Student Profiles

Profiles of current Global Politics and Communication students
Media and Democracy
Astrid Söderström

Astrid Söderström

Finland

Media and Democracy, 2023

Astrid Söderström holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science and International Studies from McDaniel College Budapest. She is currently studying on the Media and Democracy track in the University of Helsinki. Her academic interests include media independence and propaganda.

Astrid is currently doing a communications internship at the Finland Society. She also works as a journalist for The European Correspondent and Jura Synchro as well as occasionally as a researcher for the Media and Journalism Research Center, a media and policy think tank.

Elisabeth Christina van Vloten

Elisabeth Christina van Vloten

The Netherlands

Media and Democracy, 2023

Elisabeth Christina van Vloten holds a BSc in Cognition, Language and Communication with a specialisation in Communication Science and a minor in European Politics and Global Change from the University of Amsterdam. She currently studies on the Media and Democracy track in the University of Helsinki.

In her academic career she has been interested in studying the effects of communication on society from a political perspective, as well as multilateral cooperation, and European Politics.

She has gained experience from working in various positions at the University of Amsterdam.

Thesis topic

Negative Campaigning in a Multi-party System: A Dutch Case Study

Lisa König

Lisa König

Germany

Media and Democracy, 2023

Lisa König holds a bachelor’s degree in science journalism from TU Dortmund University. She currently studies on the Media and Democracy track at the University of Helsinki where she specialises in environmental change, sustainability, and the Arctic.

Lisa has gained professional experience as a freelancer for the German public broadcasting institutions WDR and SR and has also completed internships at the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi and the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability in Hamburg.

Hannah Jo Huber

Hannah Jo Huber

Salt Lake City Utah, U.S.A

Media and Democracy, 2022

Hannah Jo Huber holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations from the University of Utah. Currently she studies on the Media and Democracy track at the University of Helsinki. Her academic interests include Global Politics, International Relations, Russian Language and Area Studies.

Hannah has gained professional experience by working as a Congressional Intern at the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. as well as a Staff Member at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah.

Lavinia Klarhoefer

Lavinia Klarhoefer

Berlin, Germany

Media and Democracy, 2022

Lavinia Klarhoefer holds a B. Sc. in Media and Business Psychology. Currently, she studies on the Media and Democracy track at the University of Helsinki, focusing particularly on propaganda and persuasion, political communication, and political polarization.

Lavinia has gained professional experience in the political sphere as an intern in a think tank for social policy (Zentrum für neue Sozialpolitik) in Berlin, researching and analyzing policy processes and monitoring relevant academic developments in the field.

Matthew Schilke

Matthew Schilke

New Jersey, USA/ Finnish citizen

Media and Democracy, 2022

Matthew Schilke holds a Bachelor's degree from American University in Washington, DC, where he studied as part of the Global Scholars Program. At the University of Helsinki, he studies in the Media and Democracy track, and his academic interests include EU/NATO defense and security as well as questions of soft power and media influence. 

Currently working as an English language journalist at Yle in Helsinki, Matthew has also worked in international relations, politics, and media in Brussels, Washington DC, and his home state of New Jersey. While originally from the United States, Matthew is a Finnish citizen and originally came to Finland in 2019 to do military service for a year. 

Noah Fraenkel

Noah Fraenkel

New York, USA

Media and Democracy, 2022

Noah Fraenkel holds a Bachelors degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is currently studying on the Media and Democracy track at the University of Helsinki. His academic interests are focused on Ethics and Governance of A.I, Mediated Political Communication, Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles. Noah has also worked as a Research and Strategy Coordinator at Entertain Impact

 

Mikaela Sasi

Mikaela Sasi

Helsinki, Finland

Media and Democracy, 2022

Mikaela Sasi holds a BSc in Economy and Society from Lund University and is currently studying on the Media and Democracy track at the University of Helsinki. Her academic interests include human rights, disinformation, and populism.

Mikaela has gained professional experience working at Finland's Permanent Mission to the United Nations as a Junior Advisor and is currently working as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki.

Roosa Minkkilä

Roosa Minkkilä

Finland

Media and Democracy, 2022

Roosa Minkkilä holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Communication studies from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. In the University of Helsinki she studies in the Media and Democracy track, specialising in political polarisation, humanitarian issues, as well as disinformation campaigns.

During her previous studies, she carried out a development project with fellow students for Geological Survey of Finland, with the aim of supporting their GTK 2.0 change program and internal communication practices. Roosa currently works as a communications coordinator for Ästerä, a language service company that specialises in humanitarian interpreting and themes related to refugees and immigration.

