The Marshall Center Experience: The Alumni Scholar Perspective
“My name is Kseniya Sotnikova and I am here as an alumnus, scholar and researcher.”
Sotnikova started her experience with the Marshall Center in 2008 with a leadership course. Several years and alumni events later, she was awarded the opportunity to be an alumni scholar with the Marshall Center.
“As a scholar here, I'm working on the research on how international organizations working in Ukraine operated during the past year, mainly after the full-scale invasion started,” she said. “The workshop fits into my research because part of it is to get the lessons learned from the past year and to look into perspectives, to look into how the future could be shaped for Ukraine and how the international community would be engaged into this process.”
The Alumni Scholars Program is an individual competitive scholarship that gives Marshall Center alumni the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a security topic at the Marshall Center with the support of a faculty mentor. The program runs from January to September of a calendar year.
“My research is focused on understanding how efficient an international organization operating in the current volatile security and political environment in Ukraine can be. And the factors which improve the performance of the organization and as a part of an international organization myself, I am fully equipped to apply the results of my research back at home.”
Since giving her final presentation and completing the program in March 2023, Sotnikova has gone back to her job as Political Officer at the EU Advisory Mission to Ukraine for the Civilian Security Sector Reform.
“I provide the international advisors with the analytical materials on the political context in which they deliver their strategic and operational advice to the UA counterparts,” she explained. Her research paper from her time at the Marshall Center will be published at a later date.
Thanks to her experience with the Center, Sotnikova says, she has been able to connect with multiple peers and experts with different and diverse background.
“It's been almost 15 years since my first program at the Marshall Center, and I'm still using these professional connections.”