After Lewis & Clark

We love to hear from our former students of Russian!

We recently heard from some of them and we want to share their stories with you. (If you are one of our alumni and you wish to send us a story or update your old one, please e-mail Maria Hristova:

In order by year of graduation:

Valery Perry ’20

SOAN major, Russian minor


My name is Val and I’m a senior SOAN major/Russian minor.  Being involved with LC’s Russian department has been a huge highlight of my college career from Russian club to studying in Saint Petersburg, to writing my senior thesis on Russian Dual Language Immersion education.

Mie Kumin

Mie Kumin
SOAN Major, Russian Minor

The opportunity to study anthropology, gender studies, and, of course, Russian at LC has opened doors that I never could have imagined. Studying abroad in St. Petersburg in the spring of 2020 gave me a taste for life in Russia that I first experienced growing up in a Russian-American household. In my last year at LC, I continued my involvement with the Russian club as its president, finding new and creative ways to virtually foster community among students studying Russian. I’m super passionate about all things Russia: its language, politics, and especially the food! The support of the Russian department at LC has allowed me to channel my long-felt interest in Russian culture into my current academic pursuit of contemporary queer identity and nationalism in Russia. Looking forward, I hope to return to Russia to continue my research, but regardless of what my future holds, I know that it will always include Russia in some form.

Rosemary Arends ’19

Computer Science/Mathematics Major, Russian minor

Growing up in Moscow, Russia, Rosemary was introduced to Russian culture at a young age and instantly felt a connection. In fact, the prospect of studying Russian was the driving force behind her decision to attend Lewis & Clark College. From relearning the alphabet to analyzing Russian film, Rosemary has enjoyed her coursework and experience in the Russian Department at Lewis & Clark. She was able to study abroad in Saint Petersburg during Summer 2017 and absolutely fell in love with the city’s bright lights and big bridges. Rosemary yearns to return to Russia and, while she is currently planning to stay in Portland for a bit after graduation, she is excited at the prospect of returning to Russia and Central Asia in the near future.

Ostin Merkle-Lawler ’19

Ostin Merkle-Lawler
History major, Russian minor

Ostin recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Spring 2019 with a major in history and minor in Russian language. Ostin was first initially drawn to Russian history at a young age when he read about the Eastern Front in World War II, and then became even more interested in the history of the late Russian Empire, revolutionary history, and the early Soviet period. 

From studying abroad in St. Petersburg in the Spring of 2018 to participating in a summer language program the year before, and supporting Russian-speaking renters with the Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT) in Portland, OR, learning Russian opened many opportunities for Ostin to delve further into his passions for history, community, and international exchange. After returning from studying abroad in St. Petersburg, Ostin began research on his senior thesis on the history of far-right Russian Fascist emigres in Harbin, a former Russian rail colony, during the 1920s and early 1930s. That same year, Ostin also led and helped organize the L&C Russian Club to hold cultural and language events. 

While living and working in Moscow, Ostin plans to continue his studies of Russian language and Russian history. He is also excited to spend much of this time meeting new people and traveling, and can’t wait to see what comes next! 

Jack H. Penrod ’19

World Languages Major (German/Russian), Political Science Minor

Jack H. Penrod 19’, World Languages Major (German/Russian), Political Science Minor

Before his final year of high school, the only foreign language which Jack knew well was German, which he had been learning since 2011. Then, during his senior year, he began watching documentaries about the history of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, sparking his interest in Russian culture.  While a freshman, he often heard his Belarusian roommate and Russian neighbor speaking in Russian, and felt compelled to begin learning the language himself.  After having taught himself the Cyrillic alphabet and some simple phrases, in the summer of 2016 Jack travelled to the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in Arkhangelsk to complete a language intensive program.  The experience proved to be very positive, and it became clear to him that he wanted to officially incorporate Russian into his academic studies.  After graduation, Jack plans to return to his hometown in Southern California, but intends to someday soon return to Russia, to cross the country via the Trans-Siberian Railway, to traverse the volcanoes of Kamchatka, and to reunite with his comrades.

