News

Maslenitsa!

February 20, 2018
Join us celebrating one of the oldest Slavic holidays and our annual event this Sunday, February 25th, at 3 pm in the backyard of the Russian House. Our holiday includes Maslenitsa effigy burning, excessive amount of blinis/pancakes/crepes (with all possible condiments) and people speaking Russian!

Sewanee Students Using Russian in their Careers

February 14, 2018
Sarah Lillibridge, a Sewanee grad who majored in Russian, will be in Sewanee over Presidents' Day weekend. This Friday 2/16 at 2:00 she will meet with our students and talk about study abroad, her Fulbright year, and her work with the National Endowment for Democracy (including her work monitoring the social media feeds of various notorious characters). There will be a conversation over tea and snacks to begin at 2 p.m. in Gailor 224. On Saturday 2/17, a current student, Summer Menefee, will also have a morning conversation at 10:00am in Gailor 224 about her ongoing internship at the State Department, her meetings with Russian, Chinese, and Taiwanese diplomats, the challenges of going to diplomatic parties, etc. and why more Sewanee students should consider internships with the State Department!

Open Mic Night at the Russian House

January 31, 2018
The Russian House is hosting Open Mic Night this Thursday, February 1st at 7 pm. We have tea from the Russian samovar and some good food.

Russian Trivia Night!

November 13, 2017
Welcome to Russian Trivia on November 14th, at 5.30pm at the DELT fraternity house. We have some surprise food and good questions for you.

3rd Annual International Karaoke Night

November 8, 2017
Students, faculty, and community members got together for a fun night of international music, food, and culture. There were over 35 acts singing in 8 languages taught at Sewanee: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish! Judges awarded prizes to the 3 best solo and group acts. Read more to find out who won.

100th Anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution

November 7, 2017
Greetings, comrades! The Sewanee Young Democratic Socialists and the Russian House have teamed up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. Join us in discussion of this critical time in Russian history and today's political climate over food and drink. November 8th, 7:00 pm at the Russian House

Dr Preslar Marks the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

October 25, 2017
Dr. Mark Preslar presented his research, "Technology as Catalyst in Revolution and Worldview Transformation," at The 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution Symposium, which took place at Bard College on October 20, 2017. The symposium examined a wide range of topics related to the history, politics, and culture of this seminal event in modern Russian history. It was well received, and he has been invited to give the same address at Smolny College in Russia, a partner institution with the University of the South.

Russian House Holds its Opening Shashlik

September 29, 2017
Всем привет! Hi everyone! The Russian department welcomes you to our annual Shashlik party Are you a fan of aromatic foods, scenic venues, and the fine patrons of Sewanee's premier language department? If so there's great news in store! Our annual Shashlik is set to begin at 4:00pm this Sunday, October 1! Come to the Russian House and replace your Sunday Clurg grind with delicious meat skewers and jovial festivities!

Russian House Welcomes its New Head Resident

September 11, 2017
My name is Vika (or Viktoria) Malik, I was born and raised in a small Russian city, Arkhangelsk - it is right next to the White sea and not far from Norway, so we also have beautiful northern lights and white nights there. During the last four years I had been studying Art History at Saint Petersburg State University in my most favorite city of Russia, which I wish everyone to visit. My main interests are languages - teaching and learning - I have recently got my degree as a Russian teacher for foreigners, so I am happy to practice my teaching skills with you! As about learning, I am very glad to study French and Italian at Sewanee now. My other passions are fine arts (obviously), literature and travelling. So, if you want to have a nice talk about Dostoyevsky, Malevich or Kilimanjaro climbing, step by the Russian House.

Russian Table in McClurg
Russian Table Starts this Wednesday

September 4, 2017
Meet with fellow Russophiles on the balcony of McClurg every Wednesday at noon. You do not need to be fluent in Russian to attend.

Studies come to life during Sewanee Summer in Russia

August 11, 2017
A group of Sewanee students spent the six weeks of the summer in Russia. The Sewanee Summer in Russia program, led by faculty members, has been taking students to Russia since 1992.

