Hannah Albenesius studied Russian at the College of Charleston for four years, and the Russian faculty watched her grow and mature into a strong and highly motivated young woman through her involvement in the Russian Studies Program. Hannah distinguished herself through her innovative thinking and discipline, and she became one of an elite group of students which any professor is proud to have. Her enthusiasm and excitement for learning were unparalleled; she often pursued material far beyond what is required by syllabi. She was very intelligent and functioned well in an academic setting; her critical thinking and constant engagement helped her to produce unique and insightful work.
There is a saying: “a person is not a jar to be filled, but a torch to be lit.” Hannah was that rewarding light for every educator. The faculty of the Russian program recognized Hannah’s potential from the beginning, and encouraged her to step out of her comfort zone, to develop her strengths and conquer her meekness. Faculty was very proud of Hannah who evolved into an innovative and independent thinker. When she became an officer of the Russian club four years ago, Hannah drew in a strong member-base with her charismatic personality and intellectualism, and she often invited the tightly-knit group of officers to her house for chai and konfeti. She also diversified the club through interdisciplinary activities, including an annual lecture series featuring scholars from the Charleston area and beyond, and she networked with everyone from sports teams to Orthodox churches.
Hannah loved to stop by faculty offices just for a chat; she had an irrepressible sense of humor, and she loved to hear stories that made her laugh. She adored animals, and she is remembered as saying one day that if she had the space, she would adopt every single creature, big and small, in need of a home. Hannah had time and kindness for everyone.