Leonard Leid, a graduate student at the Russian and East European Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington, has received a Boren Fellowship to study the social, economic, and environmental implications of agricultural practices in Brasov, Romania. Leonard's religious background prohibited him from attending school past the eighth grade so he worked on the family farm instead. Motivated by his desire to travel, he took the GED and applied to college without the guidance or support of anyone except his twin brother. As a student at Messiah College, he studied Romanian, Macedonian, Hungarian, German, and French and spent a significant amount of time volunteering in Romania. Now, as a graduate student, he will return to Romania for agricultural research. Leonard states that, "Had I not spent a decade working intensively on our family farm I would most likely not be heading to Romania for agriculture research... Every background provides something useful for the future, but mostly in unexpected avenues."
Leonard was recently profiled by his local paper, The Shippensburg News-Chronicle. Read more about his life here.