NORAM scholars 2022-23
Graduate - American Master's and PhD candidates to Norway
MSc in Applied Ecology, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Genevieve is from Wisconsin, USA. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. She is currently working on her Master of Science degree at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Genevieve’s thesis explores factors influencing habitat selection of Norwegian cattle in their summer out-pastures. She is examining the effect carnivore presence may have on the herds’ choice habitats. As an environmental steward, Genevieve is dedicated to using science as a tool to assist farmers and wildlife managers in finding solutions for the preservation of species while maintaining viable agriculture practices.
MSc in Biological Chemistry, University of Stavanger
Nora is from Boston, Massachusetts. For her bachelor’s degree, she studied Biology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is currently starting her second year of her master’s program in Biological Chemistry at the University of Stavanger. Over the course of the year, she will be working on her master’s thesis which investigates the metabolic causes of pancreatic cancer. She hopes to discover a link between metabolic shifts and chemotherapy resistance in pancreatic tumor cells. Outside of the lab, Nora enjoys traveling, hiking, and taking in the views of western Norway.
MSc in Technology and Safety in the High North, Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
Derrick is from a small town in Willard, Missouri, USA. After finishing high school, he began his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. During his studies, Derrick moved to Leeds, England to participate in a yearlong engineering exchange program and spent 4 months teaching English in the Ukrainian countryside. After graduating with distinction from Missouri S&T with a bachelors in mechanical engineering and minor in aerospace engineering, Derrick is continuing his education in Tromsø, Norway with a Masters’ degree in Cold Climate Engineering at the Arctic University of Norway.
MSc in Ecology, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
Beltrán-Franco is from Colombia, but moved to the United States at 18. She has a Bachelor’s in Wildlife and Conservation Biology with a minor in Animal Behavior from the University of New Hampshire. She has worked as Wildlife Technician for the US Department of Agriculture and the Idaho National Laboratory. She is highly interested in ways to mitigate wildlife-human conflicts. She will be attending the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences for her Master in Ecology. She will be focusing on zoning management areas and their effect on predator behavior and free-ranging sheep in the southeastern forests of Norway.
MSc in Regional and City Planning, University of Stavanger
Niku Hansen is a master’s candidate at the University of Stavanger from Austin, Texas, pursuing her MSc. in City and Regional Planning. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies with a minor in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018. Prior to pursuing her studies in Norway, Niku worked abroad in construction project management at an international NGO based in Haifa, Israel. Niku’s academic and professional interests include sustainability, public space, and pedestrian transit. She is looking forward to learning from the Scandinavian perspective on urban planning and delving into the Norwegian language and culture.
Maria Jose Lequerica
MSc in Physical Activity and Health, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Maria Jose Lequerica from the USA is a 2nd year masters student at NTNU in Trondheim. She’ll be writing her thesis to provide deeper understanding of the physiological effects of Botox-A injections in children with CP. Her studies will grant her a MSc in Physical Activity and Health, with a specialization in movement science. Complemented with her BS in Athletic Training she hopes this will supplement the search for effective functional and stable locomotion. Promoting the importance of physical activity and health, MJ likes to lead by example. She creates activities for her academic cohort through a buddy program, assists the teaching of bachelor students, skydives, hikes, and plays hockey.
MSc in Arctic Marine Ecology, Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
Megan Lenss is from Iowa, USA. She first moved to Tromsø as a Fulbright scholar with the Norwegian Polar Institute in the fall of 2021. This year, she is starting a Master's program in Arctic Marine Ecology at the University of Tromsø. Her research interests are in biological oceanography, and her thesis will focus on the role of phytoplankton and sea ice algae in the biogeochemical carbon cycle in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.
MSc in Ocean Resources, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Amy is from Philadelphia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University. There, she pursued research regarding everything from the effects of climate change on plants in Arctic Alaska to shallow water coral reefs in Hawai‘i. After graduating, she lived and worked in Alaska before moving to Trondheim as a US Fulbright research grantee at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. There, she worked on using hyperspectral imaging in underwater remote sensing applications. She will continue this work through a Master’s in Ocean Resources at NTNU.
Connor Bradley Postponed from 2021-22
MA in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies, University of Oslo
Connor is originally from Florida, but has lived in Peru, Spain, and Iceland. After completing an academic exchange in Lima, he acquired his bachelor’s degrees in Spanish Language and Anthropology from the University of Florida before relocating to Andalusia, Spain as an English Language Assistant for the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Education. Currently, he is finishing his MA in Viking and Medieval Norse Studies through a collaborative program hosted by the University of Iceland and the University of Oslo. His research interests primarily revolve around Viking activity in the Mediterranean and the political profile of northern Norway during the Viking Age.
