Central Penn College - Michael Lear-Olimpi

 

Faculty Who Care

Michael Lear-Olimpi
Program Chair - Communications

What would you say is the most rewarding thing about teaching "You can. You will." students at Central Penn? 

Knowing that I am helping students hone their skills in their chosen craft. Of course, ostensibly, that's writing, but at the foundation of their education, their chosen craft and course is life itself. I rejoice when I see students working toward their goals, and, especially, at that "AH-HA!" moment when the epiphany they've sought lights inside them and shines out. The essence of education, as it is for religion, is transformation: an advancement or transcendence to a higher level. That moment is incredible and it is what I help students achieve. And, I learn as I help students along their path to success, and they help me to continue my quest for knowledge. I have my own "AH-HA!" moments quite often.

What is your favorite Central Penn memory?

I realize "favorite" is a superlative, but still, I must say I have many favorite memories during my time at Central Penn -- every time I know, whether intuitively or empirically, a student has broken through, has achieved and "owned" and integrated, and will use, knowledge.

What is the biggest challenge facing students going into the field of communications? How can students prepare to face this challenge?

I believe the biggest challenge facing students entering communications -- in any genre or medium -- is maintaining acceptable standards of human ethics, of compassion and decency, as technology, organizations' need for profits and the desires of expanding audiences combine to put pressure on communicators to craft, channel and deliver messages more quickly, more aggressively and more creatively. I believe that I am helping students prepare to meet this challenge by helping them to lay and fortify a foundation of critical-thinking and moral reasoning, and encouraging them to consider, no matter what set of professional ethics they apply to their jobs, that people are always more important and valuable than profits or corporate image.

Master of Journalism, Temple University
Bachelor of Arts in English, The Pennsylvania State University