John Brandl Scholars

The John Brandl Scholars program celebrates Saint 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 $6,000 summer stipends to support summer internships anywhere in the world, 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 approximately 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.


2021 Brandl Scholars

Emmett Adam

Emmett Adam '23

Hello, my name is Emmett Adam. I am from I am a rising Junior Political Science, History, and Pre-Law student at the CSB/SJU from St. Paul, Minnesota.  On campus, I am involved with the Saint John's Senate, the McCarthy Center, and The Record. Previously, I have been involved with U.S. Senator Klobuchar's Presidential Campaign and as an Intern with my State Representative. 

This summer, I am working as an Appointments (Boards, Commissions, Councils, Judicial) Intern at the Office of Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. I feel very fortunate to have received the John E. Brandl scholarship, allowing me to develop my professional skills in an Office committed to improving the lives of Minnesotans.

Following graduation, I look to volunteer for one to two years before attending Law School. Following Law School, I look forward to working in politics, policy, law, or journalism. 

Elias Nieves Cuevas-Gonzalez '22

My name is Elias Nieves Cuevas-Gonzalez, and I am a first-generation Mexican-American student from Immokalee, Florida. Currently, I am a senior at CSB/SJU and my major is Political Science with a minor in Exercise Science Health Studies. On campus, I work in the admissions office as a tour guide, and I am also part of Intercultural Lead. This summer, I had the amazing opportunity to do my internship at the Boys & Girls Club. Here, I worked as a Teens Youth Development Professional. My responsibilities included creating STEAM activities, sports activities and assisting the overall function of the Boys & Girls Club. Post-graduation, I want to become a high school or middle school educator in my community. The Summer Leadership Fellows has given me the amazing opportunity to gain experience that will easily translate into my future career goals. Outside of teaching, I am also in the process of applying to be the assistant soccer coach at my high school. In my free time, I enjoy going to the gym, and a future aspiration of mine is to have my own gym facility!

Crystal Díaz '22

I’m Crystal Díaz, a rising senior from the south side of Chicago, Illinois studying Political Science and minoring in Hispanic Studies. Various opportunities at Saint Ben’s have granted me the privilege to pursue leadership roles in areas I am passionate about environmental sustainability, the outdoors, food policy, and sexual assault awareness and advocacy. For example, I served as the Sustainability Rep on the Saint Ben’s Senate and will serve as President this coming year. I am a facilitator on the Peer Resource Program, and I was a campaign developer for CERTS and volunteer at the local sexual assault center. I absolutely enjoy spending time outside by going on runs and walks, skating, rock climbing, watching beautiful sunrises, and advocating for diversity in the outdoors.

This summer, I am interning with Defenders of Wildlife, a national organization dedicated to conservation through protecting wildlife and biodiversity. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working in the intersection of policy and conservation as their Government Relations intern, where I created a national sign-on letter urging the Biden Administration and members of Congress to implement a National Biodiversity Strategy. I’m incredibly grateful for the Brandl scholarship that has made this internship possible. Post-grad, I hope to travel before continuing my education and career in environmental protection and law, where I will seek a law degree and a master’s in public policy. 

Regan Dolezal

Regan Dolezal '22

I am rising senior year, originally from Woodbury, MN, majoring in political science with a global business leadership minor. Around campus, I am a videographer for Extending the Link, an admissions tour guide, and co-host a podcast through the McCarthy Center called "I'm Glad You Asked". Outside of clubs and organizations, I love to run, rock climb, and Nordic ski in the winter. This summer, through the John Brandl Scholars Program, I am able to intern for an organization located in Arequipa, Peru called Helping Overcome Obstacles Peru (HOOP). I was first introduced to HOOP when traveling in Peru with Extending the Link shooting our 13th documentary, Convivir: A Vehicle for Education. After meeting members of the Flora Tristán community in Arequipa, HOOP's mission to transform their community through access to education, family support, and community involvement stuck with me long after leaving Peru. This passion, paired with the support from being a Brandl Scholar, enabled me to come back to HOOP as a member of their Public Relations team. While, HOOP is physically located in Arequipa, Peru, they have six international chapters in Austria, Germany, France, Taiwan, UK, and US. This summer my work has primarily been working with the six international chapters to best support the work HOOP is doing on the ground in Arequipa. I have been grateful for the opportunity to work between international teams all working towards a meaningful common goal. Additionally, I feel strongly that the connections and skills I am forming through my work with HOOP will directly contribute to my post-grad goal of working and living internationally. 

