A Virginia student completing a graduate degree at Mississippi State is the university's third Janos Radvanyi Memorial Scholar.
Christina E. Gusella of Alexandria is in her final semester for a master's in history, with research focused on cultural diplomacy of the former Soviet Union. She also is a Department of History teaching assistant preparing for a career in academia.
Before coming to MSU, she earned political science and history degrees at the University of Alabama, where she additionally minored in international studies.
Last summer, the $1,500 Radvanyi Scholarship supported her pursuit of graduate certification in Russian language and culture at the Moscow University for the Humanities. Prior to that, she completed requirements for a global studies certificate at Versalius College in Brussels, Belgium.
Throughout her 10-week Russian stay, Gusella documented her experiences on social media as part of the scholarship requirements. "Given the often complex U.S.-Russian relations, I hope the research knowledge and experience that I bring back will encourage those around me at MSU to appreciate diversity and foster cultural awareness," she wrote in one of her posts.
A competitive award first given in 2016, the Radvanyi Scholarship is available through the MSU International Institute's Office of Study Abroad. Its namesake was the former high-ranking Hungarian diplomat who joined the Starkville faculty in the early 1970s after completing a doctorate at Stanford University in California. Following a lengthy illness, he died in early 2016 at age 93.
After teaching at Mississippi State for a number of years, Radvanyi led in establishing the Center for International Security and Strategic Studies and, in 1996, was named the university's first holder of the ISSS Chair, the academic designation for an endowed professorship.
In 1994, the Republic of Hungary honored its native son for achievements through the MSU center to help it begin erasing nearly 40 years of communist mismanagement. The Award for Development of Foreign Economy cited his achievements in strengthening the historic Eastern European nation's ties with both the U.S. and Japan.
MSU honored Radvanyi for lifetime achievements in 2012. His obituary may be read at www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2016/01/legendary-msu-professor-dead-93.
March 1 is the application deadline for this year's scholarship. Information about the award, as well as the International Institute's varied missions, are available at www.international.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi's leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.