COH Outstanding Senior: Derek Foehrkolb

December 18th, 2020

Congratulations to the College of Humanities’ Outstanding Senior for December 2020, Derek Foehrkolb!


Foehrkolb is graduating with a bachelor of arts in Russian & Slavic Studies and a bachelor of science in Public Management & Policy, with a 4.0 GPA. He intends to pursue a dual-degree graduate and law program to continue his education and prepare for a career in public service and human rights.


As a student in the College of Humanities, we are not only taught languages, literature, and culture, we are scholars of the triumphs and atrocities of human civilization. The Humanities allows us to develop unique and critical skills for professions in government, industry, or academia,” Foehrkolb told fellow graduates in his convocation address. “Today, like many of my peers, I feel like I found a home here, and my calling, working with the community, as a civic leader, a cultural scholar, and a genuine communicator.”


Outside the classroom, Foehrkolb completed a six-year service tour with the Army National Guard this summer, served as Deputy Elections Commissioner for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and Director of Media and Internal Affairs for the Arizona Global Health Project, and logged more than 300 service hours for a variety of organizations, including the American Red Cross, Banner Medical Center’s Patient Ambassador Program, the Community Foodbank of Southern Arizona and the Ronald McDonald House.


Assistant Professor Anastasiia Gordiienko from the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies taught Derek in two classes and nominated him for the award, praising his interest in public service and human rights, his strong sense of justice, and his continuous contribution to community, including work with the Arizona Global Health Project and volunteering with the local Ronald McDonald House and Community Foodbank of Southern AZ, among others.


“Derek’s dedication to academic success, intelligence, perseverance, powers of organization, big-heartedness, and his contribution to common good qualify him as an excellent recipient of this award,” she wrote. “Derek has proven himself a diligent student, who has exhibited excellent writing and superb critical reasoning skills, and a willingness to collaborate with his classmates.”