The Program

Why study Russian?

Russia's pioneering contributions to a variety of fields--including aerospace, physics, biology, literature, visual arts, music, theater, ballet, technology, and political theory--are innumerable. Mendelev contributed to the invention of the periodic table; Tolstoy and Dostoevsky developed new novelistic techniques; Chekhov revolutionized the short story; Lenin started a revolution; Eisenstein was a pioneer of film montage; Stravinsky made "unacceptable" music acceptable; and the list goes on. Studying Russian helps students understand the roots of their own culture.

Aside from intellectual and personal enrichment, there is a more practical reason to learn Russian: professional opportunities. Due to current national security issues, certain governmental agencies, think tanks, and NGOs have made it a high priority to hire individuals with knowledge of Russian, one of the languages to be studying right now.

Why study Russian at F&M?

Our program offers small class sizes with instruction in both English and Russian, welcoming students from all academic backgrounds and of all abilities. Whether you have already studied Russian or struggled through high school language courses, we welcome you to sit in on any of our language or literature classes to see for yourself. Our courses are designed to demystify Russian and Russian literature to make both accessible to students.

For F&M students who get hooked on the language, the department offers two tracks for minors: Russian Language and Literature, and Russian Studies. The Russian minor is a wonderful complement to studies in Biology, BOS, Film and Media Studies, Mathematics, Music, Physics, Religious Studies. Theater, and others.

In keeping with F&M's commitment to international education, our students are encouraged to spend a summer or a semester studying in Russia. The program also supports international travel with the summer Russell Russian Study Award and departmental summer travel grants. The program also runs its own biannual four-week summer course to Moscow and St. Petersburg. 

If you have any questions about the Russian program, feel free to contact the program's chair, Professor Jon Stone (jstone2).


  • Jon Stone (fall 2019 on sabbatical) Associate Professor of Russian and Russian Studies, Program Chair
  • Daniel Brooks Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian
  • Nina Bond Adjunct Assistant Professor of Russian


Congratulations to GABRIEL PIMSLER '19 for receiving a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Ukraine for 2019-20; SAMANTHA TRAN '21 for the 2019 ACTR Russian Scholar Laureate Award for excellence in the study of Russian; and KIMBERLY BRANDOLISIO '20 for Honorable Mention in the ACTR National Post-Secondary Russian Essay Contest.


To schedule one, email Professor Jon Stone (jstone2). 

Why study a foreign language?

"Knowing another language enriches your personal life, expands the range of professional opportunities open to you, and increases your power to act as a citizen of the world. At the college level you can begin a new language or build on your knowledge of a language that you have already studied. College may also be the first chance you will have to study languages such as Russian, Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic. Forget the myth that you have to learn languages as a child: in the classroom young adults can be faster and more effective learners than small children." - Modern Language Association, Language Study in the Age of Globalization: The College-Level Experience