Dr. Michael Atkinson
Professor of Biology
A.S. B.S. in Biology Education, Indiana University 1979
M.A. in Biology, Ball State University 1982
Ed.D. in Science (Biology), Ball State University 1985
I am a native Hoosier from Grant County. I grew up outside of Gas City. On the Official Indiana State Highway Map it is always shown in the map legend to indicate mileage between cities.
I began teaching biology at Oakland City University in January, 1989. I taught all of the different courses as the sole biologist (with the help of a few adjuncts from time to time) until I became Provost in September of 2008. I am interested in all aspects of biology and am in awe of the interaction between living organisms and the non-living environment. The orchestration of God’s design is beautiful. Today my main interests still lie in zoology and human anatomy and physiology. My research in graduate school involved breeding cycles for Small-mouthed Salamanders (Ambystoma texanum) and a comparison of the feeding behavior of six different species of Ambystoma salamanders.
On a more personal note, my wife, Peggy, and I were married December 19, 1981. We have been blessed with six children – three boys and three girls. They include a musician, a physician assistant, a software engineer, a nurse, a social worker, and one still considering his future. Four of them are married to wonderful spouses. I dearly love being MEGS (Most Excellent Grandfather, Sir) to my current two grandsons and one granddaughter. More are on the way.
I am the youngest of four sons. (My father was the youngest of nine sons in his family.) I spent a lot of time in the woods while growing up which ignited my love for nature. I have always loved animals. I had my share of dogs, cats, hamsters, and fish. My mother drew the line a few times. She did not appreciate the mole or opossum I tried to bring in the house and all snakes were strictly forbidden.
I went to I.U. contemplating medical school, but did not have the dedication needed at that time and the thought of eight years of college did not appeal to me. So I turned to biology education. After graduating from IU, I got my first job teaching 7th-8th science in Summitville, IN. In the summer of 1980 I went to Ball State to just begin taking courses towards a master’s degree. I decided to stay and got a graduate assistantship in the Biology Department. My focus in the graduate program was in vertebrate biology, ecology, and natural resources. I ended up staying three more years as a doctoral fellow to earn the Ed.D. So I ended up spending nine years in college. Medical school would have been shorter after all.
I also enjoy working with the Boy Scouts. I helped my three sons achieve their Eagle rank and continue to be active as Scoutmaster of the local Troop 240. I have worked as staff on Wood Badge and have been honored with the Algonkian District Award of Merit and the Buffalo Trace Council Silver Beaver Award.