Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011
Chelsea Hudson '12 has been awarded the Critical Languages Scholarship to study Russian in Vladimir, Russia. The scholarship, granted through the Intensive Summer Institutes program, seeks to help students develop critical listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.
While abroad in Vladmir, Hudson will receive more than 20 hours of classroom instruction, with courses on grammar and pronunciation, as well as Russian literature and mass media. She will also complete an essay project under the guidance of instructor, and participate in cultural and community activities in and around Vladimir.
Hudson, a Russian Language and Culture and Sino-Japanese Studies double major, found herself drawn to Russian culture early in life, her interest stemming from a love of Russian literature. "I began to read the works of Tolstoy in middle school, and then with a growing interest moved on to the stories and novels of Chekhov, Dostoyevsky, and Pasternak," explains Hudson. "I came to realize that translations could only skim the surface of the deeper meaning of their words."
In order to reach this deeper comprehension of the works she felt a connection with, Hudson pursued Russian language when she arrived at the Colleges. Since her first semester, Hudson has enrolled in numerous Russian language courses and participated in the Kathryn Wasserman Davis School of Russian at Middlebury.
Following graduation, Hudson hopes to continue her study of Russian in graduate school, where she intends to study Slavic Studies, East Asian History, or International Relations. However, she is also considering utilizing her language skills to better help those in need through Peace Corps programs in Kazakhstan or the Ukraine. Hudson's ultimate career aspiration is to become a translator for the United Nations or a humanitarian organization abroad.
"We need conflict workers who understand not only the basic language of the people they must negotiate with, but also their culture," explains Hudson. "Fluency in both Russian language and culture can be said to be essential to any peace-making process that will benefit all parties and achieve long-lasting effects."
On campus, Hudson is an Arts Scholar for Creative Writing, a member of the Colleges Chorale and the Fencing Team, and has performed with the Community Chorus.
Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes is a program of the U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the American Councils for International Education. The Critical Language Scholarships Program was launched in 2006.