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Leslie Martin

MAERES Class of 2016

I hail from Milwaukee, WI. In May 2014, I graduated

from Kenyon College, where I double majored in
political science and Russian area studies. At
Kenyon, I served as editor-in-chief of a student news
and commentary blog The Thrill and worked as a Russian
Language Apprentice Teacher.

C E RE S S t u d e n t P r o f i l e

My interest in the region began in high school during

an independent study of European history. As a first year
at Kenyon, I then enrolled in an intensive introduction
to Russian and was hooked. I studied abroad for two
summers in St. Petersburg, Russia and for two summers
at the Kathryn Davis School of Russian at Middlebury
I chose CERES due to its wide variety of course offerings, intensity and strong faculty across many
disciplines. Additionally, CERES allows me to pursue both professional and academic tracks
simultaneously. My focus in CERES is Russian foreign policy and Soviet history and culture. My
additional research interests include Russo-Belorussian relations and Russian celebrity culture in the
Putin era.
During the 2014-2015 academic year, I participated in the Center on Global Interests Rising
Experts Program, in which I explored the effectiveness of Chinese soft power amongst Russian elite
and Russian youth. In the Spring 2015, I then interned for the Russia-Eurasia program at The
International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). While there, I conducted extensive research
pertaining to the Ukraine crisis and Russias military presence in Central Asia.
I first presented research on Russo-Belorussian relations at the CIPS/CIPSS Graduate Student
Conference at the University of Montreal in March 2015. Most recently, in November 2015, I presented my research on the role of celebrities in Putins cult of personality at the 47th ASEEES Convention.
After CERES, I am considering conducting research on the impact of the Ukraine Crisis on political
culture in post-Maidan Ukraine and pursuing a Ph.D. in government.
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