Russian Majors and Minors

Ekaterina-katya-brown Ekaterina (Katya) Brown: I have a double major: Japanese and Russian. In Fall 2014 I enrolled in RUSS 101 class. After I have completed my bachelor’s degree, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in International Relations. Although I do not have a specific career goal, I know that I want my job to involve both traveling and working in Japan and Russia as well as other places in the world.


Dylan (Dima) Custodio: I am an undergraduate student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa majoring in Russian. Learning Russian had been a goal of mine since I was young and I finally have the resources to do so at UH. My goal is to work as an epidemiologist in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO), a career where being fluent in another language, especially one as critical as Russian, would be an indispensable tool. I spent Summer 2016 on a study abroad Program in Vladivostok, Russia.

Thomas (Foma) HallThomas (Foma) Hall: I am a double major in Russian and Political Sciences. I spent Fall semester 2016 in Vladivostok, Russia, as a Manoa International Exchange student, which propelled my Russian proficiency to an entirely new level. When I graduate, I intend to go on to a Master’s degree in International Relations. After that, I hope to pursue a position in the Foreign Service’s Diplomatic Corps. I’m from California, though I moved every few years, so don’t particularly call one town my home town. I moved to Hawaii from San Diego. I am engaged and have a son and a daughter, and we are all learning Russian as a family.

Emily (Emilia) NormanEmily (Emilia) Norman: I’m minoring in Russian because I grew up in Alaska, a former territory of Russia, and have always been interested in Russian culture as a result. I would love to revisit old Russian artifacts back home and be able to read the Cyrillic writing on them. Russian can be used as a means of communication throughout the Eastern bloc. As a world language, Russian will also further my career opportunities and allow me to communicate with more and different types of people.

Katarina (Nina) TatomirovicKatarina (Nina) Tatomirovic: I am an undergraduate student at UH Manoa working towards a double major in Russian and Philosophy. I am originally from Serbia, although I have lived all over the United States, and hope to expand my horizons in Russia. There is a rich tradition of studying Russian in my family, so it was a no-brainer to me to study Russian.  As fellow Slavic nations the Serbian and the Russian cultures have many things in common but there is still so much to learn! I hope to use this knowledge and my love of the language, culture, and people, to help me pursue a career in Diplomacy and International Relations.

Deanna (Dina) Halsey

Deanna (Dina) Halsey : I’m currently an undergraduate student working on a double major in Russian and Psychology. My goal after graduating is to attend a graduate school and then eventually work with children- either as a social worker or a psychologist with a focus on early childhood patients. After realizing just how large the Russian community has become within the United States, I decided that it would be beneficial for me to learn the Russian language. I believe that having knowledge of the Russian language and culture will make communicating with any future patients much easier. If they don’t have to focus on translating from their native tongue to English, they will be able to express themselves more completely and openly.

Luba BaydakLuba Baydak: I am currently an undergraduate pre-med student pursuing a BS in Microbiology as well as a Certificate in Russian. I grew up in a Russian-American home, so when I got to the university, the language requirement seemed more of an inconvenience for my schedule. I had grown up hearing the language, so I didn’t feel the need to spend 2 extra years practicing it. When I placed into RUS 202 and saw how my classmates were so passionate about the language, culture, and country, I realized how much I was taking my life for granted. I began learning things I hadn’t known, and I found myself wanting more. I finally decided to minor in it and had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Vladivostok in the summer 2016. To say the trip was incredible is major understatement. To whoever takes Russian at UH: take this opportunity! You will not regret it. As for my future, I plan on going to medical school to become a physician. I hope to travel with incredible programs such as Partners in Health, or Doctors Without Borders. Especially considering Russian being a critical language, knowing it well will be extremely beneficial wherever life takes you.

Martha (Mara) HollandMartha (Mara) Holland: I am an undergraduate major in Russian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. As an aspiring linguist, I am fascinated by the Russian language, and am gladly developing a sincere appreciation for the Russian culture, folkways, literature, and arts. I have studied several other languages and found that Russian suits my career interests best. I currently work in real estate in Oahu, and the Russian degree will allow me to expand my business interests to work with the rapidly emerging and growing Russian community of investment buyers and emigres to the Hawaiian islands.


Michael (Misha) CorsiMichael (Misha) Corsi:

My name is Michael Corsi and I have been a student seeking a certificate in the Russian department for two years.  Currently I am a graduate student specializing in modern Russian history.  My research includes the 1910-1911 Great Manchurian Plague, which devastated the Russian Far Eastern frontier, affecting up to 60,000 fatalities and prompting the formation of an international response committee. So far, I have been fortunate enough to travel to the Russian port city of Vladivostok to both gather primary source material for my topic and to accelerate my language training.  I am interested in pursuing a PhD in Russian history after graduation, and in order to do so I must attain written and spoken proficiency in the language.  I enjoy Russian history, literature, and culture and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Russian program at UH Manoa. The Russian Program and its instructors have provided me with numerous skill-building opportunities to practice my spoken Russian with those of native fluency. I intend to finish my certificate work after next semester, but I will always remain indebted to the department for its help in establishing my career.

Marina Hruba

Marina Hruba:

I am an undergraduate student at University of Hawaii at Manoa, majoring is Translation and Interpretation with focus on Russian. I have been exposed to many different languages since childhood, which sparked an interest in me to pursue an education in translation and interpretation. I developed an early appreciation for the profession, inspired by my mother, who is a certified translator and interpreter with focus on Russian. Coming to UH to complete a bachelor´s degree in translation and interpretation major, Russian focus was a clear choice for me, having knowledge, background and interest in Russian language as well as history and culture. After graduation and perhaps after gaining some additional professional experience, I hope to enter a career as an interpreter and translator with a focus on Russian.

Virginia (Vera) Koday

Virginia (Vera) Koday:  During my nine-year military service, I traveled various parts of the world and met a lot of people from different cultures. Of all the cultures I have experienced, I find the Russian culture to be the most fascinating, with its complex history and beautiful traditions. I am pursuing a major in Russian Studies with a minor in Computer Science. I plan to combine this education with my previous BA in Sociology in order to pursue a career in Analytics, as there is a growing need for people with knowledge of Russia to work within areas of security and business.


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