Student Accomplishments

September 2019 Student News:

Liya Wizevich, a Penn Alumna Class of 2018 and a Russian major, has been accepted to the Stanford US - Russia Forum where she will be working in the applied history group and traveling to Moscow in November 2019 and to Stanford in April 2020, to present at 2 conferences. She is also starting her Master's in Modern European History at the University of Cambridge. 

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Sydney Adams was invited to be a US delegate for the Stanford US-Russia Forum in the Business Relations working group. She will be working with another delegate from the US and two from Russia to write an academic paper on US-Russia bilateral business policy, and will participate in conferences in Moscow and Palo Alto alongside the ~30 other delegates.

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Luba Zinkowsky Friedman Fund Slavic Department Prize for Excellence in Russian Studies

Awarded annually to an outstanding student of Russian Studies

  • 2019 Nicholas Akst
  • 2018 Natasha Kadlec
  • 2017 Miranda Lupion
  • 2016 Laura Christians and Stephanie Petrella
  • 2015 Alexander Droznin-Israel
  • 2014 Igor Bazay
  • 2013 Jacqueline Yue
  • 2012 Award was not given
  • 2011 Cameron Hood, Sarabeth Zielonka
  • 2010 Benjamin Kaufman
  • 2009 Kelly Fedak
  • 2008 Award was not given
  • 2007 Christina Watts
  • 2006 Shannon Meyerhoff
  • 2005 Spencer Willig
  • 2004 Alexander Pantelyat
  • 2003 Daniel Watson

Luba Zinkowsky Friedman Student Travel Fund Awards

  • 2019 Liam Germain, Beau Staso, Abigail Sugarman
  • 2018 Nicole Vereczkey, Beau Staso, Christopher Tremoglie
  • 2017 Helen Stuhr-Romerreim
  • 2009 Christoph Suter, Allison Evans, Mary Catherine French, Peter Winsky, Ben Kaufman

Slavic Department Research Essay Prize 

Awarded to the best undergraduate paper presented at the annual Slavic Department undergraduate conference, the Slavic Bazaar.

  • 2019 Yasmeen Duncan; Honorable mention: Alyson del Pino
  • 2018 Sydney Adams, Honorable mention: Natasha Kadlec and Anton Relin
  • 2017 Natasha Kadlec
  • 2016 Richard Wess, Honorable mention: Syra Ortiz - Blane
  • 2015 Alexander Droznin-Israel
  • 2014 Otto Kienitz, Honorable mention: Phoebe Goldenberg and Steven Emanuel
  • 2013 Jacqueline Yue
  • 2012 Sarabeth Zielonka, Kathryn Brossa
  • 2011 Ana Miniuk, Melissa Goodman
  • 2010 Molly Reed
  • 2009 Alina Tulloch
  • 2008 Hannah Nicholas
  • 2007 Katharine McCormick
  • 2006 Anastasiya Osipova
  • 2005 Rayna Lopyan, Markian Dobczansky
  • 2004 no award was given

ACTR Annual Post-Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award:

  • 2019 Anton Relin
  • 2018 Vivian Kitainda


The Annual ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest

2019  Winner: Michael Ehart

          Tathagat Bhatia (Honorable Mention)


2015  Heritage Learners: 

Valeryia Aksianiuk, 

Max Abugov, Honorable Mention (Category C, Level 1)


2014 Traditional Learners:

Ramsey Reyes, Honorable Mention (Category A, Level 1), 

Miranda Lupion, Honorable Mention (Category A, Level 2), 

Richard Wess , Third Place (Category A, Level 3)

Heritage Learners:

Elena Nikonova, Second Place (Category C, Level 1), 

Maya Shumyatcher, First Place (Category C, Level 2), 

Masha Nikolski , First Place (Category C, Level 3)


2013 Traditional Leaners:

Michael Flanagan, Honorable Mention, Level 2

Heritage Learners:

Kenan Seyidov, Third place, Level 2


2012 Traditional Learners:

Jacqueline Yue, First Place, Level 4 

Heritage Learners:

Alexander Droznin-Izrael, Honorable Mention, Level 1


2011 Traditional Learners

Kristin Zuhone, Third Place, Level 1, 

David Berk, Honorable Mention, Level 1, 

Jacqueline Yue, First Place, Level 2 

James Tonascia, Honorable Mention, Level 2 

Bronwyn Koehl, Third Place, Level 4

Heritage Learners:

Mariya Keselman, Third Place, Level 1


2010 Traditional Learners:

Jacqueline Yue, First Place, Level 1

Logan Bayroff, Honorable Mention, Level 1

Jason Don, Honorable Mention, Level 1

Alexandra Savoy-Knitter, Honorable Mention, Level 1

Cameron Hood, Honorable Mention, Level 2

Heritage Learners:

Irina Denisenko, Honorable Mention, Heritage Learners, Level 1


2009 Traditional Learners:

Taeko Harada, Honorable Mention, Level 1 

Sarabeth Zielonka, Second Place, Level 1

Peter Winsky, First Place, Level 2 

Heritage Learners:

Alexander Salasyuk, First Place, Heritage Learners, Level 1 

Ekaterina Petrova, Honorable Mention, Heritage Learners, Level 1

Natalia Kogay, Third Place, Heritage Learners, Level 2


2008 Traditional Learners:

Edward Kraftmann, First Place, Level 1

Anne Skuza, First Place, Level 1

Katherine Wallace, First Place, Level 1

Ionelia Engel, Honorable Mention, Level 1

Samuel Hirst, First Place, Level 4


2007 Traditional Learners:

Livia Pieralli, Honorable Mention, Level 1 

Dana S. Nenova, Second Place, Level 3

Sean B. Pitt, Second Place, Level 3

Heritage Learners:

Liza Lozovatskaya, Third Place, Heritage Learners, Level 1

Alexander Vasin, Honorable Mention,Heritage Learners, Level 1


2006 Traditional Learners:

Yomaira Tamayo, Third Place, Level 3


2005 Traditional Learners:

Roxanne Samak,Honorable Mention, Level 3


Other Grants and Acheivements

2017 - Jeremy Golant is the recipient of the American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) Annual Post Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award.

2016 - Laura Christians is the recipient of the Dean's Laureate Award.

2015 - Laura Christians is the recipient of The American Council of Teachers of Russian (ACTR) Annual Post Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate Award. 

2014 - Alex Droznin-Izrael, Russian major, has won the 2014 Humanities Prize from Phi Beta Kappa for his essay "The Female Death in Tolstoy's War and Peace."

2013 - Irina Denisenko was givern the annual Post-secondary Russian Scholar Laureaute Award.

2009 - Benjamin Kaufman has been awarded a CURF grant for summer research in Latvia.