Daniel Dammann

Daniel Dammann, 24 years old, is studying for his M.A. in Security Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. His focus is primarily on transatlantic security and terrorism, but he also has experience covering topics ranging from energy security to weapons of mass destruction. For the last five months, Daniel worked as a research associate for Business Executives for National Security (BENS). At BENS, he worked on the evolving threats portfolio, focusing on how the U.S. Government can leverage commercial sector experience in cybersecurity to protect critical infrastructure. Daniel obtained his undergraduate M.A. in International Relations from the University of St Andrews in the UK. While studying at St Andrews, Daniel worked as a junior fellow at the Galtung Institute for Peace Theory in Germany, as well as an assistant to the project manager of Transcend International-Ghana while travelling to West Africa in 2014. Prior to becoming a student, Daniel worked as a volunteer in Argentina and South Africa for 6 months in 2011.


Christian Erin-Madsen

Christian Erin-Madsen, 33 years old, is a Danish editor and journalist who is studying a Master of Journalism specializing in Arts & Culture at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. His focus and interests are primarily music and films but he has also been covering broader cultural aspects. He worked as an editor at foodculture.dk covering a variety of food and agriculture related subjects, and worked as an editor for voresmad.dk (ourfood.dk) that focuses on kitchen guides and recipes. Since 2007 he has also simultaneously been working as a writer and critic for the biggest music magazine in Denmark, GAFFA. He has been travelling around the world covering various journalistic subjects including trips to Serbia in 2012, to Kentucky in 2015 and to New Zealand in 2015. The trip to New Zealand was part of him being awarded a Young Leadership Award by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ). He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Southern Denmark in 2009.


Nina Hedevang

Nina Hedevang, 25 years old, is pursuing a Master’s degree in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism at the New School for Social Research in New York City. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Copenhagen, writing her senior thesis on the topic of publication bias in scholarly media. During her undergraduate studies, Nina did an exchange program with Columbia University’s Barnard College, and took courses in Journalism, Sustainable Development, Urban Studies, as well as Sociology. In addition to her studies, for the past three years, Nina has worked part-time for the Board of Executives at the Danish broadcasting station TV 2, where the digital transformation has been a general topic in her work. She is passionate about media and the social sciences, and is happy to return to the US for her Master’s studies, where she’ll bring her Scandinavian love of cycling to the bike lanes of Manhattan.


sandra Itainen

Sandra Itäinen is pursuing an MFA in documentary film at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her focus is on minorities, subcultures and issues regarding women and girls in particular. During her undergraduate studies, Sandra studied one semester at Bellarmine University in Louisville, focusing on African-American studies, and in 2012 she did an intensive course in inter-cultural documentary filmmaking for the benefit of sustainable development at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) in Accra, Ghana. She graduated from the University of Helsinki with a Master of Social Sciences in 2014. Before studying at School of Visual Arts she worked as a news journalist for The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle. Sandra has danced her whole life – she has won dozens of competitions and worked as a professional dancer before pursuing a career in journalism and film.


Carl-Johan Karlsson

Carl-Johan Karlsson is a 27-year-old graduate student at Columbia School of Journalism. He graduated from the American University of Paris in 2015 with a major in International Politics and a minor in International Law. His primary focus is human rights with a special interest in the American criminal justice system. Carl is from Sweden but has spent the last eight years working and studying in different countries. He started off as a freelance journalist while living in Latin America and Europe, and later worked as a staff writer for a Paris-based news publication.



Søren Larsen, 30 years old, is a Danish PhD. student at Cornell University in the Department of German Studies. He works primarily within the fields of philosophy, political sciences and the arts. He graduated with a Master of Arts from the University of Copenhagen in 2012. He received an MA in English Literature at the University of Virginia in 2014 after winning the two-year Gønge Foundation Scholarship 2012-2014. Before coming to Cornell in 2016 he taught modern literature and culture at the University of Copenhagen. His primary focus is the intersection between literature, psychoanalysis, political theory and religious thought. He also holds, in particular, a strong interest in Jewish-German philosophy and literature of the 20th century, most notably the cultural critic Walter Benjamin, and the literature of the “witness”, in the works of writers such as Imre Kertesz, Paul Celan and Jean Améry, who investigates the relationship between words and lived experience, individually and collectively. He has published on the Danish theological philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and new French political philosophy.


Thea Sandmael

Thea Sandmæl, 23 years old, is a Norwegian student at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Meteorology. She completed her Bachelor of Science in May 2015, and is currently working towards a master’s degree. The focus of Thea’s graduate studies is to investigate severe storms, especially tornadoes, using NEXRAD radar observations and high-resolution satellite data. When she is not doing research or outside watching the sky, Thea enjoys a quiet family life in Norman with her daughter, husband, and dog.



