MSU history major receives inaugural János Radványi Memorial Scholarship

Friday, May 27, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss.— Mississippi State junior history major Kelley C. Mazzola of Starkville has been named the inaugural recipient of the Dr. János Radványi Memorial Scholarship.

Awarded by the International Institute’s Office of Study Abroad, the scholarship honors the longtime member of the Mississippi State University history department and legendary international security and strategic studies pioneer who died in January at the age of 93 following an extended illness.

The scholarship was established by Radványi’s daughter, Julianna Radványi-Szűcs of Budapest, Hungary, and son János Radványi Jr. of Soquel, California.

Mazzola is receiving a $1,000 award and copy of Radványi’s book “Delusion and Reality: Gambits, Hoaxes and Diplomatic One-Upmanship in Vietnam.” She was selected for her dedication to building a broad understanding and appreciation for global political, cultural, economic, environmental and security issues through international education.

As part of scholarship requirements, Mazzola will maintain a travel blog throughout her six-week study abroad experience in Berlin, Germany, scheduled for July and August. In addition to attending language and cultural exchange courses, Mazzola said she is looking forward to gaining insight on the development of German culture. She plans to document her observations through writing and photography.

“History is never fixed or determined in how it occurs, but history molds and marks the landscape and culture that experienced those historical events,” she said. “Seeing and experiencing  culture first-hand, rather than only getting the information second-hand in a book, is a great way to understand how a culture came to be.”

Mazzola said she was surprised and honored to be selected as the inaugural recipient of the Radványi Memorial Scholarship.

“Being one of the first to honor Dr. Radványi’s legacy to Mississippi State and the career in diplomacy that he left behind is a lot to live up to, but an exciting challenge,” she said. “I did not have the good fortune to be acquainted with Dr. Radványi, but learning about his legacy left me feeling that he was a great man and a wonderful role model.”

 Prior to receiving political asylum in the United States in 1968, Budapest native Radványi served as Hungary’s ambassador to the United States.

After relocating to California to complete a doctorate in history at Stanford University, he joined the MSU history faculty in 1972. He founded the Center for International Security and Strategic Studies a decade later and, in 1996, the university named him the first chair holder for the International Security and Strategic Studies chair.

His scholarly work focused on research, including extensive writing and the teaching of special seminars. Radványi devoted full attention to vital international problems with emphasis on the post-communist era’s complex security issues. He also was active in the new research field of environmental security.

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