Wade Jacoby, professor of political science, is director of the BYU Center for the Study of Europe. Jacoby has authored two books: Imitation and Politics: Redesigning Modern Germany (Cornell University Press, 2000) and the Enlargement of the EU and Nato: Ordering from the Menu in Central Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and edited two others, as well as numerous published articles in World Politics; Comparative Political Studies; Politics and Society; the Review of International Political Economy; the Review of International Organizations; and the British Journal of Industrial Relations. He is co-editor of German Politics and serves on the editorial boards of Governance and European Security. Winner of a number of research fellowships, Jacoby received the DAAD Prize for his scholarship on Germany and the EU in 2006 and was recently a Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute. He and his wife, Kindra, are the parents of three daughters. A native of Washington State, Jacoby received a BA in European studies from BYU and a PhD in political science from MIT and completed coursework on EC/EU and German foreign and security policy at the University of Bonn.
Martha Moffitt Peacock
Martha Moffitt Peacock, professor of art history and area head, is associate director of the CSE. Peacock's research centers on the relationship of art to the lives of women in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. Her articles "Proverbial Reframing—Rebuking and Revering Women in Trousers," "Domesticity in the Public Sphere," and "The Imaging and Economics of Women Consumers and Merchants in the Netherlandish Marketplace," deal with themes of female empowerment through art. She has also published and presented on Dutch women artists such as Geertruydt Roghman, Anna Maria van Schurman, and Joanna Koerten, as well as contributed to and edited two exhibition catalogs on the prints of Rembrandt and his circle. Currently, she is working on a book entitled Heroines, Harpies, and Housewives: Imaging Women of Consequence in the Dutch Golden Age. Together, Peacock and her husband Greg have thoroughly enjoyed directing numerous study abroad groups, as they have toured through many of the great art museums and architectural sites of Europe. "There are few things more magnificent than standing with a group of students in front of works like the Ghent Altarpiece that they have thus far only viewed in books. It inspires a sudden reverence, awe, and passionate enthusiasm among students that cannot be instilled in any other way." They are parents of five children and four grandchildren. She grew up in Orem, Utah, and attended BYU as an undergraduate student, and later received a PhD from Ohio State University.
Christopher (Chip) Oscarson
Christopher (Chip) Oscarson, assistant professor of interdisciplinary humanities and director of the BYU Scandinavian Studies, is the acting associate director of the CSE. Oscarson's scholarly interest focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and film, with a particular interest on discourses about nature and the intersection of art and the environment. Much of his published work investigates the cultural construction of nature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in northern Europe and includes among other topics work on the naturalist Carl Linnaeus, Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf, films of the silent era by Victor Sjöström and Mauritz Stiller, and the work of contemporary writer Kerstin Ekman. He is currently co-editing a volume about Nordic approaches to representing nature entitled Nordic Nature Cultures. Oscarson teaches courses both in the interdisciplinary humanities program on film, environmental humanities, and aesthetic theory, as well as classes in Swedish, Scandinavian cinema, and Nordic cultural history. He grew up in Missouri, Sweden, New Jersey, and Boston before coming to BYU as an undergraduate, where he received a BA in history and an MA in comparative literature, following which he received a PhD in Scandinavian literature with a designated emphasis in film from the University of California—Berkeley. Oscarson and his wife, Marie-Laure, are the parents of four children..
Lora Cook, administrative director of CSE, is a native of LaGrande, Oregon. Cook has spent much of the past twenty years traveling, studying, working, and teaching in forty countries on six continents, although Europe is the most visited by far. Her first international experience was in 1989 as an exchange student in Finland, and since that time, she has been committed to developing, evaluating, and managing international education programs. After working at the Kennedy Center's International Study Programs office (1995–2002), she spent ten years in Washington, D.C., and Boston while developing academic programs for international students at several universities in six U.S. cities. Cook's areas of expertise include new program development, evaluation, and community outreach. A family-favorite pastime includes "Breakfast with the Beatles" when Cook, along with her husband and three sons, make a big breakfast on Saturday mornings while listening to Beatles music. She received a PhD in education with an emphasis in research methodology and evaluation.
Brenda Christensen is the newest member of the CSE staff and will be responsible for the FLAS scholarship program. Christensen is enthusiastic about returning to an academic environment after many years in the private sector. A Canadian citizen with strong ties to her Danish and Ukrainian ethnic roots, she studied interior and graphic design as well as city planning at the University of Manitoba's School of Architecture. Her doctoral studies at MIT focused on organizational behavior and the philosophy of education. She also served in the France Paris Mission. While at home raising two sons and two daughters, Christensen worked independently as an interior designer. More recently, she was involved in retail design, visual marketing, and event planning at a local boutique that she helped open in downtown Provo. She has a passion for writing and watercolor painting as well as urban farming projects. Over the years she and her family have raised chickens, domestic ducks, rabbits, and ferrets, as well as cats and dogs, which led her to volunteer at London's Battersea Home for Dogs and Utah's famous Best Friends Shelter in Kanab. Christensen and her husband Ray, who teaches in BYU's Political Science Department, have lived in Boston, Kansas, Japan, and England. During their sixteen years in Provo, they have enjoyed entertaining many BYU students in their home.
Katherine Bennett, a senior in European Studies, has always had a love for Europe. Bennett has especially found herself drawn to western Europe, the area where her ancestors hail from. In high school she studied three languages but chose to focus on Italian in college. Recently, she completed an internship in Italy through BYU, and she spent her last year as one of CSE’s FLAS fellows. Now, Bennett works primarily with the FLAS program at the CSE. She loves learning about Europe and hopes to go there again soon.