Martin Olague ’04 named director of the Taylor Center
St. Olaf College alumnus Martin Olague ’04 is the new director of the Taylor Center for Equity and Inclusion.
Olague has more than a decade of experience in higher education. He was most recently the founding director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. In that role, he worked alongside the LGBTQ+ Outreach Coordinator to help build the Pride Center, created a peer mentoring program named Aspire, and chaired the university’s Bias Incident Response Team. He increased student retention rates for BIPOC students and facilitated diversity training for students, faculty, and staff.
Prior to that, he was the assistant director of the Office of Intercultural and International Life at Carleton College and was an academic advisor at Dakota County Technical College. In all of these roles, he has helped lead students, faculty, and staff in courageous conversations to improve the climate for BIPOC students. In addition to earning his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf, where he majored in social studies education, Olague earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University.
As he takes the helm of the Taylor Center, Olague hopes to build on the work of its inaugural director, María Pabón, who was named the college’s vice president for equity and inclusion in June 2021.
“The Taylor Center is that place on campus where everyone can feel welcomed and accepted. I have heard over the last couple weeks how students, no matter their identity, love that they can be their authentic self in that space. I not only hope to continue that, but build off that,” Olague says. “I would like to see us partner with students, and help empower them to create change, not only at St. Olaf, but in life beyond the Hill.”
The Taylor Center is that place on campus where everyone can feel welcomed and accepted. I have heard over the last couple weeks how students, no matter their identity, love that they can be their authentic self in that space. I not only hope to continue that, but build off that.Taylor Center Director Martin Olague ’04
Olague says he’s grateful for the number of campus partners supporting the Taylor Center’s work. He hopes that in addition to being a great resource for BIPOC students, students who identify as LGBTQIA+, and international students, the Taylor Center also supports students who are seeking to learn about allyship.
“The Taylor Center is a place for everyone, and a place where students can learn, grow, and ask questions. We cannot grow without making mistakes,” he says.
Supporting this work is the Taylor Center staff, who Olague notes are experts in their areas.
“I am very excited to get started,” Olague says. “Already I have learned so much about where St. Olaf is at, and what the possibilities are moving forward.”