New Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning


Staff Reporter

Dr. Steven Michels, a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences since 2002, has been appointed Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning.

In this newly created position, Michels will be coordinating the assessment of programs within all of Sacred Heart’s colleges to ensure the educational effectiveness of the University.

He will also serve as Sacred Heart’s accreditation liaison officer for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and its other bodies.

“The creation of the new position and the appointment of Dr. Michels demonstrates our continued commitment to enhance teaching and learning at Sacred Heart University,” said Dr. Rupendra Paliwal, provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

While at Sacred Heart, Dr. Michels has taught a variety of courses related to political science, and for the past two years has been working out of the provost’s office as the Director of University Assessment. He has also directed the Thomas More Honors Program.

“One of the first things I learned about Dr. Michels was his dedication to innovating the way his students learn,” said Jeff Rankel, a graduate student and former student of Dr. Michels. “I think his new position is one where he will excel in discovering new and effective ways to educate future students for years to come.”

In addition to his new responsibilities, Michels will continue his work with the Committee for Undergraduate Research, which organizes Sacred Heart’s Academic Festival every year. He is also the Executive Editor for the “Sacred Heart University Scholar,” an e-journal of student research. It will release its first volume next month.

“It’s a great time to be at the University. While the growth is historic and exciting, there’s a lot to do,” Dr. Michels said. “I’m enjoying working with faculty and staff across the Colleges to serve our students.”

When he is not teaching, Michels enjoys watching sports and reading books.

“I’m a big fan of the Chicago Cubs. I made it into Game 5 of the World Series last season,” he said. “I spent $800 for my ticket, but I would’ve spent twice that.”

“I enjoy reading, mainly on political science—and a lot on teaching,” he said. He also enjoys playing guitar and writing songs.

Dr. Michels holds three degrees in political science: a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and a doctorate from Loyola University.

Michels also taught at Southern Connecticut State University, Loyola University Chicago, and Concordia University prior to coming to Sacred Heart.

“Dr. Michels, who himself is a recognized excellent teacher, will leverage existing expertise within Sacred Heart and current research on effective teaching to create a community of teachers to impact, inspire, and engage students,” said Dr. Paliwal.

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