As I am finishing up my first year in Harvard’s Regional Studies: Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia (REECA) master’s degree, I am constantly reminded how much Dickinson prepared me for my time in Cambridge, MA. First and foremost, Dickinson College’s emphasis on writing has been critical in all my coursework. Communicating ideas effectively is critical in any academic program. Dickinson’s Russian Department also gave me crucial preparation for this program. The Russian Department’s varied curriculum on all aspects of Russia (culture, religion, politics, foreign policy, etc.) provided me the broad knowledge base to start more in-depth research at the graduate level. Currently, I am planning to write my master’s thesis on NATO’s relationship with Azerbaijan and the coursework I took in the Russian and International Studies Departments has informed large parts of my research. Dickinson’s Russian language curriculum, Dickinson-in-Moscow, and extracurricular activities like the Russian Club and the Russian House have also given the requisite language proficiency to conduct research in Russian. In particular, Prof. Alyssa DeBlasio’s translation seminar gave me the practical translation skills that I use frequently when reading Russian material.
Graduate school requires a more focused examination of topics, but Dickinson has given me the tools to do this in-depth research. Dickinson’s liberal arts education formed my ability to learn new topics with ease and quickly adapt new theoretical models. I consider my time spent in Carlisle, PA studying in the Russian Department to have been incredibly formative and I am thankful for the opportunities that have been opened for me in my “life beyond the limestone.” The professors in the Russian Department were fantastic educators, but were also great mentors who helped me achieve the goals I set out to achieve when I came to Dickinson in 2012. I am proud to be a Dickinson alumnus and firmly believe that the track record of students from Dickinson’s Russian Department demonstrates why Dickinson is a great choice for budding Russian experts.