Studying Russian at Wesleyan

Russian language and culture have been studied at Wesleyan for over fifty years. We regularly invite the foremost poets, writers and scholars from Russia and abroad to speak on a broad range of Russian and East European topics, in culture, politics, history, film, and more. All students are welcome in our courses on Russian literature, culture, and film in translation, in which all work is done in English. Consider one of these courses as an alternative to an English course. We also offer First-Year Seminars (small discussion courses with lots of writing). Start Russian in your first year and you can be ready to spend a semester in Russia the following year on one of our approved programs. Live (or hang out) at the Russian House, site of lectures, Russian co-op dinners, vocal concerts, and art exhibits. The REES major includes two tracks: Language, literature, and culture, and Social sciences. Our majors have gone on to careers in academia, business, law, the foreign service, and nongovernmental organizations.


Some of our graduates:

David Abramson, analyst, U.S. State Department

Juliya Arbisman, solicitor, Amsterdam & Partners

Lyuba Azbel, Fulbright fellow in Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan

Victoria Belyavsky Pinsky, tax counsel, Morgan Stanley

Valerie Borchardt, literary agent, Georges Borchardt, Inc.

Lindsay Ceballos, Fulbright Scholar; Ph.D. candidate, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University

Julia Chadaga, Professor of Russian Studies, Macalester College

Lisa Finder, serials librarian, Hunter College

Sean Foley, history teacher, Northfield Mount Hermon

Stephanie Gomory, Public Relations Manager & Social Media Director, Alissa Neil PR

Kate Hardin, Senior director, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Head of Russian and Caspian Energy

Douglas Herbert, International Affairs Editor, France 24

Steedman Hinckley, Senior Analyst, USG

Luke Hornblower, Partner, Financial Jurist at Deschenaux, Hornblower & Partners, LLP

Brianna van Kan, Yale Law School, Greater New York area Legal Services

Vera Krimnus, Director of Strategy, Teach for America

Katherine Lahti, Professor of Russian, Trinity College

James Longley, Filmmaker, MacArthur Fellow; Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Bonnie Loshbaugh, author & environmentalist

Alexandra Lewis-Reisen, Senior Staff Attorney, Matrimonial & Family Law, NY Legal Assistance Group

Danielle Lussier, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Grinnell College

Kaitlyn Martin, Alfa Fellowship in Moscow

Lauren McCarthy, Professor of Political Science, UMass-Amherst

Andrew Meier, journalist and professor, The New School

Malika Mirkasymova, president, Friends of Brentwood Science Magnet Elementary

David Montero, investigative journalist, foreign correspondent, producer of documentaries. 2014-2015 Fellow at the Investigative Reporting Program, Graduate School of Journalism, UC-Berkeley

Ted Plafker, Correspondent, Beijing Bureau of The Economist

Elizabeth Plantan, Ph.D. candidate in Government, Cornell University

University, focus on environmental and energy politics in Russia, China, and the Arctic

Amy Randall, Professor of History, Santa Clara University

Anthony Richter, Soros Foundation

Geoff Rips, Development Director at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid; writer for The Washington Spectator, winner of the Associated Writing Programs Prize for the Novel (2006) for The Truth (New Issues Press); Washington Monthly Award (July 1985) for coverage of the Texas legislature; author, The Calculus of Falling Bodies

Sasha Rudensky, Assistant Professor of Photography, Wesleyan University - see her portfolio of work here

Jessica Sharzer, co-executive producer and writer, “American Horror Story”

Elissa Sperling, Fulbright Scholar; Master of Information Studies program, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal

Tierney Sutton, singer & Grammy nominee, The Tierney Sutton Band

Melissa Tedone, Library & Archives Conservator, Iowa State University

Richard Thomas, co-founder, Director of Development and IELTS Trainer, English Staff Language Academy, Vladivostok

Ilya Vinkovetsky, Professor of History, Simon Fraser University

Chris Wade, English teacher, Groton School

Joshua Walker, Russian teacher, Buckingham Browne & Nichols School

Emily Wang, Fulbright Scholar; Ph.D. candidate in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Princeton University

Greg White, Moscow bureau chief, The Wall Street Journal

Monica White, Professor of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Nottingham

Matvei Yankelevich, co-founder, Ugly Duckling Presse

Steve Young, Department of State, Foreign Service, ret.; visiting professor, Wesleyan University, Fall 2015

Molly Zuckerman, reporter for Cointelegraph, St. Petersburg


Graduates: please let us know what you’re doing so we can update and/or add you to this list.