Published May 21, 2020 by Russian Department

Two Senior Russian Majors Recognized for Research Excellence

Two senior Russian majors have accomplished impressive achievements in their research. Laura Howells ’20 published her summer research in a scholarly journal, and Artur Kalandarov ’20 received first prize in a national research competition.

Laura Howells '20 and Artur Kalandarov '20 chat together at the Russian Department's spring party in 2019 

Laura Howells’ article, titled “Ideological or Pragmatic? A Data-Driven Analysis of the Russian Presidential Grant Fund,” was published in a recent issue of the scholarly journal Russian Politics. The article was coauthored with Marlene Laruelle, Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. In their study, Howells and Laruelle perform a data-driven analysis of the Russian Presidential Grant fund, a state institution that is one of the most influential sources of financial support to Russian civil society.
The research for this article was supported by a McKeen Center Bowdoin Public Service Fellowship, which Howells received in summer 2019. The grant supported her collaboration with Laruelle at The George Washington University, as well as her work as a research assistant on U.S.-Russia-Europe relations at the Brookings Institution. Howells was recently awarded a Fulbright Study/Research award to carry out research on cyber security in Estonia next year.
Artur Kalandarov was honored with the top prize in the History category at the Macalester Russian Studies Virtual Student Research Competition, which took place on May 2. Artur presented his research live (via Zoom) during the competition. His submission was the first chapter of his honors thesis, titled “The Soviets and Americans in Afghanistan: A Clausewitzian Framework for Comparative Conflict Analysis.” Kalandarov completed his thesis this year in the department of Government and Legal Studies under the guidance of Professor Christian Potholm.
The competition was organized by the Russian Studies department at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Faculty judges from Macalester and beyond selected award winners in three different thematic categories: Literature, Interdisciplinary Studies, and History. The competition included submissions by sixteen students representing ten colleges and universities across the nation; prize-winners hailed from Duke, Indiana, and Carnegie Mellon Universities in addition to Macalester and Bowdoin Colleges. The virtual version of the annual Macalester College student research competition was envisioned as a means of allowing students nationwide to connect with each other across distances and disciplinary boundaries during a time of upheaval.
Kalandarov reports the following about the competition: “It was very interesting to hear other students’ work (which included research on Gorbachev's prohibition policy, Czarist relations with Central Asian kingdoms, and the Sino-Soviet Split, among other things).” For his first prize award, he will receive a cash prize and a book titled Robert Frost in Khrushchev's Russia. This latest honor follows upon Artur’s recent first prize win in the 2020 John Quincy Adams Society/The National Interest student foreign policy essay contest.