Myria Vassiliadou, Senior Research Associate

Myria Vassiliadou is currenlty EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator.

She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Sociology and Social Research and a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. She has further been a research fellow at the Solomon Asch centre for Study of Ethno-political conflict, at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms Vassiliadou has served as Secretary General of the European Women’s Lobby, the largest network of women’s associations across the EU. She was further a founding member of the think tank Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies and served as its director for seven years and subsequently as the Chair of the Board of Administation. For over a decade, Myria worked as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nicosia and taught undergraduate and graduate classes in Sociology. Finally, Ms Vassiliadou has worked in the European Commission as a Detached National Expert in the Directorate General for Research.

She has worked extensively in the area of fundamnetal rights, as these relate to questions of gender, trafficking in human beings, migration, ethno-political conflict, and the media. She has published in several books and journals, conducted workshops and seminars, and has been actively involved in various think tanks, EU wide research projects and national/international non-governmental organisations. She has trained as a counsellor on interpersonal violence against women and also as a facilitator/mediator on conflict transformation and negotations. She has lived and worked in various countries both in Europe and beyond.

Rania Tollefson, Project and Media Coordinator
Rania Tollefson graduated with a BA in Communications from the University of Indianapolis in the USA with a minor in Graphic Design. As a student, she became increasingly interested in the creative Arts and took classes on gender. She developed a keen interest in further developing her knowledge on and contributing to these areas. Apart from her administrative duties, Rania is actively involved in dissemination and is responsible for the institute’s website. She has recently been working on developing a resource manual on trafficking and has been part of the team working on project proposals and development.
Project Involvement in: Intercultural Dialogue on Violence against Women

Georgina Christou, Project Coordinator
Georgina holds a BA in Law from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Masters in Human Rights from the University of Malta (scholarship by the European Commission) as well as a Masters in European Society from University College London (UCL). Her area of specialization during her MA at UCL was social/cultural anthropology especially in relation to issues of memory and nationalism in the Balkans and the Mediterranean basin. During her studies she conducted research at the Irish Center for Human Rights and has also worked on issues concerning gender stereotyping, religion and mourning in the Balkan region. Her research interests include cultural constructions of gender roles and national identity in the Mediterranean, politico-historical use of religious narratives, forms of preservation of social memory as well as the expression of the above through popular culture.

Project Involvement in: Daphne II-Secondary Education Schools and Education in Values, Daphne III – Perspective, Young Migrant Women in Secondary Education, Youth Alert

Eleni Skarpari, Project Administrator
Eleni Skarpari holds a BA in English Literature from Lancaster University and an MA in English Literature from Warwick University in the UK, with an area of concentration in feminist literary theory and the tensions as well as the interrelations within modernist women’s writing between art and quantum physics. For the past three years she has been a lecturer of English at the Intercollege, Nicosia campus, focusing mainly on teaching writing and western literature. She has so far published two short stories and poems in Cypriot Identities, edited by Karin B. Costello, and in “Cadences: A Journal of Literature and the Arts in Cyprus”, edited by Dr. Spurgeon Thompson. Additionally, she works as an editor for English magazine, ‘View’, published in Cyprus, dealing with diverse issues but concentrating on the Cypriot lifestyle. Her research interests include female voices and identity within the experience of urban space and French feminist theory (écriture féminine).
Project Involvement in: Integration of Female Migrant Domestic Workers

Margarita Zervidou, Research Associate
Margarita Zervidou completed her professional qualification examinations for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK) in 1990 and officially earned the qualification after three years of practical experience in the field. She has been a senior lecturer at the Professional Studies Department of Intercollege for the last eight years, where she also completed her MA degree in Sociology. Her research interests include nationalism, gender and migration and also sociology of mental health.
Project Involvement in: Integration of Female Migrant Domestic Workers

Olga Demetriou, Senior Research Associate
Olga Demetriou completed a Ph.D. (LSE) thesis in 2002. She has since carried out research at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Her current research, which focuses on the process of political subjectivisation in Cyprus, explores the interface between political theory and anthropology, the ethnography of conflict, human rights in theory and practice, and the politics of gender and gender-based violence.

Karolina Vinakurava, Research Associate
Karolina Vinakurava holds a BSc degree in Psychology and is currently completing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at Intercollege. She has worked as the senior educational consultant and student advisor at Global Education Services for the last seven years. Karolina also volunteered at the Hostel for Teenage Girls in Nicosia, where she provided psychological support and conducted a wide range of empowering activities for young girls. Her research interests include feminist counseling, gender perspective in diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders, impact of gender on female drug users and its implications for treatment, identity construction and personal adjustment among Eastern European women trafficked for sexual exploitation.
Project Involvement in: Grundtvig 2 – Young Women Fit for Politics!

Chrystalla Ellina, Senior Research Associate
Chrystalla Ellina holds an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Orlèans, France and a graduate degree in History from the University of Lyon, France. She has a master’s and doctorate degrees in Political Science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the United States Her research interests include gender policies, international institutions, European Union social policy, research methodology, women and politics, and comparative public policy.

Krini Kafiris, Senior Research Associate
Krini Kafiris holds a doctorate in Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Sussex, UK. She is a research associate of the Political Communication Laboratory, University of Athens and also teaches media and communications studies. Her research interests include gender, media and popular culture, ICTs, and the relationship between media, space/place, and identity.

Spurgeon Thompson, Research Associate
Dr. Spurgeon Thompson is Chair of the Department of Humanities at Cyprus College and holds degrees from Tulane and Syracuse Universities. Having completed his doctoral work at the University of Notre Dame, USA, in literary and cultural studies, he has published articles on cultural politics, feminist literary recovery work, and on the intersection of race, class, gender, and national oppressions in Cultural Studies, Interventions, other academic journals. A poet and editor, he founded the bi-annual Cadences: A Journal of Literature and the Arts in Cyprus in 2003.

Hanife Aliefendioglu, Research Associate
Hanife Aliefendioglu graduated from the Sociology Department of Hacettepe University in 1987. She was awarded her MA degree by the Department of Anthropology in Hacettepe University for her thesis entitled Gender Difference in Spoken Language in 1994. She was awarded a Research Fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Cross Cultural Research on Women and received her PhD degree from Hacettepe University’s Department of Anthropology in 2000. Since September 2001 she has been teaching at Eastern Mediterranean University’s Faculty of Communication and Media Studies.

Yetin Arslan, Research Associate
Yetin Arslan completed her BA degree in Radio, TV and Film Studies and then her MA degree in the field of Communication and Media Studies at the Eastern Mediterranean University. Her masters thesis was based on “Re-construction of the Turkish Cypriot Sense of Self in Selected Newspapers in North Cyprus”. She is a doctoral student and a research assistant in the Communication and Media Studies department at EMU.

Alexia Zinonos, Trainer
Alexia Zinonos graduated from the University of Indianapolis with a BA in Psychology and subsequently completed her her MA degree in Sociology at Intercollege, Nicosia. Alexia was a volunteer at the Centre for the Prevention of Domestic Violence from 1999 to 2002 and has been an active member of several women’s organisations and groups, as well as a founding member of Hands Across the Divide.