Russian Majors and Minors


William “Вова” Brady: I am an undergraduate student at UH Manoa and a Major in Russian. I also take Persian and Hawaiian and have a prior knowledge in German. I currently serve as a National Guard. At this point, I fave not formulated specific career goals but I do want to be involved in the geopolitical world. Russian has always interested me not only as the language spoken in Russia but also as a lingua franca throughout the former Soviet countries. I want to be able to work and travel for the duration of my career and Russian proficiency is a great asset.


Ekaterina “Катя” Brown: I plan to graduate from UHM in December 2018 with a major in Russian and a minor in Japanese. I am pursuing career opportunities in which I can use my knowledge and skills in these languages and cultures, either in government or private enterprises. Russian is my first language, although I had forgotten most of it; I was adopted at the age of nine from Kazakhstan by my American family and used only English for nearly ten years. I am excited to be learning about the culture and language of my ethnic Russian background. I have also been fascinated by Japanese culture since I was a teenager. I studied Japanese for four years in high school and spent two years living and studying in Japan. Additionally, I have expanded my cultural and political awareness by traveling extensively in other countries, including the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emitrates, Kenya, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Belgium, France, Spain, South Korea, Russia, Mexico, Venezuela and several of the island countries of the Caribbean with my family.  I believe that this broad experience of foreign cultures will be an asset as I move into professional work.

John Noble Kekoa Campbell
John Noble Kekoa “Илья” Campbell: I am here at University of Hawaii at Manoa until Spring of 2019 and am going to graduate with a Russian BA and a German Minor. I was born here, but grew up on the mainland in Idaho for a number of years and came back for college! I have yet to leave the country, and plan on using my acquired language skills to travel and learn more about the world’s cultures first hand. After satisfying my wonderlust I plan on working as a translator or analyst for our various government organizations.

Jessica Diehl
Jessica “Женя” Diehl: I am a Russian and Philosophy major at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Previously, I served in the United States Army as an Emergency Room Registered Nurse. It was through my military service that I met people from all over the world and experienced different cultures. While living in the country of Georgia for a year, I became particularly fascinated with both the Georgian and Russian languages. My professional goal in pursuing a Russian degree is to become a translator, possibly with a medical focus. Personally, I hope to improve my speaking skills so I can participate more fully in conversations with my friends who are native speakers. I am also interested in traveling to Russian and Eastern Europe again, and Russian will be immensely helpful in improving my experience.

Martha (Mara) HollandMartha “Мара” Holland: I intend to add a Linguistics BA to my Russian Major this year, as I plan to pursue a graduate degree in Russian Linguistics in the future. Russian fascinates me and I am determined to achieve advanced proficiency in order to be able to read the original source documents for my research into the historical aspects of the Russian language. I have recently published my first article on the history of Russian Orthographic Reform in Manoa Horizons undergraduate journal with Professor Kostetskaya’s mentorship. The Russian Phonetics course I am currently taking as my Major requirement has inspired my interest in Russian diphthongs and my ambition is to write a research paper about them in the near future.

My academic goals combine with my professional goals. Whether I choose to work in the academia or in a government position, my knowledge of the Russian language and my cultural awareness will allow me greater earning potential and more opportunities either here in Hawaii, on the mainland, or, possibly, overseas. I look forward to exploring those opportunities.

Marina Hruba

Marina “Марина” 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.

Katia Kim
Katarina “Катя” Kim: I am an undergraduate Philosophy major who is pursuing a certificate in Russian. I intend to pursue education as a career field and have an interest in languages. My goal is to one day be proficient in multiple languages and use that proficiency to show people how fun learning can be. I find Russian to be incredibly fun to learn and use.

Matthew Nelen
Matthew “Матвей” Nelen: I’m a Russian and Fine Arts dual major at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I have a BА in Psychology from Purdue University (2003). After 15 years military and government service as an artillery officer, I decided to use my GI Bill to expand on my real passions for art and culture. My wife is a Russian citizen, and this program not only brings us closer together, but helps me incorporate the vast history of the Russia into my work. We hope to one day settle in Eastern Europe.

James “Саша” Owen: I am a Political Science and Russian double major at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. When I was deciding what language I wanted to study, Russian immediately caught my eye. As I completed my 101 course, I found myself enamored with the language and culture. The Russian program here offers me the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the Russian language and culture to a degree available nowhere else. Having worked in local government on Maui, I understand the importance of cultural exposure and education. And as someone who plans on entering state or federal government, learning more about the important political actors in our world is crucial to my success. My highest career goal is to become a U.S. ambassador to Russia, and thanks to the amazing teachers here at Manoa, I can achieve this in a realistic time.

Max Pennington

Max Pennington: I am an undergraduate student with a double major in Theater and Russian at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Russia has always fascinated me as a child, and I plan to study abroad one day in order to mature academically and emotionally. My career goals for the future are to either become a diplomat between Russia and the United States, or to become a playwright with a focus in folklore. Lisa Matsumoto, my inspiration and one of my favorite playwrights, was known for writing plays using both fairy tales and Hawaiian Pidgin, a dialect spoken throughout Hawaii. My dream is that one day, my plays can unite Russia and America, through theatrical comedy. Aside from playwriting and diplomacy, I have also looked into advertising and marketing, due to the joy I’ve found in writing updates and blogs for various social media accounts in order to promote the University’s Russian community.

Katarina (Nina) TatomirovicKatarina “Нина” 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.


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