Darby O’Neil was born and raised in Nashua, New Hampshire. She is a senior at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), dual majoring in political science and international affairs, as well as minoring in Russian. Throughout her time at UNH, Darby has been involved in the University Honors Program, Hamel Scholars Program, Dobro Slovo (Russian Honor Society), Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, and Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Darby had been interested in conducting research in Kazakhstan since her sophomore year, and the specific idea to study gender in the media came from her UNH mentor, Dr. Svetlana Peshkova. Darby was able to travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to conduct research after being awarded a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research. The transition was tough at times, especially since she had just spent three months studying abroad in Russia, but she found comfort and community in Almaty through group hiking trips and other social activities. Darby’s career path and goals may include public service work in Washington, DC, or somewhere abroad, as well as attending law school later in life. Regardless of where her path takes her, Darby’s research in Kazakhstan has instilled in her a newfound sense of adaptability, independence, and confidence.