Faculty Bio: Michael Olimpi (Lear-Olimpi), M.J.

Michael Olimpi (Lear-Olimpi), M.J.

Assistant Professor


  • Media Writing
  • Introduction to Human Communication (including public speaking)
  • Journalism 1 (Introduction to Reporting)
  • Feature Writing
  • Media Ethics
  • Media Law
  • Public Affairs Reporting
  • Crisis Communications
  • Writing for Public Relations
  • Introduction to Mass Media
  • Introduction to Public Relations

Teaching Philosophy

I'm a coaching teacher. I stimulate students' interest in learning by providing them with materials and maps to find answers that they want and need to discover. I coach them one-to-one, providing feedback from which they can learn and understand what they discover.

Guided experience is my primary mode of pedagogy.

I am most happy as a teacher when I've helped students learn a set of facts … a concept … a key piece of information … and they realize that they learned it themselves, with some steady support from me.

My ultimate goal is for my students to become excellent communicators, and, especially excellent writers, so they can succeed in their career and in their lives.


A working journalist for 30 years, Professor Michael Olimpi has an insider’s knowledge of the communications profession. During his career, he wore many hats––reporter, editor, photographer, manager and educator––while writing and editing for newspapers, magazines, websites, newsletters and specialty periodicals. He serves on the national ethics committee of The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). He is the chair of ethics, diversity and membership for SPJ's keystone chapter that covers central and eastern Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Schuylkill County––in the heart of the anthracite Coal Region––he has fond memories of that time. “I grew up with a diversity of people, constant and open friendliness, community helpfulness and compassion, a strong support network, and lots of great ethnic food,” he says. Throughout his career, he has taught writing, journalism, editing and communication––including public speaking––to college and high school students. He began teaching full-time at Central Penn in 2012.

Olimpa also writes and performs poetry, and is the cofounder of Harrisburg's performance-art group, The Almost Uptown Poetry Cartel.

He enjoys reading good writing (along with some trashy writing at times), movies (especially horror and drama), the outdoors, a wide range of music, target shooting and casting a critical eye occasionally on some of the stuff that passes these days for journalism.

He lives in Harrisburg's eastern suburbs with his son, Roman. “I’m close enough to the Susquehanna River to keep me happy,” he says. “I can see this wonder of nature, believed to be the world's third-oldest river, pretty much every day.”


  • Master of Journalism, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Bachelor of Arts in English (Writing Option), The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.


  • Writing Option, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Safe Zone Trained

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