Justin Schaefer ’18

Computer Science Major, Russian Minor

Before coming to Lewis & Clark, Justin knew almost nothing about the Russian language, culture, or history beyond what he had read in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. He decided to study Russian in college almost on a whim, as there was a foreign language requirement and Russian seemed like an interesting option. However, within weeks of his first Russian class, he fell in love with the language and discovered that the culture and history of Russia was even more interesting than he had expected. Unfortunately, Justin was unable to study abroad in Russia during his time at Lewis & Clark, due to switching majors at the end of his sophomore year, but he hopes to visit Russia and its neighboring countries at least once in his life. After graduating, Justin will stay in Portland to work as a software analyst for Huron Consulting, and while he will not immediately be using Russian in his career, he wants to keep up his language skill in his free time.

Aaron Schimmel ’18

History major, Russian minor

Aaron Schimmel is currently a PhD student in Jewish History at Stanford University. His research interests include nationality, language politics, and the relationship between traditional religious Judaism and Zionism in the late Russian Empire. He enjoys continuing to study Russian language at Stanford and hopes his research will soon take him to Russia. 

Aaron’s interest in Russian began when he picked up Aleksander Solzhenitsyn’s novel Cancer Ward. After reading Solzhenitsyn he began to explore other Russian writers, feeling drawn towards their work, and developed an interest in learning the language in which this literature were originally written. In addition to wanting to learn the language, he also began to explore the historical context that produced the literature. With interests in Russian literature and history, choosing to study Russian at Lewis & Clark was an easy decision. 

Upon returning to Lewis & Clark from his  study abroad program in St. Petersburg, Russia, Aaron began leading first-year conversation groups, which he did through his Senior year. He spent his Senior year researching and writing an honors thesis in history which explored the political and ideological roles of Yiddish and Hebrew among Jews in the late Russian Empire and Soviet Union.

Jessica Meyerzon ’17

Jessica Meyerzon ?17
International Affairs and Foreign Languages Major (Spanish/Russian)

 Growing up in the United States with Ukrainian parents, Jessica always had a deep interest in Eastern European and Russian culture. At Lewis & Clark College, she decided to improve her Russian language skills and learn more about her family’s heritage and her own identity. Jessica became heavily involved in the Russian department and was President of the Russian Club for three years. She led and organized cultural events for club members who wanted to practice language skills and immerse themselves in Russian culture. In her junior year, she was also the Co-Chair for the Eastern European region at Lewis & Clark’s International Fair, where she choreographed a dance that included elements from a variety of Eastern European folk dances, and cooked traditional food for the student body.

In addition to her interest in Russian culture, Jessica’s interest in political affairs led her to work on several projects during her junior and senior year with the U.S. Embassy of Moscow as a Virtual Student Foreign Service Intern. In this role, she assisted the Public Affairs Office with the investigation of the social media-consumption habits of Russian citizens, providing insight on their general interests and motivations. She also worked with the Political Office in analyzing current media, in both English and Russian, to discern the context of Russia’s engagement with foreign countries.

Jessica hopes to develop cross-cultural relations and ultimately foster diplomatic exchange between the U.S. and Eastern Europe. Currently, she works as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Baranovichi, Belarus. She teaches English courses at Baranovichi State University, gives lectures on American culture in local schools, and leads an English Club at the local library. Jessica is glad that working as an ETA will allow her to continue practicing the kind of culture-centered diplomacy that she plans to pursue as a lifelong career.

Joseph Walsh ’17

Computer Science/Mathematics Major, Russian minor

Joe initially became interested in Russia through his love of Russian literature and history.  After two years of taking Russian, he spent a semester abroad in Saint Petersburg.  Joe graduated with a major in Computer Science & Mathematics, and a minor in Russian.  He is currently a student at Cornell Law School, where he is writing a journal note about Russian territorial claims in the Arctic.  This summer he will return to Portland to work as a summer associate for an intellectual property law firm.

