NORAM scholars 2023-24
Graduate - American Master's and PhD candidates to Norway
MSc in City and Regional Planning, University of Stavanger
Niku Hansen is a second year master’s student 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 urban resilience, green infrastructure, and pedestrian transit. She is looking forward to completing a master's thesis in collaboration with a local organization in Stavanger this spring.
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 Biology, Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
Stan comes from Oregon. He came to Norway in 2022 on a Fulbright grant to pursue a master’s degree in Northern Populations and Ecosystems at the University of Tromsø, with a Zoology degree from Oregon State University. This year he is developing his thesis, focusing on red foxes on Varanger Peninsula, Finnmark. Stan brings a diverse background to his research, with experience as a mechanic and technician in both laboratory and field settings. His project uses GPS collars to explore which environmental factors most affect the animals. Stan is also eager to deepen his connection with Norwegian culture and language.
JD, University of Bergen
Jessica is a J.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. She completed her undergraduate education in law, policy, and theology in 2020. Jessica has worked in real estate transactions, American property rights litigation, criminal defense, and is currently working in the Child Protection Division at Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, the largest county in Minnesota. Jessica is excited to study Norwegian law and culture as it relates to both criminal justice and environmental protection. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, and playing with her dog- who unfortunately will not be joining her on this adventure.
PhD in Geoscience, University of Oslo
Kaytan was born in Ohio and spent his childhood in India. He has a BSc and MSc in Geology from University of California, Riverside and Texas A&M University, respectively. His research interest is in periglacial geomorphology focusing on permafrost thaw driven slope instability in the Alaska Range. Kaytan’s Ph.D. dissertation will comprise investigating rock glacier dynamics, periglacial landslide hazard assessment, and mountain permafrost modeling. He is excited to build research collaborations between American and Norwegian researchers to address ongoing changes to permafrost-affected landscapes in both countries. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling, and swimming.
MSc in Ecology, Inland University of Applied Sciences
Greyfield (Beltrán-Franco) is a Colombo-American master student with 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 motivated in finding ways to make wolverine den transects more efficient and improve their detectability for the Norwegian Environment Agency. She is working towards her second year of the Master in Ecology with a focus on Wildlife Management at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.
MSc in Applied Ecology, Inland University of Applied Sciences
Stephanie is originally from Clearwater, Florida. After completing her Bachelor's of Science in Zoology from the University of Florida, she moved to Australia where she completed a qualification in Veterinary Nursing through TAFE New South Wales. Since then, she has worked in mixed and companion animal practices. She has a strong interest in disease ecology and wildlife health. Her Master's in Applied Ecology thesis will focus on reindeer health, cortisol, and stress.
Alf & Bergljot Kolflat Fund
Alexandria Algard is an architect, urbanist and public speaker. She is the former President of National Architect's Association of Norway and chair of the Jury of the Norwegian Government’s annual prize for sustainable urban development; Attractive City. After having lived and worked in cities like New York, Rotterdam and Basel, she founded her eponymous architecture and design practice in Stavanger Norway in 2012 - currently working on projects such as the transformation of a landmarked City Hall, designing an apartment building for a social life, a multi-use city block and a workshop building with a surprising work environment. Her work is based on a special interest in the effect our built environment has on people and how to design for a more sustainable future.
Ambassador Robert D. Stuart Jr. Fellowship
Anders Kvernmo Langset Spring 2023
Anders is from Tomrefjord in Møre og Romsdal. He works as a Political advisor for Arbeiderpartiet’s parliamentary group, primarily with education and research policy, policy decision making and political communication. He has a 6-year teacher education from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL). Anders has varied experience from student politics and non-governmental organizations, and was among other things the President of the National Union of Students in Norway (NSO). He is currently Leader of Utdanningpolitisk forum in Oslo Arbeiderparti. Besides work, Anders plays guitar and is interested in jogging, literature and mountain hiking.
Graduate - Norwegian Master's and PhD candidates to the U.S.
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.
Jens Christian Brunstad
PhD in Finance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jens is from Asker. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Bergen, where he is also currently pursuing his PhD. He is currently focused on researching the financial decisions and outcomes of investors, as well as exploring developer incentives within the realm of cryptocurrencies. During the academic year 2023-2024, Jens has been invited to visit MIT Sloan School of Management to continue his research. When not working he is an avid disc golfer and is always on the lookout for a new travel destination to explore.
MSc in Data Science, Harvard University
Christian is currently graduating with a Bachelor from the Honours program in Mathematics with Computer Science at the University of Oslo, with one semester as an exchange student at UC Berkeley. Since childhood Christian has been passionate about mathematics, motivating him to write a book about the Abel mathematics competition, to which he participated as a finalist several times. Alongside his studies Christian has always enjoyed being an active football player as well as participating in chess tournaments. With support from NORAM he looks forward to continuing his studies with a MS in Data Science at Harvard University.
