Brenna Carter is no stranger to unique surroundings. At 8 years old, she enrolled in a dance academy to focus on ballet. To accomplish this, she had to forgo a traditional school, and often spent her summers cross training to keep in top shape for ballet.

The hard work has paid off. She earned a certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance, one of the world’s most influential organizations for dance education. This highly regarded certificate would leave her just 6 credits short of a degree in dance at most European universities.

Once at CSU, Carter began looking for another challenge. Carter’s curiosity for Russian came from a variety of factors.  She comes from a militarized family, and has cousins in the CIA. She also wasn’t interested in the typical 9-5 job, knowing she wanted to do move to help people both domestically and abroad.

Always up for a challenge, Carter noted Russian classes are like a puzzle, difficult but fun, “I personally like puzzles, putting them into place.” Carter notes, “with Russian, you have to put in the time.”

What makes a difficult, time-consuming class worth it? Brenna suggests it might be because of Russian teacher Dr. Ludmila Pokatilova.

“She has a passion for not just teaching, but getting you to apply Russian.” This passion produces results.” Carter indicated she learned more in her first year of Russian at CSU than she did in four years of taking spanish in high school.

After graduation, Brenna plans to use her Russian to land a job working for the U.S. State Department.