Emanuel Rota, Director

Emanuel Rota is  Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian and an affiliate in the Jewish Studies Program, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the Department of History. He holds a PhD in History from the University of California (Berkeley), a Master in History from the University of Oregon and a Laurea from the Università di Pavia. He wrote his Tesi di Laurea on the Italian Communist Party and the process of European Unification and his MA Thesis on the Europeanist projects of the anti-liberal Left and the anti-liberal Right in Europe in the 20s and 30s. Europe and its identity have always been at the center of his research. His first book, A Pact with Vichy, examines the intellectual trajectory of one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party from socialism to collaboration with fascism. He has published articles on radicalism, colonialism, and biopolitics. He is completing a monograph on the history of the capitalist work ethic and its relationship with colonialism, racism and European Identity, tentatively titled “A History of Laziness: Natives, Southerners, Workers and the Modern Work Ethics.”

Jonathan Larson, Associate Director

Jonathan Larson is the Associate Director of the European Union Center. He previously served as Associate Director of Off-Campus Study and Lecturer in Anthropology at Grinnell College, and brings to the European Union Center experience with three area studies centers at major universities. Jonathan holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His 2013 book, Critical Thinking in Slovakia after Socialism, was translated into Slovak in 2017. He currently serves on national rosters of QUIP Peer Reviewers for the Forum on Education Abroad and the Fulbright Specialist Program.  Jonathan’s scholarship has focused on different questions of language, politics, and knowledge, with his recent work engaging with eavesdropping scandals, censorship, global and area studies, and the internationalization of higher education. It has been supported by fellowships and grants from the U.S. Department of Education Title VI and Title VIII programs, Volkswagen Foundation, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Ford Foundation, and American Council of Learned Societies.  At the EUC he oversees the execution of programmatic activities as well as the MAEUS graduate program, manages grant execution, and provides strategic guidance for core areas of the EUC.


Lucas Henry, Coordinator of Academic Programs

Lucas Henry is the Coordinator for Academic Programs at the European Union Center at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  He is also a Ph.D. student in musicology at UIUC.  His research involves networks of musicians and music festivals in Europe, their engagement with European Commission’s Creative Europe Program, and the role of popular music in European integration and identity creation.  In addition, Lucas was a FLAS fellow with the EUC from 2015-2017, studying Swedish.  He is also a graduate of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies, where he received an M.A. in jazz history and research; and also holds an M.A. in History from East Tennessee State University.  He has held teaching positions in the Music Studies Department of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University, in the History Department at Radford University, and the Music Department at East Tennessee State University.  Lucas oversees the academic elements of the EU Center, including instruction, advisement, and management of the EUC degree programs.


Sydney Lazarus, Outreach Coordinator

Sydney Lazarus is the Outreach and FLAS Coordinator at the European Union Center.  She has an M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies from the University of Illinois, where her research focused on twenty-first-century language and education policy in North Macedonia and the portrayal of Ottoman-era revolutionaries in Yugoslav and contemporary Macedonian discourse. Prior to joining the European Union Center, Sydney worked at the UIUC Career Center and overseas as a K-12 English teacher in Georgia and North Macedonia. At the European Union Center, Sydney is responsible for overseeing and planning outreach events and coordinating the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship program.




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.




Graduate Student Staff

Allison Wheeler is a Master’s student in the European Union Studies program and is a December 2018 graduate from UIUC with her bachelor’s degrees in Global Studies as well as German Studies, with a concentration in global security. Her focus within the MAEUS program is researching right and left-wing populist narratives from an intra-EU as well as transatlantic perspective. In Spring 2019, Allison served as a Graduate Assistant for EURO 596- CEURO and will be joining us again in Fall 2019 as she finishes her degree.

Francesca Robinson is a first year MAEUS student. She earned her bachelor’s degree in
Spanish and Global Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2019.
During her time as an undergraduate, Francesca also received a certificate in global security from
the ACDIS program. She is very excited to continue with the European Union Studies program and wishes to further pursue her interests in global security by focusing her research on EU foreign security