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Newsmaker: Natalie Arutynov

| Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009, 12:00 p.m.

Age: 22

Family: Mother, Marina; father, Sergei; brother, Alex, 21

Residence: Oakland, formerly of Upper Holland

Occupation: Undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh

Education: She has finished her bachelor's degree of arts and sciences in economics and political science, and received a certificate in Russian and Eastern European studies. She plans to graduate in August with honors and hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a career in foreign diplomacy.

Background: She received a Fulbright-Hays scholarship and Slavic Workshop scholarship to spend 12 weeks studying Russian during her sophomore year. After six weeks of classes in Pittsburgh, she spent six weeks in Moscow researching the relationship between Russia and the European Union.

Noteworthy: Natalie was selected in May as a National Security Program David L. Boren Scholar, and beginning next month will spend a year living and studying in the Republic of Georgia. The program sponsors students to study languages that are critical to national security, such as Arabic and Russian. Natalie is fluent in Russian, a prerequisite for the program. After her year of study, she will work for the Department of Defense or an intelligence agency for one year before continuing her education.

Quote: "I heard it is a beautiful country with very warm people. I'm excited to see what it will be like, not just to visit for a week or so, but to actually live there for nine months."

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