University of St. Thomas law student Christina Espey-Sundt ’17 has been selected for a prestigious Fulbright award to the Netherlands to study international migration and refugee law at Vrije University in Amsterdam.
Espey-Sundt was selected for the award by the presidentially appointed, 12-member J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. The Fulbright program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
“Our nation needs Christina Espey-Sundt,” Professor Virgil Wiebe said. “We need compassionate, smart people who have direct experience with the lives of individual refugees and their families; who have a depth and breadth of academic and legal experience; and who have the ability to examine and compare the complex situations that create refugee flows and the legal and social responses of recipient countries and regions. Christina will play a role in refugee policy for decades.”
As a law student, Espey-Sundt has worked in St. Thomas Law’s immigration and elder law clinics, clerked for both The Advocates for Human Rights and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, and served as a legal intern for the United Nations Refugee Agency U.S. Protection Unit and the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review. Prior to law school, she interned for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota in Refugee Services and worked as a program assistant in The Advocates for Human Rights Refugee and Immigrant Program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College.
“Christina brings her whole self to her work and study. She is a passionate advocate, a meticulous scholar, and a compassionate human being who cares deeply not only for her clients, but for her coworkers as well,” Wiebe said. “In addition to working with lawyers, Christina collaborates with other professionals in the Interprofessional Center, including social workers and psychologists, to serve the needs of clients not only in their legal cases but in their larger lives.”