MA Graduate – Class of 2016
Born and raised in Ukraine, I currently serve as the Director of External Affairs at the global nonprofit Church World Service (CWS). This humanitarian organization works with its partners worldwide to “eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice” through efforts like disaster relief, sustainable development, refugee resettlement, and immigrant services. While pursuing my Master’s degree in Global Thought at Columbia, my research predominantly focused on the relationship between media access––and type of media usage––to civic engagement and democratization around the world. Prior to Columbia, I served as assistant press secretary to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Previously, I volunteered on de Blasio’s mayoral election campaign and worked as his communications aide in the Public Advocate’s office. Public affairs now transcend geographic boundaries, which demands increasingly more expansive and analytical thinking. The MA in Global Thought program has acted as an intellectual and professional stepping stone that has offered me the academic diversity, latitude and rigor to gain just that.
In college at Syracuse, I studied journalism, political science and sociology––but my academic foundation is truly rooted in my multicultural upbringing. In Ukraine, I was fortunate to attend an international school, which helped me develop a cosmopolitan outlook from an early age and exposed me to global conversations I knew I wanted to contribute to. Throughout my undergraduate years, I interned with various political watchdog and social justice organizations that introduced me to complex issues like government transparency and accountability, power dynamics, conflict resolution, and resource distribution––topics becoming increasingly global in scope. While in Syracuse, I also held a number of editorial and managerial positions at local media outlets and led a student advocacy group that championed the public financing of election campaigns.
In my spare time, I enjoy using my friends and family as guinea pigs in my relentless culinary experiments, guzzling coffee, binge-watching TV shows, traveling wherever and whenever I can, reading stuff I don’t have time for now, and snapping too many “artistic” photos of my cat.
“#Politics: New Media’s Role in Expanding Political Engagement and Galvanizing Mass Protest – A Comparative, Analytical Review of Euromaidan”
- BA, Political Science, Sociology, News Journalism, Syracuse University, 2012
- MA, Global Thought, Columbia University, 2016