A look into the past will give insight to the future, according to Kansas State University’s newest David S. Boren Fellow.
Tony Demchak, doctoral student in history, Twinsburg, Ohio, has been awarded a 2013 David S. Boren Fellowship to explore archives in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, for 11 months.
Reviewing the archives will give insight into how Russian and Soviet leaders made decisions in the past and how Russian leaders might make decisions today.
The Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to enhance their graduate education through international experience in their area of study and increase language proficiency.
Funds for the fellowship are provided by the National Security Education Program, which focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Demchak will be reviewing documents that have recently become declassified and only available in Russia.
The documents are important to learning how Russian and Soviet Union naval decisions were made from 1905 to 1940, specifically importing foreign naval technologies.
“A lot of the records I want to consult aren’t in the United States,” Demchak said. “The best way to research Russian and Soviet Union naval history is to actually go to the country and consult their archives.”
Following the completion of his degree, Demchak will complete one year of service to the U.S. government as part of the fellowship.
“It has to be something with national security, which is defense, state, homeland security or the intelligence community,” he said. “For me this isn’t even an obligation, it’s an opportunity.”
Demchak received his master’s degree in Russian, Eurasian and East European studies in 2007 from the University of Illinois-Champaign and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton in Ohio in 2005.
He is a graduate of Twinsburg High School and the son of Marilyn and Terry Demchak, Twinsburg, Ohio.