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Laird Essay Contest winner explores Russia-China relations

Friday, April 27, 2018

LAWRENCE — The Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies has announced that this year’s Roy D. and Betty Laird Essay Contest winner is John Stanko, a master’s degree candidate from CREES, for his essay “The Relevancy Gambit: A Vision for the Future Evolution of the Russia-China Relationship.”  

Now in its 24th year, the annual essay contest is named after the late Roy Laird, a longtime member of the Russian & East European studies (REES) and political science faculties, and Betty Laird, whose support makes this prize possible. 

A committee of three REES faculty read and independently rated the anonymous essays submitted for the contest. According to CREES Director Vitaly Chernetsky, Stanko’s essay provided an original, refreshing perspective on the potential role of higher education in transforming the Russia-China relations and situated it in multiple historical and political contexts. 

As the graduate recipient of the award, Stanko receives a $500 award and a book budget of $75. His essay will be published on the CREES website. He will also present his essay at the final CREES Brownbag Lecture of the year at noon Tuesday, May 1, in 318 Bailey.

Stanko will graduate in May with a master's degree in Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies. His focus is Russia-China relations, particularly how historical memory manifests itself in contemporary interactions. After a year as the editorial assistant for The Russian Review, Stanko currently serves as a research assistant for a MINERVA Grant-funded project.  He was recently chosen to participate in the Siberia by Southwest program, a Fulbright-funded summer study abroad program in Irkutsk, Russia.