Katja Stempel

Katja Stempel

Germany

Media and Democracy, 2021

Katja Stempel holds a Bachelor’s degree from European Studies with options in French and Spanish language from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.  In the University of Helsinki, she studies in the Media and Democracy track, specialising in democracy and democratic advancement, polarisation and religion.

Katja has gained professional experience by interning at a radio station, an NGO focusing in enhancing societal, political and cultural relations within Europe and at a think tank on foreign policy and security affairs. Currently, she is a trainee at the International Exchange Services at the University of Helsinki.

Master's Thesis Topic

For her thesis, Katja is exploring questions of polarisation, "cancel-culture", freedom of speech, political identity, social media discourses, and democratic erosion.

Ana Rita dos Santos Ferreira Leandro

Ana Rita dos Santos Ferreira Leandro

Portugal

Media and Democracy, 2020

Ana Rita dos Santos Ferreira Leandro holds a Bachelors in Communication Sciences from NOVA University Lisbon. At the University of Helsinki, she studies Media and Democracy, specialising in gender studies, film studies and the use of propaganda. Alongside her academic interests, Ana is a contributing writer for Her Campus Media and Séries da TV,  as well as a student ambassador for prospective students.

Hanna Ojanen

Hanna Ojanen

Finland

Media and Democracy, 2020

Hanna Ojanen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Global Politics and Public Diplomacy from Maastricht University. In 2020, Hanna joined the University of Helsinki where she studies on the Media and Democracy track, specialising in platform governance and public diplomacy. Before and during her time at the University of Helsinki, Hanna has held a variety of positions such as, Project Manager at Nordic West Office, Conference Manager at European Business Leaders' Convention and Planning Officer at the Prime Minister's Office in Finland. She is currently working as the Public Policy Lead at Carbo Culture in Belgium. 

 

Emilia Salminen

Emilia Salminen

Finland

Media and Democracy, 2020

Emilia Salminen holds a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies from Maastricht University where she wrote her thesis on Othering in the French News Media: The Case of 2010 French Burqa Ban. in 2020, Emilia joined the University of Helsinki where she studies on the Media and Democracy track, specialising in Feminist Research in politics, media and the politics of difference as well as the politics of gender and sexuality. Alongside her studies, Emilia has worked as a Junior Project Officer at Helsinki EU Office and as an Intern at the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions (CPMR). 

Master's Thesis Title

How is “Europeanness” framed in transnational media outlet Politico Europe in terms of and in relation to LGBT rights, Hungary’s anti-LGBT law of 2021 being a case in point?

Theodor Salvesen

Theodor Salvesen

Norway

Media and Democracy, 2020

Theodor Salvesen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics & Arabic from SOAS, University of London. At the University of Helsinki, he studies Media and Democracy, specialising in political communications and populism. Prior to joining the GPC programme, Theodor worked as a business development in the legal sector. Alongside his studies, Theodor gained professional experience working as a communications advisor for the Norwegian Green Party as well as completing an traineeship at the Norwegian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. 

Master's Thesis Title

Agrarian populism in Norway - The Norwegian Centre Party and the 2021 Election Campaign

Governance and Organisations
Nina Laurinkari

Nina Laurinkari

Berlin, Germany

Governance and Organisations, 2023

Nina Laurinkari holds a Bachelor’s degree in European & International Law from Maastricht University. She is currently studying on the Governance and Organisations track at the University of Helsinki where she focuses on organisational communication, identity politics & globalisation, and the role of emotions in communication & non-verbal communication.

Nina has worked for different private, public and intergovernmental entities in Brussels (at the crossroads of communication, coordination, and analysis) for over 10 years. She has also gained work experience with several start-ups and fast-growth companies in diverse roles (incl. systems, process & people management and recruitment). Furthermore, she has a passion for creative writing, and published her first novel in German in 2022. The novel will be presented at the Helsinki book fair in 2023 ("Schuld schwarz-weiß", GEV).

Sonja Koskelainen

Sonja Koskelainen

Finland

Governance and Organisations, 2023

Sonja Koskelainen holds a Bachelors degree in Organisational Communication (BA) and is currently studying in the Governance and Organisations track at the University of Helsinki. Her interests include Communication and PR.

Sonja has professional experience from working as a Communications Specialist at UPS Sweden and at UPS Finland. She has also held the position of Communication Manager at One4all Finland Oy.

