Department Alumna, Marina Dunaravich, Creates Scholarship in Honor of her Grandfather and Brother

Submitted by Lani Phillips on
Oleg Vadimovich Fomin (left) and Oleg Valerievich Fomin-Shakhov (right)

Marina Dunaravich (BA 2009) has recently created a scholarship to honor the memory and legacy of her late grandfather and brother.  This scholarship, named the Oleg Fomin Scholarship, is intended to encourage and promote the exploration and study of the languages, cultures, and histories of the post-Soviet states.  It will provide one student per year with $1,500 to travel to the region for this purpose.  

Marina's grandfather, Oleg Vadimovich Fomin (1930-2005), was a theatre director and stage actor in Russia in the 1960s-1980s. Born in Tobolsk, Siberia and later traveling to many corners of the Soviet Union as an actor, he had a lifelong interest in and a dedication to collecting the literature and art of the people across the Soviet Union. He passed on this passion to his grandson Oleg Valerievich Fomin-Shakhov (1977-2017), who then spent two decades studying the archeology, history, and ethnography of the Golden Ring in Russia. He later developed the mythological world Arthania to bring his research to life as a novel for the modern reader.  

Initially funded for a period of five years, Marina hopes this scholarship will provide undergraduate and graduate students in the Slavic Department with an opportunity to conduct self-directed travel and to research and tell the stories that people have lived, but that have not yet been told.  

We would like to wholeheartedly thank Marina for her generous gift and establishing this fund.  We know it will create such meaningful experiences for our students, and cannot wait to hear their stories!