- M.A., English, State University of New York - Binghamton, 1985
- Certificate in Creative Writing, State University of New York - Binghamton, 1985
- B.A., English, University of Toledo, 1983
Mike Bendzela has taught writing and literature at USM since 1989. He received a BA in English from the University of Toledo in 1983, and an MA in English, with a certificate in Creative Writing, from SUNY-Binghamton in 1985. In the 1990s, Mike published short fiction in several small journals, and received a Pushcart Prize for a short story in 1992. His current writing projects include an unpublished collection of evolutionary fables and parables, and several creative non-fiction pieces about Darwinian themes in farming and everyday life. He lives on a small farm with his husband, Don Essman, a USM graduate in Industrial Arts Education (1976). They take care of a one-acre heritage apple orchard and are co-owners of a small vegetable CSA, Dow Farm Enterprise.