Ostin Merkle-Lawler

Ostin Merkle-Lawler ’19

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!