St. Olaf College | News

Passionate on and off the field

For Rose Sandell ‘21, a major focus of her college search was the ability to play on the varsity soccer team while pursuing the path to become an international environmental lawyer, her “dream job.” 

At St. Olaf College, she has been able to do just that. As a political science and environmental studies double major, Sandell is excitedly taking her first steps toward her dream career while playing on the women’s soccer team. St. Olaf has intramurals and non-competitive leagues, but Sandell was looking for an intense varsity experience that wouldn’t force her to sacrifice her academics.

“I wanted to be competitive, and I wanted it to be part of the atmosphere and part of my college culture,” she says. “At St. Olaf, it’s not a decision between athletics and academics. It’s both.”

St. Olaf Soccer Field

Sandell was abroad this spring on the St. Olaf-led New Zealand and Australia program — where experiential learning exposes students to ecology, marine biology, politics, and anthropology — but she had to cut her study abroad program short in the wake of the COVID-19 global health crisis. She is currently home in Colorado taking advantage of the time she has with her family, her dogs, and the mountains. 

I am learning how important it is to never take experiences for granted and how crucial community is during a time of uncertainty,” she says. “I am grateful to have the support of Ole peers, staff, and faculty during this time.” 

Sandell was not expecting her semester to end like this, but she is passionate about learning as much as she can despite her altered learning environment. “It is up to my generation to learn from this so when another global crisis occurs we are prepared,” she says. “For now I am doing everything I can to support my community at home, at St. Olaf, and beyond.”