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Flag of the European Union: With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme
With the support of the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
Head shot of Yannis Stivachtis
Jean Monnet Chair and Director, CEUTTSS. Political Science, International Studies

Yannis A. Stivachtis is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Studies Program at Virginia Tech. He is also the holder of the Jean Monnet Chair and serves as Director of the Center for European Union, Transatlantic, and Trans-European Space Studies (CEUTTSS) - A Jean Monnet Center of Excellence. His research interests include European security; EU’s strategy; EU’s foreign and security policy (including EU-great powers relations and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP); transatlantic political, security, and defense relations; and European, transatlantic, and Eurasian international organizations and integration.

At CEUTTSS, Professor Stivachtis is responsible for the Center’s outreach and engagement programs and activities, as well as the management of the academic programs that the Center oversees. Please get in touch at to explore possibilities for collaboration and learn about the academic programs offered at Virginia Tech (Major in EUropean & Transatlantic Studies; Minor in EUropean Studies; Minor in Transatlantic Studies; and the experiential learning Minor in EUropean Engagement).

119 Major Williams Hall



Colin Baker in the classroom

Colin Baker in the classroom
Colin Baker, Assistant Director of K-12 Education and Outreach, Montgomery County Public Schools, AP/College Board

Colin G Baker is the Assistant Director for K-12 Education and Outreach at CEUTTSS. He has served as Co-Chair of the College Board's Advanced Placement European History Development Committee, as Exam Leader of AP European History exams and as Department Chair of Social Studies at Blacksburg High School, Virginia where he currently teaches. His academic interests include research and publications resulting from field work at Verdun, France and the UK National Archives in Kew, London. Amongst his degrees he holds a MA (Hons) in Politics and Modern History from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

At CEUTTSS Colin is involved in the planning of materials, events and professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic related to the EU and modern Europe. He also organizes regional events for high-school students related to the EU. Several of the K-12 programs at CEUTTSS involve collaboration with teachers and students in Europe.  Please get in touch with Colin at to explore possibilities for collaboration and learn about the K-12 programs offered at CEUTTSS and the various partnerships we have with state, regional and European educational organizations.  



Head shot of Esther Bauer
Esther Bauer, Associate Director of Education, Arts, and Culture, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures (MCLL), Women's and Gender Studies, the Center for Gerontology

Esther Bauer’s research specializes in German literature and culture since the late nineteenth century, particularly the Weimar Republic and today, and focuses on questions of subjectivity, gender, desire, love, age and aging, and visualizations of bodies. She has published on writers Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Vicki Baum, Max Frisch, and Judith Hermann, and on painters Egon Schiele, Christian Schad, and Otto Dix. Her book Bodily Desire, Desired Bodies: Gender and Desire in Early Twentieth-Century German and Austrian Novels and Paintings came out with Northwestern UP in 2014. Her articles have appeared in journals such as the German Quarterly, Seminar, Feminist German Studies, Weimarer Beiträge, and Monatshefte. Recently, her research has focused on the role of images of masculinity in times of crisis and change, including the First World War and the interwar years, and on non-hegemonic masculinities, e.g., gay masculinities. She is now working on a new book on male midlife and quarterlife crises in German literary prose texts and art since 1900. Together with Dr. Chiara Piazzesi (Sociology, Université de Québec à Montréal), she is collaborating on a project on male aging crises in German and North American popular cultures.

330 Major Williams Hall


Chad A. Hankinson, Political Science
Chad A. Hankinson, Associate Director of Public Relations and Communication, Political Science

Chad A. Hankinson is an Administrative and Professional Faculty member of the Department of Political Science, and the Associate Director of Public Relations and Communication for the center. An Americanist by training, Prof. Hankinson has taught Introductory American Politics and Government classes through a comparative lens - even running a faculty led study abroad program to Italy that compares American and Italian government and politics. Before joining VT, Hankinson was on faculty at Oklahoma State University and the University of Missouri - St. Louis where he was heavily involved in creating and promoting experiential learning opportunities for students. 

At CEUTTSS Prof. Hankinson is responsible for - among other things - maintaining the center’s website, promoting events, working with local media, and publishing the montly newsletter. Please get in touch with him at to explore possibilities for experiential learning, and to discuss promoting the center and its many activities.

