Harris Goldman ’08 has earned a prestigious Critical Language Scholarship that will enable him to study in Russia for nine weeks this summer. The scholarship program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.
“This is the first year we've had students apply, and we're very glad Harris was accepted,” says David Galloway, assistant professor of Russian area studies. “The State Department has only recently returned Russian to the list of critical languages and this support means great things for our students in terms of financially accessible opportunities for study abroad.”
The scholarship is part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), which aims to increase the number of Americans studying and mastering “critical need” foreign languages: Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian were also recently added to the list.
Recipients are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers. Goldman attributes his success to the liberal arts education he received at the Colleges.
“The Russian department as a whole helped me greatly. My interest in Russian stems from friends from home who are native speakers, and HWS allowed me the flexibility to study the language. It was never in my plans originally, as I took my first course as a junior, but I think it will figure quite significantly in my future.”
Goldman will be studying in Astrakhan Oblast at Astrakhan State University, Russia. While studying in Russia, Goldman will live with a non-English speaking family, go on cultural excursions and receive intensive instruction for 30 to 40 hours a week. After completing the program, he hopes to combine his interest in Russian language and culture with his interest in physics by studying in Russia and collaborating with Russian universities.
At HWS, Goldman played two years on the Statesmen soccer team, and assisted the Heron's junior varsity and varsity soccer teams. He's worked as a physics and Russian tutor, and is a member of physics club and restarted the robotics club this past fall.
In the photo above, Goldman works with Assistant Professor of Russian Area Studies Irina Mikhaleva.