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“I am interested in the capacity of religion to impact self-determination and individual integrity.”
PROFILE: At the age of 17, Rositsa Atanasova left her native country of Bulgaria to finish her high school and university education in the US. This life-changing experience helped develop Rositsa’s personal commitment to the promotion of cross-cultural dialogue. “Through an early encounter with cultures different than my own, I had come to recognize language and religion as the most fundamental factors that influence the way we view and define ourselves.”
In addition, Rositsa has used her strong sense of civic responsibility to explore difficult political issues both in the US and abroad. She is continuously looking for ways to combine her intellectual interests with her commitment to actively engage in the promotion of better religious and cultural understanding in her community.
INSPIRATION: While studying abroad in Paris, Rositsa was funded by a Lilly Research Grant to produce a documentary exploring the conflict between the 2004 French law that banned religious symbols from the domain of French public education and Muslim women’s commitment to wear the Islamic veil. The success of the project encouraged Rositsa to pursue her interest in Islamic Studies.
ASPIRATION: After completing her master’s degree, Rositsa intends to pursue a law degree. “I believe that as a lawyer, I will have the best expertise and the most respectable credentials to serve the causes that I find meaningful and worthy.”
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Rositsa is a video production manager at the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages, where she helps produce short documentaries from footage of speakers of minority tongues in order to attract public awareness of language extinction.
ACCOLADES: Rositsa is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was a recipient of the Outstanding Oral Advocacy Award from the Florida State University College of Law.
INTERESTING FACT: Rositsa has worked as an interpreter.
Mohamed Zahir Osman Kassam
Undergraduate Transfer Scholar
George Mason University