Sander Aarts is a Finnish PhD student at Cornell University at the school of Operations Research and Information Engineering. He is particularly interested in mathematical tools and algorithms that help people, organization, and businesses to make better decisions. He is a recipient of the Thanks To Scandinavia Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Scandinavian Graduate Student Fellowship.


Philip Danielsson is pursuing an LL.M. at Columbia Law School in New York. His focus is primarily on international commercial dispute resolution, particularly international arbitration. Philip holds a Master of Laws from Uppsala University, Sweden. In Sweden, Philip works as an associate at Advokatfirman Vinge KB, one of leading business law firms in Scandinavia. He was admitted as member of the Swedish Bar Association in 2017. Philip has also served as a law clerk with the Stockholm District Court. Before his law studies, Philip worked as a volunteer for the European Youth Parliament and travelled across Europe to discuss current political topics with young people from different countries.


Deniza Georgieva holds a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and a B.A. in European Studies from Sofia University in Bulgaria. Deniza is starting her graduate studies in Psychology at the City College of New York as a recipient of the TTS scholarship in conjunction with the Fulbright scholarship. Her research interests in the field of social psychology, conflict management, forced migration, discrimination and human rights have led her to an array of community and activist projects, including with non-profit organizations such as CARITAS Sofia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), where she worked with the Roma community in Bulgaria, and with asylum seeking and refugee population. In her most recent role as a TV presenter and human rights journalist, she continued her commitment to the cause of social justice, raising public awareness with special focus on the needs and problems of asylum seekers and refugees, the LGBTQI community, ethnic minorities, and other vulnerable persons and groups. She has produced four short documentaries, exploring the topics and problems concerning the refugee and LGBTQI communities in Bulgaria. Deniza’s experience working with refugee children and minors has inspired her to continue her studies in Psychology in order to extend her expertise and be better equipped to provide more efficient support in her future.


Asger Victor Hansen is studying towards a Master of Environmental Management in Environmental and Resource Economics at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He is interested in politics, the environment and entrepreneurship. As a board member for Danish Students Abroad he has raised money to advocate politically for Danes studying abroad and has written opinions and guides aimed at students who aspire to go abroad. In Washington D.C., he worked for the dirty fuels campaign run by Sierra Club, where he attended lobby events and assisted with outreach efforts in Congress. While in college, he interned at the Danish Embassy in Mexico City as a commercial advisor and he has a pending publication on the effect of the trade agreement DR-CAFTA with his economics professor, Ivanova Reyes, at Gettysburg College.


Alexander Jahani is a 24-year-old MFA student enrolled in Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. He graduated from Fordham University in 2016 with a BA in Visual Arts, and a minor in English Literature. Alex was born and raised right outside of Uppsala, Sweden until his family later moved to New Jersey. In 2014, Alex briefly returned to his hometown of Uppsala to study Literature at Uppsala University. While maintaining his practice as a painter, Alex works as a teaching assistant and a gallery assistant as well, and he believes at least half of his future lies in education.


Sofie Jensen is a Danish lawyer taking a year off to pursue a LLM in corporate law and mergers and acquisitions at New York University, School of Law. Sofie has an LLM from the University of Copenhagen and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School. She previously studied as part of an exchange program at New York University, School of Law and at the Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law in Hong Kong, a program offered by Duke University and Hong Kong University. Sofie has more than 5 years of experience as a legal professional at the top-ranked law firm in Denmark, Kromann Reumert, specializing in corporate and commercial law, M&A, capital markets and aviation finance and she has represented both Danish and foreign industrial and financial clients as well as private equity funds on disposals and acquisitions, mergers, share issues and cross-border transactions. Sofie has also previously worked as a teaching assistant and has published four legal compendiums.


Anbjorg Knutsson is studying for a MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy at NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. She specializes in international policy and management. Anbjorg holds a BA in Political Science from the American University in Cairo and a MSc in Middle East Politics from SOAS, University of London. Anbjorg is particularly interested in the global refugee crisis and food sustainability. Before NYU, she worked with refugee resettlement in Norway.


 Even J. Kvelland is a Norwegian student currently pursuing his Master’s of International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He holds a B.A. in Government from Macalester College where he was a Kofi Annan Scholar. Even has worked as an advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo heading the education and research portfolio and promoting trans-Atlantic student and research exchange. He has also worked for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in private sector consulting, for UNDP, and spent a year in Kenya as a project manager for the Red Cross and as a researcher for NATO on East African energy markets. At SIPA, Even is focusing on the intersection of geopolitics, security, and energy.


