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Nine students win Fulbrights

By Claire Carlson '12
June 13, 2011

St. Olaf seniors (back row, from left) Sara Padula, Steven Braun, Madeline Buck, Lydia Pfotenhauer, (front row, from left) Erin Seybold, Bogdan Conrad, Anna Coffey, and  Jonathan Christensen and Annika Tohlen (not pictured) were named Fulbright fellows for 2011–12.

Nine St. Olaf seniors have been named Fulbright fellows for 2011–12, the most students the college has ever had accepted into the prestigious program in a single year.

St. Olaf students Steven Braun, Madeline Buck, Jonathan Christensen, Anna Coffey, Bogdan Conrad, Sara Padula, Lydia Pfotenhauer, Erin Seybold, and Annika Tohlen were awarded Fulbright fellowships, bringing the college's Fulbright total to 79 since 1995. Seniors Mara Kumagai Fink, Brady Post, and Mira Yoon were named as alternates.

The Fulbright program, sponsored by the United States Department of State, aims to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." Program participants are chosen based on academic merit and leadership potential, and are given opportunities to study, research, and teach all over the world.

The projects
Braun will work in Japan at a Kyoto University lab, combining computational and biophysical methods to examine protein folding processes.

Buck will study ethical fashion in Norway, completing coursework at the University of Oslo as well as joining an existing research group focused on textile waste.

Christensen will work in Taiwan as an English teaching assistant, helping high school students increase their language proficiency.

Coffey will participate in fieldwork and data analysis regarding early childhood development in rural northwest China. She will work alongside a professor from Northwest University in Xian, developing, conducting, and analyzing surveys.

Conrad will analyze the physical and social consequences affecting leprosy patients in Tamil Nadu, India, at the Schieffelin Institute of Health Research and Leprosy Centre.

Padula will focus on female politicians in Japan, conducting interviews to identify past experiences that helped these women achieve public office.

Pfotenhauer will evaluate how gender affects individuals migrating from rural to urban areas in China. She will be based in Hangzhou at Zhejiang University.

Seybold will investigate climate change in arctic Norway, analyzing methane emissions with microbiologists at the University of Tromsø.

Tohlen will work in Turkey as an English teaching assistant, helping high school students increase their language proficiency.

Contact Kari VanDerVeen at 507-786-3970 or