Carla Santos, Director (217) 244-3874

Dr Carla Santos is a Professor in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism. Originally from Portugal, she received her B.A. and M.A. in Communication from the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from Pennsylvania State University. Her research examines communicative practices as a means of addressing the socio-political and cultural impact of tourism on the world’s people and cultures. Specifically, her work seeks to identify and understand attitudes and beliefs of a variety of stakeholders throughout the tourism development process. Her research in Europe has focused on the entanglement in advancing an inclusive European identity, common historical pasts, and contemporary tourism narratives. Her work appears extensively in the premier national and international journals in her field, and has been featured in numerous media outlets such as CBS News, Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio. She holds additional faculty appointments in the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Department of Anthropology, is a member of the Executive Committee of CHAMP/Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management & Policy, as well as a faculty affiliate in several area studies centers. Professor Santos was recently selected by her peers to receive the 2016 King James McCristal Distinguished Scholar award from the College of Applied Health Sciences for her outstanding achievements in scholarship.


Sebnem Ozkan, Associate Director and Director of Graduate Studies | | (217) 244-0570

Sebnem Ozkan (Ph.D.) Associate Director and Director of Graduate Studies at the European Union Center. Sebnem provides strategic guidance for developing core areas of the EUC, execute the Center’s programmatic activities, and oversee EUC’s academic programs. Sebnem started working at the EUC in 2008 as Outreach Coordinator and has played a key role in acquisition and execution of various EU and federal grants; created numerous innovative outreach programs; initiated, coordinated, and taught courses in the MA in EU Studies (MASEUS) program; and also served as the coordinator of and advisor for the EUC’s Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program. Prior to joining the EUC staff, Sebnem worked at the European Studies Alliance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as research project assistant and graduate research fellow from 1999-2008. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. degree in labor economics and industrial relations from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science (Mülkiye). She is a specialist on Turkish politics; EU-Turkey relations; and European social and industrial policy and labor and employment issues.


Kim Rice, Office Manager
(217) 265-7515

Kim Rice has worked for the European Union Center since 2004. As Office Manager, Kim provides administrative, budgetary, and organizational support for EUC staff, affiliated faculty, and students. She assists with event planning, budget and grant reporting, reimbursements, and hiring student employees. In addition, she provides support for the Master of Arts degree program by processing student applications, course information, and student petitions and overseeing the graduation certification process.






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Neil Vander Most,  Visiting Coordinator of Academic Programs

Neil Vander Most (PhD) is the Visiting Academic Coordinator for the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Dr. Vander Most holds a Ph.D. and M.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. His research specializes in Dutch and Flemish politics, immigration and the integration of immigrants into Europe, and radical right parties. Dr. Vander Most oversees the academic and curricular elements of the Center’s mission, including frequently teaching courses on topics relevant to European Union Studies, managing the Center’s degree programs, and exploring new ways to educate students of all backgrounds.






Paul Myers, Visiting Outreach Coordinator

Paul Myers is the Visiting Outreach Coordinator of European Union Center. He is also a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a European Union Studies graduate minor. As a traditionally-trained former teacher in public and charter schools in the Chicagoland area, his research interests include the marketization and privatization of the provision of schooling both domestically and internationally. As such, Paul has a particular interest in the Swedish educational system and was awarded FLAS Fellowships from the EU Center in 2013 (Summer), 2014-15 (Academic Year), and 2015 (Summer) to learn Swedish both in Sweden and in our own Scandinavian Program. He was also awarded the Anna Jensen Memorial Scandinavian Award in 2016 to travel to Stockholm and collect data for his proposed dissertation research.






Graduate Student Staff


Caitlin Brooks is a PhD student in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism. Her research focuses on the creation of communities of meaning in liminal leisure spaces, and her dissertation explores marriage practices at Burning Man. In her free time, you can find her traveling, cooking, and exploring with her handsome pug, Torbin. She works for the EUC as an RA.


Jessica Mrase is a BA/MA student in the European Union Studies program. She works for the EUC as a GA.


Cassia Smith is a Master’s student of Library and Information Science at the Illinois iSchool. Her focus at the iSchool is on metadata, data curation, and information systems, and she serves as a pre-professional GA and webmaster at the EUC. She plans to graduate in spring of 2018.


Alexandra van Doren is a doctoral candidate in Comparative Literature and EUC FLAS fellow specializing in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies. She is the Co-Founder/President of Three Spinners Inc., a local non-profit organization providing emergency relief and integration services for immigrants and refugees arriving in the C-U community. She will complete her dissertation, “Where foot knocks against/the unburied bones of kin”: Topographies of Memory and Amnesia in Poland and Spain, in the spring of 2019. She has a graduate minor in European Union Studies and works for the EUC as a Graduate Hourly employee.