A&S Alum to Study Russian Language on Boren Fellowship

By Danielle Donham

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 20, 2022) — The University of Kentucky Office of Nationally Competitive Awards has announced that UK student Victor Montgomery has received a 2022 David L. Boren Fellowship to study Russian language. Montgomery is pursuing a master’s degree from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce

The Boren Awards fund up to $25,000 for undergraduate and graduate students to support language study, research and study abroad in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Montgomery’s award will fund Russian language study with local tutors and research in Tallinn, Estonia, alongside information security classes at the Tallinn Institute of Technology.

“I'm thrilled to go to Estonia this fall to continue studying Russian. I hope this marks the first of many adventures I'll embark on during my future career,” Montgomery shared.

Montgomery is the son of Mike and Vicki Montgomery of Georgetown, Kentucky. Prior to joining the Patterson School, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Russian studies from the UK College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Montgomery credits Yujia He and Robert Farley, faculty in the Patterson School, and all of his UK Russian studies faculty, including Molly Blasing, Cynthia Ruder and Anna Viktorovna, for their support and influence. 

“I chose international security and intelligence as my major at UK's Patterson School because I believe that the U.S. has an existential need for security experts focused on managing conflict with Russia and engaging with a global diaspora of Russian-speaking minority populations. Communication is key to that goal, which I also believe is going to be more difficult for non-Russian speakers following recent events in Ukraine.” 

In addition to his studies in the Patterson School, Montgomery works as an intelligence analyst intern at private security firm Global Guardian, as well as a cybersecurity intern with the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the office, housed in the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, well in advance of the scholarship deadline. Staff is available for appointments to discuss opportunities.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.