Caitlin Thompson '17

Caitlin is a junior from Carmel, CA, pursing a double major in Russian & Eastern European Studies and International Relations. On campus, she is the head delegate of Model UN and has maintained a column for the Tufts Daily on oppressive regimes, as well as her own blog entitled “Global Citizen.” Caitlin is also a peer teacher teaching a freshmen advising course with fellow Oslo Scholar, Nitesh Gupta, entitled “Human Rights in the Digital Age,” which addresses issues like the surveillance of political dissidents and the manifestation of human rights advocacy within the hacker community. As a member of the 2014-2015 EPIIC colloquium on Russia in the 21st Century, Caitlin was captivated by the manifestation of Russian history in contemporary domestic and foreign policy. This past summer as an Oslo Scholar, she interned with the Institute for Modern Russia and the Human Rights Foundation in New York, where she worked on projects concerning Russia’s position as a diplomatic partner in the global community under President Putin.

Zara Rancheva '18

Zara Rancheva is a member of the Class of 2018 from Karlovo, Bulgaria. Growing up in a small town has taught her that one is personally responsible for broadening their perspectives and cultivating a deeper understanding of the world, regardless of physical limitations. She believes a rich family library, painstakingly accommodated into a modest living space, together with her mother’s enlightening literary guidance, played a central role in the formation of her values and beliefs.

Her major is Political Science and she hopes to investigate how people perceive their political environment and arrive at their conceptions of liberty and justice. Moreover, she is convinced these sciences provide us with the unique power to look both into the past and into the future of our civilization with greater clarity, given that our theories are sufficiently sophisticated and objective.

Zara is a member of the Tufts Debate Society and frequently travels with her teammates to compete. Her reflections about the overall experience are fully in line with J.S. Mills’ assertion that it only when we need to actively defend our beliefs that we can obtain insight about their true grounds and content. She is also involved with the Compass Fellowship, a group of students exploring the concept of social entrepreneurship and its applications, and the Fencing team. Both have revealed the importance of strategy, focus, and decisiveness in different, but equally illustrative ways. Lastly, Zara devotes time and efforts to creative writing, striving to capture daily frustrations and fleeting affects in such a way that they remain both intimate and relatable. During her last two years of high school, she received national awards for her works, and is currently exploring novel sources of inspiration.

As an Oslo scholar this past summer, she worked with worked with Srdja Popovic as a Research Intern for his organization, the Centre for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in Belgrade, Serbia.

Liam Flaherty '18

A local from Massachusetts, Liam is a senior at Tufts double majoring in German Studies and International Relations. Having participated in the 2015-2016 EPIIC colloquium and symposium on the Future of Europe under the guidance of Sherman Teichman and having spent the 2016-2017 academic year studying at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Liam is excited to be back at Tufts and to begin exploring this year’s new and relevant theme of the Liberal World Order and to learn from the expertise and knowledge of Abi Williams. Liam was a member of the Oslo Scholars Program during the summer of 2016, giving him the opportunity to intern with Healing Kashmir and be mentored by Justine Hardy in Jammu and Kashmir, India. His interests include peace and conflict studies, the politics of populism, as well as the nature and implications of liberalism on contemporary social dynamics and institutional structures.

As an Oslo Scholar in 2016 Liam interned with Justine Hardy and her organization, Healing Kashmir, which provides mental health services and builds resiliency and strength among people affected by Kashmir's political violence. He worked on a project to develop an argument for implementing a mental health program into high schools.