Today we’re hearing from Dr. Andy Bramsen and “the things he carries” as an associate professor of political science. This series was inspired by a collection of stories and articles of the same name, by Tim O’Brien and Foreign Policy Magazine, respectively. If you missed our post on Dr. Gehrz earlier this week, click here to check it out!

1. Bobbleheads

I inherited the Bobblehead collection from my late colleague Stacey Hunter Hecht, the department chair who hired me. They remind me of her vocation (and mine) to teach our students about the figures who have shaped the political systems we live in.

2. Bookshelves

A classic professorial shot. I have a lot of books. Two items of note. First, after the Minnesota State Fair was cancelled in 2020, our family consoled ourselves by having an outdoor event with friends in which we brought favorite fair foods and had some activities. We also tried our hand at crop art, so the “2020” piece was one of my attempts. Second, the carved wooden figure on the upper left is from Senegal (where I grew up). Two of my best friends gave me that when I left to come back to the United States.

3. Armchair

I also inherited this chair from Stacey and just as they did in her office before, a long line of students have come and sat in it to talk about their academic plans and struggles, their research, their post-Bethel intentions, and a variety of life plans.

4. Egyptian pyramid

The Egyptian pyramid brings to mind time spent in that country during graduate study. And the pictures of my second daughter when she was little make me smile.

5. Pen holder figurine

Auntie Joyce was an old friend of my grandma and of our family. When she was dying of cancer, my mom and my aunts went out to visit her and Auntie Joyce gave them mementos for various family members. She designated this pen holder for me, so I’ve kept it on my desk in memory of her.

6. Coffee station and mugs

Drinking coffee and tea makes my work day better (and more energized!). My coffee mug collection is a mix of mugs I’ve been given by others and ones I’ve purchased in visiting various presidential museums. And the Mouth Trap cheese curds container and Olson’s Bakery are connected with favorite foods and the places I get them.

7. “Christ Among the Lowly” artwork

I also inherited this depiction of Jesus from Stacey. It’s a reminder to me that the work of God happens in the ordinary and the everyday.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Bramsen and the work he does at Bethel University.

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