MA in Conflict Resolution, Georgetown University
Madeleine grew up in Trondheim, Norway and Tempe, Arizona. She completed her bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature and International Studies at the University of Michigan, after which she served in Chicago and DC public schools with AmeriCorps for two years. Madeleine is currently working in consulting at Deloitte and will begin pursuing a master's degree in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University in the fall. There, she will explore how conflict and climate change are affecting waste and water management in conflict zones and regions with high political tension. Madeleine is excited to get back to studying and engaging with new parts of the DC community.
Jakob Sitter Midttun
MA in Design and Technology, 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.
MSc in Informatics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Åse is from Oslo. In the fall of 23, she will continue her master's degree in Informatics at NTNU, by doing research at MIT´s Senseable City Lab. She will develop software architectures to support data aggregation and processing in different research projects in digital technologies and the urban environment and be involved in fabricating prototypes using sensors and electronics. In addition to tech, Åse is the former president of ISFiT (International student festival in Trondheim) and has a passion for music. Now she is ready to take on new challenges in Boston and looks forward to doing research that matters.
MS in Business Analytics, University of Southern California
Christian is from Trondheim, Norway, and is pursuing a Master's degree in Business Analytics at the University of Southern California (USC). He's a former Norwegian junior golf champion and earned a B.S. in Finance and Business Analytics from Menlo College in 2022. He has a background in corporate finance and is looking forward to combining his business knowledge with the data science curriculum at USC. This summer, he is interning with Ernst & Young in their digital and emerging technologies division in Los Angeles. Beyond his professional interests, Christian enjoys exploring LA, attending athletic events, and networking.
MS in Business Analytics, University of Southern California
Fredrik is from Trondheim, Norway, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Business Analytics at the University of Southern California. He has a passion for finance and data science and wants to deep-dive into financial analytics, emphasizing valuation and forecasting while obtaining his degree. This summer, he is interning at JP Morgan as an investment banking analyst focused on technology and retail mergers and acquisitions in Los Angeles. Before USC, he competed nationally in golf across Europe and the US and still enjoys playing in his free time.
PhD in Electric Power Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Matias has a Master of Science degree in Energy and Environmental Engineering with a specialization in Electric Power Engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where he is also doing a PhD. The PhD topic is on reliability analysis of power systems using optimization algorithms. Visiting the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Matias will continue on his PhD project securing power in all outlets during and after the energy transition. He loves to explore nature and the power infrastructure, their social impact, and the balance between them.
MA in Screen Scoring, University of Southern California
Martinius Solum is a 28-year-old musician and composer from Kragerø, living in Oslo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in popular music with guitar as his main instrument. Solum has now been admitted to the prestigious Screen Scoring program at University of Southern California in Los Angeles, which is a one-year practical Master’s degree in film music composition and is regarded as the best of its kind in the world. He has composed music for the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra della Toscana. Martinius was also a contestant on The Voice in 2021.
PhD in Spanish and Latin American Studies, University of Houston
Kristine Seljemoen is a Ph.D student at the University of Bergen. The NORAM stipend will fund a research stay at the University of Houston in 2024, where she will be working with distinguished scholars within her field: Latin American literature and culture. Kristine has a B.A. and an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and a B.A. in Cultural Studies from the University of Bergen. Her latest article, “Médicos, curanderos y boticarios en el cuadro de costumbres costarricense ‘Sea Usted Medico’ (1854)" (2023), appeared in Revista de Filología y Lingüística de la Universidad de Costa Rica.
Carl Philip Dybwad
MA in Environmental Management, Yale University
Carl is an urbanist and climate adaptation strategist from Oslo, Norway. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Sciences Po Paris, majoring in Politics and Government. He is now a Horstmann Scholar at Yale University, pursuing a Master of Environmental Management, where he focuses on urban climate action. Carl has previously worked on sustainability strategies for a series of multinational companies, conducted research with the MIT Senseable City lab, and been a delegate to UNFCCC negotiations. Besides his studies, Carl is enthralled by typography, design, hikes in the Arctic, and architecture.
MS in Computer Science, Columbia University
William is from Nesodden, Norway, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Informatics from the University of Oslo. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science at Columbia University as a Fulbright grantee where he is specializing in artificial intelligence. In particular, William is researching ways to improve AI’s ability to reason about their visual understanding of the world. Furthermore, William has also worked on applications of AI within education, food waste, and urban infrastructure. In his spare time, William enjoys exploring the city and solving puzzles such as the Rubik’s Cube.
