I am the finance manager for the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. Prior to starting this position, I worked as the administrative and financial manager at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. There I had the opportunity to interact with pre- and postdoctoral fellows, researchers and faculty not only from Russia and former Soviet republics, but also those working on current issues in international security, including Russia. My experiences at the University of Arizona definitely helped provide the background and ongoing interest in Russia. The department supported a very comprehensive curriculum not only in Russian Literature, but included courses in linguistics, grammar, pedagogy and culture. The faculty shared lots of additional knowledge about many other areas, including music, arts, history, and contemporary living and politics. These also added to my well-rounded base. Finally, through the department, I came into contact with community groups who supported exchanges with Soviet academics and other citizens, and was privileged to help support their visits to Tucson. It was also through the department, Alexander Dunkel in particular, that I came to work with the Critical Languages Program, which supported an exchange with teachers and students from Alma Ata.