Michael Halvorson ’85 was a technologist before he was a historian. His PLU undergraduate degree is in computer science and he worked at Microsoft for the first 10 years of his career. He spent the next 15 years writing books about software and emerging technology. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington and he now serves as the Benson Family Chair in Business and Economic History at PLU.
Halvorson co-founded the innovation studies program and minor in 2016 and currently serves as the program director. Innovation is his passion, but Halvorson’s extensive knowledge of history fortifies his perspective.
“In our program we look at the long history of innovation, how people have created new things, and what the positive and negative consequences of those things have been over time,” he explains. “An analysis of innovation should look at human communities, economic issues, art & design, ethics, technology, and more. If you examine these elements in an interdisciplinary way, you can really assess the dynamics of change in society.”