Michael is a graduate of McDaniel University (in English and Education). He did PhD work at Indiana University, and has also completed programs at the National Shakespeare Conservatory and the Folger Shakespeare Library, as well as coursework from Stanford, Harvard, and Georgetown. He has nearly twenty years of high school and middle school classroom teaching experience in the USA, plus nearly ten years of university, college, and junior college classroom teaching experience in Japan. He has won numerous local, state, and several national awards for excellence and innovation in teaching, including a “Special Commendation” from the Maryland’s Department of Education. In his free time, as “Micheal Akutagawa”, he is a radio DJ at WXDU 88.7 FM (Duke University) and the curator of the station’s weekly jazz program. He also reads and performs his own creative work onstage and at area Open Mics.