Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Awarded to First Recipients
An Acting Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Washington for the past five years, Michael was raised in Grants Pass, Oregon, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Portland. After graduating from University of Arizona with a Ph.D. in communication, he has focused his scholarly work on health communication, persuasion, quantitative research methods, and interpersonal communication.
Michael's commitment to community and public service is a result of his upbringing as the son of an educator and a nurse, and his own experiences growing up with cerebral palsy. He has extended that commitment in a variety of ways, including serving as Vice Chair of the United States Olympic Committee's Athletes’ Advisory Council. As a Paralympic soccer athlete, he feels strongly that, "Olympians and Paralympians have a lot to give back to the community. It is important for us to look for opportunities throughout the year to get involved and touch people's lives more than just once every four years."
An increasing interest in health and human rights law and advocacy led Michael to apply to the UW School of Law and, later, the Gates PSL Scholarship. "The opportunity to contribute to the legacy of the scholarship’s namesake [William H. Gates] and his great work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a tremendous honor. The Foundation addresses the kind of issues I'm interested in, particularly global health." Michael was also attracted to the UW's strong faculty and connections with other institutions in the broader Seattle community that address global health and justice issues.
"I feel that the UW law school will give me the skills to advocate for those who don't have a voice, particularly disadvantaged women and children. For me, it’s vitally important to serve others in a way that respects their rights and promotes equal opportunities."