Center for Eastern and Central European Russian and Eurasian Studies (CECERES)

Center for Eastern and Central European Russian and Eurasian Studies (CECERES)

About the Center

The mission of the Center for Eastern and Central European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CECERES) at Troy University is to coordinate interdisciplinary academic conferences, study abroads, special events, and academic exchanges between Troy University and universities in Eastern Europe and Central Europe. 


Affiliated Troy University Faculty

Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff

Michael O. Slobodchikoff, Ph.D. 


Professor of Political Science

Ph.D., Political Science, University of Arizona

Michael O. Slobodchikoff, PhD, Professor of Political Science, is founding director of the Center for Eastern and Central European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at Troy University. Among his many books are: India as Kingmaker:  Status Quo or Revisionist Power;  Building Hegemonic Order Russia's Way; Cultural Imperialism and the Decline of the Liberal Order:  Russian and Western Soft Power in Eastern Europe (with G. Doug Davis); and the co-edited volume, The Challenge to NATO:  Global Security and the Atlantic Alliance. Dr. Slobodchikoff is a leading expert on treaty networks and the creation of global and regional order.  He specializes in Russian security, international conflict, and peace. He is a regular contributor to BBC World News and Asharq Al-Awsat News. 

334 McCall Hall (MSCX)
(334) 670-5926

olga casey

Olga Casey

Technical Services Librarian

MLIS, Library and Information Science, Louisiana State University

Olga Casey is the Technical Services Librarian at Troy University's Dothan campus library. A native of Ukraine, she moved to the U.S. in 2000 with a full scholarship to study Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University.  She was instrumental in establishing Troy Dothan Library's "Sister Library" partnership with the Central Ukrainian State University Library. 

R. Terry Everett Hall, Dothan Campus Library 
(334) 983-6556, Ext. 21-325

doug davis

G. Douglas Davis, Ph.D. 

Director of MSIR Program/Associate Professor of Political Science

Ph.D., Political Science, University of Arizona

G. Doug Davis, PhD is the director of the Master's of Science in International Relations program at Troy University where he is a European Security and Middle East regional expert. In addition to a masters and doctorate in political science from the University of Arizona, he has a European graduate degree from the Pontificia Università Lateranense. He has published academic papers and is the author, with Dr Michael Slobodchikoff, of a book that was recently published titled Cultural Imperialism and the Decline of the Liberal Order: Russian and Western Soft Power in Eastern Europe. His academic work has been translated and published in nine languages. He has international development experience in the Middle East where he has worked on projects funded by the European Union, Italian government, and the World Bank. He has international banking experience and has worked to open financial institutions internationally.  He has done work at multiple Polish universities and in 2020 was a visiting scholar at the University of Zagreb.  In 2019, he and colleagues were awarded a NATO public diplomacy grant to host the NATO at Seventy: A Strategic Examination of the Past, Present, and Future of the Atlantic Alliance Conference at Troy University.  He is contributor and co-editor of a book that will come out in the fall of 2021 titled The Challenge to NATO: Global Security and the Atlantic Alliance.

331A McCall Hall (MSCX)
(334) 808-6280


Margaret K. Gnoinska, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History

Ph.D., History, The George Washington University 

Dr. Gnoinska is an associate professor of history at TROY University. She received her Ph.D. from The George Washington University in January 2010. Her dissertation is titled "Poland and the Cold War in East and Southeast Asia 1949-1965." She has an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs (GWU) and a B.A. in International Politics & Economics from Middlebury College. She is a Fulbright Scholar and Boren NSEP Fellow. She has published, as well as presented, her research in the United States and around the world.

She traveled extensively throughout East and Southeast Asia, including Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam, for both research and pleasure. She also spent much time traveling in Europe, especially former Eastern Europe, and in Russia. She speaks Polish, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish. She is currently working on revising her dissertation into two books: one on Poland's peacekeeping efforts during the Vietnam War and another on Sino-Polish relations during the Cold War with a specific focus on the role of the Sino-Soviet split and the U.S.-China opening.

230 Patterson Hall
(334) 808-6408


Ekaterina V. Kobeleva, Ph.D.

Lecturer of English

Ph.D., Literature of the Western Europe, Nizhniy Novgorod State Pedagogical University

Dr. Kobeleva holds a Ph.D degree in Literature of the Western Europe from Nizhniy Novgorod State Pedagogical University, Russia. Her research and teaching interests include World Literature, Literary Translation, Advanced Grammar, Teaching English as a Second Language. As a native speaker of Russian, she also teaches Russian and Introduction to Russian Culture. She is the co-editor of The Sea in the Literary Imagination: Global Perspectives (Cambridge Scholars, 2019), Travel Letters from England, France, and Germany by Nikolai Gretsch in 3 vols., (Anthem Press, 2021). She has presented her research at many national and international conferences. She is the member of Nineteenth-Century Studies Association and South Atlantic Modern Language Association. Her current research involves translation of the novel The Black Woman by Nikolai Gretsch (1834).

253 Smith Hall
(334) 670-3311


Dan J. Puckett, Ph.D. 

