COH Outstanding Senior: Mason Maltbie

May 13th, 2024

Congratulations to the College of Humanities’ Outstanding Senior for Spring 2024, Mason Maltbie!


Maltbie graduates with a 4.0 GPA, triple majoring in Russian, Religious Studies and Creative Writing.


“Through speaking new languages, forming deeper understandings of others, and visiting places once locked behind the pages of literature, we’ve translated ourselves into the world and come to know people from worlds quite different from ours,” Maltbie told fellow Humanities graduates at Saturday’s convocation. “The true spirit of the Humanities is knowing that the ‘other,’ no matter how seemingly distant, feels and struggles just like you.”


Maltbie served for two years as president of the Slavic and Eurasian Studies Club and received myriad awards over the course of his studies: the SILLC Global Award, the B.G. Thompson, Jr. Study Abroad Award, the Donna Swaim International Award for Religious Studies, the Rombach and Bretall Scholarship, the Donna Dillon Manning and Larry Horner Endowed Humanities Award for Study Abroad and the Fearless Inquiries Abroad Scholarship.


“Mason is one of the finest students—and human beings—that it has been my privilege to teach, and to learn from, over my 16 years of teaching. He is brilliant, but he is humble. As a person, he is thoughtful, caring, collegial, and quick to share. As a budding scholar, he is disciplined, motivated, meticulous, and always curious to probe deeper,” wrote Suzanne Thompson, Assistant Professor of Practice and Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, in nominating him for the award. “I have taught him in many classes—culture, literature, and language—and he has a powerful combination of language aptitude and sophistication in understanding the written word.”


Maltbie’s honors thesis explored how structural forces of poverty and historic discrimination influence gang violence and formation, and how an interdisciplinary approach utilizing psychology, sociology and Religious Studies can help understand the issues and lead to policy reforms.


Maltbie studied abroad in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2023 and will be studying abroad at the School of Russian and Eurasian Studies in Uzbekistan during the summer of 2024.


“Mason's academic journey showcases his exceptional qualities and achievements, and his relentless pursuit of knowledge and his deep-seated desire for immersive cultural experiences,” wrote Assistant Professor Liudmila Klimanova, who led the Kazakhstan program. “The fervor and depth with which he engaged in this program were profoundly inspiring, not only to me but also to our esteemed colleagues at Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan.”


“Mason embodies the qualities of an outstanding senior: academic excellence, leadership, and a deep commitment to embracing the humanities and fostering understanding across cultures and communities.”