Senior curator of historic sites for the LDS Church
2012 Alumni Achievement Award winner, College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences
Family, Home, and Social Sciences (BS '75)
Worst BYU grade: C in swimming. "'Hurt, pain, and agony' was the motto of that class."
Why social science: Olsen was inspired by his fourth grade teacher's collection of National Geographic magazines.
Professional rewards: "Probably the most satisfying contribution that I helped make in my career was to define and then implement a restoration plan for the Sacred Grove."
Recent read: Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America, by Garry Wills. "It helped me understand how the language that Lincoln used to express these ideas transcended the ideas themselves."
Secret skill: Cooking exotic cuisine. "I think it stems from fourth grade, when for me the cultural diversity of mankind was the most engaging thing imaginable. Food is one of those things that expresses the variety of being human."
Speaker notes: "[Church historic sites] unequivocally declare that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth in the latter days, that the gospel is true, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth."