WMU News

Graduate student doubles up on research funding

Aug. 1, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- A Western Michigan University graduate student who has been awarded grants from two national organizations to conduct her dissertation research also has the distinction of being the first WMU student to receive funding from these agencies.

Moscow native Ekaterina Levintova, a doctoral candidate in WMU's Department of Political Science, received $20,000 in grants from the International Research and Exchanges Board and the American Council of Teachers of Russian.

In addition to being the first WMU student to receive these two grants, Levintova is also the first political science student to receive external funding, according to Dr. James M. Butterfield, WMU professor of political science and Levintova's advisor. She will use the awards for a nine-month trip to Russia to collect data and consult with experts for research on the relationship between public opinion and official discourse.

"These grants enable me to do thorough field research in Russia on a very important topic," says Levintova. She credits Butterfield, and dissertation committee members, Dr. Vyacheslav G. Karpov, assistant professor of sociology, and Drs. Steven T. Benfell and Emily Hauptmann, both assistant professors of political science, for helping her with the grant proposals.

IREX, which is funded by the U.S. State Department and the National Endowment for the Humanities, awarded Levintova $12,000. IREX, the oldest funding organization for academic research in the Soviet and East Bloc, provides fellowships to pre- and postdoctoral scholars from the United States for long-term research in Central and Eastern Europe.

Levintova's second grant, for $8,000, was awarded by the ACTR, an organization seeking to strengthen communication between scholars in Russia and the United States by advancing research and training.

"Few make it as professionals in the field of Russian and East European studies without a grant signifying the value of their work," says Butterfield, who is a specialist in many aspects of Russian culture and politics. "Ekaterina shows much promise as a budding scholar."

Levintova is the daughter of Tatiana Chekalina and Mikhail Levintov of Moscow.

Media contact: Lisa Lueking, 616 387-8400

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