Sophia Freuden ’16

Sophia Freuden ?16
Magna Cum Laude, International Affairs Major, Russian Minor

As an international Affairs Major, Sophia was drawn to the complicated but important role that Russia plays in world affairs; she was further drawn into the language and the culture through the department’s classes. Sophia became deeply involved in the Russian Program at Lewis & Clark, and led conversation groups with first year students beginning her sophomore year. She also spent a semester in St. Petersburg in the language intensive program there, where she earned a 4.0 GPA. Sophia also earned the Gilman Scholarship for Overseas Studies and the Oregon Consular Corps Scholarship for Undergraduate Study of International Affairs during her time at Lewis & Clark. In addition to her involvement with the Russian Club, she was a dedicated member of student government, serving on the Student Rights & Responsibilities Committee the entirety of her time at LC.Although very successful in the classroom, Sophia has always sought out real-world experience. Sophia recently completed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Kazan, Russia, but only after completing two separate internships in Washington, D.C.—one at the U.S. Department of State, and another at the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Sophia currently works as a legal assistant at a private criminal defense firm in Portland. She is hoping to use her knowledge of the law with her interest in studying cyber crime and informational warfare between the U.S. and Russia on the graduate level. Wherever her future career takes her, Sophia’s love of Russia will be a key part of her professional life.

Sara “Scout” Mills,’16

Sara ?Scout? Mills,?16
Self-Designed Russian Major

At Lewis & Clark, Scout self-designed a major that allowed her to combine her love of Russia, her love of literature, and her love of history.  Currently, she is an MA student at NYU preparing to write her thesis on nationalism and national identity in various spheres of Russian pop culture; she received the prestigious Stephen Cohen Fellowship to attend NYU’s MA program in Russian studies. Her general research interests are media, music, crime, and nationalism as it has developed in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.  In addition to studying, Scout teaches intermediate Russian to NYU students and dedicates her free time to drawing and painting. 

Scout has known that she wanted to study Russian since she was five years old. But she didn’t know why she wanted to study it until she came to know Russian literature, whose “depiction of struggle as something one can embrace and find beauty within” inspired her to learn the language and the culture. Although literature remains important to Scout, through her trips to Russia and her coursework, Scout has discovered a new love – Russian history and cultural studies. 

As part of the major, she wrote a penetrating Senior Research Thesis on Russian criminal identity, as expressed in tattoos and songs, and history of the Gulag in the Late-Soviet period.  

 Following LC, Scout received the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship, and spent nine months in the subarctic town of Ukhta at Russia’s northern outpost for oil and gas education, Ukhta State Technical University, teaching English to Russian and international students. During her stay she traveled to nearly ten different Russian cities and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel around Serbia for a month on the way home, which expanded her interest in Russian to an interest in Slavic languages in general. 

Scout’s time at LC was full of other interests and activities, and these continue to inform and enrich her life. In addition to her studies, Scout was an active member of the Russian Club, a participant and coordinator in APOCALIPS Slam Poetry Club, and worked in KLC Student Radio. Her artwork was accepted and displayed during the William Stafford Symposium. She was the recipient of numerous honors, including the President’s Scholarship at LC.

Tadhg Fendt ’14

Tadhg Fendt ?14
Economics major & Russian minor

Tadhg was a recipient of the Boren Scholarship which support undergraduate study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, such as Russia. As part of this scholarship Tadhg was required to work for the government at least for one year. He served at the Defense Department in Washington D.C., focusing on the issues of big data and business intelligence. He learned several new programming languages at this Department, and in September 2015 took a job with a software company in Milwaukee, WI called Red Arrow Labs. Recently Tadhg accepted a new job at the ECONorthwest, a consulting firm in Portland, Oregon, where he works as a research analyst. Tadhg hopes to go to grad school in one or two years in a social science research field.

Ana Frigo ’14

Ana Frigo ?14
International Affairs major and Russian minor

During her study at Lewis & Clark, Ana was accepted into Middlebury College Russian Summer School, and the following Fall she spent a semester studying Russian at St. Petersburg State University (Russia). She taught English in St. Petersburg (Russia) for several months after her graduation from Lewis & Clark, and later she applied and was accepted for a Master’s degree program at University College London for Political Analysis.This Program provides an opportunity to study political and social developments in post-communist Eastern Europe, the western Balkans and most parts of the former Soviet Union. Ana hopes to work in research, policy analysis or the NGO sector after her graduation from her Master’s Program.

