CIEE Program Term: Spring 2017
Home School: Indiana University Bloomington
International Studies, Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures
Even before embarking on CIEE Russian Language Program in St. Petersburg in Spring 2017, Katya learned Russian and visited Russia many times: her relatives on her father’s side live in the Sakha (Yakutia) region in the Russian Far East. However, she had always been fascinated by St. Petersburg and dreamed of visiting. “When I finally got the chance, I could hardly contain my excitement and set out on a new adventure in a new city, and what felt like a whole different country from the Russia I knew before.” Her vision of the city changed during the time she spent there. Katya says, “I definitely had a romanticized attitude towards the city, as my understanding of it was shaped for so long by what I read, watched, and listened to about it. I paid homage to my literary and musical idols, and I visited fabulous places I had previously only read about or seen pictures of. But apart from this outlook that, admittedly, felt a little stuck in the past, my time in St. Petersburg endowed a more realistic outlook of a place with historical charm, but one that is also contemporarily vibrant. I often tell people that walking around the city is like walking around an open-air, living museum, as there’s always something interesting to see, and forever something new to learn.”
After graduating from Indiana University Bloomington, Katya embarked on an MA program in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas-Austin. She continues her study of Russian language, and she is also delving more into the study of Sakha (Yakut), her father’s native language. Her current research interests broadly cover Sakha language revitalization and specifically focuses on how technological globalization influences Indigenous language retention in rural areas.
Katya is a supervising producer, audio engineer, and host for the graduate student-led podcast, The Slavic Connexion, based out of the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) at UT-Austin. Katya received several awards and grants to support her current research, including Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship for the study of Russian at the superior level, FLAS Fellowship for the study of Sakha (Yakut); FLAS Fellowship for study of Sakha in Yakutsk, Russia; Title VIII Fellowship for Russian 2020; and CREEES Professional Development Award.