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Profile: Michael Porte

Michael Porte Professor of Communications

Says one colleague, "You can tell he's a great guy
cause he wears a bow-tie."




Teaching philosophy:
It's very important to understand where the student is coming from and what the student needs. I try to start from that point.

I like to involve students in the subject by striving to get each student to take responsibility for his or her learning. It's very important for them to feel responsibility for the class and think about it in terms of what they need.

Not all learning comes out of books or from the classroom. I encourage my students to get to know their fellow students, because they'll be an important network in their careers in terms of helping them along the way. It's important for students to network with top professionals in the field because students sometimes only have a vague idea what a field is really about. I regularly invite professionals into the classroom to talk to my students about how they got where they are today. You just can't get that from a book. Also I arranged for an alumnus who has his own successful company to meet with some recent communication department graduates about possible job openings while he was visiting Cincinnati. I also encourage students to do internships and professional residencies and help to arrange them.

Other interests:
I serve on the advisory board of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission, an agency that works to attract film-makers to Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for shooting "on location." I also write reviews of local theater productions for the Association of Community Theater.

During academic breaks, I like to take students on cultural trips. It is important for them to think of living in the whole world and to think of travel as an essential part of learning about other cultures and other people.

New York City is a regular destination. I have led, with my wife, 32 week-long New York Arts Tours. Now offered each December, the tour always has a waiting list and usually fills up within the first week of the first mailing. We see at least one dance performance, one opera, one Broadway musical, one off-Broadway show, and visit galleries and museums. We even have one study hour at the Museum of Modern Art before it opens to the public for the day. We meet with UC alumni who are starring in shows.

Also every spring break, we go to a different destination overseas. Last year, we went to see the new Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry in Bilboa, Spain. Among the previous trips have been Turkey, Morocco, Paris, London and Lucca, Italy.

What makes UC distinctive:
The success and tradition of the co-op program.

What makes "living" as part of the UC community fun and challenging:
Contact with the students. Seeing the young people develop and grow and make something of their lives.


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