Jennifer Lee, Memorial Student Center associate director, said Stolen had a tremendous impact on the Qube and the organization’s programming.
“She joined the Qube team as a lead with no experience and hit the ground running,” Lee said. “She brought strength, organization, joy, advocacy and structure to our group in a difficult time. She has a way of asking the right questions and the ambition to move things forward.”
Stolen is powerful, yet subtle in how she uses her words, Lee said. “She is gentle, but effective, provocative and kind,” Lee added. “She is a very effective leader; she will be successful in all she does, and she is awesome at helping others be successful too.”
While at UW-Stout, Stolen has been the director of communication for the Stout Student Association.
“I like it because I get a chance to advocate for other students,” Stolen said. “Students may not know where to go if they have questions. We get to answer the questions they have. I get to help students and advocate for policy changes.”
Nicole Eastman, program coordinator for the LGBTQIA+ program, said Stolen is an amazing person who takes the time to talk with everyone she meets and gets to know each of them.
“It’s hard to find people on campus who don’t know Grace in some capacity,” Eastman said. “Grace has been a great advocate for people at Stout and continuously works to make it a better place for underrepresented students. It’s impressive how much she’s done in only two years after transferring here.”
Through SSA Stolen has been involved in Diversity Week, Eastman said. “Her diversity work has increased the educational opportunities for student, staff and faculty allies to learn how to better support our LGBTQIA+ community, while her social events have helped create community among our LGBTQIA+ students and help them meet and get to know each other,” Eastman said.
‘I need to be doing work that is meaningful’
In high school, Stolen planned a career in music education. She was part of two folk bands, played in many ensembles, pep band, jazz band and orchestra. Stolen played the viola, clarinet and alto saxophone. “I loved the artistic expression,” Stolen said of music. “Playing music literally grows your brain. It uses a lot of different pathways.”
Stolen is part of Proud Theater Art & Soul Innovations, serving as vice president of the board. It is a statewide fiscal sponsor for queer youth theater with programming chapters in Wausau, Green Bay and Madison.
While in high school, Stolen was part of a Dane County partnership with 4-H and UW Extension that allows youth to apply to serve on county board standing committees. Stolen was part of the Zoning and Land Regulation Committee. That experience helped influence her decision to study applied social science.
“I learned a lot getting involved in local government and learning how it works,” Stolen said. “I always knew I was interested in policy and development.”
Stolen starts Monday, May 17, in the marketing and communications department at Northland College in Ashland as the creative services coordinator.
“I want to work in a place that I feel has a mission and where people are community-minded whether that be in government, a nonprofit or in higher education,” Stolen said. “I need to be doing work that is meaningful and isn’t about just making a profit.”