies of the Néa Dimokratía government as well as Greek-Turkish relations. Thereby, he has co-published an academic paper dealing with the 2021 Cypriot legislative election results. Furthermore, he has worked as a Research Assistant at the Institute of International Relations Prague, whereby he has co-published an article on the recent Turkish-Egyptian rapprochement and its role in downgrading Russian diplomatic and military expansion in the EU’s southern neighborhood. Sinan is an alumnus of the “Beyond Erasmus” project of the European Neighbourhood Council, a Brussels-based foreign-policy think tank, and the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation in Turkey through his engagement in EU-Turkish relations. Furthermore, he is an alumnus of the 9th Greek-Turkish Young Leaders Symposium, a project of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation fostering academic exchange between Greek and Turkish scholars. Coming to TAM as a Fulbright scholar, Sinan will undertake his second year at Bath University. His research interests are the evolvement of the modus operandi of the terrorist threat and its implications for counterterrorism efforts.
Allison (USA) holds a BS in Business Administration and a BA in Contemporary European Studies with a minor in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest distinction. While an undergraduate, Allison also studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) in Spring of 2021 and Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Fall of 2021 as a GLOBE Scholar, through Kenan-Flagler Business School. Allison completed a Senior Honors Thesis, When Pragmatism Prompts Recentralization: EU Accession and Executive Constraints in the Czech Republic and Hungary, which considers the role that pre- and post-accession EU funding played in the recentralization of national governments in the ‘big bang’ CEE countries. Allison was a part of the Young Global Professional Summer 2022 cohort at a transatlantic foreign policy think tank, the Atlantic Council, in their Europe Center based in Washington D.C. In the summer of 2021, she was an intern for the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Prague. In the summer of 2019, she was an intern for the European Affairs Communications Department of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic. Allison will begin the European Governance (dual-degree) Track of the Transatlantic Master’s program at UNC-Chapel Hill in Fall 2022. Her planned partner site is the Humboldt University in Berlin. She is a FLAS recipient for the academic year 2022-2023 for Turkish. Her current research interests are Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and EU Accession and conditionality. Over the course of the program, she hopes to deepen her knowledge and quantitative skills in these areas, as well as broaden her research interests.
Jimmy is German/Brazilian and joined TAM after 2.5 years of working as a political analyst for large financial institutions and multinational corporates. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Free University in Berlin, having specialized in EU politics and climate diplomacy. In the past, Jimmy has interned for the German Foreign Office and the Brussels Office of the Greens in the Bundestag. At the UNC, he has assumed the position of Director of Environment for the Graduate Student Government, looking to make the University more sustainable and raise climate ambition. Jimmy will go back to Berlin for his second year of TAM and makes YouTube videos about EU politics in his free time.
Nils is a 25-year-old international student from the deep forests of Sweden. He pursued a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2021. During his undergraduate years, Nils also completed an exchange term at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and interned at the intergovernmental organization International IDEA in Stockholm. His time as an intern at International IDEA sparked Nils’s research interests in questions regarding the rule of law, good governance and the nexus between climate change and democracy. These are interests that he wishes to continue to pursue in his upcoming time at the European Governance Track in TAM. He will spend his second year back in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Tim graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2022. He doubled majored in Contemporary European Studies and Economics, with a minor in German. Tim is a dual citizen of the United States and Switzerland. Tim is on the European Governance track and will be spending his second year of TAM in Bremen, Germany. He is interested in behavioral economic policy implementation and the role of multinational corporations.
Enio Guevara Jr.
Enio is a first-generation student from Dale City, Virginia. He graduated with distinction from Virginia Tech in May 2022. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in National Security & Foreign Affairs, with two minors in International Business and Italian. He is enrolled in the European Governance track of TAM and will be spending his second year at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona. He is pursuing a double-degree from UNC and UPF. Enio’s research interests include counterintelligence and immigration policy.
A Durham, North Carolina native, Sam graduated in three years, magna cum laude with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and History from North Carolina State University. He is excited to be joining TAM this fall pursuant to dual Master’s degrees in Political Science and European Studies while studying in Chapel Hill and Gothenburg, Sweden. Sam’s research interests include international relations and security, comparative politics, and public policy, and privately his passions include Wolfpack football, history, and his friends and family.
American and longtime Chapel Hill resident, Steven graduated from Allegheny College in 2020 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Journalism in the Public Interest. He is excited to learn more about the structure and design of European institutions, and how the format of and interactions between these and national member state institutions impacts policymaking and the integration process. Steven joins TAM on the European Governance track, and his overseas partner site will be Gothenburg. While this is not his first time studying overseas, Steven is looking forward to gaining further insight into daily life in Europe. Steven loves reading and thinking about international affairs and is a casual flutist. After TAM, Steven wants to pursue a career in political analysis or university study-abroad programming.
