About Me

About Me


Born in New York City, 1978
Raised in rural Penn Yan, NY from age 10

Outdoor enthusiast (hiking, sailing, surfing)
High-level player and coach (soccer and ice-hockey)

McQuaid Jesuit High School, Rochester, NY
Penn Yan Academy, Penn Yan, NY

BA in Anthropology, Amherst College, MA
Denmark’s International Studies, Copenhagen, DK
MA in Public Anthropology, American University, Washington DC

Able to speak and write in Spanish and Danish

Married to high school sweetheart and professional journalist Sidsel Overgaard
Hobbies: backyard chickens, homemade jungle gyms, and wacky adventures

Mike Sullivan with family


Some favorite quotes:


“Electronic communities build nothing. You wind up with nothing. We are dancing animals. How beautiful it is to get up and go out and do something. We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different.”

- Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country



"The best learning happens on the edge of chaos."

- Dr. Sugata Mitra, School in the Cloud (Self-Organized Learning Environments, SOLE) 



Children have a thirst to know 'what things are'. They love especially to learn names , and to prove the power of their vocabulary with new examples. Picture books for children often serve no other purpose than as practical exercises in classification. The same animals—rabbits, hens, pigs—appear in the pictures again and again. "Where's the bunny?" asks the child's mother, and with a smile of pleasure the child points a finger to yet another rabbit which rhymes with those he has already seen. The ability to name becomes tangible evidence of the ability to classify, and when the name for an object is not available children will often invent their own. The poet Richard Wilbur tells this story: "... I took my three-year-old son for a walk in the Lincoln woods. As we went along I identified what trees and plants I could .... After a while we came to a stretch of woods-floor thick with those three-inch evergreen plants one sees everywhere in New England woods, and I was obliged to confess I didn't know what to call them. My three-year-old stepped promptly into the breach. 'They're millows', he told me, 'Look at all the millows'. No hesitation; no bravado; with a serene Adamite confidence he had found a name for something nameless and brought it under our verbal control. Millows they were" (Wilbur, 1956) 

- Dr. Nicholas K. Humphrey, The Illusion of Beauty