Alum on campus in front of plantPh.D. student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Joanne Olson 13-Year Club Member

What do you love about MPA?
Academic rigor isn’t the only thing that matters. MPA is an environment that is infused with values like acceptance, respect, and tolerance. I know this emphasis is not found at all schools and it helped shape who I am today.

How were you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
I served our country in active duty with the Navy for eight years, completed my undergraduate degree at Harvard University, and am currently a Ph.D. student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying political science and international relations. All of the important skills I needed for graduate school, I learned in 10th grade at MPA. I was taught how to teach myself and to learn for the sake of learning.

What would you tell a parent considering MPA?
I was at MPA for 13 years and familiarity is something humans value tremendously. But for me, it’s more than just that. MPA will become part of who your child is.

In what ways has MPA prepared you for life in the 21st century?
My ability to speak, write, and think critically were also developed at MPA. Those are the skills that are absolutely essential to me today.

Mounds Park Academy, a PreK-12 private school in Saint Paul, is currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. For more information about admission and to schedule your tour, visit We look forward to getting to know your family!

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