Dr. Ladygina Gives Address at 2017 MGF Conference

April 13, 2017
Dr. Yuliya Ladygina gave an address entitled "Ol'ha Kobylians'ka's War Fiction: Cultural Encounters during the First World War and their Aftermath for Ukraine's Postwar Liberationist Movement" at the 2nd Annual Interdisciplinary Conference: "A Sense of Space and Place: Global and Local Perspectives," organized by the Mellon Globalization Forum at the University of the South April 6-8, 2017.

Holy Saturday Egg Decorating

April 7, 2017
On Saturday, April 15 from 2:00-6:00, come and experience egg decorating traditions from around the world! Dr. Yuliya Ladygina will lead a Ukrainian Easter egg decorating mini-workshop as part of the event. All supplies provided. Free and open to the public. Children welcome. The event will take place in St. Mark's Hall at Otey Memorial Parish Church, and is co-sponsored by Otey Parish, Mellon Globalization Forum, and McClurg Dining Services.

Dr. Ladygina Presents Research on Ukrainian War Fiction

March 6, 2017
Dr. Yuliya Ladygina presented a paper entitled "Ol’ha Kobylians’ka’s War Fiction: Cultural Encounters during WWI & their Aftermath for Ukraine’s Postwar Liberationist Movement " at the annual meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages in San Francisco, CA, in early February.

Aleksandr Karpov Lecture

February 3, 2017
Eminent Russian scholar, Dr. Aleksandr Karpov, Head of the Department of the History of Russian Literature at St. Petersburg State University, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Pushkin Commission) examined Pushkin's epic poem, "The Bronze Horseman", which explores Russia's identity, its relationship to the West, its ambiguous feelings about empire, and the balance between rule by a tyrant and the desire for democracy. It was an excellent and timely opportunity for Americans to better understand Russia, its insecurities, and the way it views its relationship to America. Dr. Karpov has an interesting Sewanee connection, and was accompanied by his daughter, Vera Fulmer, who was the Russian House resident at Sewanee in the 90s.

Apply for Sewanee Summer in Russia 2017

December 12, 2016
Now is the time to start planning for the summer of 2017. Live in the center of St. Petersburg, visit the Bolshoi Ballet and other cultural performances, side trips to Moscow, Novgorod, a traditional bath house, a dacha, while earning full credit for 2 courses. Preliminary Application is due February 6, 2017.

Dr. Skomp Presents Research at ASEEES Conference

December 1, 2016
Dr. Elizabeth Skomp presented a paper entitled "Tat'iana Goricheva: The Development of a Religious Dissident" at the annual meeting of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies in Washington, DC earlier this month.

Dr. Preslar Discusses Dystopias at Utopian Conference

November 4, 2016
Dr. Mark Preslar went to the Society for Utopian Studies conference in St. Petersburg, Florida in October, 2016 and gave a paper entitled "The Siren Song of a Dark Future" on dystopias.

2nd Annual Karaoke Night a Big Success!

October 28, 2016
International Karaoke Night featured group and solo acts with songs from 9 different languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, and Spanish! We would like to thank the foreign language faculty, the Mellon Globalization Forum, the Center for Teaching, the E.L. Kellermann Language Resource Center, the Academic Technology Center, the Tiger Bay Pub, Sewanee Catering, and our judges: Linda Heck, Aaron Welch, and Jennifer Whitehead for making this event a success. Singers were judged based on voice quality, pronunciation, stage presence, and lyrical complexity. Read more to find out who won!

Russian Students Have a Shashlik

September 28, 2016
Students and lovers of Russian, traditionally celebrate the beginning of the new academic year with a shashlik, or a traditional Russian cookout featuring meat and vegetable shish kebabs at the Russian House. Students, professors, and their families all gathered for a fun afternoon.

