Conor Cunningham, an undergraduate student in international studies, has been named as one of 22 UW students and recent alumni finalists for a national Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship 2020-2021. He will use his Fulbright grant for open study and research in Moldova.
Cunningham represents one of only 14 UW undergraduates or recent alumni to have received the award. In his own words, he shares below his future plans:
“I recently completed a year abroad studying Russian Language and Eastern European Studies in Daugavpils, Latvia as a Boren Scholar for the 2019-2020 cycle. My time as an undergraduate student at the University of Washington has been shaped by my interest in Eurasian studies, specifically Russia and its reemergence as an influential global power.
With my mentor Dr. Jessica Beyer, I worked on two projects for Microsoft with a team of other undergraduates and, as a Mary Gates Scholar, I conducted independent research on disinformation. In addition to research, my interests led me to study Russian language and to attain proficiency in Russian through course work at the University of Washington, a summer in Moscow as a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship scholar, and my recent experience in Latvia as a Boren Scholar.
As a Fulbright Scholar, I will spend nine months in Moldova conducting research on the effects of disinformation and misinformation on opinions towards Moldova’s integration in the European Union and Eurasian Economic Union. Upon completion of my project in Moldova, I plan to pursue a master’s in Eurasian studies with a focus on the Russian Federation’s interaction with other post-Soviet countries. After completing a master’s, I want to become a Foreign Service Officer to use my strong command of the Russian and French languages, my culturally immersive experiences in post-Soviet countries, and my deep knowledge of Eurasian studies to implement realistic policy that incorporates not only economic concerns but also historical, cultural, and religious factors.”