College Admissions Counselor
English/Language Arts Instructor
Texas State University (English/Anthropology, dual B.A. with Honors)
Harvard University’s Extension School (Creative Writing and Literature, ALM)
Following the success of the creative writing program he founded for his Honor’s Thesis, Michael was asked to participate in the National Writing Program’s summer workshop for professional teachers. There he shared his thoughts and experiences on how to best motivate students, and began considering work as a full-time teacher. He found this in China, where he worked for nine years, seven of which teaching AP Literature and Composition and IGCSE courses. He also established the first schoolwide creative writing program for 1st-12th grades in Shanghai, and the international school he taught at there still utilizes the program he started. From his undergraduate years to the present, Michael has advised others on how best to succeed in their particular paths of education. Creative writing gave him a flexible approach to problem solving, and his time teaching high school saw numerous students seeking him out for help on their essays, interview preparation, and his thoughts on how best to choose their majors. Building on this, his recent completion of a Master’s Degree means he has intimate and current knowledge on what both professors and admissions committees are looking for from applicants.
“The most important things a student needs when walking into a counselor’s office is equal shares of open mindedness and determination. This is also what their advisor needs. What works for one student may not satisfy the next, and what one student steps into the counselor’s office believing is their best path to success may in fact prove to be holding them back. It is only by working together can teacher and student discover the true goal through a flexible approach, and only by applying strict discipline in the pursuit of it can they hope to achieve it.”
Beginning with the creative writing program for an underprivileged elementary school he
founded as his Honor’s Thesis for his bachelor’s degree, Michael made teaching his lifelong
passion. The success of the program led him to be asked to participate in the National Writing
Program’s summer workshop for professional teachers, as well as found the first schoolwide
creative writing program for 1st -12th grades in Shanghai, China. The international school he
taught at there still utilizes the program he started.
His earning an AP Literature and Composition teaching certification from the University of
Texas-Austin helped him establish the school’s AP program. And while guiding students bound
for Western higher education, he earned a master’s degree. This made him not only a
knowledgeable teacher but a student, and so allowed him to advise young people about what
professors are looking for. He is also a professional photojournalist, currently contributing
articles to national magazines.
“There is nothing that cannot be taught, nor learned. And perhaps most importantly, there is
never a time when one cannot learn - or relearn - something new.”
A week after graduating from high school he drove alone from Austin, Texas to Alaska and
back. He covered more than 10,000 miles in less than a month, and that experience inspired him
to visit more than a dozen countries.