ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ANDREA OLSON
It’s the kind of enthusiasm that warms a mother’s heart.
Associate Professor of Psychology Andrea Olson sends
her two daughters to the Early Childhood Center, a preschool
program on the St. Paul campus that provides care
for children of students, staff, faculty and community
members while offering training and observation opportunities
for students in the University’s education programs.
“In the morning when I drop my younger girl off, she literally
starts running down the sidewalk toward the school,” Olson says.
“I think of it as an analogy for what St. Kate’s fosters for the
University students as well. They are running forward to learn.”
Founded in 1931, the Early Childhood Center is home to 46
children, ages 33 months to 6 years. Nestled between two residence
halls, the preschool’s playground is a hive of activity year round.
As long as the temperature is above zero, children enjoy
two daily playground breaks. The wide-open space is a place of
recreation, but it’s also a place of reunion.
“I love my job, but I always tell the girls that my favorite part
of the day is when I can go to the playground and scoop them
up,” Olson says. “The kids are running around, happy, safe and
part of the campus community. St. Kate’s is their school, too.”