Anna Piddubna '11: Heading to Cambridge

Anna PiddubnaAnna Piddubna ’11 is heading to the University of Cambridge (the United Kingdom) to pursue her master’s of philosophy in international relations and politics at Murray Edwards College in the fall of 2013.

The Ukrainian native was LC’s 2010-11 Sommerville Scholar, the highest academic award given by the college in recognition of the culmination of a distinguished academic record. Anna modestly said she had many brilliant classmates, who should have received the award. But she was the only one for whom English is a fourth language.

Anna grew up speaking Ukrainian and Russian and playing the violin from age 6. “Violin is like a drug,” she said. “You can’t stay away from it. I really can’t live without it.”

She moved to the Czech Republic at age 13 to live with her mother. When a friend decided to be an exchange student in the United States, Anna liked the idea. She ended up spending her senior year in high school at Jefferson Forest, in nearby Forest, Va.

Her host family knew Dr. Oeida Hatcher, associate professor of music at LC, and after hearing Anna play, Dr. Hatcher urged her to join the Lynchburg College Orchestra. Anna decided LC was the place she wanted to stay.

Anna graduated with majors in political science and music.  She participated in five musical theatre productions and five major performances of the Lynchburg College Choral Union, as well as in numerous presentations, competitions and performances.  She played in the Ad Astra Trio, the Community Chamber Orchestra, and was in the first violin section of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. She also served as concertmaster for the LC Wind Symphony and the Orchestra.

“She is a serious scholar, as evidenced by the range and depth of the research projects she has undertaken,” said Dr. Julius Sigler, vice president of academic affairs. “She has written major papers on abortion, on the history of stringed instruments, on the war on terrorism, and on the role of religion in politics. She presented a paper titled ‘Bravissima: Virtuosity and the Concert Violinist,’ at the Student Scholar Showcase.”

Anna’s senior thesis was on how the evangelical movement affects politics. Her decision to add political science to her music major occurred after taking “Quest for Justice,” from Dr. Tim Meinke her freshman year. That class also laid the foundation for her thesis.

While at LC, she was a member of Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, Phi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, the Music Teachers National Association, the LC Paderewski Club, the Residential Student organization, and the Student Judicial Board. She volunteered her musical talent at First Christian Church and participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk, the Recovery Walk for Virginia Community Services, and educational presentations at local schools.

Anna said her politics and music professors inspired her with their enthusiasm and knowledge. “I love Lynchburg College,” she said. “That was one of the best decisions of my life.”