Sewanee Students Spend the Summer in Russia

August 22, 2016
Five Sewanee students spent the summer studying Russian language, culture, and history at University of Economics in St. Petersburg. They took several excursions including the Kremlin in Moscow, Novgorod, a traditional Russian bath house, the ballet, folk dance performances, the opera, cemeteries where famous Russians are buried, and many more. All three of Sewanee's Russian professors were there at different points during the summer.

Tolstoy Class Eats like Levin photo
Tolstoy Class Eats like Levin

May 2, 2016
Inspired by Levin from Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina", about half the Tolstoy Seminar met at the home of Dr. Preslar to make Green Borsch using field greens like in days of old. The traditional Russian soup contained onions, carrots, potatoes, rutabagas, wild nettles, sorrel, lambs quarter, plantain, wild onion scapes, fennel, parsley, dandelions, spinach, (french sorrel too), Lemon Thyme, home made broth, a bit of salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of butter, a dollop of smetana (sour cream), garden dill, and crusty sour dough whole wheat bread dipped in olive oil with Himalayan pink salt. Many had seconds!

Kathryn Willgus
Sewanee Russian Major gets a Fulbright

May 2, 2016
For the seventh year in a row, Sewanee's Russian Department has sent one of its students to study or teach in Russia with a Fulbright Scholarship. This year's winner is Kathryn Willgus, an English and Russian major.

Orthodox Easter Eggs
Students Create Russian and Ukrainian Easter Eggs

April 25, 2016
Students gathered on the Eastern Orthodox Easter Sunday (which fell on April 24th) at the Russian House to learn traditional Easter Egg decorating techniques from Russian and Ukraine. In the photo, we can see the fruits of their efforts. There was plenty of traditional Easter bread to snack on while working on the eggs.

Body Conference Logo
Russian Faculty and Student Participate in "Body Conference"

April 18, 2016
Dr. Skomp and graduating Russian major Rachel Head recently participated in "'Why All the Fuss about the Body?': An Interdisciplinary Conference on Local and Gloabal/ized Bodies," which was organized by the Mellon Globalization Forum. On April 16, Dr. Skomp presented her research paper titled “Dismantling the Ideal Soviet Body: Ludmila Ulitskaya and Corporeality,” and Rachel Head delivered a paper titled “Representations of Motherhood in the Soviet Union: Gladkov’s Cement (1925) and Baranskaya’s A Week Like Any Other (1969).” In addition, Dr. Yuliya Ladygina moderated a panel on "Reproducing Bodies".

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"The Mortal Body: Russian and American Ways of (Not) Knowing"

April 14, 2016
Dr. Jehanne M. Gheith of Duke University, delivered one of the keynote lectures in "'Why All the Fuss about the Body?': An Interdisciplinary Conference on Local and Gloabal/ized Bodies", which was organized by the Mellon Globalization Forum. His lecture, "The Mortal Body: Russian and American Ways of (Not) Knowing" took place on April 14th at 4:30pm at Gailor Auditorium.

Poster for "The Tribe"
Viewing of Ukrainian Film, "The Tribe"

March 8, 2016
The Mellon Globalization Forum hosted the fourth screening in its World Film Series titled "The Tribe" (dir. Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, 2015, Ukraine), with introduction and Q&A with Dr. Yuliya Ladygina on Monday, March 7th, 2016 at the Sewanee Union Theater.

Sewanee Student Seeks Help to Study in Russia

March 3, 2016
Arlicia Sykes has been studying Russian for 3 years now, and will be studying in Russia this summer, and has set up a Go Fund Me for help in realizing this dream.

Students burn winter in effigy
Maslenitsa Celebration at the Russian House

March 3, 2016
Students welcomed the return of spring with a celebration of the Russian holiday, Maslenitsa! Traditionally, Russians burn winter in effigy and eat stacks of pancakes or bliny.

goluboy house
Apply now for Sewanee Summer in Russia 2016

December 1, 2015
Sewanee Summer in Russia, a six-week program offered in summer 2016, based in St. Petersburg during the magical White Nights season, is delighted to open its application process! Our successful program has been taking Sewanee students to Russia since 1992!

