Helping writers a passion for Kohon
LCC Professor Mike Kohon is shown standing on a corner in Winslow, Ariz. (such a fine sight to see). Courtesy photo
By Jayden Hewitt
Michael Kohon has been instructing students for 16 years. He said teaching became a dream while in college at Grand Valley State University.
“When I was at Grand Valley, I would do research papers for my classes, and I would get into academic journals, and I really enjoyed reading those,” Kohon said. “I knew by the end of my junior year that I wanted to teach.”
Kohon has taught numerous writing, English and journalism courses at Davenport, Michigan State, Olivet and Lansing Community College.
Born in Lansing, Kohon grew up in Wacousta and attended Grand Ledge High School.
After graduating high school, Kohon attended Grand Valley State, where he graduated with a dual-degree in broadcast and journalism. After graduating from Grand Valley, Kohon attended Michigan State University and received a master’s degree in journalism.
Kohon was also a sports writer for two decades, working with many media outlets, most notably The Lansing State Journal, MLive, WLNS, The Jackson Citizen Patriot and The Grand Haven Tribune, among others.
What brought Kohon to LCC was, believe it or not, a painting job, the company owned by now Associate Dean Tim Kelly.
“I started working for a guy named Tim Kelly.” Kohon said. “He said, ‘Mike, I’ve been meaning to ask you, when I talked to you at your place, I saw you had a stack of English books. Are you an English student?’ I said, ‘No, I’m an English professor,’ and he looks at me like I have two heads … He goes ‘Well I teach at Lansing Community College. You should send a resume.’”
Kohon mentioned his teaching is rewarding. He said helping students become better is a passion.
“I’ve helped people become better writers in my writing classes, and better journalists and reporters,” Kohon said. “Food on the table, roof over their head, car in the driveway. Those are the three things that, if I can help somebody do that in their lives, I’ve done something.”
Kohon mentioned some of his strategies in relating to students, and becoming an effective professor.
“I think the thing that helps me the most is, I’m not a naturally gifted writer,” Kohon said. “I know what it’s like to be somebody who struggles at writing, and had to learn at an older age than most people (about) how to do it well.”
The Lookout Staff Writer Mallory Stiles, a current student of Kohon, offered praise about Kohon’s teaching.
“Mr. Kohon is extremely clear about what is expected in his class and he really does give you all the tools you need to succeed,” Stiles said. “His feedback and guidance is invaluable. He has completely made me open to the idea of online classes.”
In his free time, Kohon likes to collect comic books, sports cards and video games.
Kohon also owns and operates a business called “Great Lakes Barn-Wood Designs.” It’s a reclaimed barn wood business that’s taken him all around the country. Those interested can visit his website here.