St. Olaf College | News

Student receives Rotary Global Grant Scholarship

PalmquistLara400x350St. Olaf College student Lara Palmquist ’13 has received a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship that will enable her to pursue a graduate degree at Uppsala University in Sweden.

The $30,000 award from Rotary International supports graduate-level studies related to the organization’s focus on humanitarian issues. Palmquist will enroll in a master’s program for peace studies and conflict resolution at Uppsala University in the fall of 2014.

“I specifically chose this program because Uppsala has an internationally acclaimed peace studies program, which will allow me to connect with scholars from around the world similarly interested in conflict mediation and human rights advocacy,” Palmquist says.

As part of the program, she will study the origins of armed conflicts as well as solutions for monitoring, evaluating, and mediating these conflicts. To culminate her studies, Palmquist will conduct research in collaboration with Uppsala’s Department of Peace and Conflict Research.

The Rotary scholarship also requires that recipients conduct a community project while abroad. For her project, Palmquist will collaborate with a professor of sociology at Uppsala University to facilitate the integration of young, unaccompanied minors — particularly those arriving from Syria — who are seeking asylum in Sweden.

“I especially was drawn to the scholarship because I deeply admire and embrace the larger aims of Rotary International,” Palmquist says. “Upholding the motto ‘service above self,’ Rotarians are accomplishing incredible work in the realms of health care, community development, peace-building, and education around the world.”

Before she enrolls at Uppsala University, Palmquist will spend a year interning at the Lutheran World Federation in Israel. She will work closely with the organization’s regional director, the Rev. Mark Brown ’78, and hold a range of responsibilities, from writing grant proposals and articles on the organization’s activities in the West Bank to helping manage a guest house. Palmquist, who traveled to Israel and Jordan in January 2011 through a St. Olaf Interim program, is excited to return to the region.

She hopes to continue her work abroad, ideally through the Peace Corps, once she’s completed her program in Sweden.

“Above all, I am honored to represent both Rotary International and St. Olaf in the years ahead,” Palmquist says. “As true change is not possible without community, I recognize that this global network of which I will now be a part is an invaluable resource.”