David Salkowski ’14

David Salkowski ?14
Music Composition major, Russian minor
David graduated from Lewis & Clark in 2014 as a Pamplin Fellow with a major in Music Composition and a minor in Russian Studies. After graduation, David worked at the nonprofit radio station, All Classical Portland, while also active as a music educator through Music Access Project Portland and Portland Youth Symphony. 

In 2015, David began graduate study in musicology at Princeton University, where he is currently a PhD candidate. In addition to musicology, David is also engaged in the Slavic Department and the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton. David’s research focuses on music, aesthetics, and religion in Late Imperial Russia, and his dissertation explores the role of music in negotiating meanings of Russian Orthodoxy between church, state, and intelligentsia in this period. David is also dedicated to performance and has worked with musicians both in Portland and in Princeton to stage works by the Russian émigré composer Arthur Lourié.
David’s work is based on archival research in Moscow, St. Petersburg, New York, Washington DC, and Basel, and he has received grants from the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) and the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies. He has also received a fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation to conduct research in St. Petersburg for the 2018-19 academic year.

Ella Antell ’12

Ella Antell ?12
History major and Russian minor

At the end of her study at Lewis & Clark, Ella received the prestigious Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Russia.  She spent her next academic year teaching English at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Kaliningrad (Königsberg) and researching the city’s history and identity.  She kept a blog about her experience in Russia:  http://www.  Currently, Ella is a PhD student in U.S. History at Harvard University.

Laura Santos-Bishop ’12

Laura Santos-Bishop ?12
English, Foreign Languages (Russian/Spanish)

After graduating from Lewis & Clark with a double major in English and Foreign Languages (Russian and Spanish), Laura spent the 2012 – 2014 academic year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Erevan State University, in Armenia. After that, she continued to work at American University of Armenia, in the Department of Administration and Accreditation. Currently, she works at the European School in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Kim VanKoten ’11

Kim VanKoten ?11
Foreign Languages major - Russian/Spanish
Kim VanKoten ’11, majored with honors in Foreign Languages (Russian & Spanish). She wrote her senior honors thesis in Russian, and right after her graduation she was hired by the Jewish Family & Child Service in Portland Oregon. First she served clients as a Russian-speaking Homemaker Assistant and now as the Scheduling Coordinator for the VIP Seniors and Holocaust Survivor Services program. Kim enjoys putting her Russian language skills to good use to serve Holocaust survivors from Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere. In her spare time Kim enjoys hiking, yoga and watching movies.

Margaret Williams ’11

Margaret Williams ?11
International Affairs, Russian minor

After graduating from Lewis & Clark with a major in International Affairs and a minor in Russian, Margaret spent the 2011 – 2012 academic year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law in the Russian Far East. She taught English to university students and professors through a variety of courses that focused on writing, reading and understanding cultural differences. In addition to teaching, she also conducted research on the use of digital technologies in cross-cultural communication between Russian and American students, and collaborated with the Khabarovsk American Corner on a number of community outreach initiatives.

Margaret describes her time in Russia as highly rewarding and enlightening. “I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity. As a student at Lewis & Clark, I developed an interest in finding ways for people from diverse cultural backgrounds to overcome initial obstacles and achieve meaningful collaboration. Sharing my culture as an American while simultaneously deepening my own understandings of Russian society allowed me to put this into practice.”

Following the conclusion of her fellowship, Margaret is interested in pursuing a career in the field of international relations. She hopes to join the Foreign Service after returning to graduate school.

Jessica Houston ’10

Jessica Houston ?10
International Affairs Major, Russian Minorundefined

Jessica Houston spent the 2010-2011 academic school year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Volzhsky Institute of Humanities in Southern Russia.  She taught English to university students on topics as varied as International Environmental Policies to the poetry of Langston Hughes. The arid steppe was quite a contrast for her as a Portland native and former exchange student to Vladivostok.  Her travels across the diverse landscapes of Russia during her fellowship sparked an interest in how geography shapes cultures. 

