Meet the newest advisor in the Honors office, Mike O’Malley.
O’Malley comes from the Boston area, but spent a lot of his youth in Chicago and Florida. He received undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida and Columbia College, and he attended graduate school at the University of Chicago. His educational career was mostly focused on the humanities, including English and art history. Recently, he worked in the College of Engineering, where he enjoyed teaching and learning from students with different academic focuses from his.
O’Malley’s hobbies include growing old garden roses and woodworking. His favorite fun fact about himself is that he exclusively wears animal socks (it gives him one less decision to make in the morning). Also, he recently became a dad (and the PRISM staff offers their congratulations)!
During his time as a UF student, O’Malley was deeply impacted by a passionate professor who taught a course about medieval literature. The professor was so invested in his class that at the end of the period, students could see a tear rolling down his cheek. O’Malley was enthralled by these “transformative classroom experiences,” but he could also be found at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on game day or relaxing at a cozy Gainesville coffee shop in his downtime.
O’Malley became a member of the Honors staff because he wanted to work with the student leaders who would spearhead efforts in creating cultural and academic change at UF. He resonates with Honors students’ desire for intellectual pursuits. “I think that there is a contagiousness about students who get excited about ideas.” His work as an advisor includes teaching uncommon reads courses, workshopping ideas for future courses, representing the Honors Program at UF events, and, of course, advising. O’Malley considers the one-on-one interactions he has with students to be highly rewarding: “There’s this great satisfaction, a nourishment that comes from working with students.” Ultimately, he aims to help students succeed in both discovering their aspirations and in pursuing them.
O’Malley encourages all Honors students to “not shy away from your intellectual and academic interests. If you love something, if you’re excited and you’re engaged with something, then you should pursue that.” Hopefully, following these words of wisdom will be made an easier undertaking with such enthusiastic advisors around to help.
Welcome back to UF, Mike O’Malley!