April 15, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Lauren Nelson, a senior Russian and Eastern European studies major at Illinois Wesleyan University has been named the recipient of the Technos International Prize through the Tanaka Ikueikai Educational Trust in Japan.
The trust, founded by Japanese businessman and honorary Illinois Wesleyan trustee Kenji Tanaka, honors those who are committed to improving and promoting international relations around the world. The announcement of the prize, which is given annually, was made Tuesday, April 14, at a luncheon at Illinois Wesleyan.
“This award is more than a confirmation of the work I have done in my undergraduate studies. It is a testament to the wonderful professors who have guided me through the years,” said Nelson, a Plymouth, Minn., native who plans to attend graduate school at Stanford University on a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, where she will pursue a degree in Eastern European studies.
Saying she discovered a love of the Russian language through Marina Balina, the Isaac Funk Professor and Professor of Russian Studies at Illinois Wesleyan, Nelson studied for a semester in St. Petersburg, Russia. She also spent a summer in Prague working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “I was in the Czech Republic, speaking Russian as a Russian information service intern,” said Nelson. Graduating this May with a minor in English, Nelson said she hopes to continue writing and research of the Russian language.
“I ultimately intend to combine my experience in Russian studies and interest in communication by working for an organization focusing on free and democratic media, and by writing on and researching the evolving relationship between the United States and Russia, human rights issues and international communication,” Nelson said.
Two other seniors honored at the luncheon were diplomatic studies major Rachel Hodel of Normal, Ill., who received the Pedro E. & Rufina A. Oliveros Memorial Award, and Asian studies major Anna File of White Heath, Ill., who received the Outstanding International Studies Senior Award.
Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960