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August 22, 2013

Richfield Springs resident awarded Fulbright Grant to Russia

Richfield Springs  

A Richfield Springs resident will soon be traveling to her to Russia thanks to her award in the 2013-14 Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Meredith Doubleday, who graduated from the University of Rochester in 2013, was chosen among 13 students and two alumni from the college to receive grants, according to a college media release. 

The grants will enable participants to advance their studies, perform research and teach English abroad while serving as young ambassadors to their host countries.

Doubleday, a Russian, classics and religion major, grew up in Richfield Springs among a strong Russian Orthodox community. However, according to a media release, her first time engaging with the language was in an academic setting at Rochester, where an introductory course under professor John Givens would soon translate into a rich undergraduate career studying the language and culture. 

Doubleday studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia during the fall 2012 semester, where she volunteered as an English instructor at the Language Club and taught a wide age range of adults. She has also traveled to the country several times as a member of the Russian Orthodox Youth Choir and given presentations on her work with this group to students, faculty and political representatives in addition to her musical performances.

“Her decision to devote her Russian honors thesis to pre-revolutionary Russian orthography demonstrates the depth of her passion for Russian,” states the release. “Moreover, Doubleday’s years of experience navigating between Russian and American cultures position her extremely well for the ambassadorial duties of a Fulbright fellow.”

Doubleday’s Russophile proclivities have also found expression through her experience working in museums. Summer stints at the Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmers’ Museum have enabled her to obtain a competitive internship at the Hermitage Museum during her semester in St. Petersburg. This experience led to another prestigious internship with the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress in the summer of 2012. There, she updated the virtual card catalog of rare, pre-revolutionary Russian books and maps from the Library’s 80,000-volume Yudin Collection.

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