I worked briefly for a U.S. Senator before getting hired by a U.S. intelligence agency as a Russian linguist. I spent about two years working in Russian language in the Washington D.C. area before changing jobs and moving overseas. I learned Polish and Hungarian before being posted for several years at the U.S. Embassies in Warsaw and Budapest. I am now working for the U.S. Department of Defense leading an intelligence analysis organization involved in counterterrorism and counterproliferation. I've been lucky enough to travel around the world while working to protect our family and friends. And it all started in Leighton Hall struggling to learn the Cyrillic alphabet after being told by a German professor that I just wasn't "getting" German and I needed to switch languages!!
Sorry to say that I haven't really kept up with my Russian, although I did make a trip to St. Petersburg, with many adventures, in the summer of 1992. After graduating from Carleton in 1983, I went on the CIEE semester in St. Petersburg/Leningrad in the winter of 1984. I did two MA in theology and ethics (New College Berkeley/1988 and Duke Divinity School/1992, and then a JD at Boalt Hall/Univ. Cal. Berkeley/1995. I worked as a civil litigator in the San Francisco Bay Area for 5 years with the law firm of Latham & Watkins, and then with a small litigation boutique in Marin County (Ragghianti Freitas LLP). My wife got a tenure track position in the Creative Writing Dept. at the Univ. of Colorado at Boulder, so we moved to CO last year and are enjoying the mountains. I am now "Of Counsel" at a small civil litigation firm in Denver (Jester & Gibson LLP). I am married to Elizabeth Robinson, and we have two boys (Wilson, age 10; and Jonah, age 7).
I haven't done anything with my Russian Studies concentration, and really don't remember much Russian, although I do remember quite a bit about Russian history and my classes with William Woehrlin. I'm now the library director at Rice University in Houston, TX, and use many aspects of my liberal arts background in my position, but not specifically Russian Studies or Biology (my major).
After graduating I spent some time working as a legal assistant and thinking about going to architecture school. Then I decided to dograduate work in Soviet and Russian history in 1988. Did a summer intensive course in Russian at UC Berkeley in preparation for studies atIndiana University. In my first semester at IU, I realized I was enjoying looking at the buildings more than doing my history and Russian and so I left to pursue architecture. It's been a long chase, winding through Seattle and San Francisco, but I am now an architect in St Paul. Though ya zabyil tochna vsyo (including proper transliteration), I am sure studying Russian was helpful when I needed to learn Italian for my architecture in Rome program. (nci)
Katie Sauter Messick
Russian after Carleton? Why, yes! I managed to spend about four years in Russia (and the former USSR) in the 1990s, mostly in Siberia and the Far East. I did a whole bunch of different things, from leading eco-tours on Kamchatka and at Lake Baikal to working for the USIA and helping Catholic Relief Services set up a humanitarian aid program. Being there in the early 90s was a real adventure. In the meantime, I picked up an MS in Forestry and started out on a split career, half the time in Russia and half the time in the woods in the Pacific Northwest, and I racked up about as many different jobs on my resume as there were years since graduation. Fun! Eventually the nesting instinct overwhelmed the adventure instinct, and although I searched high and low for Russia-related work in Seattle, I ended up veering off down the environmental career path, with only occasional glimpses of my Russian past. I now spend my days saving King County lakes and rivers from noxious weed invasions, and free time is spent playing music with my husband, Steve, and trying not to kill all the plants in my garden. I occasionally get to help with environmental-oriented Russian delegations that friends who are still connected to that world bring through Seattle from time to time, and it's always nice to realize that although my Russian is a bit rusty, it's still entirely serviceable. There's also quite a substantial Russian immigrant community in Seattle, so I get to feel gallant when I help some babushka buy cabbage at the local farmer's market. Someday I'll drag Steve off to Russia, but since I haven't paid to go there since 1986, I balk every time I look at the cost of a plane ticket. I do miss the place, and I'd major in Russian all over again in a heartbeat.