Students rewarded for hard work

Sons of Norway scholarshipsSons of Norway awards 2009 scholarships

By Leslee Lane Hoyum

For the Norwegian American Weekly


Sons of Norway is well known for its generous scholarship program, and 2009’s awards continue that tradition. This year the organization’s foundation awarded 25 scholarships in eight categories.

According to Foundation Director Cindy Olson, “We are a foundation of connections. We connect the present to the future through our scholarships. Our scholarship recipients are amazing students who study in varied fields preparing them for the 21st century while connecting them to their heritage. This year’s awardees are exceptional.”

Bienhauer Scholarship

The Beinhauer scholarship celebrates students enrolling in post-secondary training or education, including trade or vocational school and college.  This year’s recipients are Abby Schoenfeld and Signe Bollingberg.

Schoenfeld will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota and hopes to major in art or music with a business minor.

Bollingberg attends North Dakota State University and is majoring in agribusiness and technology.

King Olav V Norwegian-American Heritage Fund

This fund was established to promote cultural exchange between Norway and North America and welcomes applications from Americans and Norwegians. Eight students were awarded this honor:  Craig Myrum, Jens Arneson, Sarah Corbisier, Erin Malarkey, Julie Dahl, Sarah Nagell, Kenneth Ragli and Siv Kalland Jakobsen.

Myrum has a degree in biology from Luther College. He will pursue his master’s degree in cell biology at the University of Bergen. He is studying a protein called Arc, which may provide insight into how the brain saves memories and lead to new treatments for neurological disorders.

Arneson is working toward a double major in soil science and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Corbisier has a degree in music education and a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. She is pursuing a master’s degree in cultural administration at Telemark University in Bø.

Malarkey is a senior at the University of Minnesota Honors College of Liberal Arts in Norwegian and German studies as well as sociology. She plans to complete her last undergraduate year at the University of Bergen and then begin her master’s degree.

Dahl is a sophomore at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., and is a pre-veterinary student majoring in biology. She hopes someday to study Arctic wildlife on the island of Svalbard, Norway.

Nagell holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from St. Olaf College and a master’s of music degree in contemporary improvisation (voice and Hardanger fiddle) from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, Mass. Currently, she is attending Telemark University College in Rauland, Norway, and is due to complete her second master’s degree in Norwegian traditional arts and music in June 2010.

Ragli is a Norwegian student at Augsburg College majoring in finance and accounting.

Jakobsen, a vocalist, studied jazz at Agder Folk High School in Søgne, Norway. She is studying at Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass., and is greatly influenced by the blues and soul, genres that have their roots in the United States.

Nancy Lorraine Jensen Memorial Scholarship Fund

This fund assists American women who are pursuing studies in chemistry or physics or in chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering. There are four recipients this year: Amanda Lund, Emily Santee, Amanda Sorensen, and Kristen Ward.

Lund is a physics major and member of the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently doing research at the Borexino Solar Neutrino Detector located at Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, the largest underground lab in the world. Upon graduation she plans to attend graduate school and continue research in high energy or particle physics.

Santee is a junior at the University of Washington, studying chemical engineering. She plans to use her degree to develop ways to improve human interaction with the environment.

Sorensen, a sophomore, is an honors program aerospace engineering major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Daytona Beach, Florida. She plans to use her science, mathematics and engineering education to begin her own company to design more efficient and beautiful airplanes that put the fun back into flying.

Ward attends Villanova University, Villanova, Penn., where she is studying engineering, including engineering computation, physics and chemistry. She hopes to participate in the Exelon Nuclear Power internship.

Saltveit Scholarship, University of Oslo Summer School

Kristiana  Henderson  will be a sophomore at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash., and is an International Honors student with a triple major in Scandinavian Studies, Chinese Studies and Global Studies with a concentration on responses to international violence and conflict. She attended the University of Oslo International Summer School.

Cates Scholarship

This scholarship also celebrates students enrolling in trade or vocational school or college.  This year’s six awardees are: Cecily Weir, Lydia Allen, Marta Ann Johnson, Elisa Vatn, Madeline Lund, and Morgan Braaten.

Weir will be attending Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, to obtain a degree in elementary education.

Allen will be attending Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio. At this point her interests include physics, military science and music.

Johnson is a sophomore at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., where she is majoring in dance and studio art while also studying Japanese.

Vatn will be attending Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., and plans to major in international business. She was in her high school Academy of Finance, which led her to discover her passion for business.

Lund is a business major at the Isenberg

School of Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her major thrust is marketing and management.

Braaten will be a freshman at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. She is considering a major in journalism or graphic design.

Oslo International Summer School Program

Traditionally, the Sons of Norway offers one scholarship for this venture, but this year it gave two. The recipients are Caroline Nitz and Margaret Granum.

Nitz is a junior at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. She studied Norwegian architecture and design this summer.

Granum is a sophomore at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., majoring in music. However, this past summer she chose to study Norwegian literature and contemporary Norwegian society.



Helen Tronvold Norwegian Folk High School Scholarship

Established in 2005, this scholarship supports the Sons of Norway Foundation’s goal of providing cross-cultural experiences for youth. Gabriel Cabrera and William Dack were this year’s recipients.

Cabrera will attend the Pasvik Folkhøgskole, Kirkenes in Finnmark, near the Russian border, where he plans to study Norwegian and hopefully, Russian.

Dack will attend the Nansenskole in Lillehammer where he plans to study history of ideas, culture and society, which also will include a trip to either the Balkans or Russia to meet other student diplomatic groups. Long-term goals include journalism and social organization.

The Sons of Norway salutes these young people and encourages others to consider applying for its scholarships.


This article was originally published in the Norwegian American Weekly on August 21, 2009. For more information about the Weekly, please email us at

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