Peter Simonsson is a Swedish Ph.D. student in Social Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University (NYU), and a Bachelor’s degree in Practical Philosophy from Lund’s University in Sweden. Peter’s research investigates primary prevention strategies to reduce the risk for vulnerable children to develop coercive and aggressive behaviors later in their lives. Additionally, Peter is interested in family violence and developing more knowledge about the impact of such violence on children and the risk factors that can evoke conduct behaviors in children. Peter is originally from Sweden and moved to the United States in 2006, to study clinical social work in New York. Since 2009 Peter has provided services and treatment to sexually abused children as a therapist but also as a “Director of Survivor Services” at the Joseph J. Peters Institute in Philadelphia, PA. As a Director, Peter is responsible for the clinical care of more than 1000 families annually who receive outpatient and prevention services for sexual abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence. He is a licensed clinical social worker in Pennsylvania and serves on several committees and task forces’ established to reduce childhood sexual abuse, prostitution and the sex trafficking in Philadelphia.


Niklas Tamm

Niklas Tamm studied violin performance and played as a violinist and violist with different orchestras and chamber music groups in Sweden before deciding to pursue his big dream and become an orchestra conductor. In 2014 he got a BA in orchestra conducting from Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He also studied conducting one semester at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague as a guest student. Niklas met Professor Kenneth Kiesler, a famous conducting pedagogue and the teacher of some of the most successful young conductors in the world today, at a masterclass in Berlin 2013. Kiesler immediately invited him to participate in his summer school in Maine “Conductors retreat at Medomak”. Following this Niklas got accepted to Kiesler’s conducting studio and the masters program at the University of Michigan. Niklas has already conducted professional orchestras in Sweden and his goal is to work with orchestras and opera houses in Sweden and the US, as well as internationally. He has a special interest in new music and has already premiered dozens of new pieces – for orchestras, chamber ensembles, choirs and even one opera – by young and talented composers from Sweden, Greece, Japan and Mexico etc. He also has a special interest in American music and is very excited to be at University of Michigan during the ongoing Gershwin project – publications and performances of new critical editions of music by the great American composer. Niklas has a merit-based scholarship from the University of Michigan, but it is only thanks to generous scholarships from Sandrews Stiftelse (2015), Gålöstiftelsen (2016) and Thanks to Scandinavia (2016-17) that these studies are made possible.



Peter Uttenthal became a PhD student in mathematics at Cornell University in 2016. Initially, he studied international business at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. In 2010, he graduated a year early from his degree in order to pursue his interest in mathematics. He completed a second undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Copenhagen, and continued to Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge, UK. In 2016, he obtained the cand.scient. degree in mathematics. He was a GLOBE Scholar in Hong Kong and has attended a range of academic summer programs. He has held various teaching assistantships in the mathematics department in Copenhagen and is very fond of teaching mathematics. By getting the opportunity to work as a research assistant concurrently with his studies, he got inspired to pursue an academic path; he aims at a career in mathematical research.



Mirena Taskova is a European lawyer taking a year off to pursue an LLM in Law Science in Technology at Stanford Law School. Mirena is well known for her expertise in data protection. She has over 9 years of extensive experience as a lawyer specializing in data protection matters and has considerable legal insight into the latest personal data protection and privacy developments. Mirena has advised numerous multinational companies on various aspects of personal data processing. Her clients have included large businesses in the high-tech electronics manufacturing industry, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, market research and food / non-food retail industry.  Mirena has published many articles on data protection in various international journals. She is CIPP/E certified and is certified as a Data Protection Officer by EIPA.  Mirena is a member of the UK/EU panel of experts of DataGuidance and is recognized by Chambers Global & Chambers Europe where she is noted to be an “accomplished privacy expert”.



Kalle Mattila, 24, is a Finnish writer pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia University. He specializes in nonfiction. Kalle’s writing career began as a small boy in Helsinki, when he at age 13 got his first travel story published in Finland’s largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat. Many other bylines in various publications followed and Kalle became a weekly TV critic for the same newspaper when he was 16. At 17, Kalle packed his bags and moved to Bosnia to attend the United World College in Mostar as a Finnish Cultural Foundation scholar. He then completed his BSc in International Management (China) at SOAS, University of London, and has since held positions as Community Manager at Finland’s leading think tank, Demos Helsinki, and the publisher Penguin Books in London. Starting out as an intern at Penguin Press, the prestigious nonfiction arm of the publisher, Kalle later went on to execute global marketing campaigns for authors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis, and Naomi Klein. He was shortlisted for Best Digital Marketing Campaign in the FutureBook Innovation Awards in 2013. In his spare time, Kalle likes to dance: he holds three silver national medals in street dance and has won 8th place in the European Championships. He is now at work on his first book.