Valerie Doze

Valerie Doze '21

I'm Valerie Doze, a Biochemistry/German double Major at CSB/SJU, coming from Grand Forks, ND. As an avid runner and hiker, I enjoy running in the arboretum on campus, in addition to playing intramural soccer and continuing piano lessons. I'm also involved with Climate Justice Club, German Club, the Honors Planning and Advisory Council, and International Affairs (Model UN) Club on campus, which keeps me busy. This summer, I'm grateful to be a Congressional Affairs Intern with the German Marshall Fund (GMF), where I can combine my interests in international climate and health policy with the transatlantic issues that GMF discusses. In the buildup to COP26 (the United Nations Convention on Climate Change), I'm excited to help our team plan events focusing on subnational (state, city, and local) diplomacy in the climate space. I am also continuing neurobioinformatics research remotely with Johns Hopkins University, where I am able to analyze the potential role of brain regions on heterogeneity in specific neural cells. After graduating from CSB/SJU, I am hoping to continue work in research and policy before attending graduate school to dive deeper into the connection between human disease, climate, and public health.

Connor S. Kockler

Connor S. Kockler '22

My name is Connor Kockler and I am a rising senior from Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. I’m a political science major with an economics minor. On campus, I serve as the President of the St. John’s Senate and am a board member of the Mock Trial and Model United Nations teams. I also enjoy writing in my local newspaper, keeping up with current events, biking, and reading. 

This summer, I am interning with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid in St. Cloud, Minnesota. MMLA offers legal services in civil matters for clients who would otherwise have difficulty affording legal help. I’ve enjoyed being able to work on and participate in so many different aspects of legal work such as: client interviews and correspondence, court hearings, and research. I have learned so much about the practical functioning of the legal system and how having legal assistance can make a huge difference in people’s lives.

After CSB/SJU, my goal is to attend law school and become a practicing attorney. I hope to work in a government capacity or in another position where I can use my law degree to advocate for people’s rights and assist people in solving legal problems in their lives.

Liam Miller

Liam Miller '23

My name is Liam Miller, and I am a junior majoring in Economics with a minor in Political Science. I hail from Nassau, The Bahamas and I am heavily involved in the Saint John's Senate as a Student Senator, Residential Life and Housing as an RA and Saint John's Campus Ministry as a FYRE Leader. After CSB/SJU, I plan to spend a year volunteering with the Benedictine Volunteer Corps (BVC) and then attend grad school to obtain a master's in international Relations and a Juris Doctor.

This summer I am interning at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. At CSPC I have been able to step out of my comfort zone and learn more about focus areas relating to political partisanship, geotechnology, arms control and space policy and how they all largely influence U.S. domestic and foreign policy. I am also enjoying the opportunities I have been given to conduct "hands on" independent research with senior staff members into other topics that I am passionate about.

Fabian Venegas-Ramos

Fabian Venegas-Ramos '22

Fabian Venegas-Ramos, who is from Immokalee, FL, is a senior majoring in Sociology and Gender Studies. In the 2021-22 academic year, they are working on-campus as the Outreach Programming Coordinator for QPLUS and serving as a co-director of their advisory board. This summer, they have been interning for the Alliance for Fair Food, a national network of people working in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers for farmworker justice. Here, they have enjoyed assisting at Covid-19 vaccination clinic events with education and translation. For them, returning to their hometown and serving their community directly has always been a passion and goal, especially in unprecedented times like now. Collaborating on and conducting research to advance the Coalition’s Boycott Wendy’s! campaign has also been an exciting task for them to be a part of and learn from. After they graduate from CSB|SJU, Fabian anticipates entering the non-profit sector to work for an organization advancing social justice and collective liberation for historically marginalized groups in society, and has hopes of also travelling the world to continue growing, learning, and experiencing.