University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Michael W Cox, PhD

  • Professor of English

I enjoy helping students improve their writing, thinking, and design skills through such courses as Tech Writing; Grammar, Usage, and Style; and Digital Magazine Production. Before becoming a college professor, I worked for several years as a computer programmer in business and then as a research analyst in medicine, designing databases, crunching numbers, and writing technical reports. Expertise in several professional fields led to my selection as Coordinator of UPJ's Professional Writing major.

As for my interest in the creative side of writing, I have published two books of fiction, Against the Hidden River (stories) and The Best Way to Get Even (a novel), both with Mammoth Press. My short stories have appeared in such venues as ACM, Atticus Review (online), Columbia, Passages North, Salt Hill, and West Branch, and my essays in Kestrel, New Letters, the New York Times MagazineRiver Teeth, and Sport Literate.

I serve as editor of creative prose for Pennsylvania English, the official journal of the Pennsylvania College English Association. My criticism can be found in Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies (online), The CEA CriticMidwest Quarterly, and South Asian Review.

Education & Training

  • BA, West Virginia University: Psychology
  • MA, University of Chicago: Social Science/Organizational Psychology
  • MA, University of Florida: English/Creative Writing
  • PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania: English Literature/Modern American

Representative Publications

Research Interests

  • Creative prose, both fiction and nonfiction
  • Formalist studies of fiction and nonfiction creative prose


Academic Programs