July 2023 CSEEES Alumni Profile: Bryan Stout

July 31, 2023

July 2023 CSEEES Alumni Profile: Bryan Stout

Bryan Stout photo

Bryan Stout, MA in Slavic and East European Studies, Class of 2009

Where do you work and what is your current position?

I am currently a policy officer in the Director’s Office within the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Tell us how you got there.

After a brief time working for JP Morgan Chase after graduation from CSEEES, I began my State of Ohio career as a Legislative Services Commission Fellow, after which I was hired as a legislative aide in the Ohio Senate to the Senate President Pro-Tempore.  I was then hired as a legislative liaison at the Ohio Department of Medicaid under the John Kasich administration. Shortly into the DeWine administration, I transferred to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services as a legislative liaison. Most recently I have been transferred to work in the Director’s office at Job and Family Services in a policy position. 

How has your CSEEES MA helped you throughout your post-graduate life?

My time and studies through the CSEEES MA program allowed me to gain a much better appreciation for a cross cultural perspective on several issues I encounter in my career. Additionally, learning more about Russia, Eastern Europe, and even the Russian language has provided me experiences and skills that at first blush may not seem to translate into a career with the State of Ohio, but have proved to be a unique and helpful knowledge base and skill set.

What was your focus or research interest when you studied at OSU?

While at CSEEES my focus was on Russian and historical and contemporary Russian government and politics.

If you are a traveler, what is one of your favorite trips you have taken?

Fortunately, I have had several opportunities to travel, but my favorite has to be my trips to Tomsk in Siberia, Russia. This was through the exchange program at Ohio State at the time and provided a unique opportunity to study Russian over the summer while traveling “off the beaten path” in Russia. I gained a respect and interest in the region so much so that I went back to teach English at our host university, Tomsk State University, where I met my wife. 

What are your future plans?

I hope to continue my work at Job and Family Services, with a focus on foster care and reform. I also plan on staying involved with the International Visitors Council - Columbus, which hosts foreign delegations from around the world here in Columbus, from places ranging from Pakistan to Poland to Brazil. I hope to return to Tomsk when and if that becomes possible again. 

What inspires you?

As a student of history, particularly of Russian history, it is sometimes far too easy to be weighed down by the capability of man to harm his fellow man. However, despite some difficult issues that I have to address and work through in my profession I try to see the failures of our current child protection system not as a static, permanent failure, but as an opportunity to make the world a bit better through better policy and building relationships. I am inspired by our ability as children and adults to be confronted with horrible trauma, tragedy, and loss and come out of the ordeal a stronger and more centered person.