Current Students

Jordan Evans-Kaplan is a 1st-year MAEUS student with a focus on economic integration and predictive econometric analysis as it relates to the Euro and transatlantic trade. His thesis involves modeling the Eurozone business cycle and demonstrating the institutional factors related to convergence within a shared currency. During his undergraduate term, Jordan studied economics at the University of Illinois, where he started and organized a program of undergraduate TAs to present and teach course material for Econ 102. Some of Jordan’s more recent projects include predictive models to estimate the compressive strength of concrete and machine learning models of US income via Census data. In Spring of 2019, Jordan presented his Census income research at the 5th annual UIUC Economics research symposium, which received acclaim for its near record-breaking accuracy. Jordan enjoys applying these techniques and tools to the stock market and is an avid options trader. In addition, Jordan is a voting member of the Champaign Zoning Board and is the youngest serving member of the commission in Champaign history. In his free time, you can find Jordan catching up on the latest sci-fi or flying a Cessna-172 as a hobbyist pilot at Willard airport.

Viktoria Loidl is a first year MAEUS student. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Graz, Austria. Throughout her undergraduate career, she also completed significant coursework within the Bachelor’s program English and American Studies as well as within her minor “Europe: Languages, Business, Economics, and Law”. While Viktoria is originally from Austria, she also spent a significant part of her undergraduate studies studying abroad in North Carolina. Viktoria hopes to combine her interests in the European Union, business, economics, and different languages throughout the MAEUS program and she plans to focus her research projects on issues concerning international relations relating to Business and Economics between the U.S. and Europe. This past summer she spent her time gaining relevant work experience in Toronto, Canada by interning at the Austrian Trade Commission. Viktoria is currently a Teaching Assistant for LAS First Year Experience. In her free time, she likes to catch up with friends, workout as well as cook and bake.

Kiana Marr is a first year MAEUS student. She earned a B.S. Political Science and B.A. International Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. At the University Kiana earned a minor in History along with two certificates: Basic Proficiency in a Second Language for French and International Relations. Her study in French has earned her the Mildred Davis Award for outstanding study of foreign language, two years in a row in Spring 2017 and Spring 2018, along with earning the Cates Mark Political Science Scholarship. During her time at the University, she was the treasurer of the United Nations Student Organization and Pi Sigma Alpha and was an active member of the Model European Union. Kiana enjoys presenting her research and has been able to present at the Wisconsin Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies Conference at St. Norbert College for her research on Expressions of Soft Power: Chinese Migrants and Social influence in Sub-Saharan African Economies and at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point COLS Undergraduate Research Symposium for two years on research about Comparing the Role of Honor in Seppuku Tradition and Kamikaze Suicides and The Chinese Empire & Chinese Migrants in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is excited for the MAEUS program and the research opportunities that the program provides. Kiana is a FLAS fellow that is studying Arabic. Her interests lie with education and immigration policies and hopes to research how various EU programs influence migrant groups in the European community and aboard. Kiana hopes to explore all the University has to offer both domestically and internationally and is excited to start this journey.

Victoria Prince is a second year MAEUS student. She completed her BA in Global Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. Having started the MAEUS program in the Spring of 2018, she has just returned from a year abroad on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Poland this past year. She enjoys learning about new cultures and languages and Poland was not her first stint abroad having completed a language intensive study abroad program in Beijing, China during her undergraduate career. She would like to utilize her undergraduate focus of Chinese and East Asia by completing her thesis on the European Union’s response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In addition to Chinese and Polish, Victoria was awarded a FLAS fellowship to continue learning Arabic this year. Victoria hopes to join the Foreign Service where she can use her language and cultural knowledge to improve US relations with other nations.

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 studied abroad in Barcelona in Fall of 2017, where she attended the University of Barcelona and interned for the linguistics department. While abroad, Francesca lived with a host mom and took classes entirely in Spanish to fully immerse herself in Spanish culture. 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 policies. In her free time, Francesca likes to spend time with friends and family, read, swim, and watch her favorite tv shows.


Allison Wheeler is a second year MAEUS student. She  earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Global Studies and German in December 2018 from UIUC where she was a member of the Marching Illini as well as a member Sigma Alpha Iota and Kappa Kappa Psi. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she focused on global security with her involvement in the ACDIS certificate program and Germanic sociocultural and business studies. In 2017, she spent a semester abroad in Vienna, Austria, where she was a student at the University of Vienna and immersed herself in all aspects of Austrian culture. In 2019, Allison was graduate assistant and student in the CEURO Spring School where the MAEUS cohort traveled to Leuven, Belgium and attended a number of panels and visited the European Parliament as well as the European External Action Service. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Allison is honored to have been chosen to be a FLAS fellow studying Advanced German as well as a Research Assistant for the EU Center. She loves to be involved as much as she can on the UIUC campus as well as the Champaign-Urbana community and is eager to continue on her journey learning and researching with the European Union Studies program!

Nicholas Zalewski is a first year MAEUS student.  He received his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a triple major in Political Science, Global Studies, and Italian.  Besides Italian, he has also studied Spanish and Portuguese.  During the 2017-18 academic year, Nicholas spent a year in Italy at the University of Bologna.  While in Bologna, he worked for an Italian engineer and helped translate legal contracts.  He is a FLAS fellow and is continuing to study advanced Portuguese.  He hopes to become an international corporate lawyer and work for companies that conduct business in the European Union.  Outside of school, Nicholas has a passion for swimming and works as a life guard and swim instructor.


Javier Zenil Pena is a first year MAEUS student. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Parkland College. His MAEUS research involves transatlantic relations between the US and the European Union, specifically dealing with economic and free-trade matters. Javier participated in a study abroad program in the summer of 2017 studying international relations and media and war at the Lorenzo di Medici International Institute in Florence, Italy, and in the summer of 2018 started studying the Italian language at Babilonia Language Institute in Taormina, Italy. As a current FLAS fellow, he is continuing his studies of the Italian language. Javier is interested in working for the US State Department in the diplomacy area. Some of his hobbies are spending time with his family, traveling, and learning about other cultures and international cuisine. Javier was born and raised in Mexico.