St. Olaf College | News

Chicago Tribune story highlights St. Olaf student’s Fulbright fellowship

A Chicago Tribune story describes how recent St. Olaf College graduate Julia Irons ’15 (far right) will use her Fulbright fellowship to conduct research in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is one of nine recent St. Olaf graduates accepted into the prestigious program. Others include (from left) Ida Sobotik ’15, Sarah Beam ’15, Nels Thompson ’15, and Serina Robinson ’15, as well as (not pictured) Beret Amundson ’15, William Wertjes ’15, Clarissa Angeroth Franks ’14, and Lara Palmquist ’13.

“Julia Irons was not just bitten by the travel bug; she was infected,” begins a Chicago Tribune story highlighting the Fulbright fellowship that will take the recent St. Olaf College graduate to Bulgaria this year.

Irons, one of nine recent St. Olaf graduates who have been named Fulbright fellows for 2015–16, will use the prestigious award to travel to Sofia, Bulgaria, to investigate Thracian sociocultural identity during the Roman period.

It follows a series of study-abroad opportunities that Irons has taken advantage of during her time at St. Olaf, the Chicago Tribune story notes.

Last summer she spent four weeks at an archaeological excavation site in Turkey studying ancient history as part of the college’s Archaeological Methods course. Taught by St. Olaf Associate Professor of History Timothy Howe, the course introduces students to Mediterranean archaeological field techniques and methods and gives them the opportunity to unearth ancient artifacts.

Before that, Irons spent four months in Costa Rica during her junior year, where she studied attitudes toward Nicaraguan immigrants.

Those experiences, she tells reporter Dayna Fields, gave her the confidence to pursue her Fulbright studies in Bulgaria.

“It’s having that experience of living with people whose life experiences and perspectives are different from yours,” says Irons, who is among the 70 percent of St. Olaf students who study off campus. “And I’ve always found that really challenging and scary but also really exciting and enriching.”