Alumni Profiles

Bojan Aleksov received his PhD at CEU and is now a Lecturer at University College London School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies. Prior to his current position, he was a Humboldt Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin and a Max Weber Fellow at European University Institute in Florence, Italy. According to Aleksov, “I chose CEU because of its academic reputation for excellence….It helped me enormously as it made a scholar out of me and trained me to write an excellent dissertation which I later turned into a book that secured my current position.”

Liliya Berezhnaya completed her doctoral studies at CEU in 2004. She worked for Pasts Inc. Center for Historical Studies at CEU, and was a post-doctoral fellow at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich for two years. Since 2009 she has been directing the project “Religion and Politics” in the Cluster of Excellency at the University of Münster within her habilitation track. Parallel to that she teaches East European history in the History Department at the University of Münster. According to Berezhnaya, “the CEU experience is attractive for those who are ready to update their knowledge gained at local academic schools in an international institution; to get to know the brightest spectrum of new methodologies and approaches. In fact, CEU is a post-graduate and Advanced Studies school, which is a perfect spring-board for further academic career.

Adam Mestyan completed his PhD at CEU in 2011, and he is currently a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. He most recently taught in the Middle East Centre of St Antony’s College, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Previously, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He chose CEU because “it offered a US-accredited education and a window to international scholarship. It did help a lot in my career, especially with funding to accomplish my research, grants for conference participations in the US.” The CEU also helped him build academic networks across the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

Jaroslav Miller completed his doctoral studies at CEU in 2004, having begun as an MA student in 1996. He is currently a Professor of History and the Director of the Historical Institute at Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. He has twice been appointed an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (2006 in Marburg, 2010 in Münster), and in 2008 was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Georgia, USA. During the 2010-2011 academic year, he held a Guest Professorship at the University of Western Australia in Perth and is a 2012 nominee for the Gerda Henkel Prize. Miller chose CEU for a variety of reasons, including the “ strong wish to integrate myself into the international community of students and later...scholars…” Miller writes: “My long-term experience with CEU helped me substantially and may justly be considered the milestone which predetermined not only my subsequent academic career but also (perhaps more importantly) my personal life. Moreover, I may rely upon the increasingly dense network of the CEU alumni. Many of them became intellectual and political leaders in many (and especially in Central European) countries and respected scholars in research institutions worldwide.”

Markian Prokopovych , currently at the Institute for East European History, University of Vienna and a Visiting Fellow at Pasts Inc. Center for Historical Studies at CEU, completed his PhD at CEU in 2004. He is the author of Habsburg Lemberg: Architecture, Public Space and Politics in the Galician Capital, 1772-1914 (Purdue University Press, 2009) and a number of articles on urban history, the history of architecture, commemorations and music in East Central Europe. Prokopovych chose CEU because, in his view, “CEU is … among the best universities in the region and beyond, whose liberal and critical atmosphere would be difficult to match. Going to CEU helped … enormously in terms of learning to aim at academic excellence, writing for an international audience and getting integrated into broader, transnational scholarly networks.”

Máté Rigó (MA 2009, PhD candidate, Cornell University). "CEU has one of the strongest concentrations of scholars working on East-Central Europe within Anglo-American academia, and as I was committed to study the history of the region I decided to apply. My year as an M.A. student at the CEU History Department enabled me to achieve a thorough grounding in regional historiography, and become familiar with multiple perspectives, theories and methods of writing history, ranging from intellectual, urban and cultural history. I am indebted to CEU for the academic training I’ve received and the valuable friendships formed with students of my class, most of whom continued to study East-Central European history all around Europe and North-America."

 

 Ana Sekulic (MA 2013; since 2013 PhD Student, Princeton University). After finishing my BA at Wesleyan University, I enrolled in the one-year MA at CEU’s Department of History.   I chose CEU because of the excellent reputation of the program and its faculty members. It was definitely during my time at CEU that I became a much more mature and confident intellectual and benefited from an excellent introduction to the field of Ottoman Studies in combination with Habsburg and Venetian studies which I continue to pursue in my PhD studies at Princeton University. The challenging but rewarding process of thesis writing combined with intense consultations with my advisers helped me define my intellectual interests, as it forced me to acquire new, cutting-edge knowledge and approaches to history and the social sciences in general combined with intensive language training in a very short period of time. I now clearly see that the CEU MA program helped prepare me to meet the challenge of the volume and intensity of work that await PhD graduates at places like Princeton.  At CEU I also met a wonderful group of international friends and colleagues, and it is this community and support network that will remain with me for the rest of my life.  This is what makes CEU a really great place. 

 

Katherine Sorrels received her MA from CEU in 2000. She is currently an Assistant Professor of the history of modern German-speaking Europe at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. She chose to attend CEU after studying in a similar international environment at the University of Graz during her undergraduate study. In the words of Sorrels, “I’ve benefitted tremendously from my year at CEU. First of all, I took a range of excellent courses in history and several of the interdisciplinary programs (e.g., Gender Studies and Nationalism Studies). The result was that I entered my PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh with both a broad awareness of what was going on in my field as well as a level of focus which undoubtedly eased my progress through the program…I made both friends and professional contacts at CEU with whom I continue to stay in touch. This network of friends and colleagues in the region is probably the most rewarding long-term benefit of my time in Budapest.”

Marius Turda completed his doctoral studies at CEU in 2002. He is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oxford Brookes University and the director of the Cantemir Institute at the University of Oxford, an institute founded for the interdisciplinary study of Central and Eastern Europe in its wider European and global context. He also founded the Working Group on the History of Race and Eugenics (HRE) in 2006 at Oxford Brookes University and he coordinates the book series CEU Studies in the History of Medicine. Turda chose the CEU because, “In the mid-1990s, CEU was the only university in Central and Eastern Europe where one could learn something different than one’s national history, interact with international students and professors, and attend the public lectures of the some of the biggest names in the humanities. CEU strengthened my belief that one best learns from others; that cross-national and cross-cultural communication is essential and inter-disciplinarity possible.”

Kateryna Dysa defended her PhD dissertation at CEU in 2004. Currently she is an Associate Professor at National University of ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’. She is also the director of the Center for Polish and European Studies of NaUKMA. In 2009 she was a Chopivsky Fellow in Ukrainian Studies at Stanford University, and in 2011 she was a Shklar Research Fellow at Ukrainian Research Institute, Harvard University. In 2010 she was a Research Fellow of the project The “centre” and the “periphery” in the religious history of early modern Eastern Europe at L'Institut d'Etudes Avancées, Paris.

CEU provided me with a thrilling opportunity to see what it means to be part of excellent and friendly international academic environment. While studying there, I could observe high academic standards of organization of learning that ensures production of well-trained scholars. This was very useful for me during my participation in Academic Fellowship Program, the aim of which was to revise and reform existing academic programs and curricula at my home university.

 Alumni: if you would like to add your profile to this list, please contact us at history@ceu.hu.