Jared Morningstar Wins Swedish Council of America Scholarship

A senior from Stillwater, Minn., Morningstar will use the SCA's Humanities Scholarship to carry out independent research in Sweden this fall.
Posted on May 3rd, 2018 by

Schroder (left) and fellow Swedish Council of America award winner Jared Morningstar study in the Gustavus library.

Gustavus Adolphus College senior Jared Morningstar is being recognized as a recipient of the Humanities Scholarship by the Swedish Council of America (SCA). The award is given annually to outstanding, full-time undergraduate student with a humanities major and a demonstrated interest in Sweden or a field that is especially prominent in Sweden.

A Stillwater, Minn. native, Morningstar first became interested in Sweden after stumbling upon Swedish music in middle school. “At first, I didn’t know what I was listening to, but I liked the sound of the language, so I did some research,” Morningstar said. “After I found out it was Swedish that I was hearing, I started learning about the culture and history of the country and became even more enamored.”

Morningstar has a number of visits to Sweden under his belt and is looking forward to spending more of his future there. “I will, of course, be going back to Sweden in the fall for my SCA research – after that, I am not sure!  It definitely seems I am headed for a life-long relationship with the country, though, so I am sure I will head back again soon,” said Jared. The scholarship consists of a travel stipend of up to $4,000 to perform research in Sweden. Morningstar’s research will be focused on better understanding the unique challenges Muslims face in Sweden. He also hopes to analyze this to further gain insight on the struggles of the religious minorities in America. “The goal of this publication would be to showcase the diversity of perspectives within any faith community in an attempt to understand how to improve relations across religious lines,” said Morningstar. Morningstar plans to give a lecture on his research both in Sweden and at Gustavus.

Morningstar (center) was awarded the Swedish Council of America’s Humanities Scholarship at a reception with SCA Board Member John Hasselberg, Gustavus President Rebecca M. Bergman, fellow award winner Annika Schroder, and SCA Executive Director Gregg White.

The SCA Humanities Award represents both scholastic and relational accomplishments for Morningstar. “On one hand it represents my own personal development as a scholar and a researcher, but it also has a more personal meaning for me as well – I would not be in this position were it not for all the fantastic professors, mentors, and friends who have encouraged me in my academic journey and inspired me to care about the questions and topics which inform my project,” he said.

“Jared is a self-starter and an independent thinker who has successfully juggled two majors (Scandinavian Studies and Religious Studies), an academic assistantship, and the rehearsal and touring responsibilities that come with a music scholarship, all the while maintaining a near-perfect GPA,” Associate Professor of Scandinavian Studies Ursula Lindqvist said.

After graduation, Morningstar is keeping a full plate as he progresses into this future. This summer, he will be at Sjölunden – the Swedish language village in Bemidji – working as a camp counselor. Then, after his fall semester performing research in Sweden, he is considering relocating to the Twin Cities to pursue creative projects. Morningstar also notes that he would like to continue his formal education at some point. “Currently I have my eyes on the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago.”

“My time at Gustavus has been a life-changing experience.  What has been most impactful for me has been the uniquely personal learning environment I have encountered in so many of my classes, extra-curricular activities, and musical ensembles,” Morningstar continued. “All the profoundly impactful ideas I have encountered at Gustavus have been brought close to my heart through conversations with professors and peers – both in the formal learning environment and outside of the classroom. I’d especially like to thank professors Fuad Naeem, Ursula Lindqvist, and James Patrick Miller for their guidance and support in my intellectual and personal journey at Gustavus.”

“Jared has a wonderful sense of humor, insatiable curiosity about people and places who differ from his own, and a deep interest in what motivates people—their artistic expression, their lived experiences and social environments, and their moral, political and spiritual lives,” Lindqvist said. “Not only does he want to study and learn why people and societies and cultures are how they are, and how they got there, but also how to make the world a better place in the future. In that sense, he’s a quintessential Gustie.”

Visit the Gustavus website for more information about the Gustavus Scandinavian Studies department  and about the support the Gustavus Fellowships Office gives to students in securing national awards, scholarships, and fellowships.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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