Seven St. Olaf seniors win Fulbright fellowships

St. Olaf seniors (left to right) Olivia Sullivan, Alexandra Hunt, Tim Bergeland, Anika Hodel, and Olive Dwan have been named Fulbright Fellows for 2018–19, along with Jasmine Bolden and Anna Perkins (pictured below).

Seven St. Olaf College seniors have been named Fulbright fellows for 2018–19.

Four will use the prestigious award to conduct research, and the other three will take on English teaching assistantships.

Three members of this year’s graduating class and one 2017 graduate were also named alternates in the prestigious program.

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:

Tim Bergeland ’18 will examine how practitioners at the Jambi Huasi intercultural clinic in Otavalo, Ecuador, collaborate with one another amid their distinct understandings of health. Bergeland and his collaborators will conduct and analyze interviews with practitioners and surveys from patients. He also hopes to use dance as a site of cultural engagement with his host community, and eventually plans to pursue a doctoral degree in medical anthropology. Bergeland is a sociology/anthropology major with a Latin American studies concentration.

Jasmine Bolden received a Fulbright award to teach English in Thailand, where she hopes to gain cultural and linguistic experiences that will help her excel as a social studies teacher in the U.S.

Jasmine Bolden ’18 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Thailand, where she hopes to gain cultural and linguistic experiences that will help her excel as a teacher in the U.S. She will engage with the local community by participating in Muay Thai “boxing” classes and learning about Thai delicacies. Upon returning to the U.S., she plans to become a social studies teacher and eventually would like to create social studies curricula highlighting histories of communities of color that could be taught in middle and high schools. She is a social studies education major at St. Olaf.

Olive Dwan ’18 will study children’s rights and immigration policy at the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism in Bergen, Norway. Through interviews with immigration professionals and analysis of court documents, she will investigate how the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child apply to migrant and non-migrant children in Norway. To engage with the larger community, Dwan will teach art classes for children at the Children’s Culture House in Bergen. Upon her return to the U.S., she plans to pursue graduate studies in migration. Dwan is a sociology/anthropology and studio art major at St. Olaf.

Anika Hodel ’18 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Uruguay. She will engage with the community by singing in a church, community, or university choir, as well as using singing in her teaching. She may also work to form a community children’s choir to help students learn English. Upon returning to the U.S., she plans to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and hopes to find a position in a school that uses both Spanish and English. Hodel is a Spanish major, with concentrations in educational studies and linguistics.

Alexandra Hunt ’18 will work as an English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia — a country she chose because of the Islamic focus on community, the fusion of cultures, and the opportunity to work with children in a rural Malay kampung. To engage with the community, she plans to create a weekly artistic creative learning club for her students and other community members. Upon her return to the U.S., she hopes to pursue a career in healthcare policy with a strong focus in providing culturally sensitive care to patients who are recent refugees or immigrants. Hunt is a biology major with a management studies concentration.

Anna Perkins ’18 received a Fulbright to conduct research in Russia, where she will investigate how Muscovites talk about, sing, and ascribe meaning to urban folk ballads.

Anna Perkins ’18 will investigate how Muscovites talk about, sing, and ascribe meaning to urban folk ballads. Interviews and participant-observation in Moscow will be supplemented by classes on 20th century urban folklore and song-gathering expeditions to the Russian countryside. To engage with the community, she plans to join the Higher School of Economics’ symphony orchestra, which draws its members from universities across Moscow. In the future, she plans to use the research skills, professional connections, and cross-cultural understanding gained from her Fulbright year to pursue a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology. Perkins is a sociology/anthropology and Russian/Russian area studies major.

Olivia Sullivan ’18 will investigate possible correlations between prenatal maternal behaviors and risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) development in children in Tianjin, China. She will join an existing research team analyzing data from Tianjin Women and Children’s Health Center, and will use observations, interviews, and data analysis to fill the research gap that exists on ASD in Asia. To engage with her host country, Sullivan plans to take knitting classes at local yarn stores in Tianjin to improve both general conversational Chinese and knitting-specific vocabulary. Upon her return to the U.S, she plans to earn a graduate degree in public health, focusing on maternal and child health. Sullivan is a Chinese and biology major with an education concentration.

Oles named Fulbright alternates include:

Joseph Burkhart ’17

Caroline Grubbs ’18

Maddie Leh ’18

Linden Smith ’18