Here is what they are doing and saying……

’13 Peace Scholar- Mirwais Wakil-Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWizNnV0ybI

’14 Peace Scholar-Katie LovrienI graduated from St. Olaf this past spring with a degree in social work and now I am working as an AmeriCorps Promise Fellow with the Tackling Obstacles and Raising College Hopes program at Northfield High School.

’12 Peace Scholar-Luke HansonWorking as a recruiter for Young Adults in Global Mission, a one-year international service program of the ELCA (I returned in August from a year in Rwanda).

’10 Peace Scholar-Maddy BuckI am in law school at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. This past summer I worked at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Santa Monica, California, where I was able to work on environmental law issues, particularly surrounding California’s drought. At Michigan Law I am also a Dow Sustainability Fellow, which means that I am working with a group of students from all different disciplines doing a client-driven project and participating in seminars on sustainability issues. My Peace Scholar days have been relevant so far this semester while taking transnational law–I’ve come back to my presentation topic from a new perspective! (Though I’m a little more pessimistic on the whole thing than I was 5 years ago..)

’10 Peace Scholar-Sean AndersonI’m a second year student at University of Denver Sturm College of Law, pursuing a career in civil litigation. Last summer, I interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office–District of Colorado in Denver. Currently, I’m a law clerk at Reilly Pozner, LLP in Denver. In addition to school, I’m an editor for the Denver University Law review, and the Vice President of Judge Recruitment for the Moot Court Board.

When not at work or the law school, I enjoy all the fine things Colorado has to offer–running, hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, and the Broncos. I hiked my first 14er this summer (peak at 14,000 ft!) and recently hit up a big ski sale so I can hit the slopes this winter. My favorite weekend of the summer was celebrating the wedding of two fellow students from ISS 2012 in Minneapolis where I got to reconnect with several other ISS students! When people ask about my study abroad experiences, Norway and ISS comes to the forefront. I love to talk about the experience of living and studying with students from all over the world. I would go back in a heartbeat.

’11 Peace Scholar-Annemarie SmithI graduated with my MA in History from Yale in 2013, and since then I have been working as a research assistant for two Yale professors. For one, a History professor, I am researching primary sources about the Ottoman invasion of Egypt. For the other, a professor of Arabic, I am researching the revolutionary philosophies found in the literature of the Arab Spring. Both projects are exciting and allow me to continue working on my French, German, and Arabic skills. I am not yet sure where I am going next…perhaps a PhD, perhaps a career working for an NGO or other international organization. I miss everyone at the Peace Scholars Program!

’12 Peace Scholar-Peter LarsenCurrently I’m pursuing a Master’s degree in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

’12 Peace Scholar-Molly KokeshI’m a second year student at University of Denver Sturm College of Law, pursuing a career in civil litigation. Last summer, I interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office–District of Colorado in Denver. Currently, I’m a law clerk at Reilly Pozner, LLP in Denver. In addition to school, I’m an editor for the Denver University Law review, and the Vice President of Judge Recruitment for the Moot Court Board.

When not at work or the law school, I enjoy all the fine things Colorado has to offer–running, hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, and the Broncos. I hiked my first 14er this summer (peak at 14,000 ft!) and recently hit up a big ski sale so I can hit the slopes this winter. My favorite weekend of the summer was celebrating the wedding of two fellow students from ISS 2012 in Minneapolis where I got to reconnect with several other ISS students! When people ask about my study abroad experiences, Norway and ISS comes to the forefront. I love to talk about the experience of living and studying with students from all over the world. I would go back in a heartbeat.

’11 Peace Scholar- Thato Masire  a national of Botswana is a dual masters candidate at the Walton College of Business and Clinton School of Public Service, respectively. At the Walton College, Thato served as graduate assistant for International Management and Authentic Leadership courses. Earlier this year, Masire joined an international team of MBA’s and is in the final stage of the Financial Times MBA Challenge. Drawing on the unparalleled exposure and experience that the Peace Scholars program provided him, Thato is now working on a high-level multilateral campaign.

