Reed alumna Victoria Pustynsky awarded a prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship
Grant will underwrite her pursuit of an M.B.A. at Cornell University.
PORTLAND, OR (November 8, 2005) - Victoria Pustynsky '01 was awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation graduate scholarship, which will support her pursuit of an M.B.A. at Cornell University. Having spent a year on a teaching Fulbright to the Ukraine, Pustynsky hopes to work towards the growth of emerging economies world-over.
"My experiences living and teaching in the former Soviet Union," she said, "shaped my long-term goal, that I might make some meaningful contribution that would have a positive effect on the stabilization and growth of emerging economies across the world."
The Jack Cooke Kent Foundation graduate program awards scholarships worth up to $50,000 each to college seniors or recent graduates to attend graduate or professional programs. Each award covers a portion of educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, required fees, and books for the graduate degree chosen.
Pustynsky was among 76 recipients of the Foundation's 2005 graduate and professional scholarships, chosen after a nationwide selection process that drew 1,290 nominees from more than 600 colleges and universities across the country.
Pustynsky's parents are Russian Jews who left Kiev for political freedom and sanctuary in the United States in their early 20s. However, she didn't learn Russian herself until she was in college, where she eventually majored in the language. By 2001, she had earned election to Phi Beta Kappa and had won a Fulbright to Ukraine to study linguistics. Later, she wrote an academic paper about "language as a sociological marker," describing the nationalistic schism in the Ukraine that erupted after new leaders required Ukrainian to supplant Russian as the official language.
After finishing her Fulbright year, Victoria took entrepreneurial and volunteer positions in social service nonprofits. In one role, she created a system to evaluate a healthcare organization that served the Russian-speaking community and prepared Soviet émigrés for citizenship tests and job interviews. Long-term, Victoria seeks to help stabilize emerging economies as an advisor to an international development firm or private-sector firm, building on what she's learned about the economic and social infrastructural impact of geo-political shifts.
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The mission of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. To fulfill its mission, the Foundation identifies and supports young people of special intelligence, application, deportment, and character who have financial need and demonstrated excellence in academic endeavors and extracurricular activities.
Students attending any accredited college or university in the country are eligible. Candidates undergo a rigorous assessment at two stages by independent panels of academic experts, including graduate school deans, admissions counselors, and faculty. The selection criteria includes academic achievement and financial need, as well as a will to succeed, leadership, and community involvement.
With the 2005 scholarships, the Foundation has awarded more than 500 scholarships, including 209 graduate scholarships. Founded in 2000, the Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. Besides scholarships for students attending graduate and professional school, the Foundation offers scholarships for students from community colleges who want to earn four-year degrees, scholarships to help high-achieving youth develop their talents and abilities throughout high school, and grants designed to increase educational access for outstanding students with financial need. For more information, visit jackkentcookefoundation.org.