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Dr. Michael Geary: A Problem Solver

Mike Geary
Dr. Mike Geary

From the beginning of his college career, Michael Geary (Management, Computer Science ’94), D.C.S., has been thinking critically and looking for ways to make things work more efficiently. Beginning with his studies, he enrolled as a business management major with a minor in computer science, but after a few semesters, he switched to major in both, giving himself a balanced start.

Then Dr. Geary began his master’s at the University of West Florida and came on board at Pensacola Christian College, splitting his time between computer science faculty and information technology staff. During his time at PCC, he has helped develop many programs for the College—from the Library to the planetarium—as well as for other departments.

“I enjoy learning about individuals personally to find ways to help them accomplish their responsibilities,” Dr. Geary said. “Yes, we sometimes see things differently. Yet the ultimate goal of serving the Lord transcends many differences, empowering people to be supportive and willing to help when others have needs.”

Among his students, Dr. Michael Geary promotes the spiritual benefits of studying computer science. “I emphasize that the financial benefits related to the computer field enable students to indirectly be ‘rope holders’ by helping churches and missionaries to be on the front line promoting and publishing the gospel.”

Mike Geary helping a student at a computer.

One of his senior students, Sarah from Montana, shared: “Dr. Geary does his best to simulate a business environment for seniors to help prepare them for the workforce. He provides help to those who are struggling, and he encourages us to do our best when faced with problems. He is always willing to meet with students when they are struggling and does his best to encourage us to develop a problem-solving mindset.”

Shane, a senior from North Carolina, said that Dr. Geary challenges his students on their ethics regarding technology. “He encourages individuals to read and be thoughtful about how they read. We may not agree with every article that we read, but it is important to consider why the author believes that way and how we can learn from it.”

Each spring, Dr. Geary assists his classes as they host the Software Expo and create software applications. He organizes the teams for specific applications, supports the team leaders, and helps team members work together through the process. He makes sure everything runs smoothly and assists when necessary. One of his students, Annette, a senior from Texas, said, ”During the software engineering project, student stress is at an all-time high. Dr. Geary helped the senior class bond and have fun together while preparing for the Expo.”

In 2013, Dr. Michael Geary earned his doctorate from Colorado Technical University with his dissertation that introduced a new keyboard layout for smartphones. He explained the effects of gradually changing the keyboard over time versus changing it immediately.

Mike Geary talking to two PCC students at a computer.

Having studied business management as an undergrad, PCC equipped Dr. Geary with communication and people skills. Twenty-five years of experience teaching students also developed his ability to take technical concepts and to make them easier to understand for non-technical individuals.

What he enjoys the most about computer science is programming. “Perhaps more accurately, it is problem-solving,” said Dr. Geary. “Whether it involves fixing a bug in software that fixes a calculation issue or identifying a software/hardware problem and the correct fix, coming up with a solution that helps others or myself do what we need to do with technology is rather satisfying.”

Dr. Geary has helped a number of his students with situations outside the classroom. He has helped install memory, recover lost work from hard drives, and equipped one of his students with the knowledge to help a relative back home with computer issues.

Even after they graduate, Dr. Michael Geary’s students keep in contact. “I love seeing my students active in their local churches and showing the love of Christ by serving others,” he said. “The satisfaction of serving the Lord with others, and seeing the results of students graduating and serving the Lord themselves is rewarding.”

Read more about how God is directing and working through PCC faculty and alumni.