❍ Year of graduation: 1982
❍ Field of current or former occupation: Academia
Question: What is your current occupation and where do you live? Please briefly describe your duties and responsibilities. How long have you been at this position?
Kolleen Rask: Professor of Economics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. I live in Southborough, MA. I have been here since 1989.
Question: Did studying Russian language and culture at Williams help you in your professional and personal development? If yes, then how were Russian Studies were useful to you? What opportunities and challenges did the Russian major open up for you both specific to your current occupation and more generally?
Kolleen Rask: Studying Russian was a passion of mine, but not directly connected to my career. I have studied the Russian economy in transition, but it is not a major focus of my work.
Question: Please share your advice or recommendation about the Russian department at Williams to a prospective student who is considering taking courses or majoring in our program.
Kolleen Rask: It has been a long time, so I don’t know how the department has changed since the late 1970s and early 1980s, but I found the faculty to be very engaging and attentive, and I enjoyed being part of a small group of majors (in contrast to the large number of economics majors – I was a double major). I took advantage of a semester abroad program in Moscow in 1981, which was a transformative experience.
If you would like to write to Kolleen Rask, please contact Baktygul Aliev.