Jessica kept a blog of her Russian experiences at:

She is currently exploring her interests in international conservation work and contemplating graduate programs in geography while working as an administrative assistant at the Wild Salmon Center in Portland:

Andrea Liamzon ’10

Andrea Liamzon ?10
Foreign Languages Major (Russian & Spanish), Art History Minor
Languages (Russian/Spanish) and Art, Andrea was accepted into a prestigious 9-week summer internship program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  She was then offered to continue her work as a market researcher for the rest of the year.  Andrea recently received a full scholarship to study Tourism Management at the postgraduate level in Europe this fall.
Erasmus Mundus European Master in Tourism Management (EMTM) is a two-year integrated mobile-track program that focuses on the challenges in contemporary tourism.  She considers the program as another step towards an international career in destination management and heritage tourism.  After this program, Andrea plans to gain experience in an international organization to support various developmental initiatives in the Philippines and Southeast Asian region in the future.

Stephanie Locke ’10

Stephanie Locke ?10
Communication Major, Russian Minor

After graduation, Stephanie was awarded a J. William Fulbright Teaching Assistantship in Slovakia.  She taught English language to high school students as well as coached the school’s English-language debate club.

Stephanie is currently working towards a graduate degree in Linguistics at the University of Hawaii.  She specialized in Language Documentation and Conversation.  Her aspirations are to work with indigenous peoples of Russia to document and preserve their native languages.

Stephanie was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship to continue her study of Russian language in Kazan, Russia during summer 2012.

Hongda Jiang, ’08

Hongda Jiang, ?08
Double major, International Affairs and Foreign Languages (Russian & Chinese)

Hongda was the first student from LC to participate in an immersion program in the Far-Eastern city of Vladivostok, a new LC overseas program in Russia at that time. As a result of successful networking through this study abroad program, he was hired by a Moscow-based consulting firm immediately after graduation as a client management supervisor. During his tenure at this firm, Hongda accumulated challenging and rewarding experiences which helped him get into a prestigious graduate program. Later Hongda enrolled at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the Center for Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES) at the University of Michigan, the school that is considered one of the nation’s leading institute for business and interdisciplinary research and training on the former Eastern bloc. Now Hongda is back in Oregon and works for Intel.  He recently purchases his first house.

Matthew Nelson ’08

Matthew Nelson ?08
Foreign Languages major (Russian & Spanish)

Matthew was a recipient of Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships in Russia in 2008/9 and 2009/10. He taught English and American culture at the Academy for Government Service in Novosibirsk (2008/9) and the Far Eastern University in Vladivostok (2009/10).

 After returning to the USA, Matt taught ESL to adult immigrants and refugees in San Francisco for three years before moving to Atlanta to complete a Masters degree in Applied Linguistics at Georgia State University. Currently, he works as an English Language Fellow with the U.S. Department of State in Nepal, where he teaches university courses in language teaching methodology and conducts teacher training workshops for English teachers.

Amanda Pope ’08

Amanda Pope ?08
International Affairs major, Russian minor

After her graduation from Lewis & Clark, Amanda studied at the Graduate School of International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies for two years (Russian was her language of focus). After finishing her studies she moved back to Portland where she works as a student coach for the InsideTrack’s Coaching Program, the largest provider of technology-enabled student coaching services for American colleges and universities.

Anna Rodgers ’08

Anna Rodgers ?08
Double major, History and Foreign Languages (Russian & Spanish)

Anna spent two years with the Peace Corps in Kazakhstan, where she taught English in a village school, held teacher trainings, and ran summer camps, including one at a local orphanage.  While in Kazakhstan, she had a fascinating time observing the remnants of the Soviet Union, drinking tea (and a few cups of fermented mare’s milk), and navigating around the idiosyncrasies of a second world country.  Her Russian improved greatly, although there are certain things that she can only say in Kazakh.  (She can never remember how to yell at her students to “Be quiet!” and tell them “That’s enough!” in Russian, but Kazakh is second nature.)  She kept a blog about her experiences and philosophical musings:

After returning to the States, Anna earned her Master of Arts in Teaching at Willamette and is now teaching 5th grade at Toledo Elementary School.