’14 Peace Scholar-Amy DeloI am currently serving with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Baltimore. My role here is with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in their Outreach department.”

’14 Peace Scholar-Eric Herst-“I am currently teaching English in Brno, Czech Republic.”

’11 Peace Scholar-Kelly KrinnI’m living and working in Washington, D.C. I work in health care policy as an analyst producing research on health reform progress and policy recommendations for future reforms. “

’11 Peace Scholar-Lauren Griffin-“I am currently pursuing a PhD in sociology at Cornell University. The peace scholar scholarship and my involvement with the forum certainly set me on this path and I feel so grateful to be here.”

’11 Peace Scholar-Claire BergrenI am living in Minneapolis and just recently accepted a new job with SEIU Local 284. I am an organizer on the MN Academics United campaign, which is working to unionize the faculty at the University of MN. Other than that and my day to day life, I will hopefully be traveling to Mexico in January with Witness of Peace on a delegation titled ‘The Militarization of Police and the Criminalization of Social Movements’.”

’11 Peace Scholar-Michael Seeley-is a third year student at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Since Norway, he has also been involved in several important programs
working towards peace and erasing divisions.
At Augustana College (now Augustana University), he became the President of the Student Congregation of the Augustana Chapel. In that capacity, he held dialogues on LGBT acceptance in the church, racism, and homelessness. In law school, he’s become the President of the International Law Student Association. With that, he’s hosted speakers on end in genocide and dialogued with lawyers in charge of multiple peace-keeping and peace-building activities, including James Johnson, the lead UN prosecutor for Charles Taylor, ex-president of Liberia and war criminal.
Michael is also a writer, particularly of historical fiction. He’s written several novels,
including The Uprising Trilogy, a series about the dangers of religious fanaticism set in the
1840s German states; he began this series as a reaction to the 2011 attacks in Norway.
Additionally, Duty: A Retelling of Waterloo re-imagines the famous battle with a far different outcome, and finally, The Gods’ Punishment looks at Alcibiades of Athens, a statesman and student of Socrates whose controversial actions shaped the ancient Greek world.
Professionally, Michael has commissioned into the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps and will begin active duty as an officer and attorney upon graduation and the passing of the bar. As a JAG, Michael hopes to ensure that the Navy is able to effectively maintain peace and carry out its humanitarian operations in disaster zones and developing countries around the world.

’11 Peace Scholar-Nathaniel Cook-“I am currently in my 4th year of dental school at Marquette University School of Dentistry, in Milwaukee, WI. I am enjoying my time in Milwaukee with my wife, who is an elementary teacher and graduated from Concordia College, and our adopted dog, Lena (great Norwegian name!). I will be graduating this coming may. I plan to then pursue a residency to specialize in pediatric dentistry. At this time I’m not sure where that will bring me, but I hope to know in January! I aspire to increase dental care access for children and patients with special healthcare needs. I’m very involved with organized dentistry, and am a national student leader focused on advocating for dental students, the profession, and, most importantly, our patients. I still consider the Peace Scholar program to be one of my most influential experiences, and have maintained contact with my co-scholars, with some even attending my wedding! “

’11 Peace Scholar-Kelsy Johnson-“I’m living in Fargo with my partner Jennifer and her daughter Liliana. I work full time at the Social Security Administration in Fargo. I was hired on in May 2014 as a claims representative. I interview applicants for Supplemental Security Income, a needs-based program for people with disabilities. I determine their eligibility for our programs, review their records, and refer them to community resources. I am still teaching kids’ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu twice a week. I am enjoying a busy career as an amateur mixed martial arts fighter. I’ve had four bouts in the last two years, and I’m hoping to transition to the professional side in the near future. “

’13 Peace Scholar-Mallory SchulteI am currently in my second year of law school at the University of South Dakota. I am currently serving as the president of the Volunteer Income Tax Association, which provides tax return preparation for low income individuals. Additionally, I serves as a student representative for the Project Rural Practice Taskforce. Project Rural Practice is a joint program between the South Dakota State Government and the state bar association, which hopes to restore rural America with their main street attorneys. The impact of losing rural lawyers on the economic viability and social fabric of rural communities and the delivery of justice to these areas is potentially devastating to the State of South Dakota and to a way of life that built this state. Action to preserve the rural legal practitioner—the counsel and confidant of small town South Dakota—is necessary. ALSO, I got married! I feel blessed to share this journey with a man who inspires and challenges me everyday.”

