University of Rochester

University of Rochester Senior Named Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar

May 4, 2012

Maya Dukmasova '12, a graduating senior at the University of Rochester, was selected as a 2012-2013 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. The scholarship is sponsored by Rotary District 7150 (Central New York). Dukmasova, who is a resident of Liverpool, N.Y., will use the $27,000 scholarship to help fund graduate degree work at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

While at Cambridge, Dukmasova will pursue a master's degree in art history under the supervision of Deborah Howard, professor of architectural history and fellow of St. John's College at Cambridge. Dukmasova's graduate work will explore the history of architectural restoration and conservation in 21st century Venice.

"I'm very interested in the relationship between a community and its built environment," said Dukmasova, who will travel to Italy several times during her year at Cambridge to advance her work. "My goal is to connect contemporary issues related to architectural restoration and preservation to the history of Venice."

Dukmasova, who will graduate on May 20 with dual majors in religion and philosophy and a minor in French, is no stranger to traveling and studying abroad. A native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Dukmasova has lived in four American states and frequently travels back to Russia. Prior to enrolling at the University of Rochester, she spent a gap year in France through the Rotary Youth Exchange program. The year between high school and college, she said, helped to form her academic goals at Rochester as she became fluent in French and solidified her passion for the study of philosophy.

While at Rochester, Dukmasova took advantage of several study abroad opportunities offered through the University. In fall 2009, she returned to Paris, France through the CIEE Critical Studies program, where she studied continental philosophy. In fall 2010, she studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. While in Cairo, she held an internship position at The Daily News Egypt, which was the only independent English language newspaper in the country.

In addition to her internship with The Daily News Egypt, Dukmasova has written for several other publications. In 2008, as a rising sophomore, she was awarded the College's Bruce Schimmel Fellowship for Innovative Journalism, which helped her develop a blog about Russian society and culture. She was a contributing writer for the University of Rochester's Campus Times and in summer 2011, she worked for the Phoenix New Times as a food and culture writer. In her senior year, she continued to contribute opinion pieces to the Campus Times, and as an intern in University Communications, she wrote for The Buzz, an online publication geared to undergraduate students. She also worked as a freelance writer for the University's alumni magazine, Rochester Review, and local publication Rochester Magazine.

A perennial Dean's List student, Dukmasova was awarded the Iota Book Award by the Rochester chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, given to sophomores who demonstrate scholarly achievement, humanistic values, co-curricular activity, and leadership potential. A year later, Dukmasova was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization. In 2011, she was the co-recipient of the Fannie Bigelow Prize, presented by the Anthony Center for Women's Leadership. She served as the president for the Undergraduate Philosophy Council, was a three-year member of the Student Alumni Ambassador program, and also worked at the University's Call Center.

The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships program promotes international understanding and friendly relations among people in different parts of the world. Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. Since 1947, more than $532 million has been awarded to 41,000 men and women.