About Mr. Stokes


I moved to Utah from southern California to go snowboarding and to go to school at the University of Utah. After graduate school out of state, my wife and I moved back to Utah to be near family and the mountains. We have been in the St Olaf Parish for many years and are grateful to be part of a great Catholic community.
If you could have lunch with 1 person dead or alive, who would that be and why?

There are many people I would love to spend time with. Presently, my paternal grandfather comes first to mind. He was orphaned at a young age, made his way in Los Angeles, and raised a family. He died when I was still young. I’d like to hear his story firsthand.

What is something on your Bucket List?

This might seem small, but I’d like to provide for a replacement white marble crown with fleur de lis décor for the statue of St Olaf in front of the school. Years ago, a more ornate fleur de lis crown was there but it was quite broken.

What book have you read that changed you and why?

A short story I often read to my children as they were growing up was called the Knights of the Silver Shield. It was one where a valiant young knight was tasked with the boring job of guarding the castle while the others went off on grand adventures. He was sorely tempted to leave his post though stayed to great effect for those who relied upon him. 

What is your favorite thing about teaching or working with young people?

I enjoy seeing young people grow in their confidence and success with tasks that are seemingly beyond their ability. Hard work often pays off in great accomplishments. Math and science reveal a form of order written into the natural world. It is great to see students discover it joyfully.

How would a friend describe you in three words?

They often describe me as patient, humorous, and reliable.

If you had to compare yourself to one fictional character, who would it be and why?

King Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings. This is the character my family picked for me when I asked them. Upon closer reflection, I like the choice – I would hope that his story arc becomes mine as I continue my journey through life.

What is the best BAD decision you ever made?

I bought a new jeep while still in college. It was too much of a stretch financially, though my friends and I had more fun camping and exploring than would have ever been possible without it.

When are you most yourself?

At the beach, after going for a swim in the waves with some old friends. Even more so, after going surfing.  

What could you spend all day talking about?

There is a lot of joy to be had in hearing other people tell their stories. If ordered to the true, good, and beautiful, I could spend all day in conversation with friends, new and old.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like reading, going for walks, hanging out with friends, and building/improving things. This past summer my sons and I built a substantial retaining wall. It was challenging, new to us, and turned out nicely.



Master of Science in International Agricultural Development from University of California, Davis.
Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Utah