Drs. Ladygina and Preslar Present their Research

November 16, 2015
Dr. Preslar and Dr. Ladygina recently participated in the 40th Annual Conference of the Society for Utopian Studies. This year's theme was “Global Flows: Diaspora, Diversity, and Divergence in Utopia.” On November 5th, Dr. Preslar presented his research paper “The Role of Diversity in Human Flourishing.” Dr. Ladygina delivered her paper “Cultural Encounters and Their Aftermath in Ol’ha Kobylians’ka’s First World War Fiction” on November 6th.

Dr. Ladygina's Article Published

September 15, 2015
Dr. Yuliya Ladygina’s article “Beyond the Trenches: Ol’ha Kobylians’ka’s Literary Response to the First World War” came out with East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies, Vol. 2, No 2 (2015): 111-136.

Maria Sokolova, head resident of the Russian House for SY 2015-2016
Russian House welcomes Maria Sokolova as Head Resident

August 31, 2015
This year Maria Sokolova will be living in the Russian House. Maria is from St. Petersurg, and will be tutoring first year students, organizing Russian House activities, while taking courses at Sewanee. She is interested in international relations, and was most recently at Bard College in New York.

Ludmila Ulitskaya and the Art of Tolerance cover
Dr. Skomp's Latest Book is Published

August 12, 2015
Dr. Elizabeth Skomp's book "Ludmila Ulitskaya and the Art of Tolerance" written in conjunction with Benjamin M. Sutcliffe was published in June of 2015 by the University of Wisconsin Press.

Linda Kleinfeld places in National Russian Essay Contest

May 26, 2015
Congratulations to Linda Kleinfeld, winner of a silver medal in the National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest. Linda competed at the highest level in her category. In this year's contest, there were 1,087 essays submitted from 68 universities, colleges, and institutions across the nation. Three judges read each essay and independently ranked them. Only the top 6% of participants received gold, silver, or bronze medals.

Lock-In at the Russian House

April 16, 2015
Last Friday, the Russian Club hosted its first ever biannual lock-in at the Russian House. Attendees conversed, ate pizza and played games after making a pact to only speak Russian for the night. The event was a success! There were only a few instances when English was used and it was for clarification as the rules of a game were being explained. Students played Durak and a game called Who Am I? where each student was given a piece of paper with a Russian word on it and they had to ask questions to figure out their word. After a positive response, the Russian Club hopes to host one of these lock-ins at least once a semester to encourage higher level Russian students to use their language in a more relaxed setting.

Dana Huffer
Dana Huffer Earns Fulbright Grant

April 14, 2015
Congratulations to Russian major Dana Huffer, recipient of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant to Russia. Fulbright participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential and are given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, operates in more than 155 countries worldwide, with alumni that include heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers.

Yuliya
Russian Department welcomes Dr. Yuliya Ladygina

March 25, 2015
We are excited to announce that Dr. Yuliya Ladygina will be joining us this fall as Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian. Dr. Ladygina holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Slavic Studies from the University of California-San Diego. She is presently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian at Williams College and a Research Associate at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute."

Dr. Skomp speaks at Miami University

March 25, 2015
On March 9, Prof. Elizabeth Skomp gave a guest lecture at the Havighurst Center at Miami University of Ohio: “I am the narrator of my time: Ludmila Ulitskaya as personalizing the past and engaging the present.”

Foreign Language Degrees Pay Off!

September 8, 2014
According to a study published in the Wall Street Journal and conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, among liberal arts graduates, the highest paying entry-level salaries are paid to students with foreign language and literature degrees. The average starting salary for foreign language degree holders in 2014 was $46,900/year.

