Alumni Profile - Michael Parsons

Alumni Profile - Michael Parsons

Alumni Profile


ParsonDr. Michael H. Parsons has spent a life in education—first obtaining no fewer than five higher education degrees, then the rest of his life in continuing his education, researching and teaching. To this resumé he has added a life-long commitment to community service.

Dr. Parsons earned an Associates degree from Muskegon Community College in 1962, and a B.A. in English and History from WMU in 1964. This was followed by an M.A. in History in 1971 and Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Educational Leadership from WMU in 1971.  The subsequent decades saw him involved in numerous grant funded enrichment studies at the U. of Texas (1979), Carnegie-Mellon University (1981), Harvard (1994), Columbia University (2002-05) and, most recently, at Oxford (2009). In the meantime he published numerous books about teaching and how to teach, and on community development. He has taught most of his life at Hagerstown Community College from which he retired as Dean and Professor Emeritus. He is, clearly unable to rest on his laurels, now Adjunct Professor at Morgan State University.

He has been recognized for his contribution to teaching (National Council on Learning Person of the Year, 1980) and community service (Governor’s Citations for Service to the Community).  The Department of History is very pleased to recognize, in our own limited way, Dr. Michael Parsons.

In 2011, the Department named Dr. Parsons as the recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Award. During WMU’s Homecoming weekend, Dr. Parsons visited campus to meet with students and faculty, and to accept his award. The Department hosted a reception for Dr. Parsons and his family on Friday, October 7, during which he met with department faculty, graduate students, and several undergraduate members of Phi Alpha Theta.


Department of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
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