Growing up in Alaska around a large and active Russian community, I have always felt a great affinity for Russian culture. I began studying Russian language as a freshman at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. I continued my study of Russian language and history at the University of Washington where I earned a BA in History, and am currently an MA student in the Russian Area Studies program at Indiana University. The focus of my studies recently has turned to economics and the Russian Far East, a region with a close connection with my home, the Pacific Northwest. This year I will be conducting research at the Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service. There I hope to learn more about business connections already in place between the Primorskiy Krai and the major cities of the Pacific Northwest, as well as investigate the possibilities for future cooperation, both in the form of trade and investment. In this way, I hope to have a better understanding of the economic potential of Primorskiy Krai and relate my Fulbright experience to the needs of my own American community.