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Slavic Studies

Studies in Slavic help students achieve their learning goals, whether they want to go on to use Russian to communicate with Russian friends, to engage in business with Russian partners, to work in government or in the media, or to study Russian culture. Courses offered include Russian Language, Russian for Business, and Russian Culture.

Courses Offered

Students interested in studying Russian can expect to take courses in Intermediate and Advanced Russian, Conversation and Composition, Writing with Russian Sources, Russian Culture, and Service Learning. Students may choose to further their study of Russian language, culture, and society by taking elective courses in Russian for Business and Travel, Echoes of Terror in Russian Culture, Pushkin, Short Story in Translation, Women’s Voices in Russian Culture, and History of Russian Cinema. Check out some creative projects below from students in Olia Prokopenko’s Russian Comedy course!


Russian provides students with the opportunity to pursue careers in many diverse areas. Former students of Russian are now working or have worked as engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center with Russian cosmonauts training for the Space Shuttle, at banks operating in international markets, as professors of Russian literature at small colleges and large universities, in major accounting firms in Russia and in the US, in large and small law firms, in press offices in Russia, Europe and America, in the State Department and Commerce Department of the federal government, in the FBI, in the Peace Corps, as English teachers in Russian high schools, and for non-profit agencies such as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the National Foreign Language Center, and the US-Russia Business Council. Some former Russian students have worked for the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) and the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX) both in the US and in Russia.

Internships/Community Service

Students have had the opportunity to intern at the Philadelphia branch of the Mid-Atlantic Russia Business Council in areas such as web design, communications, seminar planning, and general administration. Our Russian heritage speakers also had the opportunity to intern at the offices of state representatives from Northeast Philadelphia where they worked as liaisons with the Russian community.

Russian students also have the opportunity to participate in community service by working together with the Russian faculty to recruit students from local area high schools who participate in the annual Russian Olympiada. 2016 marked the tenth year for the Delaware Valley High School Olympiada of Spoken Russian. 92 students representing five schools from Pennsylvania and New Jersey registered to compete in 2 categories: Regular Learners and Heritage Speakers. For the second time, individual learners participated in the competition, alongside the school teams coached by their experienced Russian teachers: Marian Barnum, Vlada Jackson, Konstantin Lyavdansky, Amy Wojcik.

We thank all the teams and their teachers for the high oral proficiency level they demonstrated during the Olympiada. This year’s winners are: Alphonso Gonzalez (4R, Vineland High School, NJ; Russian teacher: Vlada Jackson ) and Natalya Ter-Saakov (4H, Eastern High School, NJ; independent).


The FGIS department provides an annual award to exceptional students of Russian. Our students have also received support for study abroad in Russia from the American Council for Teachers of Russian (ACTR).

Student Awards
• Top Paper Award: Julie Seidman (CLA’15) received the James C. McCroskey & Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference Top Paper Award for research she presented at the 105th Annual ECA Convention. The paper grew out of Julie’s capstone paper which she researched and wrote in Russian.
• Temple Library Undergraduate Research Prize Winner: Evan Hoskins (CLA ’14) received the Library Prize for Undergraduate Research for his essay “Pigs in the Promised Land.”
• Fifteenth Annual ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest: Three judges in Russia reviewed 1004 essays submitted from 58 universities, colleges, and institutions across the nation. Russian Student Cody Lake (teacher: Kathleen Meyerowitz) won Third Place and Edward Danyliuk won First Place.
• Julie Seidman (CLA ’15) was named 2014 Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate by the ACTR.
• Sergey Plaksin received the Fourteenth Annual ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest Results Gold Medal Award.
• Nika Zeitlin was named 2012 Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate by the ACTR.
• Lauren Grayfer (CLA ’12) won the 2011 National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest, sponsored jointly by the ACTR and the American Association of Teachers of Slavic & East European Languages.
• Daniel Klim (CLA ’11) was named the 2011 Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate by the ACTR and was accepted to the University of Virginia Graduate School for Russian Literature.
• Katherine Lane (CLA ’12) was accepted to Duke University’s Graduate Program in Russian.
• Russian majors Ryan Ellenbaum, Peter Mosko, Julie Seidman, Ching Huang were accepted to the ACTR 2012 summer program in Russia and studied Russian in St. Petersburg and Moscow.