Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Different pictures of the world
French Program space space German Program space space Russian Program space space Spanish Program space space Lesser Taught Language program space space Classical Languages program
space Our Program Faculty Language Resource Center Activities Links Contact Us USA Home space

The News     НОВОСТИ

Nick Gossett , Russian major, class of 2006

Nick is currently completing work on his Ph.D. at the University of Texas and working as a teaching assistant in the Slavic and Eurasian Studies Department. He spent the winter of 2009 living and conducting research in Moscow. Nick is also part of a team working on an exciting Russian textbook, Rockin' Russian, for students at proficiency levels of novice-superior. In June of 2010 he plans to get married to his fiancé Katya from Moscow.





Nick Gossett at Hockey game on Red Square in Moscow.  Шайбу!  Шайбу!





Nick Gossett with Robert Lents from the Russian Rock Group “Bravo”


Роберт Ленц, Cool, Jazzy и Браво 

А теперь, прослушайте его песню “Ветер знает”  на YouTube:






 USA Russian student serves with U.S. State Department (Государственный департамент США) in Moscow



One Saturday in the spring of 1989, my parents and I were visiting colleges trying to decide which university I should attend after high school.  As a high school Spanish student, I knew I wanted to continue studying foreign languages but I wasn’t sure which one.  I wanted something challenging, and perhaps something that would make me more competitive on the job market after college, so I stopped by the foreign language department for more information.   There I met Dr. Mozur, who was happy to talk to me about USA ’s foreign language curricula.  An hour or so later, not only did I walk out knowing that the University of South Alabama was the school for me, I knew I wanted to study Russian with Dr. Mozur.


The Russian courses at USA were challenging - learning the alphabet alone took me two weeks.  At times I thought about giving up, but Dr. Mozur was so enthusiastic, I was constantly encouraged to stick with it.  Eventually, I excelled and Russian became my favorite class.  The culture and history were simply fascinating.  Despite the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union during my years at USA , Russia remained a mysterious country, and knowing the language remained a marketable skill.  For family reasons, I transferred to the University of Alabama in Huntsville , where I continued studying Russian, graduating Cum Laude with a major in Slavic Studies.  I went on to graduate Cum Laude from Florida State University with a Master of Arts in Russian and Eastern European Studies.


Upon finishing graduate school, I had a plethora of options using my degree working in the international development sector in Washington D.C.   I took a job working on the Library of Congress’ Russian Leadership Program, an international visitor’s pilot project, which brought over 3000 young “up and coming” Russians to the United States for professional development.   Later, I worked for a consulting firm managing USAID-funded grant projects promoting the establishment of the ‘Rule of Law’ in the former Soviet Union .  After a brief time studying Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan , I joined the Foreign Service, serving my first assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow .  Today, I am also a U.S. Air Force officer specializing in the former Soviet Union .


Looking back, I had no idea at the time that one Saturday I spent talking to Dr. Mozur would be such a pivotal one.  I can truly say that studying Russian at USA was the best decision I could have made, and my Russian studies at USA a wonderful, rewarding experience that prepared me for a two great careers as a diplomat and military officer.

      Coney P.

USA Students Return from Study Abroad in Russia


Lillian G. Лилия Г.