512 Major Williams Hall


Head shot of Scott Nelson
Scott Nelson, European Programs and Partnerships Coordinator, Political Science and ASPECT

Scott G. Nelson is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech. His areas of specialization are political and international relations theory and international political economy. The focus of his research of late is West European political and economic history and Eurasian geopolitical dynamics that are impacting EU countries and European integration. His most recent book (with Bradley S. Klein) is Citizenship After Trump: Democracy Versus Totalitarianism in a Post-Pandemic Era (Routledge, 2022), and a forthcoming book (co-authored by Joel T. Shelton), Statecraft and the Political Economy of Capitalism, will be published by Palgrave in early 2023. 

At CEUTTSS Professor Nelson is responsible for European partnerships and programs, including study abroad. The European base of operations for CEUTTSS is Virginia Tech’s Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Professor Nelson co-leads (with Yannis Stivachtis) two study abroad programs based at the Steger Center – European Affairs in a Global Context (fall semester) and Eurasia As Geopolitics (spring semester). Please get in touch with Professor Nelson at if you would like to explore partnerships with CEUTTSS faculty or teaching and research opportunities with Virginia Tech students studying in Europe.

119 Major Williams



Robert Hodges, Coordinator for Student Engagement, International Studies

Robert Hodges is a Ph.D candidate and adjunct professor of Political Science and International Studies with a focus on intelligence, national security, and global terrorism. His research includes concepts of world order, global jihadism, and the strategy of jihadist organizations. He currently serves as advisor to two student organizations, one focused on international relations and the other on intelligence services. He also serves as the assistant director of diplomacy lab initiatives, which expands opportunities for undergraduate students with the Department of State.

At CEUTTSS, Professor Hodges is the coordinator for student engagement. In this role, he provides communications to students and organizations concerning events and opportunities provided through the center. These opportunities allow our students experience in governmental processes and creating innovative approaches to international relations with and within the European and Eurasian geographic areas. 



Georgeta Pourchot
Georgeta Pourchot, Associate Director of Outreach and Engagement, Political Science

Georgeta Pourchot has over 20 years of international programming experience in think tanks and institutions of higher education, working both independently and collaboratively on national and
international research projects, policy development, academic program start-up and management, graduate recruitment and advising, alumni relations, teaching and writing. She also helped establish and negotiated MOUs for international graduate program agreements, including a unique double MA in international studies. She has written on democratization processes in former communist countries and served as editor and author of an extensive array of articles and reports published nationally and internationally.

Head shot of Besnik Pula
Besnik Pula, Deputy Director, Political Science

Besnik Pula is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. His research lies is in the areas of international and comparative political economy, the study post-communist transformations, and social theory. He is the author of Globalization Under and After Socialism: The Evolution of Transnational Capital in Central and Eastern Europe (Stanford University Press, 2018) and his research has appeared in numerous journals including East European Politics, New Political Economy, Political Power and Social Theory, Comparative Studies in History and Society, Theory and Society, Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, and as various book chapters. Dr. Pula has been a recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright-Hays program, International Research and Exchanges Board, American Council for Learned Societies, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, and the International Institute at the University of Michigan and his work has been awarded by the American Sociological Association.



Dimitris Tsarouhas, Associate Director of Research, Political Science

Dimitris Tsarouhas is Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, Virginia Tech, and Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations, Bilkent University, Turkey. He is a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) and a Scientific Council Member of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) in Brussels. 

At CEUTTSS, Prof. Tsarouhas is the Associate Director of Research. His ongoing research rests on three interdisciplinary pillars: first, the causes and consequences of democratic backsliding. Second, public policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic; third, European politics and the Eurozone’s economic governance arrangements. Please get in touch at to explore opportunities of collaborative research with CEUTTS, including grant submissions and proposal applications.