Lee Eisenberg ’06

Lee Eisenberg ?06
Foreign Languages, Russian and German

Lee spent a year after his graduation in Yekaterinburg (Russia). He participated in the US-Russia Volunteer Initiative (USRVI), sponsored by IREX. Along with other volunteers, Lee taught schoolchildren about mental disabilities, as well as oversaw sports events between mentally disabled students and non-disabled students. In addition to his work, Lee liked to go to operas, theaters, museums, and more. Lee studied at the Moscow State University on the ACTR full scholarship and returned to the USA in May, 2009.  After that he studied translation and localization management at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, located in Monterey, California. Lee has been working as a translator since his graduation from the Monterey Institute.  He recently moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he received a new translation job.

Nikki Zimmerman ’06

Religious Studies, Russian minor

Right after her graduation Nikki got an Americorps job with the Northwestern University Settlement House in NW Chicago. She worked at a secondary school as a teacher’s aide, teaching some lessons herself, tutoring, running an after school program, and organizing volunteer projects for the kids and their parents.

This spring Nikki wrote to us: “I have nearly finished my MA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. (MA International Policy Studies, Specialization: Humanitarian Assistance & International Development).  At the Monterey Institute, I continued to study Russian and focused my studies on post-conflict reconstruction and development. Applying what I have learned, I am currently in South Sudan researching to finish my degree and working with Winrock International on the Sudan BRIDGE program as a Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist.  This program is a three-year development program with an overall objective of supporting the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which recently brought an end to Sudan’s 22-year civil war.  Specifically it works to strengthen the capacities of state and local government to decentralize and deliver basic services, provide immediate tangible peace dividends and increase economic opportunities. My research specifically focuses on the area of economic opportunities by analyzing the impact of the BRIDGE program strategy as it relates to rural income generation.

I interned for this program for 3 months last summer, and now I am back for another 6 months.  My plans after this program are a little uncertain, but I plan to stay involved in international development.”

Nate Jones ’05

Nate Jones ?05
History, Russian minor

Currently Nate is the Director of the Freedom of Information Act Project for the Archive.  He oversees the thousands of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) requests and the hundreds of FOIA and MDR appeals that the Archive submits each year.  An active member of the American Society of Access Professionals (the professional association of govenment FOI officers), he acts as liaison between Archive analysts and agency FOIA offices, and serves as the Archive’s FOIA counselor to the public.

He is also editor of the Archive’s blog Unredacted where he writes about newly declassified documents and FOIA policy; he also manages the Archive Twitter feed and Facebook page.  He has authored the Archive’s past four government-wide FOIA Audits, including Outdated Agency Regulations Undermine Freedom of Information.

Matthew Price ’05

Matthew Price ?05
International Affairs, History & Russian minors

In addition to his major & minors at Lewis & Clark, Matthew studied Russian in Nizhny Novgorod for one semester and Kazakh in Kazakhstan for two summers. He traveled extensively in the former Soviet Union. A photo narrative of his travels can be seen at http://www.lclark. edu/~russkie/price/ index.htm.

Recalling his time at Lewis & Clark, Matthew said: “Throughout my four years at college, the Russian Section has consistently supported my efforts to develop linguistic and research skills for studying the former Soviet Union. No matter what avenue of study I wanted to pursue, the Russian professors were always encouraging and available to help.

Russian language training has enabled me to travel independently and confidently throughout the region and allowed me to get to know the people and culture of Central Asia on a personal level.

Matthew has been accepted into the graduate program of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University and plans to begin his studies in the fall ’08. He looks forward to more adventures traveling throughout the heart of Asia.

James Riley ’04

Religious Studies, Russian minor

After working 2 years, James plans to earn a Master’s in History at PSU and go on for a doctorate in History and Religious Studies. He wants to focus his scholarship on Russia and the Middle East and to research Chechnya as the crossroads of Russian and Islamic studies.

Anna Stewart ’04

Anna Stewart ?04
History, Russian minor

Anna recently e-mailed us: “After graduating I spent the summer teaching English to Japanese exchange students in Portland. Then I moved to Prague and taught English for 7 months. I always had the goal of going to Russia to put to use the language I started studying at Lewis and Clark. So the following year I taught English in St. Petersburg 4 months. I am currently studying Russian 20 hours a week at Smolny Institute and teaching English to pay the bills. I plan to spend the summer in Kazan or Siberia, and I hope to find an internship that will help me get into graduate school (History or Economics). I am very grateful to the Russian Program at Lewis & Clark for all the encouragement and guidance they provided and I think any student with the interest and motivation will find LC a great place to start discovering Russia.