’13 Peace Scholar-Rachel Nováček-“I am currently working as an associate educator at Nellie Stone Johnson, an elementary school in Minneapolis. I work in the TDL (transitional dual language) program for Spanish speaking students.”

’13 Peace Scholar-Esmé Marie-“I just moved to Switzerland and started an internship with a local organization providing language and integration courses and counseling to newly arrived migrants, especially women.”

’13 Peace Scholar- Cate AndersonI’m working as a volunteer coordinator for Refugee Services at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. I help set up mentorships for newly arrived families that our staff is resettling.”

’13 Peace Scholar-Nikolaj HagenI recently completed an internship with the state department at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague and now I’m working as a legislative analyst for USPS in Washington DC.”

’13 Peace Scholar-Maggie Steinberg  “ I’m volunteering with Lutheran Volunteer Corps this year and am currently the Program Fellow at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. I work with migrants in detention centers, torture survivors in detention, and youth and families. “

’13 Peace Scholar-Alexandra Hjerpe– “I’m a 2nd year student at Wartburg theological seminary, studying for my masters of divinity, with an emphasis on pastoral care and family systems theory. This is preparation for me to be ordained as a pastor in the ELCA (evangelical Lutheran church of America). Right now I’m sponsored by the ELCA Fund For Leaders, which is a really generous scholarship for my career.”

’13 Peace Scholar-Bruno CorreaWell I just graduated this spring, I am currently working to save up money for my masters, planning on going to either Berkeley or Stanford, I’ll be doing my applications and my GRE soon!

St. Olaf student awarded Rotary Global Grant Scholarship

WakilMirwais450x350St. Olaf College student Mirwais Wakil ’15 has received a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship that will help him pursue a graduate degree at either Oxford University or the London School of Economics.

The $30,000 award from Rotary International supports graduate-level studies related to the organization’s focus on humanitarian issues. Wakil will use the scholarship to pursue either a master’s degree in international relations at the London School of Economics or a master’s degree in refugees and forced migration at Oxford.

“I will also be interning with organizations such as Refugee Resource or Oxfam to help contribute to development and refugee assistance,” Wakil says.

Before enrolling in one of the two graduate programs in the fall of 2016, Wakil will spend a year in Vienna, Austria, working with an organization he co-founded called Ready Power.

Ready Power employs immigrants and refugees and helps them better integrate into Austrian society. Employees and their families also receive advice and help with their legal cases, government paperwork, and education. Wakil helped establish the organization three years ago and continued to work on it throughout his St. Olaf career.

In addition to his work with Ready Power, Wakil hopes to be involved over the next year with ORS Service, an Austrian organization that houses refugees before they receive asylum. He also plans to volunteer with the United World Colleges (UWC) National Committee of Austria.

A native of Afghanistan, Wakil moved to Austria at age 15, where one of his teachers suggested that the United World Colleges — international baccalaureate high schools that educate students in an environment of shared learning, collaboration, and international understanding to promote positive social action and build a more equitable and peaceful world — would be a good fit for him.

He attended the UWC in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, before coming to St. Olaf as a Davis UWC Scholar.

At St. Olaf, Wakil majored in studio art, political science, and economics, and was a member of Pi Sigma Alpha. He earned a Magnus the Good Fellowship to support his work on a project that re-examined international relations through the eyes of individuals affected by war, power, statecraft, and international law.

Wakil was a Peace Scholar at the University of Oslo, where he researched peace and reconciliation regarding the ex-Yugoslavian countries with the Nansen Dialogue Center.

He also participated in Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School Junior Summer Institute. The institute is part of the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program, a national consortium of the top public policy and international affairs graduate schools that prepare college juniors for advanced degrees and careers serving the public good.

