Student Recognized for Russian Studies

University of Central Florida student Michael Martinez just won an award for his commitment to learning the Russian language and culture.

Martinez is UCF’s 2017 Post Secondary Russian Scholar Laureate. The American Council of Teachers of Russian only presents the award to one student per university every year. This year’s award winner is an international and global studies and criminal justice double major with high aspirations.

Martinez is an office assistant in the Department of Political Science as well as a research assistant for Assistant Professor Alla Kourova, Ph.D.

Martinez has been studying Russian at UCF for two years and just finished taking Intermediate Russian Language and Civilization II with Kourova.

She nominated him for the award based on his performance in the class and his outside dedication to the language. He started his independent research with Kourova this spring and will continue it into the fall semester.

“My primary research responsibilities include assisting in grant applications for programs at UCF and expanding the academic curricula,” Martinez said.

Kourova and Martinez’s work looks to increase UCF’s Russian offerings in many different ways. They are actively developing new courses and currently working a proposal for a new academic research center focusing on Eastern European studies.

2017 marks the PSRSLA award’s tenth year. It also marks Martinez’s last year at UCF. He plans to graduate in the fall with a love for the Russian language and culture and an award that supports it.

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