Josh Fjeseth ’03

Economics, Russian minor

Josh went to St. Petersburg in 2002 to study Russian as an exchange student. Returning to Russia the following year, he was soon hired by an international law firm to do drafting and editing work. After living, working and traveling in Russia for about 3.5 years, Josh and his then future wife Margarita moved back to the U.S., where they now live in Denver, Colorado. Since returning to the states, Josh has worked as a translator and editor for the Eastern European offices of an international law firm based out of Germany. He plans on studying law or business in the near future.

Catherine Magelssen ’03

Catherine Magelssen ?03
Sociology, Russian minor

Before she came to LC in 2000, Cathrine had lived and worked in Croatia for 5 years.  Because Central and Eastern Europe was always an intriguing area to her, she decided to minor in Russian, adding it to her major in Sociology/Anthropology.  Central and Eastern Europe became the focus of her graduate work at the University of Toronto where she completed a Master’s in Social-Cultural Anthropology in 2004.  After this she returned to her hometown Oslo, Norway, where she worked with public relations at the “Center for the Study of Professions”, an institute for research and graduate study at Oslo University College in Norway.   In August 2012 Cathrine moved to Saint Petersburg where she has a job as a Consul and Head of the Visa Department at the Consulate General of Norway in Saint Petersburg.

Matthew “Buzzy” Nelsen ’02

Matthew ?Buzzy? Nelsen ?02
Philosophy major, Russian minor

After graduating from LC, Buzzy went back to his hometown to work as a librarian. He then moved to Ann Arbor, MI, to pursue dual masters degrees in Information (Library Science) and Public Policy.

Currently he is Director of the Hood River County Library (Oregon).

Robert McCracken ’01

International Affairs; Russian minor

Robert worked for AmeriCorps for a few years and is now a graduate student in Public Policy and Urban Planning at the University of California at Berkeley.

Sasha Archibald ’00

English, Russian and Gender Studies minors

Sasha recently wrote that she is an associate editor at Cabinet magazine, a nonprofit art and culture quarterly based in Brooklyn, New York. She earned an Advanced Certificate in Museum Studies from New York University and an MA from NYU’s John W. Draper Program, an interdisciplinary self-designed humanities program. In 2005, she was named Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Studies Program, where she co-curated a contemporary art exhibition, “At the Mercy of Others: The Politics of Care,” accompanied by a catalogue. In addition to frequent articles in Cabinet, she contributed to Histories of the Future (Duke UP: 2005) and a monograph on the work of the conceptual photo-based artist Robert Blanchon (Visual AIDS: 2006); she is the co-editor of the forthcoming Presidential Doodles (Basic Books: 2006).

Justin Phillips ’98

Political Science, Russian minor

Justin received his PhD in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego and now works as an Associate Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.  Read more about him here:

Carl Schreck ’98

Carl Schreck ?98
German Studies, Russian minor

Carl studied Russian for a year in St. Petersburg as an IREX exchange student and then he went to Moscow and worked as a reporter, news editor and managing director at “The Moscow Times,” Russia’s leading English-language newspaper.  He also contributed to the Moscow biweekly The eXile, Sports Illustrated, High Times, the Daily Telegraph and the National, among other publications. You can read some Carl’s publications about Russia here:  Currently Carl lives in Washington DC and works for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Seth Gainer ’97

Seth Gainer ?97
Foreign Languages: Spanish & Russian

Seth taught English in St. Petersburg, Russia, worked as a regional coordinator for Bowne Global Solutions and as a legal assistant to 3 attorneys in Washington DC. He plans to go to law school. “Almost ten years after graduation I still use Russian almost every day. It’s made a huge difference in geting to really know and understand people and cultures from Prague to Irkutsk. When I took the Trans-Siberian Railway I made friends with Russians in my compartment!.”

Amy Mendenhall (nee Brose) ’97

Self-Designed Russian major

Amy graduated from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in 2004 and she works as an acupuncturist in her own clinic in Sherwood, Oregon.