Baili is from Hickory, North Carolina. She completed her undergraduate degree at UNC-CH in May 2022, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Global Studies with a concentration in International Politics and Social Movements and a world area focus on Latin America. Baili is pursuing the European Governance track of TAM and will be studying in Barcelona for the second year. As a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellow, she is excited to continue studying Portuguese while at UNC. Baili is interested in research regarding comparative politics, the interworking of European institutions, and the influence of E.U. policy on Latin America. Following TAM, Baili hopes to work as a consultant for a non-governmental international organization or an international institution.
Anita is from Germany. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in European Studies at Maastricht University in the Netherlands with an Erasmus semester at Linköping University, Sweden. Afterwards she interned at Deutsche Gesellschaft e.V. in Berlin and the European Institute of Public Administration in Maastricht.
With TAM, after one year at UNC, she will complete her MA at Gothenburg University, Sweden. Not least through the research of her Bachelor’s thesis, she is interested in societal issues of populism and political extremism and their impact on democracy. Other research interests include, but are not limited to, external relations within and outside the EU and cross-border policymaking. When not volunteering politically, she enjoys spending her free time in the outdoors, climbing and hiking, reflecting her interest and concern for environmental sustainability.
Chloe C. Kofman
Chloe was born and raised in Wisconsin, USA. She recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a student-designed major in Religious Studies and a second major in Italian Studies. Her research interests span many subjects, including geography, food studies, and European-Jewish history and culture. She also enjoys exploring the different aspects of the human experience and how the past and the present work together (or don’t!). While in the TAM program she plans to spend semesters in Bath, UK and Siena, Italy. Outside of the classroom you might find her reading novels, writing, or trying her hand at foreign languages; she’s currently fascinated by Italian and Romanian.
Kay is a North Carolinian born and bred from Apex, NC. She graduated from UNC-CH in May 2022, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree with Highest Distinction in Contemporary European Studies with Philosophy and History minors. She received Highest Honors on her senior thesis, “Centralizing Coin: Examining the UK Conservative Party’s Position towards Scottish Devolution through Fiscal Policy.” As an undergraduate, she interned in the UK Parliament and Office of the Director of National Intelligence, served as the managing editor of the Carolina Political Review, worked as a research assistant, and competed on UNC’s inaugural Model EU team. Her academic interests focus on the impact of the EU on regional governance and multi-level governance. She also has a burgeoning interest in labor policies. Kay is enrolled in the European Governance Track of TAM and plans to study at the University of Gothenburg.
Sydney is a native of North Carolina. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2022 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Contemporary European Studies, and a minor in Geography. Sydney is on the European Governance track and will study at the VU Amsterdam after completing her first year in Chapel Hill. She is interested in environmental governance, sustainability, and the role of politics in climate change. Specifically, Sydney hopes to research how small-scale governance solutions to climate change can be transformed into international policy.
Kalum is a German student who received his Bachelor’s degree from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Political Science and Philosophy. During his time as an undergraduate, he focused on US-politics and wrote his thesis on Atheism and Non-Religion in the US Congress. Kalum is a member of the United Nations Society Nuremberg and has thereby attended various Model United Nations Conferences, which have reinforced his interest in diplomacy and international relations. He will attend Humboldt University in Berlin for his second year in the European Governance track of TAM.
Alex is from Buffalo, New York. He received his undergraduate degree from Binghamton University in upstate New York, double majoring in Political Science (with a concentration in global and international affairs) and German Studies and minoring in Global Studies. As an undergraduate, he spent a semester as an exchange student at the University of Leipzig. He will be returning to Germany to study at the Humboldt University of Berlin as a TAM student on the Transatlantic Studies track. He wrote his undergraduate honors thesis on the topic of the East/West divide in German politics as a catalyst for support for the Alternative for Germany Party and has other research interests in radical right-wing populism, German politics, and democratic backsliding. He hopes to use his knowledge and experiences gained through the TAM program in his future career, which he hopes will deal with foreign policy.
Aleks Trivanovic is a first-year TAM student from Charlotte, North Carolina. He graduated with Highest Honors from UNC in 2022 with Political Science and Contemporary European Studies degrees. During his undergraduate studies, Aleks worked on many research projects within the Department of Political Science and the Gillings School of Public Health. He also served as a captain for the Mock Trial team, a delegate on the UNC team to the 2020 Schuman Challenge, an Admissions Ambassador within the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and a Moderator for UNC Global events. He is greatly looking forward to spending his first year in the TAM program at UNC as a FLAS Fellow studying Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian, and his second in Berlin on the European Governance track. Aleks is interested in researching the politics of transition in Europe and the rise of populism in the global North. Some of these interests manifest in his paper published in the North Carolina Journal of European Studies, “The State of Populism in Post-Industrial Democracies: Fading Out, Growing Ever Stronger, or Preparing to Unveil a New Face.”
