Jason Engbrecht was appointed as the Associate Provost of St. Olaf College in June of 2022, working with the Provost of St. Olaf College to oversee the college’s academic programs and support the work of its faculty and academic staff.
In recent years, Jason has played a founding role in the development of the new engineering concentration at St. Olaf and served as the St. Olaf Engineering Advisor for many years. He has been a strong advocate and practitioner for student opportunities to pursue research experiences and has mentored 50 students in his laboratory working on antimatter and robotics research, including two Goldwater Scholars.
Growing out of his work in engineering education, Jason coached St. Olaf engineering teams in the national Rube Goldberg collegiate competition for four years. Twice these teams brought home the National Championship. He has been called upon to consult on the construction of entertaining Rube Goldberg machines on many occasions. Working with former St. Olaf students, he has led projects such as building displays for 3M and Target corporations and appearing on national television in the US and Japan with his displays.
Prior to his role as Associate Provost, Jason served as the Associate Dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics, chaired the Physics Department and has served on the Faculty Life and Faculty Governance committees, including as FGC chair. He has served as a reviewer for grant programs at the National Science Foundation, as a referee for numerous physics journals, and as an external reviewer of physics programs.
Jason’s commitment to the education of students generally, and science education in particular, extends to some of the youngest of students. He served on the Board of Education for the Faribault Public Schools for 12 years. During that time, he was chair of the board and was selected to the Minnesota All-State School Board in 2016. His work includes running a Physics and Engineering Camp for girls, advocating for Equity and Inclusion in the Faribault Public Schools, and leading an Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force at St. Olaf.
Jason lives in Faribault, Minnesota with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs. He enjoys serving his community, serves on the church council of his home congregation, and coached the 2020 State Champion Faribault High School Robotics team.
Jason completed a B.S. in physics at Trinity University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.