Anna Larsson is pursuing a Master of International Affairs with a Human Rights concentration and International Conflict Resolution specialization at Columbia University. Her main interest lies in exploring the relationship between gender equality and peace-building. She holds a BA in Political Science from Uppsala University, Sweden, and studied Peace and Conflict, Development and Gender Studies during an exchange year at University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to her Master’s studies, Anna worked at We Effect, a Swedish development cooperation organization promoting just and sustainable development in 24 countries worldwide. She has also pursued an internship at UNDP’s Democratic Governance and Peace Consolidation unit in Rwanda and long-term volunteered at a peace center in Northern Ireland.


Martin Langelo Lien is a Entrepreneurship and Venture Management student at the University of Oklahoma. He is currently working towards his Bachelor Of Business Administration. Martin took a leap of faith to follow his passion when he moved to the United States in 2015, which was his first time ever in the US. The focus of Martin´s studies is the growth and development of businesses in new markets. He has been a part of building two businesses and has been working closely with several others, the last of which is an AI and chat-bot company called OneReach in Denver, Colorado. His work through the University of Oklahoma´s Integrated Business Core (IBC) program enabled him to create a fully functioning business, which in only one semester was able to donate their profits of over $7,000 to the Infant Crisis Center of Oklahoma City, as well as contribute 754 hours of community service with the Center for Children and Families (CCFI) in Norman, Oklahoma. When he is not wrapped up in projects and idea development, he likes to spend time with friends, working out, and volunteering in the local community.


Alexandra Linde, Swedish soprano, is a first-year Master’s degree candidate under the tutelage of Ashley Putnam. Previous credits include Hansel und Gretel (Gretel), Alcina (Morgana), Orfeus ed Euridice (Euridice) with Stockholm Operastudio. Le Roi l’a dit (Javotte) with Manhattan School of Music. She has been performing as a soloist at Nordic Song Festival, Berwaldhallen, Nybrokajen 11, Riddarhuset, Stockholms slott and Confidencen. Other venues include the Met Museum, NJ- PAC and St John the Divine. Besides the standard repertoire she has also premiered a lot of newly written music with a chamber ensemble at Opera på Skäret. She is a recipient of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music’s scholarship as well as Nacka Culture award and Gålöfondens scholarship.


Hanna Nordenswan is a Finnish journalist pursuing an MFA in Documentary Film at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has a BA in Journalism from the University of Helsinki and has worked as a freelancer and radio journalist both in Finland and internationally. As part of her bachelor’s degree, she studied documentary film at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa and crisis journalism at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. She has since travelled on the African continent as a freelancer. As a filmmaker, Hanna focuses on the stories of people around us that are rarely heard. Her directorial debut documentary short “Mun Vuoro” (2013) screened at several international film festivals.


Pauliina Patana is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Politics in the Department of Government at Cornell University. Her research focuses on party politics, political behavior and political economy in advanced industrialized countries. More specifically, Pauliina’s dissertation project seeks to explain variation in the recent rise and popularity of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe by investigating the conditions under which populist right-wing parties perform well in some local settings but not in others. Originally from Finland, Pauliina holds a B.A. in International Affairs and a M.A. in European Affairs from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Prior to starting her PhD at Cornell, she worked on health and social policy research at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, France.


Margarita Pavlova is a joint Thanks To Scandinavia and Fulbright scholar from Bulgaria. She holds a BA in Psychology and a MA in Developmental Psychology, both from New Bulgarian University. She is currently a PhD student in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences Program at the University of Kansas. Margarita’s research investigates the development of analogical reasoning in young children, and the interplay between analogy and constructive memory. Margarita plans to trace the developmental path in the representation of relations and the memory for relational information, conducting research with both children and adults. Prior to starting her doctoral studies, Margarita taught undergraduate Psychology courses as a teaching assistant at New Bulgarian University. She aspires to develop professionally in academia, while also promoting research and science not only to students and professionals, but also to the community.


Zahra Sabha has a BA in Peace and Conflict studies from the Bjørknes University College in Oslo, Norway where she took a particular interest in global security issues, and was heavily involved in on-campus student affairs. After completing her degree, Zahra interned and worked at the Norwegian think tank Agenda, focusing on both domestic politics and international affairs. Specifically, she worked on a project regarding radicalization and extremism online, and published a report on the topic. At the same time, she was involved in the establishment and management of the non-governmental organization VIBRO, an organization focused on including and engaging multicultural youth in Norwegian societal matters, in close cooperation with The Crown Prince and Crown Princess’ Foundation. As a U.S.- Norway Fulbright Foundation for Educational Exchange grantee, Zahra is currently studying towards to M.A. in International Affairs at the George Washington University in D.C., specializing in matters of international security.