Professor History 

Ph.D., History, Mississippi State University 

Dr. Puckett joined TROY University in 2005 where he teaches modern European history. His research interests are in the Holocaust and Southern Jewish history. He is the author of In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust, published by the University of Alabama Press in 2014. His work has appeared in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Southern Jewish History, Alabama Review, and Alabama Heritage, among other publications. He is completing another study, “The Jim Crow of All the Ages: Adolf Hitler and Civil Rights in the Heart of Dixie, 1933-1948” (also to be published by the University of Alabama Press), as well as working on a study of southern Jews in the Civil Rights Movement.

Puckett has been a Starkoff Fellow at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives and a Chancellor’s Fellow at TROY University. He was appointed as the chair of the Alabama Holocaust Commission by Governor Robert Bentley. He currently serves as the vice-president/president-elect of the Southern Jewish Historical Society, and on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Holocaust Organizations and the Alabama Historical Association, and the Executive Council of the Association of Alabama Historians. Puckett lives in Wetumpka, Alabama, with his daughter Mae.

220 Patterson Hall
(334) 808-6685


Christopher Shaffer, Ed.D. 

Dean of Library Services

Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Policy, and law, Alabama State University

A senior level library administrator with over 25 years of experience in education, as well as considerable international experience, Christopher Shaffer is Dean of Troy University Libraries. He received his MLIS from the University of Alabama in 2005 and his Ed.D in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Law from Alabama State University in 2014. He has been published in several peer reviewed journals, has considerable experience writing and implementing grants, and has presented nationally. In 2015 the Carnegie Corporation, American Library Association, New York Times, and the New York Public Library presented him the I Love My Librarian Award for his work in public outreach. Shaffer's memoir, “Moon over Sasova,” about his experiences teaching English in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia in 1993 was published in November, 2021.

220 Patterson Hall 
(334) 670-3263

tatyana slobodchikoff

Tatyana Slobodchikoff, Ph.D.

Lecturer of English 

Ph.D., Theoretical Linguistics, University of Arizona

Theoretical Linguistics, Linguistic Theory, Syntax/Morphology, Historical Linguistics, Slavic Languages, English Composition. The Evolution of the Slavic Dual: A Biolinguistic Perspective (Lexington, 2019).  Additional publications in peer-reviewed journals.  Presentations at many prestigious theoretical- and Slavic-linguistics conferences in the United States and internationally.

256 Smith Hall 
(334) 670-3535


Brandon Stewart, Ph.D. 

Assistant Professor of Political Science

Ph.D., Political Science, University of North Texas

Brandon Stewart is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Troy University.  Dr. Stewart received his PhD in Political Science from the University of North Texas. His primary research interests include Ethnic Politics, Political Violence, East European Politics, and African politics. You can find his research published in journals such as Nationalism and Ethnic Politics and Social Science Quarterly.

132E McCall Hall (MSCX)
(334) 808-6798


Resident Visiting Scholars

borut roncevic

Borut Rončević, Ph.D. 

Dean and Professor of Sociology at the School of Advanced Social  Studies in Nova Gorica (Slovenia)
Professor at the Faculty of Information Studies in Novo Mesto (Slovenia)

He is currently Dean and professor of sociology at the School of Advanced Social Studies in Nova Gorica (Slovenia). He is also professor at the Faculty of Information Studies in Novo mesto (Slovenia). He holds Jean Monnet Chair and is heading Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence “Strategic Observatory for Europe 2030” and is the Fellow of Regional Studies Association.

His main research interest is at the intersection of sociology of development and economic sociology, with a particular focus on innovations and technologies in regional development, sustainable development and the European Union Studies. Throughout his career he has been very active in academic institution building and
committed to raising young scholars. He was a visiting scholar at academic institutions in the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Lebanon and Croatia.

Ljubljanska c. 31a
SI-8000 Novo mesto, Slovenia (EU)


Non-Resident Scholars

wt dean

William Dean, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor History

Ph.D., European Military and Diplomatic History, University of Chicago

Dr. William Dean is an Associate Professor of History at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, AL. He is a graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) and received his doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in European military and diplomatic history. He was a Chateaubriand recipient from the French government and has won the Military Officer of America Association (MOAA) award for civilian educator of the year and the Major General John Alison Award for Air Force Special Operations. He has published on French colonial warfare, intelligence, and air power issues in Revue Historique des Armées, Penser les Ailes Françaises, Defense Intelligence Review, and several chapters in various books.


Lt. Col. Michael P. Kreuzer, Ph.D. 

Department Chairman for International Security
Assistant Professor of International Security Studies

Ph.D., Public and International Affairs, Princeton University 

Lt Col Michael P. Kreuzer is Department Chairman for International Security and Assistant Professor of International Security Studies at Air Command and Staff College.  He holds a PhD in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Alaska Anchorage, a Masters of Strategic Intelligence from American Military University, and a BS in History from the US Air Force Academy.   He is a career intelligence officer who has served multiple combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was the Director of Operations for Distributed Ground Station-1.  Prior to his current assignment, he was the Associate Military Provost for the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, CA.  His research interests include the adoption of emerging technologies by states and military forces, and the organizational capacity required to adapt to changes in the operating environment.

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