St. Olaf College | News

Two Oles win Fulbright fellowships

St. Olaf College graduates Josie Goellner ’22 and Freyja Brandel-Tanis ’18 have been awarded Fulbright fellowships for 2022-23. 

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.

In addition to the two St. Olaf Fulbright recipients, two additional seniors — Emily Johnson ’22 and Emily Ziegler ’22 — have been selected as Fulbright alternates.

The St. Olaf Fulbright recipients and their projects: 

Josie Goellner '22
Josie Goellner ’22

Josie Goellner ’22 received a Fulbright research grant to work at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen, Germany. She will examine alternative food systems in Germany and the effects of productive greening — the use of community-supported gardens to increase green space — in German municipalities as a means of enhancing urban landscapes. Goellner graduated from St. Olaf this January after majoring in environmental studies and sociology/anthropology. She participated in the “First Steps to Fellowships” program while at St. Olaf and credits both that experience and the interdisciplinary nature of her coursework for best preparing her for this research. After her time in Germany, Goellner will return to the United States to attend graduate school for either a degree in law or environmental studies. 

Freyja Brandel-Tanis '18
Freyja Brandel-Tanis ’18

Freyja Brandel-Tanis ’18 received a Fulbright to conduct research in Trondheim, Norway, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Brandel-Tanis will lead stakeholder focus groups on sustainable transportation modeling through the use of digital twins, a type of technology used in manufacturing and rocketry to replicate physical environments virtually. Brandel-Tanis majored in mathematics while concentrating in Nordic Studies during her time at St. Olaf. She cites her St. Olaf Norwegian courses, which covered transportation in Norway, as being crucial to her success in this research project in addition to the emphasis that a liberal arts education places on writing skills. Brandel-Tanis will graduate from Georgia Tech this year with master’s degrees in city and regional planning and civil engineering. While in Norway, Brandel-Tanis looks forward to engaging with local queer organizations and using her bike and local transit to explore the city. Upon returning to the United States, Brandel-Tanis would like to work as a city planner or civil engineer before pursuing her Ph.D.