Get to Know

Michael Kimball
Director of the Center of Honors Scholars and Leadership, Associate Professor of Anthropology
University College and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Center for Honors, Scholars & Leadership and Anthropology
Years Teaching:
10 (2 at UNC)
Degrees :
B.A.,  College of the Atlantic, Human Ecology, 1989;
M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Anthropology, 1992;
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Anthropology (Archaeology), 1998
Areas of expertise/Research interests:
Civic engagement education; community-based learning; gathering and preserving local knowledge; impacts of climate change on global coastal cultural heritage resources; and Ireland’s prehistoric hunter-gatherers.
You might not know that I …
train in Tan Tui, Hou Quan and Jian Kung Fu.
When I let my hair down, I can be found …
African drumming in Fort Collins.
My welcome-to-teaching moment that I’ll never forget was …
This is more of a welcome-to-learning moment, but it influenced my decision to teach many years later. It happened in Mr. Novick’s English Literature class, when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school. We were reading Beowulf – an Anglo-Saxon epic poem of heroic battles and monster-slaying that’s kind of tough to get through. One day, Mr. Novick came to class wielding a battle-ax. I’ll never forget it. He passed it around the room and, when I held it in my hand, it brought Beowulf to life for me in a way that no amount of reading could ever do. That battle-ax lit a fire in me not only for experiential teaching and learning, but maybe also for archaeology.
I chose UNC because …
I was selected to be the Robert O. Schulze Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2007.  The rest is history.
Confucius would say my teaching philosophy is …
frustratingly Buddhist.
If I’m not teaching a class, or in my office, you can find me on campus at …
the U.C.  Starbucks.
I cannot live without …
air, food, water, my imagination, my community and my family.
If I hadn’t become a teacher, I would be a …
starving fiction writer.
Yearbook quote (advice you like to give to students or best advice you’ve received):
“When your views … and your intellect are being challenged and you begin to feel uncomfortable because of a contradiction you’ve detected that is threatening your current model of the world … pay attention. You are about to learn something.” – William Drury
University spotlight
Professional activity

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