Jessica Parks ’14 Senior Profile: Russian Studies

Parks.JWhen I entered W&M, I enrolled in Russian 101 just for fun, after a bit of exposure to the language in high school. No language exists in a vacuum, however, so as I progressed in my language study my fascination with Russian culture, politics, and literature increased. I took more classes and eventually declared a major so I could explore this area of the world more thoroughly. The unwavering passion and support of the Russian department faculty has greatly helped me participate in enriching activities like presenting a paper on my favorite Russian author at a conference.

The single best decision I made as a Russian and Post-Soviet Studies major was going abroad. I participated in W&M’s St. Petersburg summer program last year, and in Fall 2013 I went to Vilnius, Lithuania to complete a State Department internship. As I worked at the US embassy, and did extra traveling to other awesome places like Riga, Tallinn, and Warsaw, I realized that this region of the world is a truly dynamic area that I would love to explore further. Thus, I have decided to continue my study of this region in graduate school, and I hope to return to this area of the world soon.

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