ALIS Student Selected for Project GO Scholarship

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Georgia Tech’s ROTC cadets are encouraged to take part in the growing and innovative programming offered through the Project GO grant. For more information, please visit the Project GO website or email

Sarah Richardson, a first-year Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies (ALIS)-Russian major and Army ROTC cadet, was awarded a Project Global Officer (Project GO) Scholarship by the School of Modern Languages. With the scholarship, Richardson will participate in an intensive summer program hosted by the Georgia Tech Russian Program to advance her linguistic and cross-cultural communication skills.

Project GO is a Defense Language & National Security Education Office initiative that provides ROTC cadets with fully funded, cross-cultural domestic and overseas experiences. Students focus on critical language acquisition and communication skills useful in military and government service. As a participant in the nationwide program, the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech administers Project GO scholarships in Japanese, Korean, and Russian.

A lover of languages, Richardson studied French for six years while attending Oak Mountain Academy in Carrollton. She received a three-year Army ROTC scholarship to attend Georgia Tech, which will begin in the Fall 2022 semester. Richardson knew she would major in languages. But she didn’t know that she would study a completely new language.

“I had thought about just continuing with French, but in conversations with professors of military science during the interview process, they all emphasized that Russian is considered a critical language by the Department of State and is one of the most useful languages for military intelligence officers, especially considering the current circumstances,” Richardson said. “Given that I hope to become a military intelligence officer after graduation, I decided to focus on Russian instead.”

Having taken Elementary Russian I and II in the spring and fall semesters, respectively, Richardson learned the basics of this Slavic language. She considers getting to know her professor, Visiting Lecturer Marina Yancey, one of her best experiences thus far.

“Sarah has mastered some of the most challenging aspects of the Russian language, as well as demonstrated the proficiency required in understanding the Russian cases in her introductory courses,” Yancey said. “Undoubtedly, the immersive experience of Project GO will be great for her ability to adapt to new situations quickly and interact with others with respect and open-mindedness.”

Richardson’s commitment to Russian in and out of the classroom made her a standout for the scholarship, said Stuart Goldberg, associate professor of Russian and member of the Project GO staff.

“Sarah demonstrated excellence in academics, language skills at her current level, leadership, and cultural sensitivity,” Goldberg said. “With Sarah’s commitment both to the study of Russian — this summer and beyond — and to service in the officer corps, she will be able to give back to her country and community by contributing critical knowledge and perspective. She will be part of a cohort of outstanding scholar-cadets joining the program from institutions like Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and Purdue.”

In total, the School of Modern Languages awarded 16 scholarships to ROTC cadets from 12 universities:

  • Michael Kim, University of Kansas
  • Dylan Robertson, University of Kansas 
  • Sarang Sharma, Princeton University 
  • Andrew Lim, Harvard University 
  • Joshua Lovejoy, Yale University 
  • Laersunder Phoummathep, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 
  • Victoria Shore, Princeton University 
  • Andrew Yason, Purdue University 
  • Hannah May, Bowling Green State University 
  • Sarah Richardson, Georgia Institute of Technology 
  • Cullen Geahigan, University of Notre Dame 
  • Cole Kirby, University of Florida 
  • Phillip Chandler, Vanderbilt University 
  • Thomas Doby, University of Colorado Boulder 
  • Natalie Peters, University of Colorado Boulder

“Due to the rigorous and innovative programming we offer, students from both Georgia Tech and across the country apply to our programs, integrating their linguistic and cultural studies with the goal of leading immersive and cross-cultural careers representing our country,” Neta Kanny, academic program manager and Project GO coordinator in the School of Modern Languages, said. 

While Project GO students typically travel abroad for their studies, this year’s School of Modern Languages programs will be conducted domestically due to Covid-19 and the security situation in Eastern Europe. Project GO scholarships provide full funding to students, including tuition, room and board, textbooks, meals, class fees, insurance, and travel expenses to and from the study destination.


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