Gideon Hagström Lung

Gideon Hagström Lung

New York City / Åland

Governance and Organisations, 2022

Gideon Hagström Lung holds a Bachelors degree in International Relations from New York University. His undergraduate education focused on bilateral relations in the context of security, climate, and migration policy. Multiculturalism is central to Gideon's identity, and it is the lens through which he approaches his research within these policy fields.

Before joining the University of Helsinki, Gideon completed student exchanges in Berlin Germany, Abu Dhabi UAE, and Anhui China. He worked for the US Embassy in Berlin within the Public Diplomacy Office, and later with the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations with the communications and administration team.

Camila Cowley Méndez

Camila Cowley Méndez

Finland/Spain

Governance and Organisations, 2022

Camila Cowley Méndez holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and is currently studying on the Governance and Organisations track at the University of Helsinki. Her academic interests include Migration studies, Governance, Human Rights and International Public Law, and Diasporas.

Camila has gained professional experience by participating in a EU funded project called Migrademo Project, which examines the impact of migration on democratic participation and processes in countries of origin.

Thesis topic:

The preliminary working title of Camila´s thesis is Strategic Immigration Planning in Helsinki-Uusimaa Region and the Role of Civil Society Organizations

Kaisla Punkanen

Kaisla Punkanen 

Finland

Governance and Organisations, 2022

 

Kaisla Punkanen holds a Bachelors degree in International Studies and Politics from the Queen's University Belfast. Currently she studies in the Governance and Organisations track in the University of Helsinki, specialising in diplomacy and human rights. Kaisla has gained professional experience by doing an internship in the public affairs consultancy agency Stratagem.

Lina Lindqvist

Lina Lindqvist

Finland

Governance and Organisations, 2022

Lina Lindqvist holds a Joint Honours Bachelors degree in Politics & International Relations and Sociology from the University College Dublin. In the University of Helsinki, she studies in the Governance and Organisations track where she focuses on International Relations, Sustainable Development and Governance.

Sophie Bujold

Sophie Bujold

Vermont, USA

Governance and Organisations, 2022

Sophie Bujold holds an undergraduate MA (Hons) in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh. She is currently studying Governance and Organisations in the University of Helsinki, and is interested in global security, nationalism, and data protection and privacy.

Before her studies in Helsinki, Sophie worked as an International Operations Intern at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) in the summers of 2021 and 2022. In 2020, she worked as a Digital Field Intern for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), supporting Representative Abigail Spanberger's successful re-election campaign for Virginia's 7th District.

Kalle Koivuniemi

Kalle Koivuniemi

Finland

Governance and Organisations, 2021

Kalle Koivuniemi holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations & Philosophy from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. In the University of Helsinki, he studies in the Governance and Organisations track where he specializes in algorithmic governance, international political systems, normativity and power relations. 

Kalle has gained professional experience by working in the immigration department of the Finnish Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Keskus).

Thesis topic

Kalle’s Master’s thesis focuses on Algorithmic Governance and its distributive outcomes and power dynamics.

Weronika Krupa

Weronika Krupa

Poland

Governance and Organisations, 2021

Weronika Krupa holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Chinese from SOAS, University of London. At the University of Helsinki, Weronika studies Governance and Organisations, specialising in Gender, LGBT+ rights and Eastern European politics. Alongside their studies, Weronika has completed an internship at the Embassy of Poland in London as well as gaining work experience as a Student Ambassador both at SOAS and University of Helsinki.

Oskari Mantere

Oskari Mantere

Finland

Governance and Organisations, 2020

Oskari Mantere holds a combined BA and MA (Hons) in History and Politics from the University of Aberdeen. At the University of Helsinki, he studies Governance and Organisations, specialising in philosophy, politics of empires, human rights, and foreign policy. Alongside his studies, Oskari has worked with GPC director S.M. Amadae, as well as gaining professional experience as a communications trainee at PAM ry.

Sami Salovaara

Sami Salovaara

Finland

Governance and Organisations, 2020

Sami Salovaara holds a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies from Malmö Universitet. At the University of Helsinki, he studies on the Governance and Organisations track, where he specialises in EU policy and organisation, global politics and the challenges of democracy. Alongside his studies, Sami has gained professional experiences working as a Liaison Officer at the Finnish EU Presidency as well as completing an internship at the Finnish Embassy in Prague. 

Maria Simula

Maria Simula

Finland

Governance and Organisations, 2020

Maria Simula holds a Bachelors in Political History from the University of Helsinki. For her Master's degree, Maria studies Governance and Organisations, specialising in sustainability, communications and organisations. Alongside her studies, Maria has gained professional experience working as a communications trainee at Valtti, as well as the Finnish Immigration Service. 

