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Residential Programs Administrator

Noel Dahl

Residential Programs Administrator, Stanford Introductory Studies Operations
I was born at the Subic Bay Navy Hospital in the Philippines, on a day that would curse me like no other day ever could---Christmas Day! I shouldn't complain, my birthdays were filled with two-for-one-presents, Catholic nativities and midnight masses, and plenty of festive Christmas songs. Its left a mark. Being one of five kids, my mom (I was her favorite) said it great for the family that I was born on December 25th, it could ensure her a ticket into heaven once I went off to seminary school. Yes, that's what she wanted for me. The closest I got to that dream was spending every other Saturday and Sunday serving as an altar boy--fetching this and that during the mass, carrying the processional cross with a heavy bronze crucified Jesus on it, lighting candles, ringing bells. After three years of that, I went in the opposite direction.

My education in the arts was hellish in many ways--but I was a natural at drawing from observation, making functional and non-functional objects, and pretending to be a character on a stage. Theater was were I landed as I started to piece together my own future. I auditioned for the Arts High School, where I found my people! Creative young teens--we were outcast from all over the state of Minnesota to live and learn the arts--Theater, Dance, Music, Writing, Visual Arts, Photography, and Interdisciplinary Media. I was even an RA in the dorms my senior year. But good things have to end and I had had enough of the long rehearsals with teenage method actors who were their characters 24/7, Goth and Emo attitudes, and babysitting classmates tripping on acid. It was fun times, it was the 90's!

Of course since then my love for the arts has fueled and sustained me through being an art major at the University of Wisconsin--Madison to completing my MFA at Cal Arts, which was the school Walt Disney created in the hopes of training tallent to feed into is animation and media monsters. But the amazing hippies and vagabonds made the school something better than that--a truly avant garde sanctuary for experimental new work. The arts continue inspire me, motivating me to put my creativity in everything, and gave me the skills to make a lot of something from nothing. I love to design and make things, from paintings to all kinds of art objects, to pdf forms, handbooks, staff training manuals---in a way it's all kind of the same--an opportunity to be creative and collaborate. I think this my philosophy to the work I do, to bring creativity to our everyday.

This is all to say that I'll always bring my creative spark to the table.


High School Diploma, Minnesota Center for Arts Education (now called the Perpich Center for ARts Education), Theater performance and technology (1994)
BFA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Fine Arts (2000)
MFA, California Institute of the Arts, Fine Arts (2002)