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Join the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES), the Center for Global and International Studies (CGIS), the Department of Women, Gener, & Sexuality Studies, and the Department of Political Science for the International Career Series. This month's event will take place on Tuesday February 14th at 4:00pm in Bailey Hall Room 318.

Dr. Laura Dean, a KU CREES alum, will speak about her experiences and provide advice to students about pursuing a similar professional path.


Dr. Laura Dean is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Human Trafficking Research Lab at Millikin University. She is the author of Diffusing Human Trafficking Policy in Eurasia published by Policy Press at the University of Bristol in 2020. I am also a Regional Faculty Associate at the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

She was previously an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Department of Social Sciences at Clayton State University, a University System of Georgia institution from 2014-2016. She graduated from the University of Kansas (KU) in 2014 with a Ph.D. in Political Science. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (2013) and a Master of Arts in Political Science (2011) from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in International Studies focusing on Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies (2006) from the University of Washington, and a Bachelor of Arts in World Politics (2003) from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

In 2007-2008, she was awarded a Fulbright Research Fellowship to Latvia, where she examined the exploitation of women, focusing on sex tourism and trafficking. She studied Russian for three years with a Foreign Language Area Scholarship (FLAS) from the US Department of Education Title VI Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Kansas. Dr. Dean also worked as a Teaching Assistant for the Department of Political Science from 2011-2012 and a Research Assistant for the Institute for Policy and Social Research 2010-2011 at the University of Kansas. She conducted 15 months of fieldwork for her dissertation in Ukraine, Russia, and Latvia as part of a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship from May 2012- August 2013. Then, she was a Social Science Research Council Eurasia Program Dissertation Development Award Fellow from 2013-2014. She also had a junior sabbatical supported by a Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellowship, where she performed ethnographic research on gender dynamics in the Latvian Saeima (parliament).

Dr. Dean speaks Latvian and Russian and is learning Ukrainian. In her free time, she likes to read obscure East European authors, make East European crafts, travel to places most people have never heard of, and volunteer at local women's shelters. She is also an avid runner, recently started playing the kokle (a traditional Latvian string instrument), and enjoys Latvian folk dancing when the opportunity presents itself. 

  • Ally Denton
  • Lauren Richey
  • Julia Kline

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