Steven Michels, assistant provost for teaching and learning at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, was born in southeastern Michigan, which is a great place to be from.
For as long as he could remember, Michels has only wanted to be a teacher, which he thought meant high school. And that was his plan, until his junior year at Eastern Michigan University, when he met Plato. After being awestruck by the Big Questions of political philosophy, he went on to receive an MA from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in political science from Loyola University Chicago, where he wrote his dissertation on Nietzsche.
Michels’ more recent research is on the theory and practice of democracy and the politics of literature. His book Sinclair Lewis and American Democracy was published in 2017, and he is currently co-editing a book (Science Fiction and Political Philosophy) with one of his former students.
As a faculty member in political science at Sacred Heart, Michels grew more and more involved in curricular development and outcomes assessment and did a stint directing its honors program. For the last three years, he has been working out of the provost’s office, directing assessment at the University; overseeing accreditation reports and visits; managing faculty development activities and the new Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching (CEIT); and spearheading an undergraduate research initiative, which has included organizing an annual conference and serving as the executive editor for the Sacred Heart University Scholar, an e-journal of undergraduate scholarship.
In fall 2017, Michels received a $203,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation for “Critical Thinking across the Curriculum,” a general education program at the University. He was responsible for writing Sacred Heart’s successful application to the Council of Independent Colleges’ Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance. He also received grant funding to establish an open-educational resources (OER) fellowship at the University, also from the Davis Educational Foundation.
For his extra-curricular activities, Michels enjoys listening to music and writing songs, taking the train into New York City for shows and bagels, following his beloved Chicago Cubs, and cleaning up after his two curious and energetic cats (Teddy and Willa).
104 Melady Hall
Sacred Heart University
5151 Park Ave.
Fairfield, CT 06825