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By: Avery Corkins

Missouri Western english professor Mike Cadden has been teaching Griffons since 1996. 


Cadden grew up in Long Island, New York. He attended Virginia Tech for his undergraduate and master’s programs and then moved on to Illinois State for his doctorate program. 


Cadden started his educational experience not knowing that he would ever end up teaching college students. 

“I started off in elementary education and added english and soon discovered though student teaching that I was not a good enough person to teach small children,” Cadden said. “They demanded a more sane person than I am. So then I decided I was interested in the study of english literature, children’s literature in specific.”


Soon after this realization, the job opportunity for a children’s literature specialist at Missouri Western popped up, and he was hired in 1996.


One reason Cadden really enjoys being a part of Missouri Western is the fact that there is such a broad range of life here on campus. He gets the chance to teach traditional students that are straight out of high school, first generation students, international and non-traditional. 


“Here at Missouri Western you run across all kinds of different stories about why they are here,” Cadden said. “Students are living lots of different realities here. When I watch people walk past my window here, I am seeing the full bag of humanity.”


There are many different students with such a broad range of stories to tell. One thing that everyone has in common is the fact that we are all students. Everyone at Missouri Western is learning whether it be students, professors or any staff. We all learn new things every day. 


Cadden has one major piece of advice for students as they attend Missouri Western.

“Smart people fail because they are not organized,” Cadden said. “Like life in general, your IQ is not an indication of your success. There should always be a contingent foundation of a plan.” 


He has used this advice with many students throughout his advising sessions with incoming students. 


Cadden has been with the Missouri Western English Department for 23 years now. He is here to help students grow and learn to their full potential.

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