Assistant Professor of Spanish
Jeff Michno joined Furman in 2017, happily returning to South Carolina after nearly two decades away. He earned undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Marine Biology from the College of Charleston in 2000, after which he lived, worked and explored in South America for several years. Upon his return to the U.S., Jeff applied his linguistic and cultural knowledge to a career in the environmental field, conducting outreach and assistance throughout the multicultural state of Texas. Ultimately, he transitioned to a career in academia, completing his MA and Ph.D. in Iberian and Latin American Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on language and culture contact, examining both well-established contact settings, such as the Texas-Mexico region, and more recent scenarios rooted in migration, globalization and tourism. Jeff enjoys working with students in the classroom and beyond and is currently establishing a research team to study language and culture contact in the Greenville region.
- Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
- M.A., University of Texas at Austin
- B.S., College of Charleston
- B.A., College of Charleston
My approach to teaching has been shaped by my experiences working as an educator in multiple fields with a broad range of individuals. I combine training in multi-media technologies and best practices with an appreciation for diversity gained from a decade working with youth and adults in different capacities.
Centrally, I strive to empower students, encouraging them to be self-reliant and to take ownership of their learning. I am guided, in part, by my work with the experiential education organization, Outward Bound, whose founder, Kurt Hahn, remarked, “There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less."
I also aim to pique students’ curiosity about cultural norms and perspectives and how they can differ according to person, age, region, etc. I find the study of language and culture an excellent means for introducing higher-level thinking about self, society, and the natural world.
Finally, I seek to provide students with practical skills that will aid them in future pursuits, both professional and otherwise. Based largely on my own professional experience in the environmental field, I stress the value of being able to communicate effectively and respectfully with a variety of individuals. To that end, I guide students in the finer points of interpersonal skills such as delivering and receiving feedback. Aside from the social sensitivities they develop, students gain practical technical skills, such as using word processing software to edit and route files according to professional best practices.
- Koike, D. & Michno, J. (in press). ¿Qué querí?: Shifting frames in Nicaraguan corner shop talk. International Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest.
- Michno, J. (2019). Variation according to gender in Nicaraguan corner store interactions. In C. Félix-Brasdefer & M. E. Placencia (Eds.), Pragmatic variation in service encounter interactions across the Spanish-speaking world (pp. 77- 98). New York, NY: Routledge.
- Michno, J. (2017). Greeting and leave-taking in Texas: Perception of politeness norms by Mexican-Americans across sociolinguistic divides. Spanish in Context, 14(1), 1-27.