After he completes his graduate program in England, Wakil would like to work with the International Committee of the Red Cross or the United Nations Refugee Agency.

“I hope to help improve the life quality of refugees and ensure their protection in conflict zones,” he says.

kateKate Edelen is currently a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow at the Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington, D.C. where she works on issues of climate change adaptation and mitigation, natural resource development and management, and its relationship to conflict and environmental peacebuilding. She will be traveling to Nigeria in July to examine the long-standing conflict and its relationship to underdevelopment, heavy-handed military actions, exclusionary policies of economic and sociopolitical marginalization, inequitable distribution of benefits from extractives, and the role of civil society in mitigating such conflicts.

In November 2013, Edelen graduated from the University of Oxford with a M.Sc. in Water Science, Policy, and Management as an International Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. While in Oxford, Ms. Edelen worked as a consultant for the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable Consulting Company, developing recommendations for the British Council on joint water technology projects between the UK and Middle East.

The year prior she was awarded a post-baccalaureate Fulbright Research Fellowship to Norway, where she conducted research at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). As a part of the larger projects Security Implications of Climate Change and the Norwegian-Bangladesh collaborative project, Water Scarcity in Bangladesh and South Asia: Dynamics of Conflict and Cooperation, she quantitatively examined to what extent short-term deterioration of local environment due to climate variability and rainfall deviations increased the risk of political unrest and violence in South Asia. This project took her to Bangladesh for field research, where she led a five-member research that investigated transnational river management approaches at local, regional, and national levels. Her work later culminated in a journal article and a contributing chapter to the 2013 PRIO Report, Water Scarcity in Bangladesh: Transboundary River, Conflict, and Cooperation.

While in Norway, Kate developed ties with the Somali diaspora community and acted as the Project Manager for the Nordic Somali Youth Summit, coordinating efforts with Foreign Ministries, U.S. Embassies, and Somali communities across four Nordic countries.

Kate Edelen graduated from Augsburg College in 2011 with three degrees in Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Studies.  Additionally, she recently co-authored in the Journal of Physical Chemistry as a part of research undertaken during her undergraduate career. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp500305w

Michael Seeley, Peace Scholar in 2011, is a rising 2L at the University of Nebraska College of Law. This summer he’ll be interning with the United States Navy Judge Advocate General in Oak Harbor, WA. Since Norway, he has also been involved in several important programs working towards peace and erasing divisions. At Augustana College, he became the President of the Student Congregation of the Augustana Chapel. In that capacity, he held dialogues on LGBT acceptance in the church, racism, and homelessness. In law school, he’s become the Vice President of the International Law Student Association. With that, he’s hosted speakers on ending genocide and dialogued with lawyers in charge of multiple peace-keeping and peace-building activities, including James Johnson, the lead UN prosecutor for Charles Taylor, ex-president of Liberia and war criminal. Michael will continue working for peace wherever his vocation leads him: the US Navy, the UN, or a local law-firm in the Midwest. Several Peace Scholars have stayed in touch and we have appreciated reading about their studies, passions, and occupations.

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Thad Titze 2011 (Community) and Kaitlyn Hjerpe 2012 (Liberal Arts) received Augustana’s 2013 Covenant Award. This award is given to students  for exemplary commitment to Christian faith, the Liberal Arts, academic excellence, and community and service.

Sean Anderson 2010  It was an amazing experience! I spent the last year teaching English at Universidad del Norte in Barriquilla, Colombia. (2011 Fulbright Scholar) I taught  beginner level classes as well as advanced level Business English courses. I also gave cultural presentations and led conversation clubs. As a side project, I volunteered with Fundacion Mario Santo Domingo, a NGO involved in microfinance and community housing projects. I had an incredible year and absolutely loved Columbia.

I have just started a Political Science Master’s degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I am specializing in International Relations and hope to do research in Security Studies., Crisis Management, and Conflict Resolution.

The Peace Scholar Program was instrumental in setting me on my current career path. It was an amazing experience that shaped my perspective and developed my interest in the field of Security Services. I hope that the donors know how valuable and life-changing it can be!