Master's Thesis Title

Fast Fashion Brands doing Corporate Social Responsibility Communication on Instagram

Global Political Economy
Alec Baker

Alec Baker

California, United States

Global Political Economy, 2023

Alec Baker holds a Bachelor´s degree in International Relations and German Studies from Bucknell University. He is currently studying on the Global Political Economy track at the University of Helsinki. His academic interests include national security, international relations, and political economy.

Alec has gained professional experience working as a summer intern at the US embassy of Helsinki.  

Ilona Mansikka

Ilona Mansikka

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2023

Ilona Mansikka holds a Bsc in History and Political Economy from Kings College London. She currently studies on the Global Political Economy track in the University of Helsinki. Ilona´s academic interests include central banking, political theory of finance, and global development.

Master´s Thesis Title:

For her Master´s thesis, Ilona is interested in exploring the “Transparency of the ECB”.

Eileen Staudt

Eileen Staudt 

Germany

Global Political Economy, 2023

Eileen Staudt holds a Bachelors degree in International Studies from Leiden University. She is currently studying on the Global Political Economy track in the University of Helsinki. Eileen is particularly interested in focusing her research on East Asia, Southeast Asia, Political Ecology, Development, and Financial Crises.

Eileen has gained professional experience by working in a consultancy project: Rabobank "Decarbonizing Agricultural Supply Chains".

Poojika Buddhinee Amarakoon

Poojika Buddhinee Amarakoon

Sri Lanka

Global Political Economy, 2023

Poojika Buddhinee Amarakoon holds a bachelor's degree in International Studies with French Language as mandatory course from the University of Kelaniya. She currently studies on the Global Political Economy track at the University of Helsinki. Her academic interests include sustainable economy, digital economics, South Asia, nordic economy, development economics, and cyber politics.

Poojika has gained professional experience by working as an intern in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka (Attached to East Asia and Pacific Division). She has also worked as a support clerk for the High Commission of Canada in Sri Lanka, as a Consular Assistant in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea, as visiting lecturer in Bandaranaike Centre for International Relations in Sri Lanka, as well as a lecturer in the Open University of Sri Lanka.

Nelson Cadavid Ossa

Nelson Cadavid Ossa

Colombia

Global Political Economy, 2022

Nelson Cadavid Ossa holds a Bachelor's degree in Social Communication & Journalism from the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente in Colombia. In the University of Helsinki, he studies in the Global Political Economy track and his academic interests lie in rural development, international cooperation and public management.

Before starting his studies in Helsinki, Nelson has worked in planning and implementing social projects aimed at improving the living conditions of vulnerable people and communities in rural contexts. He has also worked in projects promoting interaction between citizens and public entities.

Master's Thesis Topic

For his Master's thesis, Nelson is interested in exploring possibilities for improving economic conditions for people in rural contexts in developing countries.

Sebastian Segnitzer

Sebastian Segnitzer

Rain am Lech, Germany

Global Political Economy, 2022

Sebastian Segnitzer holds a Bachelors degree in Engineering, from  Baden-Wuerttemberg/ Heidenheim Cooperative State University (Duale Hochschule Baden Württemberg/Heidenheim) in Germany. During his studies, he focused on Innovation and Product Management.

He is currently studying in the Global Political Economy track in the University of Helsinki. He is particularly  interested in different aspects of global political economics, social and ecological economy of the future and political history.

Sebastian has gained professional experience as a trainee in the German parliament, as a team leader as well as working as a product manager for e-mobility.

Timo Salminen

Timo Salminen

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2022

Timo Salminen holds a Bachelor's degree from Leiden University, where he studied Political Science specialising in International Relations and Organisations. He complemented his Bachelor's degree by studying Communication Science as a minor at the University of Amsterdam. Timo's academic interests include security issues, foreign policy, geopolitics, international trade and the intersection of these topics.  

Timo has gained interdisciplinary experience from working with international media and after completing his minor in Communication Science, he worked in a research project Emotions in European Politics at the University of Amsterdam. He currently works in the International Trade department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.  He recently also attended The European Investment Bank's Summer Graduate programme. 

Helena Drdlová

Helena Drdlová

Czech Republic

Global Political Economy, 2021

Helena Drdlová holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and economics from Masaryk University. At the University of Helsinki, she studies Global Political Economy, specialising in global value chains and the economy of central Europe. As well as global economics, she is interested in the interaction of states and transnational companies. Before joining the GPC programme, Helena gained professional experience holding positions as an Editorial Assistant for the Czech Journal of International Relations as well as shadowing the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs.

