TROY - A Troy University graduate was recently selected for a prestigious award that will allow her to pursue a master's degree in Russia.
Xavia Bree Alloway, 23, who graduated this spring, received a fellowship award from the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History that will pay for tuition and room costs for two years of graduate studies in Russia, where she will pursue a master's degree in International Relations-Russian Studies.
"They provide funding for a master's program in Russia," said Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff, an assistant professor of political science at Troy University who fostered Alloway's interest in Russia. "It's a very prestigious award, and she was chosen to win that award."
Alloway, a Troy native, became enamored with Russia during her studies under Slobodchikoff.
"What fascinated me about Russia is how little most people and I myself know about the country or its people," she said. "Taking the Russian Politics class showed me that Russia and America have a lot more in common than most think. Neither likes to show weakness. Taking the class was the reason the interest started at all, so I am thankful to Dr. Slobodchikoff and his wife."
For his part, Slobodchikoff remembers Alloway, who recently graduated, as a particularly astute student.
"She was always very curious," Slobodchikoff said. "She always wanted to go above and beyond and study things that were not mainstream. She is a major in political science and a minor in philosophy. She has always been interested in different ways of looking at things. That intellectual curiosity is one of her strongest points and one I'm sure the (Carmel Institute) committee picked up on."
For Alloway, the opportunity to experience the subject of her studies first-hand is one she is excited to realize.
"I have always wanted to actually go to Russia, since it is my area of study," she said. "I just didn't think I would get to go until I worked for the government. (It's a) great thing this opportunity came up."