Kate Edelen 2010
I just finished a year in Norway as a Fulbright researching dimensions of both local and transboundary cooperation and conflict over water in South Asia, specifically looking at Bangladesh and India. I have just started a MSc of Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford and enjoying immensely!

Maddy Buck 2010

Well, last year I was in Norway again doing research on sustainability in the textile industry as a Fulbright Scholar at the National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO) in Oslo.
Now I am back in the US, have moved to Boston, and am looking for a full-time position. In the meantime I’m interning at a
non-profit called the Product Stewardship Institute and working at Patagonia. Both are kind of in the same line as the research I was doing last year (Patagonia being an avant-guard apparel company that is very concerned with the environment, and the non-profit being focused on recycling and the end of life of different products).

Rachel Brady 2010

I graduated from Concordia in December. I’m living in Minneapolis and work for an International non-profit called Books For Africa based in St. Paul. BFA is the largest shipper of donated books to the African continent in the world. There are lots of components to my job, but my favorite part is working with the recipients who are preparing to receive books from us. I’ve met so many incredible people living in all parts of the continent. It’s incredible to learn about the work they are doing toward development and education, and to assist them achieve their program’s literacy goals.
This summer I also created a play with a group of teen girls that deals with “clique culture” and bullying. They will tour the show to middle schools in the twin cities area this fall to start conversations about standing up to bullies.

Erika Swenson 2010

I graduated in May 2011 from Concordia College in Moorhead Minnesota. I now work as a healthcare consultant and am currently staffed (during the work week) in New York. I live in Minnetonka, MN and like to run and travel in my free time.

Maria Ward 2010

I’m currently in Lutheran Volunteer Corps serving at Neighborhood House in St. Paul. I work with participants, volunteers, and interns in our food shelves and also run basic needs related programs. This past summer I interned at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti in their development department.

Lauren Griffin 2011

 As for me, I am in Montenegro right now! I am here on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and I will be living in Podgorica for the next nine months, teaching English at the University of Donja Gorica. I am thrilled to be here and am still settling in, but already feel so welcomed.  I am actually meeting up with Steinar Bryn this week in southern Montenegro and am really looking forward to seeing him! We’re going to talk about if there are any ways for me to be involved in the local Nansen Dialogue Center here in Podgorica. My time at ISS last summer was definitely a driving factor in pushing me to apply for this Fulbright and I feel so lucky to be here!

Lauren’s Blog http://mymontenegrinlife.tumblr.com

Kelly Krinn 2011

Kelly has begun a Master’s program at The Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Annemarie Smith 2011

I am doing very well. I am one month into graduate studies at Yale. I am studying Ancient Egypt in the History department here. I am currently deciding if I want to stay at Yale for a PhD or whether I want to go work in international relations. Both are exciting options! I have met lots of international students at Yale, and I find that my experiences in Norway often work their way into conversation.

Kelsy Johnson 2011

I am working for a vendor at Microsoft in Fargo as a technical writer, but on the 28th, I will transition to freelance journalism as well as content writing for local nonprofits. I have agreements to write for the Great Plains Examiner and The Guardian, the monthly magazine for the North Dakota National Guard. In addition, I will be making contact with some nonprofits in the Fargo-Moorhead area to assist them in telling their story online and in print.

I also teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to local kids twice a week.

Michael Seeley 2011

Mandy and I got married a little over a month ago, and married life is super fun. We’ve lots going on with senior year too. For me, I’m rushing to get law school applications done so I can focus again on my academics. All the change are quite exciting. I’m also missing Norge quite a bunch. One of my prospective law schools, Hamline, has a study abroad program in Norway, and I think it’d be difficult to pass up if that could happen.

Thato Masire 2011

I am in D.C right now as a Project Assistant with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) till December.

Claire Bergren 2011

I am currently working as a Community Organizer at the Harrison Neighborhood Association in North Minneapolis. I am also a member of the SPEAC program (Sustainable Progress though Engaging Active Citizens) at Hope Community, Inc. in Minneapolis.