Nicholas Olson ’15 is spending his summer working and writing for POZ, a magazine that addresses the needs of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, before he begins a master’s in public policy program at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.
“HIV/AIDS relief is a major passion of mine,” says Olson. “I have friends who are living with the virus, and it is such a complicated subject to discuss. I enjoy sharing and discussing my knowledge about HIV/AIDS because it helps reduce the stigma and social ostracism many face when they live with HIV.”
Olson became involved with POZ after he brought the founder, Sean Strub, to Oberlin in Spring 2015 to speak about his history with HIV and LGBTQ activism and the current problems with HIV criminalization laws in many states. After the talk, Strub suggested Olson come work for POZ for the summer.
While at Oberlin, Olson majored in politics and classical civilization with a minor in law and society. He says Oberlin “challenged me to view things on an intersectional level and see how different systems and people interact. Of course, I mean this regarding social justice principles, but also academic disciplines.” Outside the classroom, Olson served as a student senator and residential assistant, and he volunteered for voting and election awareness initiatives with Oberlin College Democrats.
The Phoenix native says he is not sure what his future plans are after completing his master’s degree, but he is considering a PhD and says he would love to work on expanding the Affordable Care Act so more Americans have access to healthcare. He also says he “has not ruled out running for political office.”