Maria is currently a PhD student at Georgetown University. She graduated from the Department of Medieval Studies at CEU with an Advanced Certificate in Eastern Mediterranean Studies in 2017. Her MA thesis was on "Ceremonial representation in cross-confessional diplomacy: the Ottoman embassy of a Christian ambassador to Moscow in 1621," supervised by Tijana Krstic and Jan Hennings. In 2017, Maria won EMS best thesis award.
"I chose Eastern Mediterranean Studies as my specialization to gain a greater understanding of the Eastern Mediterranean and a better grasp of the contemporary state of scholarship on the region. For me, a very important aspect of CEMS is that it offers a truly interdisciplinary curriculum. During my two years in the program, I was able to select a diversity of courses, each approaching the region from the perspectives of different disciplines including history, anthropology, sociology, law, and urban studies. My training at CEMS equipped me with conceptual apparatuses and language skills that allowed me to develop a more sophisticated understanding of imperial traditions and legacies, including those of the Ottoman and Russian empires, which I am focusing on. I also benefited from the CEMS' grant scheme, which helped me conduct archival research and participate in international conferences. CEMS is, above all, an exceptionally nurturing community. From my first days in the program, I was impressed by the support, understanding, and encouragement of my professors, both inside and outside the classroom. They left a strong imprint on my life with their solidarity, even after graduation. Their willingness to work closely with students on their projects is truly unique in my experience. It has also been a pleasure to learn from my fellow students in the program, all of whom work on exciting projects. The Center provided me with a great opportunity to work with a number of outstanding and dedicated professionals, whose research continues to inspire me in my doctoral studies at Georgetown University."