What’s It Like?

No one can give you a better sense of what it’s really like to study Russian at Lewis & Clark than our current students and recent alumni.

Marcella Chavez BA '21

Marcella Chavez

Hometown: Worthington, Ohio
Overseas Program: Alicante, Spain
Extracurriculars: Cross Country and Track
Martin, in a black blazer and red collared shirt, sitting on an outdoor bench next to a brick wall.

Juan Martín López Meléndez

Hometown: La Piedad, Michoacán, México/Fresno, California/Las Vegas, New Mexico
Overseas Program: Russia
Extracurriculars: Bachata Club (leader), Third Culture Kids (TCK) board member, L&C Dance Company, Great Expectations mentor, Spanish tutor, Gente Latina Unida, Dance Y, Dance Extravaganza, College Outdoors
David Salkowski BA '14

David Salkowski

Overseas Program: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Extracurriculars: Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Russian Club
Aaron Schimmel BA '18

Aaron Schimmel

Overseas Program: St. Petersburg, Russia, Fall semester 2016
Extracurriculars: Greater Portland Hillel
Jason Stanford BA '92

Jason Stanford

Overseas Program: Moscow, Russia
Extracurriculars: Rowing, published in Polyglot and Log, tutored German, Russian Club

Marcella Chavez ’21

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Marcella ’21 World Languages & Literatures Major (Spanish and Russian

I decided to come to Lewis and Clark because of the challenging language programs and small class sizes. I have always loved learning languages, ever since middle school, and studying at LC has allowed me to pursue Spanish, Russian, and Arabic. Learning Russian has definitely been challenging, but very rewarding. In spring 2020, I studied abroad in Alicante, Spain, followed by a summer intensive Russian course at Beloit College. After LC, I hope to go to Russia so that I can experience all of its history, culture, food and overall atmosphere. My professional goal is to become a translator of Russian and Spanish.

Fernando Torres ’21

Fernando Torres ’21 Political Science, World Languages and Literatures (French and Russian)

Before coming to college, I did not plan to study Russian. But driven by a sense of adventure and also a fascination for a country and a culture that is often negatively portrayed by the Western media, I decided to give the Russian language a try. While Russian is difficult and different from other languages I have been exposed to, I really enjoyed the process of learning and being introduced to this new and challenging language. Studying abroad in Saint Petersburg was one of the most enriching opportunities of my undergraduate experience. Sadly, my time in Russia was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the Russian language and its complexities still pose a challenge, I anticipate going back to Russia to keep learning this beautiful language and to continue to immerse myself in the unique Russian culture

Mie Kumin ’21

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.