Name Title
Chris Price                                         Business Manager                              
Kerry Shea Administrative Assistant
Madelyn Nogiec Student Ambassador
Ellie Van Bduren EUSO President
Erica Martin  SIGIL Administrative Assistant
Name Title
Laura Belmonte                     CLAHS Dean & CEUTTSS Administrator                     
Farida Jalalzai  CLAHS Associate Dean for Global Initiatives and Engagement                
Tom Thompson Associate Dean & Director of Global Programs
Glenda Scales COE Associate Dean for Global Engagement
Tom Crawford Chair, Department of Geography 
Randy Heflin COS, Associate Dean for Research
Roberta Russell Iterim Dean, Pamplin College of Business
Tim Luke University Distinguished Professor, Department of Political Science, & Interim Director of SPIA          
Justice Elizabeth A. McClanahan       Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Tech Foundation
Don Hempson Associate Vice President for International Affairs, Office of Outreach and International Affairs
Karen Roberto University Distinguished Professor, and the Execuitve Director of the Institute for Society, Culture, and the Environment          
Yannis Stivachtis Professor of Political Science, Jean Monnet Chair, and CEUTTSS Executive Director
Heather Gumbert Faculty Representative, Department of History
Binio Binev Faculty Representative, Department of Political Science
Sharon P. Johnson Faculty Representative, Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures
Name                      Title                    
John C. Beghin                             Michael Yanney Chair of International Trade & Finance, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA                    
Didier Bigo Professor of International Relations (European/International Political Sociology), Sciences Po, France
Thomas Christiansen Professor of Political Science (European Politics), Luiss University, Italy
Thomas Diez Professor of International Relations, University of Tuebingen, Germany
Desmond Dinan Professor of Public Policy & Jean Monnet Chair, George Mason University, USA
Sophie Meunier Senior Research Fellow (Trade Negotiations); Co-Director, European Union Program, Princeton University, USA          
Kalypso Nikolaidis Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford UK
Mark Pollack Professor of Law & Political Science & Jean Monnet Chair, Temple University, USA
Grigoris Papanikos President, Athens Institute of Education & Research, Greece; former Chair, Greek Economic & Social Committee
Michalis Psalidopoulos Professor of Economics (Emeritus), University of Athens, Greece and former Alternate Executive Director at IFM
Ben Rosamond Professor of Political Science (European Politics & Political Economy), University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Nathalie Tocci Director, Institute of International Affairs, Italy & Special Advisor to the former EU HRVP Federica Mogherini
Richard Whitman Professor of International Relations, University of Kent & Academic Fellow at the European Policy Center, UK
Nikos Zahariadis Mertie Buckman Distinguished Professor of International Studies (European Political Econ), Rhodes College, USA
Janell Watson
Bestami S. Bilgiç, Religion and Culture

Bestami S. Bilgiç holds a PhD degree in History from the George Washington University. He received his BA and MA degrees in International Relations from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. He previously taught in several universities in Turkey, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia. Currently he teaches at the Religion and Culture Department of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Dr. Bilgiç has published several books, book chapters and articles on late Ottoman, Modern Turkish, post-Ottoman Southeastern European and Middle Eastern politics, and Turkish-American relations.

Janell Watson
Tuba Ünlü Bilgiç, International Relations

Tuba Ünlü Bilgiç is currently an adjunct Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech and an Associate Professor of International Relations at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. She was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University, Washington, DC in 2021-2022. She holds a PhD degree in Government from Georgetown University. She received her BA and MA in International Relations from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. She served as a career diplomat at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, worked as a research assistant at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and at the St Antony’s College, Oxford University. She has published books and articles on various aspects of Turkish politics including Islam, civil-military relations, foreign policy, and Turkish-American relations.

Ashton Bliss
Ashton Bliss, Masters Student in Public and International Affairs, Junior Research Fellow

Ashton Bliss is a Masters of Public and International Affairs student at the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, VA. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and German Studies from Mount Holyoke College in 2021. Her research is focused on democratic backsliding in post-Cold War Europe and using women's rights to measure autocratization. She has performed research that focuses on political resistance in East Germany, the politics of resistance, authoritarianism, election legitimacy and voter suppression following the 2020 election, women’s rights, civil society, and human security, and has had her research featured in the New York Times. Ashton is currently fulfilling a traineeship at the European Union Delegation to the United States in the Press and Public Diplomacy Section, and serving as the Virginia Tech DC-Graduate Student Assembly Social Chair.