Two University of New Mexico students, incuding Glenn Elvendahl and Catherine Louise Ruev, were among 16 selected by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) for summer study abroad programs in Moscow or St. Petersburg, Russia. The students selected attend either an Asian American Serving Institution, a Hispanic Serving Institution, or an HBCU. 

As part of their efforts to expand access to study abroad to underrepresented groups, the CIEE has awarded full scholarships. The scholarship winners, selected on the basis of academic achievement, Russian language study, and essays describing how a summer in Russia would advance their career goals.

“At this critical juncture in U.S. and Russian relations, we’re excited to help increase global harmony by sending a group of young ambassadors to Russia who reflect the diversity of our country,” said James P. Pellow, President and CEO of CIEE.

Recipients of the scholarship will continue their study of the Russian language, and can take courses in Russian history, film, literature, and US-Russian relations. They will live with local Russian families, and take part in co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding. There are also opportunities to engage with the community through volunteer work with local organizations.

“There are so many reasons why it’s important for students of color to study Russian. One of those is to diversify the pipeline for national security jobs and other positions in the global marketplace,” said Dr. Brunilda Amarilis Lugo de Fabritz, Master Instructor of Russian at Howard University, who studied abroad with CIEE in Russia when she was an undergraduate.

“I applaud CIEE for this innovative initiative, and the support it offers to language departments at Minority Serving Institutions, which historically lack funding and resources”, said Dr. Lugo de Fabritz. “It shouldn’t just be the student at Harvard who gets to study Russian.”

CIEE, the country's oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, helps people develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world. CIEE sponsors a wide variety of opportunities for cultural exchange, including work exchange programs, teach abroad programs, and a worldwide portfolio of study abroad and internship programs for college and high school students.

The St. Petersburg program, established in 1967, is the oldest and most comprehensive educational exchange program in Russia.

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