Svea Bruslind says she had a choice when it came time to choose a university to attend this fall.
But her decision to attend Oregon State bears a sense of inevitability. Her mother, Linda Bruslind, is a professor of microbiology at Oregon State. Her older brother, Jorian, is a junior at Oregon State and is majoring in electrical engineering.
And her twin brother, Kelton, has already committed to Oregon State as well and plans to join his brother in the electrical engineering department.
Svea Bruslind will major in zoology.
“I want to do something in wildlife research,” Bruslind said. “I’ve always loved being around animals.”
As a member of the 2019 Strawberry Festival Court, Bruslind boasts an impressive resume.
She is one of the valedictorians at Lebanon High School with a 4.0 grade point average. She has played soccer for nine years, including all four years with the high school program.
She was named “Most Inspirational” her senior year after playing through a series of knee injuries during her last two seasons. She plans to play club soccer at Oregon State.
Her other lifelong commitment has been to 4H. She has been a member of the Lucky Livestock club for nine years and showed goats and market hogs. Later on, she developed an interest in photography and joined the Clever Clovers, which specializes in the static events. She remains heavily involved with both clubs.
While her schedule is very full, she doesn’t waste any time commuting to work. She works as a laboratory technician for her father, Scott Bruslind, who operates Analysis Laboratory on the family's property in Lacomb. The company analyzes samples from breweries and cider makers, and assists them with quality control and product improvement.
Growing up in Lacomb, she was always familiar with the Strawberry Festival and its court.
“I’ve always loved the Strawberry Festival, the tradition behind it. Like any little girl, I always dreamed of being a princess,” Bruslind said. “I realized there was more to it than the sparkly dress and the tiara.”
Still, trying out for the court was a nerve-wracking experience and she was certain she would not be selected.
“When I made it to the top 10, I was over the moon. I was thinking in my head I wasn’t going to make it. I know all these girls and they are very impressive,” Bruslind said.
She thinks pushing through that anxiety is part of the experience.
“Being a Strawberry Festival princess is about going for it,” she said.
So far, her favorite events have been the distinguished service awards in Albany, Lebanon and Sweet Home.
“I wasn’t used to being a public figure, going to such a fancy event,” Bruslind said.
Everyone at the Lebanon DSA was familiar with the Strawberry Festival and court, but there were people at the other ceremonies who had never attended.
“Meeting people that didn’t know about the Strawberry Festival surprised me, but being able to share about the festival really brought me joy,” Bruslind said.