Institute on Russia's Award for Excellence in Russian Studies

The Institute for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies (IREES) has a principal goal of enhancing students' knowledge about Russia. That is why the Institute involves students in all of its activities and events and encourages them to take a broad range of courses related to Russia.

To that end the Institute has created a special award of $750 for students who have an outstanding record in those courses together with significant engagement with things Russian. IREES offers multiple awards annually.

Graduate students will be considered for a separate award of $1,000. Those applying should demonstrate commitment to Russian studies through relevant coursework and activities.


  • Enrollment in Russian language classes

  • Enrollment in area studies classes (concerning Russian or East European politics, history, culture)

  • 3.5 overall GPA

  • Completed application essay: one paragraph on what you learned in your courses related to Russia plus one paragraph on what you will do with the money and/or future plans.

Contact Information:

To apply, email the above materials in one document to Victor Peppard at

Award 2022

2021 award winners: 

Nataliya Kuzmin recently graduated from USF after earning two degrees, one in Psychology and another in World Languages, with a concentration in Russian. Nataliya was born in Ukraine and grew up speaking Russian. She chose to study the language at USF because she wanted to improve her reading and writing. Her goal is to be proficient enough to transcribe her grandmother's old recipes and read her mother's favorite Russian classics. Throughout her undergraduate years, Nataliya served on the executive board of the Russian Language and Culture Association in various capacities. In her last semester, Nataliya worked as the president of the organization leading a myriad of events. Her favorite event hosted by the Russian Language and Culture Association is the yearly celebration of Maslenitsa.


James Greene graduated from USF in Spring 2021 with a B.A. in World Languages (Russian) and History. At the undergraduate level, he was able to utilize the resources in both major departments, as well as the extracurricular enrichment provided by the Institute on Russia, to open previously unknown academic and career paths. He is currently enrolled in the History M.A. program at USF where he hopes to further study Freemasonry and its impact upon Russian history, literature, society, and contemporary politics.