Pawlowski
Russian Artists' Exhibit Coming to Chattanooga

August 19, 2013
Icons in Transformation — a dramatic 180-piece traveling exhibit — features the contemporary icons of Russian-born artist Ludmila Pawlowska and includes some traditional icons painted by the monks of the Vassilevsky Monastery in Russia. The exhibit has traveled to cathedrals throughout Europe and the US and in now coming to Chattanooga from September 8 to November 10! The works on view at Saint Paul’s will include several large paintings, some of which will be suspended in the church, providing stunning and dramatic visual impression. Additional pieces will be on display at Second Presbyterian Church located across Pine Street.

Hanna Miller receives Fulbright award

April 21, 2013
Congratulations to Russian major Hanna Miller, recipient of a Fulbright ETA grant to Russia. Fulbright participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential and are given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, operates in more than 155 countries worldwide, with alumni that include heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers.

Armenian Genocide Recognition Day

April 18, 2013
In honor of Armenian Genocide Recognition Day, the Russian Club invites the campus to a screening of the documentary Screamers at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 24 at the Russian House. Karl Afrikian will introduce the film and give some insight into the genocide from his family's perspective along with the movement since the film's creation concerning genocidal recognition.

Student awards in National Russian Essay Contest

April 18, 2013
Two students have received awards in the National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest. Sara Crawford (C'15) received a silver (second-place) award in the Level 2 competition, and Linda Kleinfeld (C'16) received a bronze (third-place) award in the Level 2 competition. In this year’s contest, there were 946 essays submitted from 57 universities, colleges, and institutions across the nation, and each essay was ranked by three judges in Russia. Only the top 5% of participants received gold, silver, or bronze awards.

Dr. Skomp Speaks at the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies

April 14, 2013
Dr. Elizabeth Skomp recently gave an address entitled "Reading, Writing, Reflecting: Liudmila Ulitskaia’s Sviashchennyi musor and the (Possible) Conclusion of a Career" at the conference which took place March 21-24 at UNC Greensboro.

Russian Star
An Evening of Russian Politics

March 23, 2013
Dorogie studenty i kollegi! Please come to the Russian House on Thursday, February 21 for an evening of Russian politics! At 4:30 p.m., we will screen Putin’s Kiss (2012), a “[d]ocumentary that portrays contemporary life in Russia through the story of Masha, a 19 year-old girl who is a member of Nashi, a political youth organization connected with the Kremlin.

Russian Film Club of Chattanooga

October 19, 2012
The Chattanooga Russian Film Club will meet on November 10 at 6:15 p.m. EST to view “White Sun of the Desert” (1970).

My Perestroika  thumbnail
Screening of My Perestroika and talk with director Robin Hessman

September 22, 2012
Director Robin Hessman will screen her award-winning documentary My Perestroika on Thursday, October 25 at 4:30 in Gailor Auditorium. A talk will follow the screening. For more details about the film, see www.myperestroika.com.

Russian House Director Korebleva
New Russian House Director

August 18, 2012
The Russian Department welcomes Katya Korableva, the 2012-13 Russian House Director.

Benedykt Pleszczynski wins Russian Essay Contest award

April 28, 2012
Benedykt Pleszczynski, C'12, has received a silver (second-place) award at the highest level of the National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest. Over 100 students from 29 institutions throughout the United States won gold, silver, bronze, or honorable mention certificates. In this year’s contest, there were 1,057 essays submitted from 48 universities, colleges, and institutions across the nation. Each essay was ranked by three judges in Russia.

Kate Hardin receives Fulbright award

April 28, 2012
Congratulations to Russian minor Kate Hardin who was awarded a Fulbright ETA grant to Russia. Fulbright participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, and are given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, operates in more than 155 countries worldwide, with alumni that include heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers.

Russian Easter (Пасха) Celebration - Sunday, April 15

April 11, 2012
The Russian Club announces a Пасха/Easter celebration at 1:00 p.m. at the Russian House. There will be eggs to decorate and Easter snacks served; an egg judging competition will also take place. The winner will receive an Easter basket.

