Following undergraduate studies in piano performance at Kent State University and graduate work in music theory at the University of Akron, Michele Mills earned a Ph.D. in music theory and composition at Kent State University. She joined the faculty of the University of Akron School of Music in 1988, teaching a variety of graduate and undergraduate classes, and also acting as the school academic advisor part-time from 1996-2004. Throughout this time she continued advanced piano studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, remaining active as a performer as well as a scholar. Dr. Mills research earned an Outstanding Dissertation Award at Kent State University and also resulted in a related publication in the Journal of the American Liszt Society. Dr. Mills teaching experience also includes Cuyahoga Community College--Eastern Campus, and the School of Fine Arts in Willoughby where she not only maintained a very successful studio teaching private piano but also developed a music theory program for students of a variety of ages, levels and backgrounds in that regional community. She has given several solo faculty piano recitals and a lecture-recital based on her dissertation research at The University of Akron, as well as other northeast Ohio locations, participated in performance of new music compositions both at Kent State and The University of Akron, and performed as the pianist for the University of Akron Dance Company performance of choreographer Marc Ozanich's ballet, "Solos", in Fall 2002. For many years Dr. Mills was associated with Ohio Ballet as piano duo partner of David Fisher, performing at numerous locations including New York City and Spoleto Festival USA.
Dr. Mills was appointed Coordinator of Student Services for the School of Music in February of 2005, and was appointed Graduate Coordinator in Jan. of 2008. She continues teaching the undergraduate sophomore-level Keyboard Harmony sequence as well as the Graduate Theory Review. A member of the Ohio Board of Regents subcommittee to develop the state’s music TAG (Transfer Assurance Guide) since 2002, she has been active in the state-wide effort to insure smooth transfers between state supported universities offering music degrees in Ohio. When she is not working Dr. Mills enjoys riding and spending time with her American Quarter Horse gelding, Slider, as well as traveling--particularly hiking, camping and exploring the National Parks in her RV travel trailer.