Michele Mekel

(Photos by Pete Rosenbery)

July 28, 2010

Ten Questions with ... Michele Mekel, J.D., M.H.A., M.B.A.

Job on campus/department you work in: I am an assistant professor in the School of Law and have a cross appointment in the School of Medicine in the Department of Medical Humanities.

How long at SIUC: In the fall, I’ll be starting my second “official” year with SIUC. (I was here as a visiting professor for a year before coming on board in a tenure-track position.)

Hometown: Danville, Ill.

When you were a youngster, what did you want to be when you grew up? An artist…

If you could choose another profession, what would it be and why? A science fiction writer because that genre of literature allows the author, and his or her readers, to creatively engage in an exploration of social, legal, and ethical issues related to technological change and futuristic scenarios.

What is something you still want to accomplish in life? Professionally, my goals include achieving full professor status and becoming well respected as a multidisciplinary scholar in law, medicine, and bioethics.

People don’t know that you … Make jewelry.

Who inspired you and how? So many people have inspired me in so many ways, including: my high school biology teacher, who got a Ph.D. after she retired; a physician mentor, who devoted his entire career to public service although he had many more lucrative offers; and Robert Fulghum, who not only took the time during the height of his popularity as an author to be interviewed by me, then a lowly journalism undergrad student, but also sent me a thank you note for the article I wrote in response to me sending him a copy of it.

If you could pick an actor/actress to play you in a movie, who would you pick, and why? Helena Bonham Carter because I loved her in “Fight Club” as Marla Singer -- one of the many “off-beat” characters she has portrayed with incredible flair.

What is one random fact about you? I’m a vegetarian.

Cats or dogs? I have four “fur babies” -- all rescued cats. I love dogs, as well.

What is your pet peeve? Too many meetings…

What would you like your gravestone to say about you? Alis volat propriis. (Latin for “she flies with her own wings.”)