Finn Casey Postponed from 2021-22
MSc in Strategy and Management, Norwegian School of Economics
Finn is from Chicago, Illinois. He has a Bachelor’s degree in International Management from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In addition to a background in International Business, he has a fascination in languages and has worked as a freelance translator for NGOs in the Chicagoland area. At NHH he is pursuing a Master’s degree in economics and business administration with a specialization in business analysis. In his free time Finn loves to coach Crossfit and cycle.
Alf & Bergljot Kolflat Fund
Casper Mork-Ulnes is the founder of the international practice Mork Ulnes Architects. With offices in San Francisco and Oslo, Mork Ulnes Architects has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards. Casper is an Alumni of CCA (B.Arch) and Columbia (M.S.A.A.D). Casper has been awarded the Architectural League of New York’s Emerging Voices Award and was named one of “California’s finest emerging talents” by the AIA California Council. Other awards include being selected as “one of the most noteworthy young architects in Norway” in “Under 40. Young Norwegian Architecture 2013,” as well as being twice nominated for The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award.
Kai Reaver is an architect and researcher. His work concerns the digitalization of the built environment and its impact upon human experience and interaction with the physical and digital world. He is currently completing a Ph.D. on Smart Cities and Mixed Reality at AHO in Oslo, is Guest Professor at HEAD in Geneva, advisor to the Norwegian Association of Architects, and founder of Udaru AS, a research consultancy working across design, technology and planning. He serves on the board of Europan and AHO, in addition to several government advisory panels and is a columnist in Subjekt. (Photo: AHO)
Ambassador Robert D. Stuart Jr. Fellowship
Thordis Marie Widvey Haugen Fall 2022
Thordis is from Karmøy in Rogaland, and moved to Oslo to study political science at the University of Oslo. During her master’s degree, she spent an exchange semester at the University of Minnesota. Thordis has worked as a political advisor for the Conservative party in Oslo City Council, the Conservative party’s parliamentary group, and as the political advisor for the former Minister of Health, Bent Høie. Thordis will be spending a semester in Washington D.C. as a Robert D. Stuart fellow. She will be interning for Rep. Angie Craig from Minnesota, and attain classes at George Washington University.
America-Norway Heritage Fund
Frances Haugen is an American data engineer and scientist, and an advocate for accountability and transparency in social media. She studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Haugen went on to work at Google, Yelp, Pinterest and Facebook. While at Facebook, she made the brave decision to become a whistleblower through what became known as the "Facebook Files" in the Wall Street Journal.
The America-Norway Heritage Fund is awarded to Norwegian-Americans who through their work have made a significant contribution to American society. The award was presented to Frances Haugen during a seminar at the Norwegian Parliament in March 2022. (Photo: NORAM)
Graduate - Norwegian Master's and PhD candidates to the U.S.
MS in Sustainability Management, Columbia University
Nora is passionate about climate and sustainability and is currently pursuing her Master of Science in Sustainable Management at Columbia University. Nora hopes to learn more about how she can contribute to a greener and healthier future for people and planet through technology, politics, and finance. Her goal for the master’s program is to start building an international professional network of likeminded people from all over the world and gain relevant and important work-experience within the fields of climate tech, sustainable finance, circularity, environmental social governance and sustainable development through projects and classes.
Simon Roland Birkvad
PhD in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
Simon grew up in Lillehammer. He did his bachelor´s degree in Culture and communication and master´s degree in Sociology at the University of Oslo, supplemented by a semester with clinical psychology from NTNU. Simon is now doing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Oslo. His PhD project examines the Norwegian state’s renewed focus on taking away citizenship from immigrants and their children. At UC Berkeley, Simon will take part in a flourishing research community that focuses on immigration and citizenship. In his spare time, Simon enjoys playing badminton, listening to music and going hiking in the woods. (Photo: Tron Trondal, UIO)
Carl Philip Dybwad
MA in Environmental Management, Yale University
Carl is a 21-year-old urbanist from Oslo, Norway. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and constitutional law from Sciences Po Paris. He is now a Horstmann Scholar at Yale University, pursuing a Master of Environmental Management. Carl has previously worked on sustainability strategy for a series of multinational companies and will now focus on urban climate action. While being an observer for Action Solidarité Tiers Monde to COP26, he advocated for loss and damage funding to the global south from the Nordic countries. Besides his studies, Carl is enthralled by typography, design, hikes in the Arctic, and architecture.
LLM, Emory University
Susanne is from Skedsmo. She has a Master of Laws from the University of Oslo and has studied international law and international relations at Harvard University’s summer school. After completing her master’s degree, Susanne worked as a regulatory expert focusing on anti-money laundering in a Scandinavian bank. She was later hired as an associate (now senior associate) at Thommessen law firm. Susanne is interested in learning more about the American legal system and is currently doing an LL.M. at Emory University School of Law. At Emory, she focuses mainly on litigation and criminal law.
