Candidates for president: Andrea Olson

Profile of presidential candidate Andrea Olson.



Michelle Abbott


Presidential candidate Andrea Olson spoke to the college faculty about her love for the Pierce College vision and achieving the dream in higher education.

Olson said she wants to continue carrying the banner upheld by Chancellor Michele Johnson through connections, strong visibility in the public eye and a passion for student success.

“I love to see people see possibilities for themselves and make them happen,” Olson said.

Olson is committed to embracing possibilities as well as energizing, inspiring and fulfilling passion in students and staff. She hopes to build working relationships with faculty based on honesty, trust and a sense of humor.

“I am fun. I have a sense of humor,” Olson said. “You’ve got to be able to laugh a little.”

Olson said she trusts the expertise of those she works with and doesn’t micromanage. She has an open-door policy and is highly approachable. Olson said she is a facilitator, and she brings the best and the brightest to the table.

“I have an agenda for strategic conversations, open exchange of ideas and sparking creativity,” Olson said.

Olson has a personal understanding of the importance of equality and respect for cultural differences. She learned fluent German from her mother. She attended school once wearing a traditional Bavarian dress, and students mocked her for it. From that day, she has come to empathize with those who experience discrimination, she said.

Olson said the three things she can’t tolerate as a leader are disrespect, rudeness and a lack of punctuality.

“What am I going to bring to Pierce College? Value, relationships, trust, a broad range of experiences, perspective and industry connections,” Olson said.

Olson, who was born and raised in Burien, holds a juris doctorate degree and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound.

She currently serves as the special assistant to the president at Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

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Candidates for president: Andrea Olson

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