CristianaGrigoreBioCristiana Grigore is a research scholar at Columbia University. As one of the Roma—the largest minority in Europe—Cristiana has firsthand experience with internalized stigma and the concealment of one’s ethnicity.

Upon arriving in the United States ten years ago, she experienced a more favorable environment in which to express her Roma identity. She is currently writing a book about coming to terms with her Roma/Gypsy ethnicity after being exposed to the American culture. Her experiences have been featured by The New York Times, CNN, Al Jazeera America, PRI and Voice of America.

A Fulbright scholar from Romania, she graduated from Vanderbilt University with an M.A.  in International Education Policy and Management in December 2012. In 2007, Grigore received a B.A. from University of Bucharest, Romania, in psychology.

In 2008, she co-founded the nonprofit organization, Link Education and Practice (LEAP), which promotes non-formal education to improve employability and bridge the gap between higher education and the demands of a changing 21st century workforce.

While in graduate school at Vanderbilt, Cristiana began to study ballet, a hobby which fulfills her need for athletic and artistic expression.