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John Brocato

John BrocatoLanguage and music have always been all-consuming passions for John Brocato, who came to MSU in 1987 as an English student and musician. After playing music all over the Southeast and earning a B.A. in English, he lived in California as an aspiring professional musician while also working for Optimist Youth Homes. His time at Optimist gave him an extraordinary appreciation for working with young people and especially the critical role of communication in such work.

John returned to MSU in 1996, earned an M.A. in English, and began teaching writing in MSU’s English Department. In 1999 he joined the Bagley College of Engineering as Coordinator of the Shackouls Technical Communication Program, which enhances the writing and speaking skills of all engineering students. Teaching in the Bagley College has intensified his passion for language and communication by highlighting the importance of real clarity in professional communication - not simply being understood but, as Robert Louis Stevenson put it, communicating “so that you cannot possibly be misunderstood.”

John believes that all people are and must be treated as equals regardless of any other consideration. He believes that authentic, transparent communication is the solution to most problems humans face, and he is committed to helping all people communicate in this manner. This is the legacy he would like to have, and working with ALHP furthers this commitment by allowing him to interact with a group of colleagues dedicated to helping young people become the types of leaders who can help solve real human problems.


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