In the vibrant and culturally rich city of Yerevan, Logan Brosius found a unique platform to shine at the Armenian State University of Economics (ASUE) and American Councils Armenia. Through the Armenian Volunteer Corps’ (AVC) Junior Corps Program, he contributed both his time and his expertise in political science and sociology. This blend of academic passion and community service shows how volunteering in a foreign land can be truly transformative.
Bridging Policy and Volunteering
Logan’s experience at ASUE was rooted in two primary projects. The first assessed the status of AI applications in Armenia’s higher education, while the other analyzed the country’s official foreign policy doctrines. “Each of these may be said to engage with policy questions in that they each work to define issue areas,” Logan shares. His background in policy research made it a smooth transition into his volunteer roles, highlighting the close connection between his academic interests and the projects he tackled in Armenia.
With his background, Logan brought a unique perspective to his volunteer work. His tasks were not just assignments; they were deeply connected to his academic interests. “Engagement with foreign policy questions of Caucasian states, especially Armenia, touches upon numerous overlapping issues,” Logan mentions. This depth of knowledge facilitated a profound understanding of the region, its history, and its contemporary challenges.
Shared Experiences, Deeper Connections
An interesting facet of Logan’s time in Armenia was his personal connection to the country. His wife’s participation in the Birthright Armenia program added another layer to his experience. “Armenia’s problems are still more spur and kindling for energy,” Logan says, emphasizing the depth of his connection to the country. Their shared experiences deepened their bond with Armenia, creating a tapestry of memories and commitments.
Beyond policy research, Logan’s interests in data and teaching found a nurturing environment in Armenia. At EducationUSA/American Councils Yerevan, he had the chance to guide and mentor students. “It’s been a wonderful experience working with Yerevan’s bright, aspiring young people,” he says, reflecting on his rewarding teaching experiences.
Navigating Language and Culture
Language is often the bridge to understanding a culture, and for Logan, it played a pivotal role in his immersive experience. With an intermediate proficiency in Russian, he found it easier to navigate his daily life and work in Armenia. “The country has many Russian speakers, and I’ve had much more success speaking Russian here than in other post-Soviet countries,” he notes. While Logan appreciated the receptiveness to Russian, he also acknowledged the beauty and depth of the Armenian language. “I can happily report having gained an ear for Armenian’s sounds, rhythms, and even many phrases,” he shares. This linguistic journey not only aided his professional tasks but also enriched his cultural experiences, allowing him to bond more deeply with the local community and appreciate the nuances of Armenian traditions and conversations.
Logan’s journey in Armenia has not only been about the past and present but also about envisioning a future that bridges two worlds. “I have commitments that will not change in America,” Logan states, highlighting his dedication to both countries. He recognizes the challenges each nation faces and feels compelled to contribute to their resolution. With aspirations in academia, the non-profit sector, and policymaking, Logan envisions a dynamic future in Armenia, while also acknowledging the importance of maintaining ties to the United States. “I hope continuously to stress Armenia’s and the post-Soviet space’s imminent connections to America and the common planetary challenges facing everyone in the 21st century,” he emphasizes.
For Logan, the essence lies in fostering principled global cooperation and overcoming historical animosities. His ultimate aspiration? To leave a positive mark in the global landscape, addressing the pressing challenges of our times.
In essence, Logan Brosius’s journey with AVC epitomizes the power of volunteering, especially when fueled by academic passion and a genuine desire to make a difference. Through his story, one can see the profound impact that the Junior Corps Program can have on its participants, offering them a platform not just to serve but also to grow, learn, and connect deeply with a country and its people.
Logan Brosius is an American PhD student at the University of Utah’s Sociology Department, and he is married to a Russian-Armenian. They live together in Yerevan. He joined AVC’s Junior Corps in July 2023 and volunteered through October 2023 following his wife’s prior completion of Birthright Armenia. His placements included the Amberd Research Center, where his work has focused on researching, writing, and editing academic studies in collaboration with other local scholars, and also Education USA / American Councils Yerevan, where he is helping to prepare Armenian students for graduate studies in the United States.