Lia Adriana van Dijk
Lia is a 23-year-old, Dutch student in the European Governance track. She followed her undergraduate studies in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She minored in Law and Global Society, and took additional courses in the Spanish Language and Culture. For her second year of TAM Lia Adriana will go back to her undergrad university in Amsterdam. Lia Adriana has an interest in the so called ‘soft side’ of international politics. Her focus is on human rights, safety and development within international relations and diplomacy.
Alexander Waters is an American TAM student specifically interested in European immigration, the background/politics of Northern Ireland, and multi-level governance. Alexander is extremely passionate about language learning and its applications to his research. Alexander graduated Summa Cum Laude from his undergraduate studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in Political Science & Global Studies with a minor in Hispanic Studies. Alexander will be attending the Humboldt University of Berlin starting in the spring of 2023 and will be attending the University of Siena in the fall of 2023.
Class of 2023
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I graduated in 2017 from the University of Texas Austin with majors in Psychology, Economics, and German. After graduating I moved to Germany, where I lived for the past four years working as an English teacher and then as a political intern. During TAM I am interested in researching the politics of social change and national energy transitions. I will do my second year in Berlin.
I was born and raised in Nordfriesland in northern Germany. In March 2021, I finished my bachelor’s degree in American Studies with majors in Political Science and Sociology at the Freie Universität in Berlin. During my undergraduate studies, I spent two semesters at Duke University and worked for three months as a communications intern at the Goethe Institut in Washington DC. I’m an avid writer.
In the past, I have worked jobs as a freelancer and reporter in pursuit of a career in journalism. Now, I’m in the transatlantic track of the TAM program and will be spending two semesters at UNC and two semesters in Berlin. Partly driven by my experience volunteering with an LGBTQ center in Berlin and by recent discriminatory policy changes within parts of Europe, I want to examine the EU’s approach to protecting the rights of minorities outside and inside the EU. Further research interests include but are not limited to: The transnational challenges of climate change and environmental policy-making; Comparative analyses of mental health policy in parts of Europe vs. the US. I also seek to continue writing, perhaps for a publication at UNC.
Hello! My name is Brett Harris, and I’m originally from Freeburg, IL, and have lived in Chapel Hill for the past 3.5 years while completing my undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature and Contemporary European Studies, with brief stints in Boise, ID, and Lynchburg, VA. I plan on studying at Humboldt University in Berlin for my second year, and I’m interested in the intersections of EU policy and intercultural encounters, e.g., efforts and community impact of legislation to diversify sport teams, the EUPL, integration policies, etc.
I am an international student from Germany. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications
& Journalism studying at HMKW Berlin and Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. I received a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) for my studies at
Murdoch. While pursuing my B.A. degree, I lived in Raleigh, NC and Switzerland working for the German firm Bosch. In this role, I was responsible for all internal and external marketing
initiatives and the coordination between various offices in Europe and the US. During this time, I developed a profound understanding of how different cultures communicate, work and function in their own unique ways and how to strengthen their relations between different nations. The past two years have strengthened my interest in American politics and how disagreements on social issues affect the culture we live in today in the US, Europe and around the world. In the future, I would like to pursue a career in political campaign management combining the skills I will acquire through TAM and my background in marketing.
Originally from Northern Germany, I moved to Sweden after finishing high school in 2016. There, I did my bachelor’s degree in European Studies at Malmö University. The interdisciplinary structure of my undergraduate program combined a variety of perspectives from the fields of cultural, legal, historical and political studies on contemporary Europe. In the course of my studies, my academic interests have moved towards exploring foreign and security policy on a national and supranational level as well as towards the role of the EU and NATO on a global level.
I am in TAM’s the European Governance track, and I will be spending my second year back in Sweden at Gothenburg University.
I’m in TAM’s Transatlantic Track. I graduated in May of this year from Georgetown University where I majored in International Politics and minored in German. While with TAM, I’m looking forward to studying in Berlin and delving deeper into researching European security and defense cooperation.
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. Now in Amsterdam, 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 spent the Spring 2021 semester studying in Ankara, Turkey at METU. He undertook Turkish instruction while 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 wrote for The Daily Tar Heel and now writes for VOA. Check out some of his work here:
‘Rochelle Boys Matter’: Mothers protest Durham police violence toward Black children
Breakthrough funding brings zero-emission buses to Chapel Hill Transit
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 is now in his second year of TAM studies at the University of Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden.
Jalyn is studying in 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.