Nine recent St. Olaf graduates win Fulbright fellowships
Nine recent St. Olaf College graduates have been named Fulbright fellows for 2015–16.
The recipients of the prestigious award include seven members of this year’s graduating class, as well as one 2014 graduate and one 2013 graduate.
Five of the students will use their Fulbright awards to conduct research, and the other four will take on English teaching assistantships.
The group brings the college’s Fulbright total to 108 since 1995.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is sponsored by the Department of State and awards more than 1,500 grants to U.S. students every year. The program operates in more than 140 countries, seeking to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries” and “contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.” Program participants are chosen based on many factors, including leadership potential and academic merit.
The St. Olaf Fulbright recipients and their projects:
Beret Amundson ’15 will carry out her research in Recife, Brazil, and will be studying the therapeutic effect of a novel recombinant protein on schistosomiasis infection. She is a chemistry and biology major.
Sarah Beam ’15 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Peru and will collaborate with professors and future teachers in a teacher training college. She is majoring in Spanish, with concentrations in race and ethnic studies, ELL education for licensure, and linguistics.
Julia Irons ’15 will be conducting an investigation into Thracian sociocultural identity during the Roman period in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is majoring in history and political science, with a concentration in Latin American studies.
Serina Robinson ’15 will conduct a project in Tromsø, Norway, that employs transcriptomics and bioinformatics to investigate the impact of rising Arctic temperatures on the metabolism of methane-oxidizing bacteria. She is majoring in chemistry and Norwegian.
Ida Sobotik ’15 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Taichung, Taiwan, and also plans to volunteer in a local garden, where she will exchange gardening messages with the community. She is a studio art major with concentrations in educational studies and China studies.
Nels Thompson ’15 will work in the Gade Laboratory at University of Bergen in Norway, where he will assess rare variants in two genes, HNF1A and HADH, known to be involved in certain forms of diabetes. He is a biology and Norwegian major.
William Wertjes ’15 will conduct organic chemistry research under Professor Ben Feringa at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He is a chemistry major.
Clarissa Angeroth Franks ’14 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Russia and also plans to create a young women’s empowerment group. While at St. Olaf, she majored in French, Russian area studies, and earned a concentration in Africa and the Americas. This past year she has worked in French Polynesia with World Service Corps. Her projects with World Service Corps have included working as an instructor at peace camps, translation, donation documentation, and teaching English.
Lara Palmquist ’13 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Ukraine. While at St. Olaf, she majored in biology and American studies. She received a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in peace studies and conflict resolution at Uppsala University in Sweden, and prior to beginning those studies she worked is Israel.