St. Olaf hired Brandon Cash ’16 as new Student Activities Director following the summer departure of former director Kris Vatter.
Vatter announced in a July 25 email to the Student Government Association (SGA) executive team that her last day in the position would be July 31.
St. Olaf hired Cash for the position at the end of September. Originally from St. Cloud, Cash is excited to return to St. Olaf and start his new role on campus assisting SGA and other student groups.
Cash studied music and psychology during his time at St. Olaf. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in student affairs and higher education from Miami University in Ohio. Over the last year, Cash worked at Washington University as Residential College Director.
“It’s a professional dream of mine to return to the Hill,” Cash said. “I knew that’s where I wanted to land.”
Assuming the position a month into the academic year, Cash anticipates a challenge as students have started their routines. In his first year, Cash will work to improve the student experience on campus by addressing student needs.
“I think student activities can play that role,” Cash said. “I think we can connect students, faculty and staff to experience these opportunities that can really shape the Ole experience in some really powerful ways.”
Cash also plans on examining the current campus culture and how student organizations contribute to the St. Olaf experience. Part of this effort is ensuring that the skills students gain while on campus can be transferred into different avenues, such as student organization, leadership and research opportunities, Cash said.
While attending St. Olaf, Cash was Student Activities Committee (SAC) coordinator and assumed the duties of SGA President during an interim.
SGA Vice President Ariel Mota Alves ’20 said Cash’s past experience will benefit SGA. “He showed a great passion, energy and willingness to work with us on our initiatives,” Mota Alves said. “He has a lot of knowledge about SGA, and I think he’ll be a great resource.”
SGA President Devon Nielsen ’20 said Cash brings a level of passion and enthusiasm that will be a great addition for the team.
Overall, Cash is looking forward to returning to campus and working with SGA.
“I’m most excited for the people,” Cash said. “I’m excited to be back in that environment, back with a student body that is actively involved and dynamic, that I haven’t seen at other institutions. I cannot be more thrilled to be coming home – it feels like a homecoming.”