2018 Brandl Scholars

2018 John Brandl Scholars

2018 John Brandl Scholars 


Angela Aryiku

I am very honored to be a part of the John Brandl Scholars program especially as a first year student. 


It is a genuine honor to be acknowledged as a John Brandl Scholar. I have grown to become a strong advocate of science and its important role in society. Regardless of our personal interests, religious or political affiliations, I believe that science could be the single part of our reality to keep us on the same wavelength, and unite humanity. For this reason, as part of the Washington, D.C Summer Study Program, my intention is to be placed at an organization that either fights for science to be continuously emphasized in American politics, or tries to induce growth and creativity in the technology industry. Furthermore, being an Entrepreneur Scholar, I also dream of acquiring a world-renowned tech venture of my own in the future – spending a summer in D.C will be a great aid in that endeavor. The Brandl Scholarship grants me the opportunity to pursue my passions. For this, I am very grateful.

Bardia Bijani Aval 

Lucy Dornbach

Thanks to the Brandl Scholarship, I am able to be a member of the Washington DC Summer Study program, where I will be interning for the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar. I believe this opportunity will give me clarity, confidence, and exposure to the social justice advocacy work that I would like to pursue, not only in the future but also in the present, as a civic agent and student at CSB/SJU. Because of this scholarship, I have the opportunity to not only continue my pursuit of the common good and ethical leadership but, I will also gain practical experience on how to use public policy and civic engagement as a crucial tool for positive change. To be recognized as a reflection of John E. Brandl’s legacy, at CSB/SJU and beyond, is an incredible honor. 

I am grateful to be named a 2018 member of the John E. Brandl Scholars program. Thanks to the support of the Brandl Scholars program, I will be participating in the Washington DC Summer Study Program. Having grown up on a farm, I am excited to pursue an internship on Capitol Hill working with agriculture, food, and nutrition policy. I will always be connected to my roots in agriculture, and I am looking forward to working with those involved in the legislative process during the summer of 2018. Policy related to the provision of food, a basic need of all, fits the commitment to ethical leadership and the common good that is expected of Brandl Scholars. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue John Brandl’s legacy of scholarship in higher education, public policy, and politics. I also look forward to carrying on his legacy of civic engagement and mentorship over the course of my lifetime.

James Gathje

Samantha Givens


I am absolutely honored and humbled to be recognized as a part of this year’s Brandl Scholars cohort. This opportunity allows me to gain valuable experience in the Washington D.C. Summer Study Program, where I aspire to learn how to advocate for marginalized groups around the world. The Brandl Scholars program has given me the ability to support myself as I seek experiences and further explore my passion surrounding foreign affairs and global diplomacy.


I am incredibly excited to have been accepted into the Brandl Scholarship Program. This scholarship is enabling me to find an internship in Washington, D.C. through the Washington, D.C. Summer Internship Program. This has been a major goal of mine since coming to St. John's my freshman year. My ultimate goal is to find an internship in the U.S. Capitol building with either a Senator or a Representative. I can't wait to work with and be a part of the amazing 2018 Brandl Scholar cohort!



Quinton Johnson

Brendan Klein

The Brandl Scholarship has presented me with a chance to be an enthusiastic explorer of our world and pursue bipartisan initiatives. I intend to conduct research in education policy with a public policy organization, particularly on social mobility, in Washington D.C. this summer as part of the Washington D.C. Program. My decision to pursue education policy was inspired by John Brandl's commitment to education and its importance in society. This opportunity will help develop my policy analysis skills and expose me to the solutions for our education system that are being proposed at the highest level. It is an immense honor to be a Brandl Scholar and without this support, my aspirations would have gone unrealized and unfulfilled.


This past summer, my internship at HealthEast Care System in St. Paul brought me a new fascination of public wellness and innovative healthcare practice. Through the generosity of the Brandl Scholars Program, I can now pursue an internship in Washington, D.C., for the summer of 2018. I look to continue my experience at an organization that advocates for better, innovative health policy. The Brandl Scholars Program allows me, among many other students, to pursue essential opportunities for professional growth that otherwise would be unimaginable.




