MOSCOW. SEPTEMBER 28, 2023. PIR PRESS. “Our unique Dual Degree M.A. Program, established in 2014 by Dr. Anatoly Torkunov, Rector of MGIMO University, and the colleagues from MIIS, keeps operating. I met with the students of the 7th cohort (2023-2025) and the Program alums. It was a joyous day. It is time now for studying days… and new turns in the Program’s development. Stay tuned!” — Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Founding Director of PIR Center, MGIMO University Professor, Academic Advisor of the International Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center).
On September 19, 2023, PIR Center conducted the online welcome seminar for the students of the 7th cohort (2023-2025) of the International Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation, developed by MGIMO University, PIR Center, and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, USA. The seminar was conducted in frames of first classes delivered by Dr. Vladimir Orlov, Founding Director of PIR Center, MGIMO University Professor, Academic Advisor of the International Dual Degree M.A. Program on the course Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime.
This year, five students have started their studies in the Program: Spencer Erjavic, Jessica Heleonora Martin, Grace Pauline Smith (all the US), Linus Höller (Austria), and Alexandra Zubenko (Russia).
During the seminar, Dr. Vladimir Orlov welcomed the students. He pointed out that one of the essential qualities for young international relations students dealing with security issues is bravery. The students of the 7th cohort are courageous as they manage to get into this master’s Program despite all the challenges and obstacles along the way.
Dr. Maria Apanovich, Head of Double Degree and International Master’s Programs Department at MGIMO University, and Mr. Alexey Dundich, Head of the Department of Master’s Programs Expertise, Master’s Preparation of Students Management at MGIMO University, welcomed the students on behalf of the MGIMO University. “In September, traditionally, as for many years in a row, we have been launching an English-language course for our students on WMD nonproliferation and global security. We are again launching the course with our partners at PIR Center this year. We wish our new students to find themselves in this area and enthusiastically continue working on it, as our graduates have been doing for many years”, — Dr. Maria Apanovich noted. While describing the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies, Mr. Alexey Dundich said: “This is one of our most challenging master’s projects, but also one of the most exciting ones. Along with their studies, the students acquire unique knowledge, gain experience studying in an international environment, and have excellent opportunities for internships and employment. The professional competencies that the Program generates cannot be acquired either in Russia or abroad. There are no analogs today”.
Dr. William Potter, Founding Director of James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, member of PIR Center Advisory Board, and Dr. Jeffrey Knopf, Chair of the Program on Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, USA, welcomed the 7th cohort of students on behalf of the American partnering University. “It was exciting to welcome students in the 7th cohort of the Dual Degree Program between MIIS, MGIMO, and PIR Center. These students are starting the Program at a time when the challenges they must face have grown greater than ever. It is impressive that these students are committed to finding ways to reduce nuclear dangers despite all the obstacles”, — Professor Knopf mentioned.
Among the alums of the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies who shared their experience with the 7th cohort, there were: Veronika Bedenko, Regional Issues Strategist, Open Nuclear Network; Vladislav Chernavskikh, Research Assistant, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); Nikita Degtyarev, Research and Engagement Assistant, Open Nuclear Network; Sarah Erickson, Research Assistant, United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR); Adlan Margoev, Research Fellow, Institute for International Studies, MGIMO University; Noah Mayhew, Senior Research Associate, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Nonproliferation (VCDNP); Galina Salnikova, Consultant, United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA); Daria Selezneva, Junior Research Fellow, Center for International Security, IMEMO RAS; Rebecca Pantani, Intern, Nuclear Security Division, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Océane Van Geluwe, Safety Engineer, AKKODIS Belgium.
In frames of the seminar, the students of the 7th cohort from Austria, Russia, and the United States introduced themselves and shared their objectives, plans, and interests. They also shared their expectations from studying at the Dual Degree M.A. Program in Nonproliferation Studies (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center).
During the second part of the online welcome seminar, Dr. Vladimir Orlov briefed the students on his special courses Introduction to Nuclear Nonproliferation Regime and Foreign & Security Policy on Nuclear Nonproliferation of the Russian Federation. Ms. Elena Karnaukhova, PIR Center Deputy Director-Education & Training Program Director, also presented the syllabus of the Arms Control Course, which will be taught by Lieutenant-General (retired) Evgeny Buzhinsky, Chairman of PIR Center, and some other invited lecturers among leading Russian experts. In the fall semester, the students are going to study a wide range of nonproliferation and disarmament issues, ranging from historical aspects of the formation and evolution of the nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear arms control regimes, their theoretical foundations, and regulatory frameworks to the global agenda of chemical and biological weapons.
