WMU News

Grad student nabs third national research grant

April 24, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- A Western Michigan University graduate student who has already received two grants from national organizations for her dissertation research can chalk another one up to her credit.

Ekaterina Levintova, a doctoral candidate in WMU's Department of Political Science, received an $11,000 grant from the International Research Exchanges Board. This is the second year in a row that Levintova has received a grant from IREX, which provides fellowships to pre- and postdoctoral scholars from the United States for long-term research in Central and Eastern Europe. Last year, Levintova received a $12,000 award from IREX, becoming the first student in WMU's history to receive a fellowship from that organization. That same year she was awarded an $8,000 grant from the American Council of Teachers of Russian, also a first for the University.

Levintova will use this IREX grant to fund her dissertation research, which examines the relationship between public opinion and elite intellectual discourse in post-Communist societies. A native of Moscow, she is currently in Russia conducting a case study and will travel to Poland in the fall to conduct a second case study.

Dr. James M. Butterfield, WMU professor of political science and Levintova's advisor, says it's unusual for a doctoral student to receive three external grants to fund dissertation research.

"It is extremely rare for someone to have a portfolio that includes three major external grants for dissertation research," says Butterfield. "When we screen candidates for jobs, there are not very many we see with three major grants like these. We are very proud of and very excited for Katia."

Media contact: Marie Lee, 269 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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