MS in Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Brage is from Bergen. He is pursuing a Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Brage is specializing in structural engineering, with focus on usage of the finite element method. This year he is attending UC Berkeley in California as an exchange student. In the future Brage is hoping to work on large scale infrastructure projects, such as bridges and dams. One of his long-term goals is to help reduce emissions from the construction industry.
Kiet Tuan Hoang
PhD in Engineering Cybernetics, University of California, Berkeley
Kiet is from Oslo. He received his master's degree in cybernetics and robotics from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). During his studies, he spent two semesters abroad at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, where he researched biomedical applications for control, and a semester abroad at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, where he investigated fuel cell electric vehicles. For his Ph.D. studies at NTNU, he examines the use of advanced control methodologies to handle uncertain meteorological forecasts of offshore wind power in offshore hybrid power systems.
MA in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University
Malin is from Oslo, Norway, is currently a graduate student of International Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington D.C. Previously, she has obtained a Bachelor of Laws Laws (LL.B.) at the University of York in 2014. Due to her passion for gender equality and human rights, she proceeded with her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Human Rights Law and Practice at the same University, graduating in 2015. She has worked with UN Women in Malawi on women’s economic empowerment and as a program manager for the African region at a Norwegian NGO called FORUT. She is excited to live in D.C. to experience the vibrant policy environment and be part of an influential academic institution.
MA in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University
Munir Jaber is from Oslo. He has a Bachelor in Communication and Society with a specialization in Economics from Kristiania University College. He is currently obtaining his Master of Art in International Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS in Washington, D.C. He specializes in international economics, technology, and China. As part of his master's degree, he will have an Exchange Semester at Tsinghua University in Beijing and a language course in Mandarin in Taipei. He has previously been President of AUF in Oslo and an Executive Board Member of AUF Norway. Munir worked three years as a Public Affairs Consultant for Rud Pedersen Public Affairs, and three years as an Advisor for LO Norway.
Åsmund Arnås Jødahl
MA in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University
Åsmund is from Hamar. He has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Economics from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is furthering his education at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington DC with a Master’s degree in International Relations, concentrating in States, Markets and Institutions and a regional focus on Europe. During his free time, he enjoys being active and playing soccer. Over the summer, he interned at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington DC to gain more work experience. Aasmund’s professional goal is to join the Norwegian Foreign Service.
MS in Digital Design, New York University
Sigrid is from Lillehammer in Gudbrandsdalen. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia in Political Science with a minor in International Relations. During her last year in Canada, she changed fields to pursue her passion for digital design (with a primary focus on User Experience and User Interface design). Currently, Sigrid is finishing her master's degree at Tandon School of Engineering at New York University. Through years of experience working in healthcare, she has built a strong interest in accessible design and hopes to pursue a career in tech.
MA in International Affairs, Columbia University
Karoline is from Oslo, Norway. She is currently pursuing a Master of International Affairs at Columbia University, specializing in international finance and economic policy. Prior to moving to New York, she studied economics at the University of Bergen. This summer, Karoline is interning with the Asset Management division of Norway´s largest pension company, KLP. Karoline hopes to use her background in finance and policymaking to drive sustainable investments that enhance economic inclusion. In her spare time, she enjoys to meet new people, explore the city and spend time outdoors, skiing and hiking.
Jakob Sitter Midttun
MA in Art and Design, Parsons School of Design
Jakob is from Trondheim. He holds a BFA in experimental media arts from the University of Fine Arts Hamburg, and currently studies an MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons School of Design (The New School) in New York. He is interested in the intersection between art, technology and science, and research interests include virtual forms of organization, artificial intelligence and the data economy.
PhD in Economics, Harvard University
Oda is from Oslo. She has previously studied both economics and Middle Eastern studies with Arabic, and has a Master’s in Comparative Economics and Policy from University College London. She is currently doing a PhD in Economics at BI Norwegian Business School, and has since 2021 been affiliated with Harvard University as a visiting researcher. In her research, she is using Natural Language Processing to study political behavior, with a focus on party discipline.
Elise Svedal Nilssen
MBA, Harvard Business School
Elise is from Oslo. She is currently studying her MBA at Harvard Business School. Prior to Harvard, Elise was a Manager at Bain & Company, working across the London and Oslo offices. Elise also has work experience from Deutsche Bank, the UN World Food Programme, Credit Suisse and Schibsted Media Group. She has a Bachelor's degree in Accounting & Finance from Warwick Business School. In her future career, Elise is seeking to make a difference by scaling businesses that solve major societal challenges, for example in the spheres of public health and climate change. Outside of work and studies, Elise loves traveling, skiing, reading and vivid dinner table debates.
