August 3, 2017
The Russian Immersion class celebrated a gift to the program with traditional food and decorations.

Russian immersion student Julia Rosengren is looking forward to the growth of languages and fluency at UCF through fellow student participation and her recent generous gift to the College of Arts and Humanities.

After visiting Moscow, Rosengren became infatuated with the country and was eager to learn more, which led to her participation in STARTALK, UCF’s Russian Language and Culture Immersion Program. Led by Dr. Alla Kourova, students learn the language and culture through traditional teaching methods and unconventional activities like playing games and sharing traditional Russian food.

Rosengren’s time in the program opened her eyes to the dedication of her classmates and the effectiveness of the class and she decided to support the program with a financial gift.

“I really hope Modern Languages continues to grow and teach many different languages,” she said. “If the department can expand and bring in more students into the classes, they will realize learning a language is not boring and can bring many valuable experiences.”

She attributes her success in the class to Dr. Kourova, whose enthusiasm and commitment to students encouraged Rosengren’s generosity.

“I really appreciate the gift that Julia has given to the department,” Dr. Kourova said. “With this kind of support, I’d love to see more Russian classes such as Russian Business that can be incorporated into the various colleges in the university.”

As a linguistic enthusiast, Rosengren has learned over six languages and continues to add to her repertoire.

“Knowing different languages makes me feel free,” she expressed. “A passport can get you places, but language makes it possible to truly experience those cultures and communicate with people from all over the world.”

Rosengren’s husband, James Rosengren, is an alumnus of the UCF College of Sciences and a supporter of science programs as well as UCF Athletics, but this gift is a first for Julia Rosengren and the College of Arts and Humanities. She made the donation to the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in the hopes of supporting the intermingling of cultures – an idea she believes is important.

According to Rosengren, pursuing her passion has become a reality because of her husband’s motivation and support. He agrees with the importance of her endeavor, as does the College of Arts and Humanities’ dean, Jeff Moore.

Dean Moore met with Rosengren at an event held in the classroom to commemorate Rosengren for her gift. Joined by Dr. Kourova and her students, Dean Moore and Rosengren enjoyed authentic Russian pastries and refreshments to celebrate the culmination of the Russian immersion class.

“Humanities is often about people you don’t know talking about things you’ve never seen, and hopefully causing thoughts you never would have considered to cross your mind,” Dean Moore said. “Language and communication create the foundation for the humanities and without the study of it we lose a lot of history and potential. Julia’s passion and what she has given us will allow us to carry that message on, and have a major impact on people’s lives moving forward.”