Tom Luly ’12 won first place overall in the intermediate division of the New York State Regional Russian Language Competition at Syracuse University. This is the first time an HWS student has won the intermediate division since the Colleges began competing in the event in 2002. Luly was among five HWS students to participate in this year’s competition. The annual event tests beginning and intermediate language students in speaking, reading and reciting Russian. Beginning students also complete a written grammar exam. This year’s competitors included teams from Syracuse University, Hamilton College, West Point, Binghamton University, and Union College.
Luly, a Russian major, has taken all the Russian language courses since arriving at HWS last year. He says participating in the competition was a great opportunity to meet faculty and students who also have a passion for the Russian language. “Regardless of how you perform, I think that it’s a fun activity for all participants, and it’s a good way to work on your Russian skills,” he says.
The competition was co-founded by HWS Associate Professor of Russian David Galloway and Union College Associate Professor of Russian Kristin Peterson-Bidoshi. Students prepare by doing extra work outside of class and by meeting with their language professors for review and critique. This year, Assistant Professors Marina Aptekman and Kristen Welsh assisted students competing in the event.
Other HWS team members include Chelsea Hudson ’12, who took third in the elementary division of the competition in 2009, and beginning students Ian Bugbee ’12, Brandon Campbell ’13 and Katie Moshier ’13.
According to Welsh, Hobart and William Smith students regularly take first or second place in the poem and monologue events and have placed particularly well in the overall competition in recent years. In 2007, Brittany Burton ’07 tied for first in the elementary division and Belinda Littlefield ’11 took second in the intermediate division in 2009.