A word from colleagues and collaborators
Letters of Support
I’ve requested letters of support from those I have worked most closely with and those whose work and interdisciplinary thinking I most admire. I’m pleased to present their letters here.
From the outset Brent has demonstrated his passion for teaching and his skill with students in and out of the classroom. While at Westminster he has developed several new courses, including Water in the West, Climate and Society, and Environmental Movements. He has also helped to revise and improve several core courses in Environmental Studies and our program as a whole. Brent is very capable of challenging students to think critically about course content, while engaging them in learning as a process rather than simply memorizing facts.
I wish to give my strongest and most enthusiastic recommendation for Brent Olson to be promoted to associate professor. Brent is one of our best recent additions to the Westminster faculty. He is wholeheartedly committed to student learning and the success of graduates. His broad and deep training means that he is academically suited to teach across disciplines, which suits his scholarly interests, classroom style, and the needs of ENVI students. Students swear by him, and only rarely at him.
“Ultimately, Brent’s contributions have helped fulfill our promise of hands-on, engaged learning for hundreds of students. He does an exceptional job connecting students’ experiences outside the classroom to what they are learning in his courses. Westminster is lucky to have such a sustainability advocate in our midst, and I am profoundly grateful for his ongoing willingness to give his time and insight to these efforts.”
“As a colleague working in the classroom with Brent I can tell you that he is a capable thought leader adeptly creating spaces for me to contribute other information, thoughts, and objectives into the course in a way that truly leverages both of our strengths. Delivering successful interdisciplinary learning experiences for our students takes a great deal of effort and skill and Brent has demonstrated that he can do this time and time again.
“It is with incommensurable pleasure that I write this letter on behalf of Dr. Brent Olson. I have reviewed a set of documents surrounding Dr. Olson’s candidacy for promotion to Associate Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences at Westminster College. Based on the criteria established by Westminster College and the School of Arts & Sciences for faculty evaluation and promotion, I believe, without reservation, Dr. Olson be granted promotion to Associate Professor. His diligence exceeds most of my colleagues, and he is a man of unquestionable integrity.”
“I deeply admire his dedication to innovative teaching, his quality research and publications, and his commitment to serving his profession and his institution. His encouragement and willingness to help a scholar in another discipline is testimony to his collegiality and that attitude is most certainly what his students experience in his classes.”