Mackenzie Kuhl


Jacob Lucas

I am extremely honored and humbled to be recognized as a John Brandl Scholar. This prestigious scholarship will enable me to participate in the Washington D.C. Summer Study Program. This summer I will be interning at an organization that focuses on digital marketing or public policy. I am passionate about creating and starting my own businesses in the future and I want to gain experience and build connections with people that have done it before me. I will get the opportunity to further my knowledge of digital marketing and public policy. In the future, I hope to become successful and assist the underrepresented communities that do not receive much attention and do not have the same amount of opportunities as other communities. This experience in Washington D.C. will be the catalyst to my career as an entrepreneur and it is all thanks to the assistance of John Brandl. I am honored to represent myself as a CSB/SJU student and a John Brandl Scholar.

As a First-Gen student, I am honored to be recognized as this year’s John Brandl Scholar and to be part of this amazing team of talented students. The John Brandl Scholar’s program will allow me to intern at the State of Minnesota, learning the process of policymaking, as well as networking with state legislators and lawmakers. I am beyond excited for this amazing, but unique opportunity to mature as a Political Science major and hoping to use this experience to make an impact in my community. Words can’t explain the honor and privilege it is to be selected apart of this notable program. I am beyond thankful for everything and looking forward to working with many of the elite political leaders of the State of Minnesota.

Gilles Mally 

Ashley Payne

I am so thrilled to have been selected as a John Brandl Scholar.

I am passionate about environmental politics and as a Brandl Scholar, it is my mission to pursue an internship related to protecting the environment. An internship at a Washington, D.C., organization like the Sierra Club, or Friends of the Earth, or Earth Justice would fulfill one more step of my dream to do my part to shape positively our political and natural environments.

Laura Precourt

Sameera Sheikh

I am from Brooklyn, New York and the daughter of immigrant parents from Pakistan. Being born and raised in Brooklyn, I am a first-generation college student as well as a first generation American. Through the generosity of the Brandl Scholars Program, I can pursue an internship in Washington DC for the summer of 2018. I am applying to internships in Washington DC this summer and hope to engage in work or research related to the geo-politics of South Asia or engaging in American politics at a political organization at home. The Brandl Scholarship supports me to be able to continue to search for opportunities that enhance my personal and professional growth that would otherwise be unavailable to me. 

I spent the summer after freshman year in Berlin, Germany, hearing the stories of Syrian, Afghan, Iraqi, and Iranian refugees. My experience in Berlin was pivotal in my career and leaves me consistently searching for ways to improve the lives of both refugees and host-community members globally. While I care deeply about the story of each refugee, I realized that studying public policy regarding migration is the most effective way for me to create systematic and sustainable change. Instead of changing one life, I have the ability to change innumerable lives. By receiving the Brandl Scholarship, I have the opportunity to pursue an internship through the Washington, D.C. summer study program working in a migration policy think-tank. Working for a migration policy think-tank will allow me to continue learning and listening so as to aid the strategies and effectiveness of the policies I hope to later create. 

Danica Simonet

Jarol Torres

I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to be recognized as a John Brandl Scholar this year. This scholarship has granted me an opportunity to participate in the Washington, D.C. summer study program. This program provides an excellent opportunity to expand my knowledge of government, diplomacy, and public policy. I am thrilled to be working as an intern for Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan, who represents my home district back in California. I will be learning more about how public policy is designed while improving my analysis and research skills during my time at the Hill. This internship with Congresswoman Barragan with the support of Brandl Scholarship, I will be able to follow my passions and make my career goals much clearer. Thank you to the Whalen family for their continuous support that has allowed me and many others chase their dreams.

I am honored and humbled to be recognized as a part of the Brandl Scholars cohort. This scholarship enables me to take part in the Washington DC Summer Study Program, my aspiration since enrolling at SJU. My ideal internship is as a member of the Hamilton Scholars Program at the Brookings Institution. There, I would be able to apply the lessons I have learned throughout my tenure at St. John’s University to advocate for the systemically disadvantaged through economic and quantitative analysis. This internship is conducive to my long-term career objective, that being a doctorate in economics. The Brandl Scholars program has given me the means to pursue my passion at a high level, and I am extremely grateful.

Nathan Williams