RASA members received 2nd and 3rd place in the Yevgeny Yevtushenko Poetry Contest

We are extremely proud to introduce two RASA members, Victoria Orindas and Anastasia Demnshin, who were awarded 2nd and 3rd place in the Yevgeny Yevtushenko Poetry Contest of the Central Association of Russian Teachers of America.

Despite scoring in the top three out of 50+ participants, they are also arduous scholars and leaders within the Russian American Student Association and UCF community.

Victoria Orindas was awarded 2nd place. She is a UCF student majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in the Spanish language. She is currently the Vice-President of the Russian American Student Association (RASA) and is proud to be educating other students about Russian culture. In addition to holding a leadership position with RASA, she is heavily involved on and off-campus. She is a member of the President’s Leadership Council, has founded the UCF chapter of a local non-profit called SALT Outreach, and serves as the Vice-President of Hearts for the Homeless Orlando. She is also a Burnett Honors Scholar and a former LEAD Scholar. This summer she will be conducting research at Mayo Clinic. 

Anastasia Demshin has received 3rd place in this poetry contest. She is a proud UCF Alumna who graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2021. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with Concentrations in Computational Science and Art and a Minor in Economics. Having excelled academically she applied all of the knowledge acquired in the classroom to the workplace by becoming a coordinator and trainer in two different lines of businesses, one being for an opening team. Her extracurricular involvement does not stop here. She is also a former LEAD Scholar, a Burnett Honors Scholar, and has her own website where she showcases her artwork. 

Both of these students embody the traits of a true leader and we are extremely proud to see them excel academically as well as represent our student organization. They serve as the perfect example of what the student body of RASA consists of. RASA serves as a supportive community for fervent student leaders who share an interest in the Russian language and culture. 

Black History Month and RASA

February is Black History Month, and R.A.S.A board has prepared for you an interesting conversation with Dr. Morris about this topic, and its relations to Russian Language! This presentation will be held on Tuesday, February 23rd at 5:00 pm. Please visit this wonderful presentation! It is food for thought!


Meeting ID: 915 5884 1469

Passcode: UiExq7

Russia on the Possibility of Extending the New START Arms Treaty

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated the interest of the Russian government in extending the New START arms treaty with the U.S. The Biden administration is also interested in working with Kremlin officials to renew this arms control treaty.

Read more about this story here:


International Week

Hello everyone! International Week at UCF begins this Monday. There will be multiple events related to Russian language, culture, and career opportunities. Below is the schedule for these events. See you there!

International week organized by the Russian Language program:
Monday November 16th, 11:30 – Guest Speaker, Dr. Barry Morris, NAFSA Board, Washington D.C.
“Russian Language and Literature in the International Education”, coordinator is Dr. Kourova.

Monday, November 16th, 5:00pm – Guest Speaker, Natalia Rydvanova, Cultural Office of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Washington D.C.
“A virtual tour around the Russian Embassy: history and culture”. The presentation is organized by the Russian American Students’ Association at UCF. Coordinators are Mariana Kellis (R.A.S.A president) and Dr. Kourova (R.A.S.A adviser)

Wednesday, November 18th, 11:30am – Guest Speaker, Don Gentile, Chief, Workforce Shaping Group, IC SLA/CLO, DNI/CHCO
“The importance of the foreign language jobs for the U.S. Intelligence Community”. The presentation will be based on Russian as a critical language, event coordinator is Dr. Alla Kourova.

Wednesday, November 18th, 12:30pm – Presenters: Mariana Kellis (R.A.S.A. President) and Victoria Orindas ( SALT president)
“Service and Love Together: helping local and international community”, Coordinator/adviser is Dr. Alla Kourova https://ucf.zoom.us/j/93920991525?pwd=TXNLZmpJeGNkZ1lvVUhBbWRrODhNdz09

Friday, November 20th, 10:00am – International Projects “Connecting Classrooms”.
UCF Students from Intermediate Russian Class and Russian Students from Novocherkassk, Russia will discuss educational systems in both countries. Coordinator is Dr. Kourova


Friday, November 20t, 3:30 – “Cooking Show with Dr. Kourova”. Cooking traditional Russian food together. Come and have fun!

If you want to cook together and practice have on your table the following food items:

For dissert “Sharlotka”:
1 glass of flower.
3 eggs
1 glass of sugar
2-3 apples

For the dinner dish “Russian beef stroganoff”
1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin (sliced into thin, 2-inch-long strips)
 Salt and pepper
 2 onions (finely chopped)
 4 ounces butter
 4 ounces button mushrooms (sliced)
 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
 1/2 cup beef stock
 Pinch dry mustard
 1 tablespoon tomato paste
 1/2 cup sour cream

From Orlando to Russia Through Cultural Projects

Dr. Alla Kourova will be hosting a virtual seminar titled “From Orlando to Russia Through Cultural Projects.” She will be discussing how she uses cultural projects with the students in the classroom to teach Russian language and culture. Anyone interested in learning about cultural projects is invited to register for the event at the link https://www.cah.ucf.edu/seminars/. The seminar will begin on Zoom on Thursday June 25th  at 1:00pm.