Michelle came to the University of Cincinnati in 1994 after earning an MA and a PhD in English at Ohio University. She taught in UC's University College until 2004 and then joined the Department of English. In 2006, she became a full-time faculty member in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), where she served as Undergraduate Director. In WGSS, she played an anchor role in the undergraduate program and was also highly valued for her graduate teaching and mentorship. She excelled in her role as teacher, researcher, and administrator, and was an incredibly generous colleague.
Throughout her career, Michelle was passionate about teaching pedagogies, both in her research and in the classroom. She was an excellent and widely loved and respected teacher. She was a leader in teaching and designing the Introductory WGSS course, and she helped train MA students in pedagogy, a strength for which many WGSS MA alumnae commend the department. Students of all levels adored her as a teacher and mentor and she was a great role model in this respect. She was and continues to be a strong supporter of Friends of Women's Studies and has reached out to the broader Cincinnati community in numerous ways over the years.
Originally trained in American literature, Composition Research and Pedagogy, and Creative Writing, Michelle's research built upon these areas throughout her career and contributed as well to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer studies. Her research was truly interdisciplinary. Much of her work applies queer and postmodern identity theories to pedagogical practice and popular culture. She has authored and edited several publications in the field of pedagogy, composition, and/or LGBT studies with Deb Meem, and together the two, along with Jonathan Alexander, have also published Finding Out, an award-winning textbook for introductory LGBT studies courses which is going into its second edition.
Michelle will be greatly missed as a colleague. Her contributions in service to the department and college were invaluable, including her most recent position as Chair of the College's Undergraduate Council. A void remains in the WGSS department as a result of her early retirement. She continues to publish poetry and essays, including on her blog, ProfSpazz. She is truly an inspirational, genuine, and caring colleague and friend to many.