PIR Center staff and interns also welcomed the students of the 7th cohort. At the end of the meeting, Ms. Elena Karnaukhova,PIR Center Deputy Director-Education & Training Program Director, and Ms. Ksenia Mineeva, PIR Center Information & Publications Program Coordinator, introduced the primary PIR Center educational and scientific resources and activities, which might be valuable for the 7th cohort of students in their studies.
Despite the seminar being conducted online, the participants managed to create an atmosphere of unity and mutual support. Right after the first meeting, the new students felt like they were part of a broad community of international relations experts. PIR Center is glad to share their impressions on the past event.
“PIR Center welcome ceremony for the new cohort was beneficial. I loved seeing how the alums and faculty were so excited to see each other, and I felt instantly ready to bond like that with my cohort and others involved in the Program. Hearing from the former students who have completed this Program was very helpful to me, as it confirmed that it’s possible to successfully complete the Program and go on to work in the field, and they gave constructive advice. I’ve connected with all of them since the ceremony, and they have been so kind and helpful in encouraging me and answering my questions. I appreciated the presentation on the resources available at PIR Center. This was not something I was aware of beforehand, and I am so grateful to have such a wealth of resources available to me. I was also very thankful to have Dr. Orlov’s introduction to the classes we’ll take from PIR Center. I’m excited to learn from him and the other experts we will hear this semester. I’m excited about my future and feel lucky to have been accepted to this program because it sets people apart in the world and gives them access to highly sought-after positions. A big thank you to Elena Karnaukhova and her staff for their organization, preparation, and presentation of this amazing experience”, — Grace Pauline Smith, student of the 7th cohort (2023-2025) of the Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center).
“The welcome seminar turned out to be a joyful start of the Program we’ve been waiting for. It was great to see all the Heads and Advisors of the program. Also, it was valuable to learn about the professional experience of Program graduates. I would also emphasize that PIR Center conducted a comprehensive briefing that removed all my questions. I would love to thank MGIMO University, MIIS, and PIR Center for their invaluable support for students and for keeping the Program operating despite all the challenges”, — Alexandra Zubenko, student of the 7th cohort (2023-2025) of the Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center).
“I really appreciated the opening session. Inviting all the alumni and providing a broad overview of the program and the PIR center’s courses was a very good idea. It made me both excited for the quarter and helped clear up some questions that I still had about the specifics. I also loved the detailed (and very pretty) PDF materials they prepared for the session!” — Linus Höller, student of the 7th cohort (2023-2025) of the Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center).
“Our first meeting was very thorough and did a great job explaining both the focus of our classes and the Programs and focuses of the PIR Center!” — Spencer Erjavic, student of the 7th cohort (2023-2025) of the Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center).
“The participation of MGIMO, Middlebury, and CNS leaders demonstrated their commitment to this Program and our future. Additionally, alums helped foster a sense of community and provided valuable insight into post-graduation careers. The exchange of emails via chat also helped to build camaraderie among us. The presentation was well-structured, designed, and engaging. Despite the short duration, the way the information was divided into categories allowed for easy comprehension. Each section flowed smoothly into the next, making it easy to follow the presenter’s train of thought. The design elements were also impressive, making the presentation visually appealing and enhancing the overall experience. Overall, it was an informative and enjoyable presentation. During the discussion, it was fascinating to listen to each person’s unique story, sources of inspiration, and dedication to the common goal of “saving the world,” as one of the speakers phrased it. It highlighted the fact that the pursuit of global security transcends borders, gender, and age”, — Jessica Heleonora Martin, student of the 7th cohort (2023-2025) of the Dual Degree M.A. Program Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center).
PIR Center welcomes the students of the 7th cohort and wishes them enduring aspirations to discoveries, curiosity toward getting to the heart of every question, and use this unique opportunity as a springboard for both professional and personal development.
If you have any questions about the International Dual Degree M.A. Program “Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation” (MGIMO-MIIS-PIR Center), please contact Ms. Elena Karnaukhova, PIR Center Deputy Director-Education & Training Program Director, via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Key words: Education; Dual Degree