September 2022


Greetings St. Olaf Community,

It is such an honor and a privilege to serve as the Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion. I joined St. Olaf two years ago as an Associate Dean of Admissions/Director of Multicultural Recruitment. I was fortunate to meet many students, guidance counselors, and parents and educate them about the St. Olaf experience. In my new role, I will work closely with the President’s Leadership Team (PLT), faculty, staff, and students. In addition, I serve on several committees while serving as a resource for academic and administrative departments.  The main goals of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion include:

  • Collaborate with Human Resources to recruit and retain diverse faculty and staff and enhance employee engagement for faculty and staff
  • Work with Admissions and Financial Aid to ensure the Class of 2027 reflects the goal to increase the percentage of domestic Black, Indigenous, and students of color
  • Advance the work of Co-Creating an Inclusive Community
  • Provide professional development (training) to faculty, staff, and students 

I charge each member of the community to embrace all dimensions of diversity and inclusion to make St. Olaf College a welcoming environment. Every member of this community must be treated as a valued member. Please step outside your comfort zone and expand your worldview through opportunities at the College and local communities. I look forward to learning more about you and your work. 

Welcome to the 2022–23 Academic Year! 

Dr. Reginald H. Miles
Interim Vice President, Equity and Inclusion

This Summer at St. Olaf

Student Support Services- Summer Bridge prepared 40 students to begin their St. Olaf journey (Kudos to Dr. Greening’s team)

Trio Upward Bound worked with 109 rising high school sophomores through seniors, and 21 incoming first-year students were also part of Summer Bridge. (Kudos to Mari’s Avaloz’s team

Admissions partnered with College Horizons to virtually promote the St. Olaf experience  to 155 Native American high school students. I was able to work with this group in July.

Admissions joined the National Hispanic Institute Summer program in Texas to promote the St. Olaf experience to over 120 juniors and seniors. (Kudos to Gladys Cortes

Posse Students  — 20 students will join St. Olaf this fall. I was fortunate enough to be part of the selection process and attend the summer retreats. Students will be mentored by Dr. Eric Hazlett and Dr. Catherine Ramirez.

Eddie Phillips ScholarsEddie Phillips Scholars is a scholarship for African American men that includes advising, networking, funding for internships, etc.  In August our student, Chris McDonald ’24, conducted a leadership presentation. Isaiah Fitzsimmons ’23, Siegel Howard III ’23, and Josh Houston ’23 are also part of the program. 

Twenty three St. Olaf TRIO McNair Scholars engaged in research and internship experiences at St. Olaf and off campus during the summer of 2022. This summer marks the 15th summer of McNair Research at St. Olaf College! The St. Olaf TRIO McNair grant has been awarded for another 5 years! (Kudos to Trio McNair Team)

Meet Members of Our Community


Name: Martin Olague
Position: Director of the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion
Department: Student Life
From: San Bernardino, California
B.A. Social Studies Education, St. Olaf College
M.A., Educational Leadership, St. Mary’s, The University of Minnesota

  1. When did you start your St. Olaf journey as a staff member?
    August 2021
  2. Why did you want to work at St. Olaf College?
    Being a graduate of St. Olaf, I wanted to give back to the campus community. I feel that St. Olaf wants to be a better place. I want to focus on work that will push us in the right direction.
  3. What is your definition of an inclusive community?
    An inclusive community not only welcomes others, but creates spaces in which others feel at home. Also, individuals would feel a sense of pride in their Ole identity.
  4. What is your personal ‘tagline’?
    “I have decided to stick to love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  5. No one knows that I…. enjoy visiting small downtown areas.


Name: Catherine Ramirez
Position: Artist in Residence (Teaches Flute and Chamber)
Department: Music
From: El Paso, Texas
B.A. Music Performance, Occidental College
M.A. Music CUNY- Queen College
M.M. Yale University School of Music
Diploma Music from Italy
Doctor of Musical Arts, Rice University

  1. When did you start your St. Olaf journey?
    August 2010
  2. Why did you want to work at St. Olaf College?
    The mission statement pulled me in because it addressed every facet of the human being.
  3. What is your definition of an inclusive community?
    Love one another. Try to understand others’ perspectives. Keep an open mind.
  4. What is your personal ‘tagline’?
    “Reach for the stars”
  5. No one knows that I….sometimes dream in comics.

Upcoming Dates

Taylor Center Opening Reception
September 8, 4–5 p.m.
Location: Taylor Center Lounge
Meet colleagues from the Taylor Center

Heritage Scholars and Connect for Success Kick Off
September 14, 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Buntrock Commons Ballroom

Heritage Scholars offers a year-long orientation program to first year students of color and Indigenous students. Each new student will be matched to a First-Year Ambassador, an upper class student of color, who will serve as a guide and resource to help students navigate their first year at St. Olaf College.

Connect for Success seeks to support and encourage first-generation students. Students connect with faculty, staff, and peer mentors to build a network of support. They are invited to community-building events and programming designed for first generation students.

If you have any questions about joining these programs, we highly advise you to attend. Contact Damian Waite with any questions:

Meet the Author of our Common Read Book, “The Book of Delights”
September 14, 7 p.m.
Location: Boe ChapelQ+A Panel for Students/Reception
September 15, 5–7 p.m.
Location: TOH280

Dr. Hassel Morrison, Vice President for Student Life, and Dr. Reginald Miles, Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, will host a panel for students as they will be able to ask questions in advance on Student Life and DEI.  The event will be moderated by Dr. Maggie Broner, Professor of Spanish. A small reception will follow. Contact Marina Edlund with any questions:

LatinX Danza Group Performance
September 16, 6-7 p.m.
Location: Outside Buntrock and Tomson (if case of weather, the event will be held in Tomson 280)

Kalpulli Huitzillin de Minnesota is a community of dancers based in the Twin Cities committed to preserving the indigenous culture through Aztec dance and song. All are welcome.
Contact Mari Avaloz, with any questions:

First Coffee Hour of the School Year
September 23, 4 p.m.
Location: Taylor Center Lounge

Coffee Hour is a monthly campus event that creates opportunities for collaborative dialogues around issues that currently impact the lives of Oles, especially on areas of identity, global issues, social justice, student well-being, and culture. Each meeting is hosted by the Taylor Center Student Program Assistants and focuses on a different topic. We provide the space and refreshments for students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds to come meet new people and engage in meaningful conversations. Contact Norma Charlton with any questions:

Tuesdays in Taylor with the Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
Every Tuesday in September, 4-6 p.m.
Location: Taylor Center Lounge

Students, Faculty, and Staff-Connect with me!  I look forward to learning about each of you.


Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

September 17 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Location: Northfield Public Library

Dedicated Affinity Groups for Faculty and Staff 

If you want to learn more about our affinity and how you can get involved, reach out to your colleagues below:

BIPOC      Contact Marie New,  Admissions

LGBTQIA+  Contact Eric Eischens, Facilities

National Hispanic Month Begins on September 15

I would like to honor all of our Latinx/Latino/Hispanic members of the community! 

Wishing you a wonderful and safe academic year!