Vickie Olson

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
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Professor Vickie Olson teaches Human Physiology, a course in which most students prepare for graduate work in exercise science and medical training for careers as nurses, physicians, veterinarians and dentists. She also is the lab instructor for Biology of Microorganisms.  

Her fascination with biology was sparked by family hikes during her childhood. Her mother, who grew up on a Michigan farm, would point out plants along the trails and knew names and details of an extraordinary number of them. It gave her daughter an early childhood window into plant ecology, and she was hooked. 

At Hope in the 1970s, she majored in physical education and minored in what was then called the “science composite”: biology, chemistry and physics. She earned a teaching certificate with a coaching endorsement and then taught science and coached basketball and track for six years in a South Dakota high school. Returning to school to earn her master’s degree in biology, she conducted research on the vegetative dynamics of Badlands National Park and worked there one summer as a naturalist. Later, she taught biology for eight years at a Christian high school in New Mexico.

For more than 30 years she served on the University of New Mexico Gallup faculty, where she was involved in a National Science Foundation-funded program that provided scholarships and other assistance to Native American students entering STEM fields. Her course load there focused on human anatomy and physiology, including health-related courses. She has been teaching at Hope since 2020.

AREAS OF expertise

  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Microbiology


  • M.A., biology, University of South Dakota, 1987
  • B.A., physical education, Hope College, 1978


  • New Mexico Alliance for Minority Participation in Math, Science, Engineering and Technology, National Science Foundation grant, 1994-2000

Outside the College

Professor Olson lettered in three sports at Hope: basketball, field hockey and softball. Softball’s her first love; she kept it up for years after college, playing all the positions in slow pitch ball and every one but pitcher in fast pitch leagues. Decades later, she has embraced the role of a spectator. She follows the Hope College teams and promises each athlete in her classes that she’ll make it to at least one of their games. She attended the first hockey game of her life as a result, and some of her students who play lacrosse are helping her learn the rules. 

She also likes to quilt, make scrapbooks, and have Hope College international students over on holidays. She is the mother of twins who she adopted from Romania.

Profile photo of  Vickie Olson
Vickie Olson

Phone Number616.395.7720

A. Paul Schaap Science Center Room 3011 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423
A map showing the location for  Vickie Olson A. Paul Schaap Science Center Room 3011 35 East 12th Street Holland MI 49423