PhD in Religious Studies/Jewish Studies, Institution pending
Anita is currently pursuing doctoral research on the role of the Yiddish language in Sweden. She holds master's degrees from University College London and University of Cambridge, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Oslo. She grew up in Risør and is an alumna of the United World College of the Atlantic. Outside of academia, Anita has worked as an editor, museum advisor, cultural heritage professional and human rights observer in Europe, the Middle East and the US. As a visiting scholar in the US, Anita will take part in a vibrant interdisciplinary community of Jewish studies scholars.
Melissa Geelmuyden Andersen
PhD in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley
Melissa G. Andersen is from Bergen in Norway. She has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Bergen. Melissa is now doing a PhD in Sociology at the University of Bergen. In her PhD, she writes about teacher identity development in Norwegian teacher education. Melissa’s research stay will be at UC Berkeley, and she is excited to learn more about educational inequality.
Jonas Slaathaug Hansen
PhD in Economics, Yale University
Jonas holds a Master’s degree in Economics from KU Leuven in Belgium as well as a Master’s in Economics and Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). He is currently a PhD student at the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Jonas’ research interests are within applied microeconomics and structural econometrics, and he is currently working on projects related to demand estimation and firm-to-firm trade. He is visiting Professor Kenneth Gillingham at Yale University for the fall semester of 2023 in order to further collaboration on a joint project.
Catherine Benestad Hendicott
JD, Harvard Law School
Catherine Benestad Hendicott is from Stavanger, Norway and is currently a Juris Doctor Candidate at Harvard Law School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in Government and Economics with a minor in European Studies from Cornell University. In the summer of 2023, Catherine is working as a legal intern at the World Bank in Washington, D.C.
MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, University of Maryland
Fredrik is from right outside of Oslo, Norway. He holds bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Business Administration. Fredrik received his bachelor’s degrees from Lees-McRae College, North Carolina in 2022 and has since started his pursuit of a master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational (IO) Psychology at the University of Maryland. The combination of aspects from both Psychology and Business is what compelled him to study IO Psychology. He hopes to take advantage of the many opportunities in the Washington DC area to gain professional experience after the completion of his master’s degree.
Stine Sofie Olsen
PhD in Chemistry, University of South Florida
Stine is from Molde, Norway. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Florida Institute of Technology. Stine is starting her third year at the University of South Florida where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in Chemistry. Stine is specializing in Natural Products where she is researching the secondary metabolites of Antarctic and deep-sea sponges and corals. During her Ph.D., she is working on the isolation of new antimicrobials from these marine invertebrates and testing their biological activity for use in medicine.
MA in International Relations and Economics, Johns Hopkins University SAIS
Sofie is from Trondheim, and has a BSc in Economics from NTNU Business School and a BA in Political Science from NTNU and Sciences Po. She is pursuing her graduate degree in International Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS from Italy and Washington, DC. At SAIS, she is exploring the intersection between energy and geopolitics and is applying her project management background to energy projects. Sofie is currently working on issues like critical metals, fusion technology, and the green transition for ENI in Brussels. She has also been active in climate and energy organizations as an IRENA Youth Representative. Her goal for a career is to help design policies where energy can play a mediating role between countries.
MA in Classical Music, Manhattan School of Music
Originally from Oslo, Norway, Edvard Sandbakken is a baritone pursuing his Master of Music from The Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Mark Schnaible. Before studying in the USA, Sandbakken attained his Bachelor of Music from The Norwegian Academy of Music. Recently, Sandbakken performed the role of Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Prague Summer Night’s Festival and Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Saluzzo Opera Festival. Additionally, he was the baritone soloist in Oslo Oratorio Choir’s performance of Fauré’s Requiem and sang with the Norwegian Soloist Choir’s in their Ukraine Support Concert.
MS in Cybernetics and Robotics, University of California, Berkeley
Morten is from Levanger. He is pursuing a master’s degree in Cybernetics and Robotics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, where he will specialize in the field of robots and autonomous vehicles. He has also been working part time for Norbit, a company developing relevant technology. For the academic year of 23/24 Morten will be an exchange student at the University of California Berkeley. He is looking forward to study at a great university, and to experience a new culture and a new continent. In the future Morten wants to develop useful and exciting autonomous technology. He grew up on a farm and sees a lot of potential for this type of technology in agriculture.
Mads Bogen Øye
MS in Finance, MIT Sloan School of Management
Mads, a native of Trondheim, completed his bachelor's degree at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). Throughout his academic journey, Mads showcased his commitment to personal growth through seven full-time internships, including organizations like McKinsey & Company and Altor Equity Partners. Despite suffering from a serious head injury with repercussions that lasted more than two years during high school, Mads has emerged with a deep desire to make a meaningful impact. He enjoys engaging in thought-provoking discussions, playing tennis, and building strong connections with close friends.