Michael Everson said his proudest moments in the College of Education were watching his students achieve their academic goals.
“It’s not lost on us how hard our students work,” Everson said.
Everson, an associate professor of foreign language education, will retire this spring after 18 years at the College of Education.
Tingting Chen, a Ph.D. student focusing on teaching Chinese as a foreign language, said Everson is a knowledgeable, inspiring, and supportive mentor.
“He has a passion for learning about the Chinese language and people,” she said. “We discussed Chinese idioms, classical literature, and historical events. In many ways he knows more about my native culture and history than I do.”
Everson’s interest in China and other Asian cultures began as a boy. He would rummage through the Japanese codebooks, dictionaries, newspapers, and other artifacts his father brought home from his World War II service in the Pacific.
“I have been interested in Asia ever since,” Everson said.
Prior to joining the UI faculty, Everson traveled the world with the United States Air Force. He later served as an associate professor of Chinese at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Associate Professor Leslie Schrier remembers Everson’s culture shock transitioning from a military setting to a casual campus, noting that he soon adapted to the informal ways.
“As he mastered our culture, we, as his colleagues, also gained a tremendous amount from him,” she said. “Every student and colleague has learned something significant from Michael Everson—the obvious is via his expertise in second-language reading, Chinese pedagogy, and his beloved Chicago Cubs. No less important, he informed individuals how to learn and improve every aspect of life—from why it is important to be a suffering Cubs fan to why it is important to understand second-language research and to write about it with patience and clarity.”
Marina Kostina (BA ‘95/MA ‘97/PhD ’11) credits her academic success to Everson’s gentle guidance and support.
“He is a top-notch professional, a well-recognized scholar, a caring and supportive advisor, and an exceptional human being,” said Kostina.
Everson said he will always look back on his years at Iowa with “great fondness and a sense of accomplishment.”
“The College of Education provided me with freedom, encouragement, and reward for my teaching and research that I doubt I could have experienced anywhere else,” he said.