Henrik Nygaard Nordahl
MFA, Parsons School of Design
Henrik Nordahl is an artist from Norway. He graduated from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in Oslo 2017 with a Bachelor's in design. He has since pursued a career as an artist and is currently undergoing his second year Master's degree in fine arts at Parsons in New York City. He uses processes informed by an examination of the materiality of objects, their history and relationship to us. He uses diverse modes of making in response to the specificity and agency of everyday materials to examine how transformation and manipulation of materials can change the viewer’s relationship or familiarity with them.
Maria Larsson Pedersen
MA in Comparative and World Literature, San Francisco State University
Maria, a native Hamar-born, acquired her bachelor’s in education from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She also holds extracurricular units in English and Psychology from that same institution, as well as a one-year degree in Spanish language and literature from Østfold University College. In the States, Maria will continue her master’s degree in comparative literature where she focuses on fiction from a psychological and an ethical standpoint. Through these approaches, she seeks to broaden her understanding of narratives, and how they can prove beneficial as a tool for personal development among young adult learners in a classroom setting.
Maud Amalie Rasmussen
MA in International Relations, New York University
Maud Amalie Rasmussen from Oslo has a bachelor's degree in African Studies from the London School of Oriental and African Studies. During her undergraduate degree, she explored colonialism's impact on state relations and the newly independent state's access to information. Having worked for Amnesty International, Maud seeks to continue her studies of current global matters through a graduate degree in International Relations at New York University. In her spare time, Maud enjoys exploring art galleries and attending music events and aims to take advantage of the rich cultural scene New York has to offer.
MS in Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Marcel studied computer science as well as physics and mathematics at NTNU and has spent a year at Oxford University studying computer science and a year at CERN doing particle physics. At 11 years old, he learned programming to manipulate computer games. He is currently researching the geometric and algebraic structures of machine learning models. Marcel enjoys competitive programming, running, and playing the piano in his spare time. With NORAM, Marcel is heading to MIT to continue his studies on the geometry of machine learning.
(Photo: Kim Ramberghaug)
MS in Marketing Analytics, Pacific Lutheran University
Silje is from Jessheim. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double concentration in Accounting and Marketing from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. She is continuing her education at PLU with a Master’s degree in Marketing Analytics. During her free time, she enjoys being active and going to the gym. Additionally, she will be working on campus to gain more work experience as well as help with the international student orientation this fall. She is hopeful that she can assist the new students in advancing through the challenges of their college experience, and ease the stressful transition that comes with adjusting to a new culture.
Lisa M. B. Sølvberg
PhD in Sociology, Northwestern University
Lisa is from Voss in Western Norway. She has a double Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Sociology, and a Masters’ degree in Sociology from the University of Bergen. During these studies, she also spent a year at University of California Berkeley as an exchange student. Lisa’s research interests is centered on social inequality, hiring, and class aspects. In her PhD, she is investigating how the Norwegian elite recruit and hire, as well as which criteria are valued during the recruitment processes. During her PhD, she is going as a visiting scholar to Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. While being at Northwestern, she looks forward to learning from influential scholars in her field, make academic connections, and contribute with knowledge on Norwegian aspects in hiring and beyond.
Erik Fjeldstrøm Trydal
MS in Computer Science, University of California, Irvine
Erik is from Arendal. He has a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. During his first masters he joined a student driven aerospace organization called Propulse, where he was leader of the inner structure engineering team who together with the entire organization developed and tested a rocket set for 9000 meter altitude. This, combined with his interest and experience in robotics and programming, lead him to choose a Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, specializing in Autonomous and Intelligent Machines and Systems at University of California, Irvine.
MSc in Biology, Central Washington University
Anne grew up in Jessheim, Norway but with her mother’s family living in Washington she was drawn to the pacific north west. She began her undergraduate degree at Pacific Lutheran University studying biology and then started her masters at Central Washington University. At CWU she now studies dominance behaviors and social hierarchies in crickets to get a better understanding of how we can map behavioral changes across different animal groups. During her free time she enjoys hiking in the cascades and biking around the beautiful town of Ellensburg.
Hedda Rytter Tveiten
PhD in Economics, University of California, Berkeley
Hedda is from Moss. She has a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Bergen, where she is currently a PhD Scholar. During her studies, Hedda spent one semester at the University of Hong Kong. Additionally, she has had internships in NVE, the Norwegian Competition Authority and the Ministry of Finance. For the academic year 2022/23, Hedda is invited to Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley to continue working of her PhD.
MSc in Electronics Systems and Design and Innovation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sigurd is from Oslo. From an early age, he has been interested in DIY projects and building stuff. This brought him to study Electronics Systems Design and Innovation at NTNU, where he recently finished his fourth year. At NTNU, Sigurd has developed his engineering skills besides his studies as well, where he has built electronics for an autonomous drone in “Ascend NTNU” and been the leader for “Revolve NTNU”, a student organization building electric racecars. This autumn, Sigurd will study at MIT, where he will focus on power electronics to pursue a career within green mobility.