Michael D. Wolcott is the Director of Educational Resources and Scholarship at the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry. In this role, he supports faculty to optimize teaching and learning, enhance their teaching experience, and inspire educational scholarship. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in education at the UNC School of Education specializing in the learning sciences and psychological studies. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy followed by a pharmacy practice residency at Duke University Hospital, where he worked as a clinical infectious diseases pharmacist.
Michael is also a clinical assistant professor in the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Education and Research (CIPhER) at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy where he supports educational research initiatives within the School. Michael’s research focuses on creative problem-solving, curriculum change management, preceptor development, and assessment.
How do you identify yourself?
My primary identity is oriented around my (somewhat unhealthy) book addiction–I have amassed over 500 non-fiction books focused on psychology, workplace culture, team development, happiness/self-help, and creativity. I try to read at least a book a week mainly to learn from other disciplines and inform my practices as an educator and leader. It’s rare for me not to reference at least one book during most meetings. I also love to travel, explore new spaces and theme parks (absolutely love roller coasters). At work, I’m an “achiever” (Enneagram 3) and a “design thinker” who’s dedicated to advancing health professions education in an effort to create more psychologically safe, inclusive, and equitable learning environments that embrace diversity and creative problem-solving. As a gay man, I also strive to be an example to inspire other LGBTQIA+ individuals in health professions and education. I aim to ensure individuals are given space to share their voice, that their voice is heard, and to ensure they feel they belong as part of the team.
List three things that people would be most surprised to learn about you.
- I got my first tattoo with my dad when I was 18 (it was a shocker for my friends, trust me)
- I was a vegetarian until I was 28 (my parents could not get me to eat meat as a kid…at all)
- I have never been on a cruise or gone to a concert (every time something has canceled it)
Whom do you admire and why?
The people I most admire in my life are friends and family members that I know have experienced significant trauma or setbacks in their lives, who maintain a positive attitude and can still find ways to manage their stress in productive ways. They allow themselves the appropriate space to grieve and then use those experiences in ways to connect and support others. I have always admired their strength and resilience in the process and their profound compassion and acceptance that has resulted in their growth.