Brandl Scholars

The John Brandl Scholars program celebrates St. John's alumnus John E. Brandl and his lifelong commitment to mentorship and scholarship in higher education, public policy and politics.

The endowment funds summer internships in public policy and leadership development activities such as conferences and trainings. These internships will range from local to international policy arenas, reflecting Dr. Brandl's diverse career and CSB/SJU's commitment to ethical leadership and the common good.

Brandl Scholars receive $4,000 summer stipends and are offered select invitations for McCarthy Center events and mini grants to cover travel or other expenses related to civic or scholarly engagement. Students will work full-time for 8-10 weeks depending on the needs of their internship site. Students may elect to earn credits but will have to pay for these and will be assessed on an individual basis. Graduating seniors are not eligible.


 2015 Brandl Scholars: 

Jake Patrick Collins

I will use the John Brandl Scholarship toward an internship this summer in the Office of Mexican Affairs at the US Department of State. I am excited to begin using my passion for US-Mexico relations to bring more awareness and understanding of Mexico and Latin America into the policy discussions in our nation's capitol. I know this experience will be an incredible stepping stone and will help mold me into a policy advocate who is able to lead the next generation of public servants and who lives out the values of John Brandl. One day, I hope to be in a position to change the story of the Americas. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to have this wonderful opportunity of spending a summer in Washington, D.C.





Anna Cron

Thanks to the John E. Brandl Scholarship, I will spend this summer interning in Washington, D.C. at the Organization of American States (OAS) in their Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation. The OAS is an international governmental organization that promotes democracy throughout the Americas. I am looking forward to using my Spanish speaking abilities and being a voice for the marginalized I met and learned about while studying abroad in Guatemala. This is the type of work I hope to pursue in the future, and am thankful for the opportunity to intern in our nation's capital where I can use the skills I gained in the classroom towards making positive societal change. Without the Brandl Scholarship, none of this would be possible. 




Jerly Alcala Gomez

The Brandl Scholarship has given me the opportunity of interning at a place where I otherwise wouldn't have been able to. This summer, I am interning at COLFS (Culture of Life Family Services), a Catholic Clinic that specializes in maternal and infant health care. The clinic is open to all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, but a vast majority of the patients are uninsured and rely on the "mission" healthcare plan--a donations based fund. Thanks to the Brandl Scholarship, I was able to receive my NA Certification. This has allowed me to perform small procedures and be more hands-on at the internship site. I will also be using my language background to help translate documents and communicate with patients so they may receive the best care possible. Being able to relate in the same language with patients is important to me because both my parents were immigrants and were often not completely aware of what was going on because of this barrier. The Brandl Scholarship has been a blessing that has opened the door for me to explore public health. I look forward to what I have to learn and experience at COLFS.





Tiffany Peplinski

Thanks to the John Brandl Scholarship, I have the incredible opportunity to intern in Washington, D.C. with the Office of Public Engagement at the US Department of Labor. The OPE was recently created by President Obama with the goal of creating a more transparent and accessible federal government.  I look forward to learning more about the workings of the executive branch of government and the vast array of issues that fall under the Department of Labor. Through this experience, I hope to gain practical experience to complement the knowledge I have gained through my education. Without the Brandl Scholarship, I would be unable to participate in the Washington, D.C. Summer Study Program. I feel very blessed to have received this scholarship.




Charles Pults

Thanks to the John Brandl Scholarship, I have an opportunity this summer to work for the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. This will give me a chance to witness the behind-the-scenes work of how the legislative process works and how fundraising operates in national campaigns. The potential with this scholarship is endless, and I will learn how to work in a professional setting in Washington, D.C., for one of the leaders in fundraising nationwide. I hope to one day work as a criminal defense attorney and this internship will provide me with the skills needed to run a successful operation in the D.C. area.



Beth Richmond

This summer, I will use my Brandl Scholarship to intern with the City of Eau Claire Planning Division. In the future, I hope to become an urban planner. Working in a city planning office this summer is an excellent place to learn more about policy issues and practical skills that will be important for my career. I am very thankful for the Brandl Scholarship for helping me to gain the experience necessary for my continued education and future career.




Edwin Torres

This summer I have the privilege to intern for Congresswoman Janice Hahn in her congressional office in Washington, D.C. This experience will help me determine my goals, test drive my major and refine my career aspirations. Not only will I gain a better understanding of how Congress works and how it affects citizens, but I can use its vast resources to connect with young American leaders in the government, NGOS, public companies and learn about the unlimited possibilities to serve my community and how these different sectors intersect. The John Brandl Scholarship is enabling me to purse my dreams, by providing me with the funds necessary to participate in the Washington, D.C., Summer Internship Program. Without this scholarship I would not be able to intern in Washington, D.C. and for that I am very grateful.






Alex Wald

Thanks to the path set before me by John Brandl and the generous donation given by Whalen family in his name, I have the incredible opportunity to intern at Good Jobs First this summer. Good Jobs First is a lobbying firm in our nation's capital that works with grassroots groups and government officials to promote government accountability in corporate subsidies. Upon my return to Saint John's next fall, I hope to contribute to that work by focusing my thesis to illuminate the job creation effects of corporate subsidies. Some day, in-between advocating for a stronger education system and government accountability, I hope to use my experiences to open up doors for future Bennies and Johnnies in the same way that John Brandl and the Whalen family is currently doing for me!







Mai Tong Yang

Thanks to the John Brandl Scholarship, I received the opportunity to intern in Washington, D.C. this summer on Capitol Hill at Senator Al Franken's office. I am excited to learn more about legislative processes and how it affects citizens in different communities. Interning for Senator Al Franken's office will help me refine my career goals and aspirations as well as enhancing my appreciation for public service. I am honored to use the John Brandl Scholarship towards a field where it can make positive changes through policy-making and collaborations of different Senate Committees. As an advocate for minority and low-income family rights, the Brandl has given me the opportunity to contribute my knowledge and skills outside of the CSB/SJU community! This experience in Washington, D.C. will help prepare me for my future goals and aspirations to work in public policy.


 Apply to be a Brandl Scholar:

In 2015, a total of nine Brandl Scholarships will be awarded. Brandl Scholarships will be awarded to students in the CSB/SJU Washington, D.C. Summer Study Program, one will fund a student internship at the Citizens League in St. Paul, and several will fund a public policy internship anywhere in the world.

Students will be selected based on the following items:
1. A cover letter explaining student interest and the policy area or topic upon which the student would hope to focus. In addition, the cover letter must state that students will not have any other employment if awarded this fellowship.
*Important note on site placement: One of the Brandl Scholars will be placed at the Citizens League in St. Paul, MN. The applicant should indicate if he or she has a strong interest to be placed with the Citizens League; if not the applicant should propose three other site locations of interest to them.
Resume indicating relevant class or other training , relevant paid and unpaid work/volunteer experiences, conferences or workshps attended, honors and awards, public talks or media involvement, and other skills such as languages or computer skills
3. Current unofficial transcript
4. Recent writing sample
5. Finalists may be interviewed


Any questions and all application materials should be addressed to Stacy Penk, McCarthy Center Coordinator, Simons 136, SJU. Phone: (320) 363-3266 or email:

John E. Brandl

Interested in learning more about John Brandl? Find out more.

John Brandl Scholars Program

Are you interested in being a Brandl Scholar?

Print the application guideline.


Previous Brandl Scholars