Brian Humphreys ’94

Brian Humphreys ?94
Self-Designed Russian major

Brian worked as a freelance journalist in Russia for 6 years, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. In the late 1990’s he took a staff writing position with the Moscow Times, and wrote on many of the Russian business and economic developments of the day. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 2000 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantry officer. He considered a career in academia or policy-making circles that would build on his experiences in Russia and the military. Brian is currently a PhD candidate at Rutgers University (comparative politics program.

Dana Margosian ’93

Foreign Languages: German and Russian

Dana worked for Multnomah County Aging Services interpreting for elderly immigrants from the former Soviet Bloc. After getting an ESL endorsement at Portland State, she served in the Peace Corps teaching English as a Foreign Language in the Jewish Autonomous Region and Khabarovsk in the Russian Far East for 3 years. Upon return to Portland, she worked for Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees helping new arrivals from Ukraine, Russia and Central Asia. She then began work with the State of Oregon, Department of Human Services (DHS) working specifically with clients with limited English. Dana recently transferred with DHS to Bend, Oregon, where she admi-nisters the Food Stamp and Medicaid programs and enjoys skiing and mountaineering in her spare time.

Darcia McDaniel ’93

Self-Designed Russian major

Darcia worked as a receptionist at the American Embassy in Moscow for several years, taught English in Poland, and went back to school to get an MA in Teaching English as a second language.

Jason Stanford ’92

Jason Stanford ?92
Self-designed Russian Studies major

Editor, Moscow Guardian (1992). Reporter/Researcher, Los Angeles Times, Moscow bureau (1993). Dept. Press Secretary to Texas Gov. Ann Richards (1994). President, Stanford Campaigns (1997-2010). Currently Jason works as a Communications Director at Mayor of Austin and he is a regular Op-ed contributor at Austin American Statement and Columnist at Cagle Cartoons (read some journalistic entries by Jason here -

“If the Communist hardliners had not tried to overthrow Gorbachev in the summer of 1991, I’m sure my life would have turned out much differently. That political turmoil cancelled my LC trip to Russia, which meant that I spent my last semester on campus researching and writing my thesis on the Soviet press under Glasnost. In retrospect, it was this unexpected semester of in-depth study that proved the defining experience in my becoming one of the Democratic Party’s top opposition research consultants in the country. My faculty advisors, who included Donna and Tatiana, encouraged me to pursue independent research using primary sources and would not settle for less than original analysis. These standards have proved vital to my vocation.I spent my final semester studying in Moscow. While fellow graduates competed for bartending jobs in a recession, living in Moscow gave me incredible work experience as the editor of an expatriate magazine and a reporter in the Los Angeles Times’ Moscow bureau. It was in Moscow, oddly enough, that I made the professional connections that led me to Texas politics, where I still make my geographic and professional home.

So, to those long departed Commies, thank you, good night and good luck.”

Susan King ’91

Susan King ?91
Self-Designed Russian major

MA and PhD, Political Science, Indiana University, with a focus in Soviet and Post-Soviet politics.

Mary worked at the Moscow office of a US law firm, taught at the University of Puget Sound and Indiana University and was Assistant Director at the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University. She is Associate Director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) and Lecturer in Political Science at Stanford University.

Julie Kuchepatov (nee Ratko) ’91

Julie Kuchepatov (nee Ratko) ?91
ForeignLanguages: Russian and French

After her graduation from Lewis & Clark, Julie worked in the Russian Far East before becoming Director of Russian Operations at the Ponoi River Company where she worked for almost 10 years.  This position at the most successful sport fishing lodges in Russia allowed her to gain valuable tundra experience and fine-tune her Russian language skills.  After earning her MA in communication at Portland State University a few years later, she joined the Wild Salmon Center in Portland, Oregon, where she managed the sustainable fisheries work on Sakhalin.  She now works for Ocean Outcomes which also has a Russian Department:

Mary I. Dakin ’88

Mary I. Dakin ?88
Economics, Russian & East European Studies minor

Mary worked at the Moscow office of a US law firm, taught at the University of Puget Sound and Indiana University and was Assistant Director at the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University. She is Associate Director of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) and Lecturer in Political Science at Stanford University.