October 2022


Greetings St. Olaf Community,

September was a very busy month! Many of you have shared that “life on the hill is back” with students sitting outside enjoying the beautiful weather, studying, and simply being  active. Classes are back in session and students are getting settled. In addition, we welcomed our newest members to the St. Olaf community, and it has been great meeting many of you. We welcomed 869 new students, and 22% come from diverse backgrounds. Thank you *all* for welcoming me into my new position. It was delightful to see familiar faces and meet ones at the reception President Anderson hosted a few weeks ago. I greatly appreciate your continued support.

As I mentioned last month, I continue charging each of us to step outside our comfort zones and expand our worldview through opportunities at the college and local communities. This will make us an even stronger community. As the weather is cooler and the leaves are changing colors, we enter October.

October is the month to celebrate the members of our LGBTQIA+ community. It has been a challenging road to legalize same sex marriages, but on August 1, 2013, it became official in Minnesota. Below are resources that support mental health and well being for our LGBTQIA+ community:

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

October 10 is the day to celebrate our Indigenous communities. The day is centered around reflecting on tribal roots and the tragic stories that hurt, but strengthened their communities.

Recommended Movies to Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day

“Dances with Wolves” (1990)
“Songs My Brothers Taught Me” (2015)
“Gather” (2020)
“Indian Horse” (2017)

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

October Days on the Hill

  • Reginald Miles will conduct office hours on Tuesdays (October 4, 11, and 18) in Holland Hall 216 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Stop by and say hello!
  • The Piper Center for Vocation and Career is partnering with the Diversity Institute to offer a 3-session training program to students: Application Deadline October 10The website for the Art & Science of DEI program can be found here.
  • Q+A Panel Part 2 for Students/Reception on October 26, 4-5 p.m.  Holland Hall 501
    Dr. Hassel Morrison, Vice President for Student Life and Dr. Reginald Miles, Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion will host a Part 2 panel called “Behind the Scenes” for         students. The two VPs will answer questions in advance being on the senior leadership team. The event will be moderated by Professor Maggie Broner, and light refreshments will be served. Contact Marina Edlund (edlund1@stolaf.edu) with any questions

Meet Members of Our Community


Name: Jake Grossman
Position: Assistant Professor

Department: Biology and Environmental Studies
From: Phoenix, Arizona
B.S.        Biology and Environmental Studies, Oberlin College
M.F.R.   International Forestry, University of Washington
PhD.      Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota

  1. When did you start your St. Olaf journey as a staff member?
    August 2022
  2. Why did you want to work at St. Olaf College?
    I wanted to teach at an undergraduate liberal arts college with a strong environmental curriculum.
  3. What is your definition of an inclusive community?
    A group of people who support each other and lift each other up in ways that allow all people to reach their potential.
  4. What is your personal ‘tagline’?
    “All things are possible with love”
  5. No one knows that I…. have a lucky work outfit that I wear when I need it.
    Jake lives in Minneapolis with his husband and dog.


Name: Angie Mathews
Position: Assistant Vice President- Budget and Auxiliary Operations

(My role is a combination of budget and auxiliary duties.  I assist with building a budget that supports the overall goals of the college. On the auxiliary side, I work closely with the various operations that support the college, such as the bookstore, food service, mail and print, college rental properties, vending, copiers, college vehicles, and Ole Card functions.)

Department: Finance Office
From: Caledonia, Minnesota

B.S.        Accounting, University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management
MBA     Concordia University, St. Paul
Certified Public Accountant

  1. When did you start your St. Olaf journey as a staff member?
    May 2006
  2. Why did you want to work at St. Olaf College?
    I wanted to work somewhere that aligned with my values, where I could feel that my work contributes toward the greater good.
  3. What is your definition of an inclusive community?
    A community is inclusive if all members feel valued, and where people of all different positions and backgrounds feel comfortable interacting with one another.
  4. What is your personal ‘tagline’?
    “The time is always right to do what is right” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  5. No one knows that I…. love visiting National Parks.

Upcoming Dates

Pastries with Public Safety

October 6, 4 p.m., Taylor Center
Derek Kruse, Director for Public Safety will be in the Taylor Center, connecting with students and answering questions you might have. Pastries will be served.
Contact Martin Olague (olague1@stolaf.edu) with any questions

Beyond the Hill: LGBTQIA+ Alumni Panel

October 11, 6 p.m., Black Ballroom
Alumni Panel where students can connect with LBGTQIA+ identifying alum and learn from their experience as they think about entering the workplace and transitioning from college. Desserts will be served.
Contact Martin Olague (olague1@stolaf.edu) with any questions

TC Coffee Hour: Wellness Center & Taylor Center Event
October 13, 4 p.m., Taylor Center
A conversational space for students to share cross-cultural viewpoints and create community.
Contact Martin Olague (olague1@stolaf.edu)with any questions

Grose Family Speaker Series with Andrea Jenkins

October 21, 3:30 p.m., Tomson 280
Fireside Chat with Andrea Jenkins and Raffi Freedman-Gurspan ’09
Andrea Jenkins offers a keynote about their experience in politics. Following the keynote is a Q&A fireside chat with Jenkins and alum Raffi Freedman-Gurspan ’09.
Contact Damian Waite (waite1@stolaf.edu) with any questions 

Barbershop Returns!
October 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Norway Room
Oles Against Inequality is bringing back the barbershop. Partnering with Trendz barbershop in Apple Valley, haircuts will be available for $20.

Contact Giovanni Green (green11@stolaf.edu) for any questions

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 (new@stolaf.edu),  Admissions

Join us for lunch on Monday, October 10 at 11:30 a.m. Location: Tomson, East Lantern

LGBTQIA+  Contact Eric Eischens (eische1@stolaf.edu), Facilities

Join us for a Meet and Greet on Monday, October 24 from 11:30a.m.-1p.m. (UPDATED) Location: Buntrock Commons, Norway Room

DEI Symposium -Tuesday, April 4, 2023-Save the Date (Date Change)

October is the awareness month for…. 

“Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” Elizabeth Lawrence