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Middlebury Russian students have gone on to careers in diverse fields in every corner of the world. Many still use their Russian in occupations that range from finance to journalism, translation, education, music, law, government, health, human rights work, and more.

Here are comments from some of our former students:

Michael Apicelli ’03

Michael says, “I am an international affairs specialist for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs. I have used my Russian language skills in my capacities as desk officer for the Baltics and Armenia, as well as staff-level coordinator for the U.S.-Russia Energy Working Group under the Bilateral Presidential Commission, established by Presidents Obama and Medvedev. I use my Russian language skills on a regular basis to analyze news, current events, and legislation (most recently on energy efficiency in the Russian Federation) throughout the former USSR. I think that the ability to speak a common language brings a more human face to the promotion of U.S. government policy in the region. It really is an invaluable tool to get the conversation started and break the ice with high-level decision makers in advance of meetings and other events. My education gained at Middlebury, and especially the summer language program, has uniquely prepared me to take on these responsibilities serving the U.S. government.”

Cathe Neely Yusupov ’99

Cathe Yusupov (International Studies: REES/Political Science) followed up her Middlebury experience with a yearlong fellowship in Kazan before pursuing an MA in Russian studies at Georgetown University. Cathe honed her Eurasia-related research expertise at the Brookings Institution and Rand Corporation in Washington, D.C., where she coauthored a book on Russian foreign policy. She currently works for a small consulting firm that specializes in Eurasian energy.

Bryan Wockley ’94.5

Bryan Wockley is currently in between assignments as a political officer with the U.S. Department of State. Just back from a two-year assignment in Kazakhstan, Bryan will be heading with his family this April to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to begin his rotation as vice consul.

Bryan says, “Russian has been a constant theme in my professional work since Middlebury. From Salzburg to Ohio University, then on to Harvard and Project Harmony, all of it was in some way defined by what I took from my Middlebury Russian experience, and ultimately contributed to my current success in the State Department.”

Stephanie Galbreath Baumeister ’89

Stephanie says, “I work in Interpreter Services, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. I started as a Russian interpreter over 19 years ago, and 11 years ago I switched to more administrative work. However, my Russian interpreter colleagues make me practice my Russian every day. Besides, that’s what the best gossip is in! I graduated in ’89 and married a Soviet Area studies major, Dean, from the Class of ’90.”