McMichael joins School of Journalism faculty

Aug. 17, 2022

The University of Arizona School of Journalism is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor of Practice Pate McMichael to the school. McMichael joins the faculty after spending three years as a professional-in-residence for news at California State University at Chico.

McMichael began his foray into journalism while an undergrad history major at The University of Georgia. A final project on the “legendary” New York Times war reporter, Herbert Matthews, inspired him to head to the US-Mexico border as a newspaper intern for the Brownsville (Texas) Herald. 

“After that, I was hooked,” McMichael said.

He graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri with a master’s in journalism in 2005. McMichael taught at Georgia College, a public liberal arts university, from 2009 to 2017, where he served as a lecturer and advised The Colonnade, a student newspaper. He also served as adviser for The Orion, the student newspaper at Chico State.

McMichael said he went into teaching “[to] inspire young people to think for themselves. To share generously what I’ve learned the hard way. To declare war against ignorance. Universities are special places where people get first, second and third chances to achieve their potential.”

In addition to teaching, McMichael has worked as a freelance long-form journalist. He is the author of two books, “Klandestine: How a Klan Lawyer and a Checkbook Journalist Helped James Earl Ray Cover Up His Crime” and “Operation Chrysler: Stolen Valor Behind Enemy Lines During World War II.

His freelance work has appeared Atlanta Magazine, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Bitter Southerner and St. Louis Magazine, to name a few.

“We are excited about having Professor McMichael join our faculty and inspire our students,” said Professor Jessica Retis, director of the School of Journalism. “He will contribute with his experience as a freelance journalist, author, and college professor to our strategic planning and the implementation of our new curriculum.”

Calling himself challenging and demanding yet kind and fair as a teacher, McMichael said he “work[s] hard to stoke curiosity and empower students to make journalistic discoveries.”

He will teach undergraduate journalism classes. 

“Pate has great journalism experience and an amazing repertoire of multimedia skills that will prepare our students for the demanding and ever-changing media landscape,” said Professor David Cuillier. “He really cares about the students and the future of journalism.”