Letter of Application

Brent Olson — Application for Promotion — 2015

Thinking back at the interview process before I was hired at Westminster, I most clearly recall a single question. I believe Giancarlo asked it, but I could be mistaken. “Why do you think you will be successful at Westminster?” I remember my response taking shape immediately. “Because it’s home.” I imagined Westminster as familiar, comfortable. I imagined a place where I could take risks. I recognized a place where I could work with students who care at critical points in their lives. Since I’ve been here I’ve realized that I’ve landed in a home that would challenge me to grow as a scholar, a teacher, and a colleague.

I’m proud to apply for promotion to Associate Professor at Westminster College. Throughout this promotion portfolio I believe you will see evidence of that growth. I’ve taken some risks and dealt with their success and their failure. At heart, I’ve worked to become a professor deeply committed to interdisciplinary curiosity and learning coupled with creative collaboration with colleagues and students. Within the portfolio you will find my own self evaluation, letters of support from Christy Clay, Jeff Nichols, Betsy Kleba, Kerry Case, and Giancarlo Panagia, an up-to-date CV, publication samples, syllabi with samples of student work, and student evaluations.

I’ve been happy to make Westminster my intellectual home for the past 3 and half years. As I believe you’ll see in this portfolio, it has indeed provided me a place to think creatively, and to work closely with students and peers to ask better questions about the world we live in and, indeed, to consider ways to make the world a better place.

-Brent Olson

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