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Russian history student wins Marshall scholarship
STANFORD -- Matthew Werdegar, a master's student in Russian and East European history and a writer for the Stanford Daily, has become Stanford's 39th Marshall Scholar.
Werdegar, 22, was just notified of the award. He had been named a first alternate when the 1992 winners were announced in January.
He hopes to use his scholarship to earn a graduate degree in Slavic studies at the University of London.
Forty American students a year are chosen for the honor, which provides fees and living expenses for as many as three years of graduate study in Britain.
Werdegar, of Ross, Calif., decided to concentrate on Russian and East European studies after taking Stanford Prof. Alexander Dallin's class on the history of the Soviet Union. He later spent eight months traveling and participating in Stanford's overseas studies programs in Berlin and Krakow, where he was witness to the collapse and fall of communism.
His senior honors thesis focused on the role of fascism in Poland between the two world wars. He also helped to create Students for East European Democracy, which seeks to assist emerging youth groups in East Europe and encourage cultural exchanges between them and Stanford.
Werdegar has been a staff reporter for the Stanford Daily since his freshman year, an elementary-school tutor in East Palo Alto, a teaching assistant in a Stanford lifeguard training class and a resident assistant.
The Marshall Scholarships were established by the British government in 1953 as an expression of thanks for aid given by the United States after World War II under the Marshall Plan. More than 800 candidates apply for the awards each year.
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