CIEE Awards Full Scholarships to Diverse Cohort of Students for Summer Study Abroad Programs in Russia

As part of our efforts to expand access to study abroad to underrepresented groups, CIEE has awarded full scholarships for summer study abroad programs in Moscow or St. Petersburg, Russia, to 16 students who attend either an Asian American Serving Institution, a Hispanic Serving Institution, or an HBCU.

The scholarship winners, selected on the basis of academic achievement, Russian language study, and essays describing how a summer in Russia would advance their career goals, are:

  • Antonio Fernandes, Lehman College
  • Augustine Egan, University of Houston
  • Ayesha Alam, Lehman College
  • Catherine Louise Ruev, University of New Mexico
  • Glenn Elvendahl, University of New Mexico
  • Hoai Depp, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Liam Philip, Queens College
  • Margaret Vatter, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Paul Vaughan, University of Houston
  • Peter Monegro, Hunter College
  • Rebecca Hentges, University of Houston
  • Riley Connolly, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Sonya Gupta, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Sophia Williams, Howard University
  • Tyler Gentry, Howard University
  • Witold Peebles, Queens College

"At this critical juncture in U.S. and Russian relations, we’re excited to help increase global harmony by sending a group of young ambassadors to Russia who reflect the diversity of our country,” said James P. Pellow, President and CEO of CIEE.

Recipients of the scholarship will continue their study of the Russian language, and can take courses in Russian history, film, literature, and US-Russian relations. They will live with local Russian families, and take part in co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding. There are also opportunities to engage with the community through volunteer work with local organizations.

“There are so many reasons why it’s important for students of color to study Russian. One of those is to diversify the pipeline for national security jobs and other positions in the global marketplace,” said Dr. Brunilda Amarilis Lugo de Fabritz, Master Instructor of Russian at Howard University, who studied abroad with CIEE in Russia when she was an undergraduate.

“I applaud CIEE for this innovative initiative, and the support it offers to language departments at Minority Serving Institutions, which historically lack funding and resources,” said Dr. Lugo de Fabritz. “It shouldn’t just be the student at Harvard who gets to study Russian.”

CIEE's St. Petersburg program celebrated it's 50th anniversary in 2017. It is the oldest and most comprehensive educational exchange program in Russia. 

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