During her master’s studies she is worked alongside GPC director S.M. Amadae developing the GPC programme site.

Eemeli Paksuniemi

Eemeli Paksuniemi

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2021

Eemeli Paksuniemi holds a Bachelors in Political History from Aalto University. At the University of Helsinki, he studies Global Political Economy, specialising in monetary politics, financial markets, and geoeconomic risks. Eemeli currently works for the Ministry of Finance as Specialist in Financial Affairs. Last year he completed a traineeship in the permanent representation of Finland to the EU in Brussels and worked as an analyst in the Prime Minister's Office. His previous work experience includes being a business analyst in FinTech and banking sectors as well as completing a traineeship in the trade confederation in EU & Trade Policy.

Master´s Thesis Title: 

Narrative Hypothesis of Inflation Expectations

Tyyni Kantonen

Tyyni Kantonen

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2021

Tyyni Kantonen holds a Bachelor’s degree  in Politics and Communication from the University of Helsinki. Currently, she studies Global Politics and Communication in the Global Political Economy track. In her research, Tyyni is particularly interested in the Latin American region.

Tyyni has gained professional experience by working as a trainee at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, as well as at a Chilean environmental NGO Fundación, El Árbol.

Octavio Augusto Bellomo

Octavio Augusto Bellomo

Argentina 

Global Political Economy, 2020

Octavio Augusto Bellomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from University of Michigan. At the University of Helsinki, he studies Global Political Economy, specialising in macroeconomics and development economics. Alongside his studies, Octavio is certified as a Future Analyst, as well as being a co-creator at Demola Global. 

Master's Thesis Title

Argentina: Testing Dependency Theory

Lia Eversfield

Lia Eversfield

Jersey

Global Political Economy, 2020

Lia Eversfield holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Economics from Bennington College. At the University of Helsinki, she studies Global Political Economy, specialising in offshore financial institutions and global tax practices. As well as global finance, she is interested in China’s role in global politics having studied Mandarin at Fudan University in Shanghai. Before joining the GPC programme, Lia gained professional experience holding positions at the Royal Bank of Canada and Ocoroian. During her master’s studies she is working alongside GPC director S.M. Amadae developing the GPC programme site.

Aku Houttu

Aku Houttu

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2020

Aku Houttu holds a Bachelors in Political science, Media and Communication studies from University of Helsinki. For his Master's degree, he studies Global Political Economy, specialising in governance of the world economy, central banks and growthism. As well as global governance, Aku has worked as a communication trainee at a non-profit foundation as well as being an active board member of the University of Helsinki Student Union.

Mirjam Ligi

Mirjam Ligi

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2020

Mirjam Ligi holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech). At the University of Helsinki, she studies Global Political Economy, specialising in trade policy and the economics of the Asia-Pacific regions. Alongside her studies, Mirjam has gained professional experience working as a political and commercial intern at the Embassy of Finland in Australia. 

Master's Thesis Title

Exporting values or bargaining with them? Normative power in EU trade policy

Ada Segerstam

Ada Segerstam

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2020

Ada Segerstam holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick. At the University of Helsinki, she studies Global Political Economy, specialising in the economics of climate change and the environment, as well as feminist political economy. Alongside her studies. Ada has gained professional experiences working as a Blue Book trainee at the European Commission in Brussels and as a communications trainee at the Ministry of the Interior in Helsinki.

Victoria Ristikangas

Victoria Ristikangas

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2019

Victoria Ristikangas holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations; Development and Sustainability from Hawaii Pacific University & Fudan University. At the University of Helsinki, she studies Global Political Economy, specialising in Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), income inequality and global governance. Alongside her studies, Victoria has completed a traineeship at the European Commission, as well as gaining professional experience working as a project assistant at the European Commission. 

Master's Thesis Title

Foreign Direct Investment: an All-benefitting Operation?

Anna Hattunen

Anna Hattunen

Finland

Global Political Economy, 2019

Anna Hattunen holds a Bachelors in Development Studies from Lund University. At the University of Helsinki, she studies Global Political Economy, specialising in feminist economics, migration and gender transformative approaches. Alongside her studies, Anna has gained professional experience working at Plan International Finland. 

Master's Thesis Title

World Trade Organisation’s Empty Promises on Gender Equality: Behind the Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade