Dennis Olson

College Dean and Department Chair, Foreign Languages
Spanish Teacher, Student International Travel Coordinator
BA, Spanish and Secondary Education, Metropolitan College of Denver
MA, Spanish Literature and Culture, University of Colorado Denver

 

About Me

I am from the Deep South–Mississippi to be exact–but I have the heart and passion of a Latino. I learned Spanish while living with the gauchos (South American cowboys) for two years in Uruguay while in my early twenties and later improved my Spanish skills while serving as a Spanish linguist and cryptologist in the United States Navy. I came to ECA from my job as an adjunct professor of the Spanish language at the University of Denver Colorado because I believe strongly in the mission at The Early College of Arvada. I am a huge movie buff and love to travel, play guitar, and read in my spare time, especially historical novels and tales of espionage. I also take special delight in historical and theological research. I am currently writing my own comprehensive text dealing with the many varied cultures of the Spanish speaking world, an arduous and time consuming labor of love.

Why I Teach

I came to teaching late in life, in my early fifties, after working much of my life (after the Navy) in one blue collar job after another and barely scraping by from paycheck to paycheck. I always wanted to go back to college and get a degree but by the time I got out of the Navy the demands of a family made that dream an impossibility. It was not until all of my children were grown that I got the opportunity to return to college and began to live life as I had envisioned it in my youth. It is my desire that the bright young minds of today learn from my story and don’t squander their youth and first get their education from “the school of hard knocks” as I did. As I get older I spend more time thinking about my children and grandchildren and the rising generation. I know that these young people can make this country and the world a much better place to live and prosper so I teach. I teach them a language in order to better communicate with the world community, but I also teach them the value of a work ethic based on honesty, integrity, and critical thinking about the world around them. Our future looks bright with the quality of students I am privileged to mentor and honored to call my friends.