"I was curious about different subjects, so I decided to attend college in the U.S."

Masha Zhdanova

Update: After graduation, Masha will become a technical sales engineer for Avins USA.

"I grew up in southwestern Russia, where education for girls was limited to Russian language and literature. I was curious about different subjects, so I decided to attend college in the U.S. But first I would have to master English and become acclimated to learning in English. I also found out I needed to study more math and science to be ready for courses in America. So after high school, I took two years to prepare myself.

"I was living in Moscow and volunteering at the EducationUSA Advising Center, a nonprofit organization that helps prospective students apply to schools in the U.S. Lana Bird was recruiting prospective students in Moscow, and she came to the center to give a presentation about Bucknell. I met her there, and we talked and had an informal interview. I felt a personal connection right away. And I was right: the moment I arrived on campus I realized how welcome I was. It's great to be in an environment where people care.

"I'm now pursuing a degree in chemical engineering and have done research with Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Timothy Raymond, along with a postdoctoral researcher and five other students. We are exploring how aerosol particles form in nature. Professor Raymond presented my research at an American Association for Aerosol Research conference, and I placed second in the Environmental Division poster session at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers conference.

Masha is an international student from Golubitskaya, Russia

Posted Oct. 27, 2011
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