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Trustee Scholar Emily Fogelberg ’05 (Plymouth, Minn.) has spent four years completing a college education, but this double major in history and economics & business says she has learned just as much out of the classroom as in it.

“Extending yourself in many directions is part of the challenge of the college experience,” she says. “I think that being involved in extracurricular activities on campus is an important part of the experience.”

Volunteering through the Landis Community Outreach Center, she is coordinator of both Equi-librium and Best Buddies, which enhances the lives of those with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. Fogelberg also is a team leader for Alternative School Break, a program where students travel to various locations and perform volunteer work, and helped organize Holla Back, a campus-wide voter awareness program.

“Equi-librium is a program that works in equine-assisted therapy,” Fogelberg says. “We work with a variety of children and adults with various disabilities, both cognitive and physical. Basically we go weekly and assist kids or adults in their riding lessons.”

With experience riding horses for 14 years and competing in national and international competitions, Fogelberg’s talents are put to good use and benefit the disabled riders.

“It helps them physically by working their muscles, learning to control their body and posture, but there is a really important psychological aspect in having them control, ride, and develop a relationship with a horse,” she says. “When you can ride and control a 1,000-pound animal, you open up a lot of other possibilities.”

Stephanie Cote, coordinator and adviser of the outreach center’s public health and education team, says Fogelberg is by far one of the most involved and committed student volunteers.

“She’s extremely patient and you have to have a high level of patience with these individuals,” Cote says. “Furthermore, she has a genuine curiosity and you get the sense that she really cares about these individuals.”

She is extending herself academically through a senior honors thesis that examines the nature of the economic relationship between the European Union and the Mercosur region of South America, which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

“I’m looking at how the EU and the 25-member states decided to allocate aid specifically to the four countries in South America,” she says.

In addition to allowing Fogelberg a closer look at the economics of the two geographically distant areas, the thesis ties together both of her majors with her study abroad experience in Germany last spring.

Ute Schumacher, visiting assistant professor of economics & business and one of Fogelberg’s thesis advisers, says the research will likely set the groundwork for her future study of the subject.

“It’s a much more involved project than any assignment she could work on in a course,” Schumacher says. “It’s required her to hone her research skills. I think she’s done a great job coming up with a very interesting and timely topic — these linkages are very new and in a way somewhat unique. From what I understand, this is the first time you have blocks of countries helping others.”

Previously, Fogelberg examined the economic struggles of post-colonial Jamaica with Schumacher in an EXCEL Scholars research project.

Although Fogelberg is taking a year off after graduation to compete with her horse, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and work for a nongovernmental organization or an aid group such as the Peace Corps.

Whatever Fogelberg sets her mind to do, Schumacher has no doubt that she will succeed.

“She really is a wonderful student and a great person,” Schumacher says. “She’s very bright, very dedicated, and really driven. I admire her stamina for the many things she’s involved in. She excels at everything and I find her to be quite an inspiration.”

Fogelberg is a member of the German Club and Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. She is a cellist in the orchestra and chamber music ensemble. During her study abroad experience in Germany, she volunteered at Kita Vauban, a kindergarten in Freiburg. Fogelberg has been a peer tutor and lived in Lafayette’s German House. She graduated from Hopkins High School.

Honors thesis projects are among several major opportunities at Lafayette that make the College a national leader in undergraduate research. Lafayette sends one of the largest contingents to the National Conference on Undergraduate Researcheach year. Forty-two students were accepted to present their work at last year’s conference.

Selected from among Lafayette’s top applicants, Trustee Scholars such as Fogelberg have distinguished themselves through exceptional academic achievement in high school. They receive from Lafayette an annual minimum scholarship of $7,500 (totaling $30,000 over four years) or a grant in the full amount of their demonstrated need if the need is more than $7,500.

Categorized in: Academic News