Success Off (and On) the Field Nick Mosher '22 always finds support at W&L, whether he's writing a thesis on Russian politics, starting an online human rights newspaper or helping the football team win ODACs.
“I couldn’t be more grateful to the coaching staff here … they have allowed and encouraged me to pursue everything I could possibly want in my college experience, whether that be studying abroad or accommodating my schedule so that I could apply for various scholarship opportunities.”
~ Nick Mosher ’22
Hometown: Old Greenwich, Connecticut
Majors: Global Politics and Russian
Q: Why did you choose W&L?
I love the small campus feel of Washington and Lee and the fact that you’ll always run into someone you know when you’re on campus. I also wanted to be somewhere with a beautiful surrounding area, and it doesn’t get much better than Lexington and all the great hiking trails and fishing spots it has to offer.
Q: Why did you choose to major in Russian and politics? What’s your honors thesis about?
I’ve always had an interest in international relations and found Russia’s role after the collapse of the Soviet Union to be especially unique. Double majoring in politics and Russian gave me an opportunity to tailor most of my classes to be specialized in Russian and Eurasian politics. My honors thesis explores Russian reaction and strategy to counter China’s increasing influence in Kazakhstan through its Belt and Road Initiative. The Russian Area Studies Program at W&L also has some amazing professors like Richard Bidlack, Anna Brodsky and Yulia Rubina who were influential in my decision to major in Russian.
Q: When COVID-19 forced you to cancel your trip to Kyrgyzstan and Moscow for the spring and summer of 2020, you found a pretty cool way to stay immersed in current events. Tell us about that project.
Although I wasn’t able to go to Russia and Kyrgyzstan in person, I wanted a way to still increase my knowledge of the area. I decided to found Liberty Lexington, a nonprofit online newspaper specializing in human rights abuses in Eurasia. Structuring the organization took a long time, from building the website to receiving nonprofit status from the IRS, but I have a great team around me (Lane Johansen ’22 and Ana Estrada Hamm ’22, to mention a few) who have been so important to the creation of Liberty Lexington. I’ve loved running the organization and it’s been a great way to supplement everything I’ve learned in my Russian and politics classes with these current events I may not otherwise cover.
Q: You were supposed to go to St. Petersburg in summer 2021. Again, COVID foiled your plans, but again, you turned lemons into lemonade. What did you get out of the intensive language program in which you participated and how did you find yourself working for your old high school?
I was unfortunately not able to get a visa for my internship in St. Petersburg so I applied for a Critical Language Scholarship instead. CLS is a State Department-funded language training program for languages critical to U.S. interests. The program during a regular year would have sent me to Russia but because of COVID, it was virtual. I was still hoping to get an immersion experience though, so I decided to travel to Ukraine while participating in the program. I worked at a summer camp in Kyiv during the day and took my CLS classes at night.
I also started working part-time as a copyright license coordinator for my high school during the pandemic. Because of COVID, all school concerts had to be streamed online. To stream these performances, the school had to buy copyright licenses to protect it from lawsuits. So, they called me and asked if purchasing and managing all of their licenses would be something I’d be interested in doing. I loved my school and jumped at an opportunity to help out while getting some work experience at the same time. I’m still working for them now, and it’s been a great way for me to work a part-time job that is flexible and I can fit into my schedule.
Q: Most of us, if we were as busy as you are with academics, might spend our spare time watching Netflix. You’re a defensive end on the W&L varsity football team. What has that contributed to your W&L experience?
Well, first of all, it’s given me an amazing group of friends that I couldn’t be luckier to have. Coming in first year for training camp and all the challenges we faced, from losing a handful of heartbreaking games my freshman and sophomore year to having our season canceled junior year, has brought my class closer together and made winning ODACs this year so much better. I couldn’t be more grateful to the coaching staff here as well; not only are they an extremely talented group, but they have allowed and encouraged me to pursue everything I could possibly want in my college experience, whether that be studying abroad or accommodating my schedule so that I could apply for various scholarship opportunities. I really owe all the opportunities I’ve received to the culture of the football team here and the people there who have supported me these past four years.
Q: What are your post-grad plans?
My plans for after graduation are still undecided. I have a lot of applications out; one worth noting is the Fulbright Scholarship. If I’m lucky enough to win, I would spend a year living in Kazakhstan teaching English and working on my Russian language skills.
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More About Nick
Q: Favorite shop or restaurant in Lexington?
Q: What do you get there?
The fried chicken
Favorite spot on campus?
What film do you recommend to everyone?
“Hell or High Water”
Do you have any pets? If so, we need to know their names.
I have a one-eyed pug named Bacon.
Favorite W&L event
Thanksgiving meal at D-Hall
Q: Favorite moment on the football field?
Winning ODACs this year
What do you do to unwind?
I love to fly fish, and there are a bunch of great spots in Lexington.
Coolest place you’ve ever been?
What’s something not many people know about you?
I used to really like sculpting and actually won a few awards for it in high school.