Michael Zis

Visiting Instructor
American politics, health care policy, political history

Carnegie Hall, 205
Telephone: 651-696-6536

Curriculum Vitae

U.S. politics, American social policy, health care policy, urban politics, and American political history.

At the University of Minnesota, Michael Zis completed his doctoral written and oral exams in American politics and political theory.   Within American politics, his focus has been on health care policy.  At the University of Minnesota, he wrote an article on public opinion and health care reform and completed a Masters’ thesis on the media’s coverage of Medicare, America’s largest health care program.  His dissertation is on comparatively unique historical trajectory of American health care policy: namely, why, in the shadow of national health insurance, the United States invested so heavily in high-tech, hospital centered medicine.  His work in health care policy is not purely academic, however.  He spent two years working as the health policy coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, helping to launch a trailblazing, nationally recognized demonstration program aimed at coordinating acute and long term care for seniors and people with disabilities, dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

Although a visiting instructor, Michael Zis has taught at Macalester since the Spring of 2003 (an extended visit, indeed!).  For the last six years, he has taught a popular course entitled “Politics and Policymaking: Government and Medicine”, cross-listed in new the Community and Global Health Concentration.  Currently, the course is focused on the politics and long-term viability of the controversial 2010 national health reform legislation, coined “Obamacare”.  He has also taught the foundations course in US Politics, as well as courses in American social policy and democratic theory.  In the Spring of 2012, he’ll be teaching a new course on food politics.

Michael Zis is also active in politics at the grassroots level, having served on the Board of Directors for Jewish Community Action – a social non-profit working on issues related to affordable housing, immigration, and racial justice for the last four years.

  • BA: University of Wisconsin, Madison, with honors
  • MA: University of Minnesota