Broadcast of Russian ballet from the Bolshoi Theater

April 11, 2012
On Sunday, April 29, the Russian Club will travel to Murfreesboro to see a broadcast of Bright Stream (125 min.), a production of the Bolshoi Theater. We will depart from the Russian House at 2:30 P.M. Tickets will cost $20, and each person should bring some additional money for dinner. We expect to return to the Mountain between 8:00-9:30 P.M. For a short summary of Bright Stream, visit http://www.carmike.com/Events/Event/229.

Maslenitsa - February 24

February 13, 2012
Celebrate the end of winter! Please join us at the Russian House and the Women's Center from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, February 24 for Russian Maslenitsa and German Fasching festivities. We'll have plenty of Russian and German cuisine for you to sample, as well as music by the Slavic Women's Choir and German cultural activities.

Voices from the Gulag: Memory, Trauma, and the Stalinist Camps

February 8, 2012
On Monday, March 5 at 4:30 p.m., Professor Jehanne Gheith of Duke University will speak at the Russian House about her research and work with Gulag survivors. Refreshments will be provided after the talk.

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My Perestroika screening and talk postponed

February 7, 2012
The My Perestroika screening and talk, originally scheduled for February 16, have been postponed until the fall semester. For more information about the film, visit www.myperestroika.com.

Kashkorova
Professor Elena Koshkarova to teach in Russian Department during spring semester

January 5, 2012
Professor Elena Koshkarova of St. Petersburg State University will teach at Sewanee during spring 2012. She will teach first-year Russian and an advanced course in Composition and Conversation.

Sewanee Summer in Russia students
Sewanee Summer in Russia Concludes

July 25, 2011
Seven Sewanee students participated in the Summer in Russia program from late May to early July.

Hanna Miller Receives Gilman Scholarship

June 13, 2011
Rising junior Russian major Hanna Miller has received a Gilman Scholarship for International Study. She will study abroad on the Bard-Smolny Program in St. Petersburg this fall.

Scott Ward
Scott Ward to Pursue Research Project at Yale

June 5, 2011
Sophomore Scott Ward has earned acceptance to the Yale Directed Research Program for summer and fall 2011.

Sarah Lillibridge Receives Fulbright Award

April 28, 2011
Congratulations to Sarah Lillibridge who was awarded a Fulbright ETA grant to Russia. She will reside in Saratov during the 2011-2012 academic year. Fulbright participants are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential, and are given the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Fulbright Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, operates in more than 155 countries worldwide, with alumni that include heads of state, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, judges, heads of corporations, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors, and teachers.

Jesse
Jesse Schupack, C’11, awarded Sewanee’s 40th Watson Fellowship

March 18, 2011
Russian major Jesse Schupack has received a prestigious year-long Watson Fellowship for 2011-12. Schupack, a Russian major, is one of 40 Fellows from 21 states and four foreign countries to be awarded $25,000 each for a year of travel and exploration. This year 148 finalists were nominated to compete on the national level.

Conrad awarded Fulbright ETA in Russia

August 10, 2010
Amanda Conrad, a senior Russian major, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Russia for next year.

Stockholm
Professor Elizabeth Skomp Presents Paper In Stockholm

July 18, 2010
After teaching "The Classic Russian Novel," a course in the Sewanee School of Letters program, Skomp will travel to Stockholm to present a paper to the ICCEES World Congress. Professor Skomp's paper, Russian Religious Feminism and the Representation of Motherhood: ‘Mariia’ and Beyond, will be presented to the VIII World Congress of ICCEES. The International Council for Central and East European Studies is a global network of research associations, institutes and individual scholars active in the field of Russian, Central and East European studies.

Honors in National Russian Essay Contest

May 31, 2010
Two students in the Russian Department have earned honors in the National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest. Congratulations to Benedykt Pleszczynski, C’12, and Amanda Conrad, C’10! More than one thousand essays were submitted this year from 64 colleges and universities across the nation, with fewer than 10 percent winning awards. Each essay was ranked by three judges in Russia.