My Тrip to Russia

      Russia is an intriguing and contradictory place (загадочное и противоречивое место). I spent six weeks in St. Petersburg and three days in Moscow in the summer of 2007 (летом две тысячи седьмого года). Both cities are beautiful, but if you were to judge (но если судить) with an aesthetic eye than St. Petersburg would be the most beautiful (самый красивый). There are many canals (каналы) within the city and the buildings (здания и дома) are flat on one level which make this city the “Venice of the North” (Северная Венеция). It is now very modern  with (очень современный) new rich Russians (новые богатые русские) driving their BMWs in their Gucci stilettos. It’s impossible to be bored there (там невозможно скучать), you always have something to look at or do. The city is known for it’s ballets and operas. Unfortunately (К сожалению), like most modern cities today, English has become the lingua franca (язык межнационального общения) and it can detract from getting an authentic Russian experience. Most of the restaurants were foreign, except for fast food ones. Teremok and Kartoshka were my favorite hangouts (n. зависалово) where they sold fast food blinni and potatoes. There are also many parks , museums, and cathedrals (соборы) to tour. My favorite museum was the Kunstkamera (Кунсткамера which among many other interesting things had a collection of deformed babies in formaldehyde-filled jars. The best part of my experience was when I realized that our stereotypes of Russians are completely wrong and based on ignorance (невежество,незнание). First, everyone is not in the mafia. Second, Russians don’t believe in smiling (не любят улыбаться)unless it’s sincere, but this doesn’t make them cold or rude (холодные или грубые). We judge toо quickly on first impressions in America, but in Russia to earn a smile you have to get to know someone. A friend you make can be a friend for life. When you are invited into their home, they treat you warmly and with kindness (с душевной теплотой и добротой). If you ask for help when you’re lost, they stop and take their time (не спеша) to show you the right way to go. While St. Petersburg is beautiful and friendly, Moscow is harsh and tough (суровый). It is also old, having been around for about 800 years. Red square (Красная площадь ) is its name, big, red, and square. Inside the Kremlin (Кремль itself there are several churches and a palace, not including where President Putin (Владимир Владимирович Путин) works. The most interesting sight on Red Square is Lenin’s Tomb (Мавзолей Ленина). Nowhere else in the world can you stand in line for three hours (стоять в очереди три часа) to jog past a revolutionary hero’s corpse in a glass case (труп революционного героя в стеклянной клетке). I also traveled to other cities such as Pushkin, Peterhof ( ), and Novgorod (http://http:// ). Pushkin and Peterhof are both known for their beautiful Tsar’s palaces. Catherine’s Palace (Дворец Екатерины второй – pictured below) is so breathtaking that the overwhelming feeling can not be described. It was completely ruined by the Nazis (дворец был полностью разрушен нацистами) during WWII and the fact that it has been fully restored shows how much respect and love Russians have for their own history(насколько русские уважают и любят свою историю). Novgorod is over a thousand years old and the fortress (крепость) built in 895 is still standing. Russia is an old, mysterious place and there is no other country like it in the world.


      The Palace of Catherine the Great    Екатеринский Дворец

Upper level students! Want to get off to a great start in AY 2007-2008?

It is easy!  Repetition is the mother of learning (повторение - мать учения), so order asap (как можно быстрее) James S. Levine's Russian Grammar (Schaum's Outlines) ISBN 0-07-038238-7.  It is cheap (учебник дешевле грибов!) and reviews everything.  And the answers to the exercises are in the back of the book!   Don't ponder, just do it! 

Incredibly creative and corny (неимоверно оригинально и забавно):  See the Red Army Choir and the Leningrad Cowboys Sing "Delilah" -- Click on the YouTube site below-->
                      Leningrad Cowboys

We Now Have Russian TV in the Lab!

See Professor Mozur if you would like to tape a program


— Сколько человек здесь работает?
— С начальником — пять.
— А без начальника?
— А без начальника человек не работает.

— Запомни, сынок: умный человек всегда во всем сомневается. Только дурак может быть в чем-то абсолютно уверен.
— Ты в этом уверен, папа?
— Абсолютно.


— Посоветуй, как быть: жениться на богатой, но пожилой вдове или на молоденькой красивой девушке, но без приданого, которую я люблю?
— Конечно же на молоденькой, ведь главное — это любовь. Кстати, где эта вдова живет?

                                                                                                                    Остап Бендер

Баркас приехал в порт Мадрас.
Матрос принёс на борт матрас.
В порту Мадрас матрас матроса
Порвали в драке альбатросы.

На дворе трава, на траве дрова. Не руби дрова на траве двора!

Here's one with all the words beginning with the letter «П»:

Пройдя полную программу пансионата, пострадавший на производстве Петр Поликарпович поправился и потолстел. Пришла пора попрощаться с персоналом пансионата.

Trouble reading the Russian?  Learn the alphabet in 30 minutes at:

| Our program | Faculty | Language Resource Center | Activities | Links | Contact Us | Home | USA home |
  USA Logo

University of South Alabama- Mobile, AL 36688-0002 / (251) 460-6101
For questions or comments Contact Us
Last date changed: March 31, 2008