Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Faculty and Staff

Mika Elovaara, Ph.D.

Dr. Mika Elovaara

Lecturer in Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) and Assistant Director, GLS Program
Office: Bear Hall, Room 105A
Voice: 910.962.2427
FAX: 910.962.3542
E-mail: elovaaram AT uncw DOT edu

GLS Courses

Academic Interests

Nonfiction Literature, Punk rock and politics, The culture of heavy metal music, The Beat Generation, Gary Snyder, Stephen King, Representations of modern heroism in contemporary athletes, Sociolinguistics, Various aspects of ESL teaching, The Star Wars saga.


Doctor of Philosophy, Literature and Cultural Studies, University of Oulu, Finland

  • Dissertation: Representations of Modern Athletic Hero, Laudatur (outstanding) Honors
  • Major in Literature, Minor in North American Studies,
  • Recipient of the Emil Aaltonen Foundation's (Tampere, Finland) Young Researcher's Grant (€ 20,300) 2006 for dissertation work

Master of Arts, English Philology, University of Oulu, Finland

  • Master's Thesis with Magna Cum Laude Honors
  • Minor in Literature, Minor in North American Studies, Minor in Pedagogical studies

Bachelor of Arts, English Language and Literature, University of North Carolina Wilmington

  • Magna Cum Laude Honors
  • Recipient of Chancellor's Cup
  • Recipient of The Writing Place Outstanding Consultant of the Year 1999
  • Recipient of The Office of International Programs Award for Outstanding Leadership and Academic Performance


ProFiles 1 (Co-author)

WSOY, Finland. January 2008. ISBN: 978-951-0-32062-4

- An advanced-level ESL textbook

ProFiles 1, Teacher's Manual (Co-author)

WSOY, Finland. January 2008. ISBN: 978-951-0-33219-1

ProFiles 1, Tests + Audio materials (Co-author)

WSOY, Finland. January 2008. ISBN: 978-951-0-33220-7 ; ISBN: 978-951-0-33221-4

ProFiles 2 (April 2008) (Co-author)

WSOY, Finland. March 2008

- An advanced-level ESL textbook

Suicidal Alcoholics, Metrosexual Family Men and Other Heroes? - Representations of Modern Athletic Hero

University of Oulu, Finland / Department of Art Studies and Anthropology, May 2007

ISBN: 978-952-92-2051-9

- PhD Dissertation

Wordwise - A student's handbook of spoken and written English (Co-author)

WSOY, Finland. April 2005

ISBN: 978-951-029909-8

- A textbook for teaching English composition and conversation, Finnish Upper Secondary Level

Wordwise, Teacher's Manual (Co-author)

WSOY, Finland. April 2005. ISBN 951-0-29910-3.

Sami Hyypiä - From Voikkaa to the Premiership (translation Fin à Eng)

Mainstream Publishing Ltd., The UK. November 2002

ISBN: 1-84018-686-0

Previous Posts

Senior Lecturer in English and Literature; Head teacher of English, OSYK Senior High School, Oulu, Finland, August 2002 - May 2007

Adjunct Faculty in Literature, University of Oulu, Department of Art Studies and Anthropology, January 2004 - May 2007

Writing instructor, part-time, Nukun Sanataidekoulu, Oulu, Finland, August 2002 - December 2004

Visiting Lecturer in Literature, UNC Wilmington, GLS program, June 2004 - August 2004

Lecturer in English and Physical Education, University of Oulu, Teacher Training College, October 2001 - June 2002

Senior Linguist, CoCom Corporate Communications, April 2000 - July 2001


UNCW Graduate Liberal Studies Program

  • Assistant Director
  • Department Advisory Board member
  • Graduate Liberal Studies Student Association, Faculty Advisor

University of North Carolina (16 campuses) Exchange Program Committee

  • UNCW Nordic representative, August 2007 -->

OSYK Senior High School, Oulu, Finland

  • Member of the administrative team
  • Head teacher of English
  • English Curriculum design and authoring
  • Student Council Faculty Advisor
  • Language coordinator in an EU-funded international project 2002 - 2005

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) B-license, soccer coaching

The Finnish Armed Forces, Military Police Company in Lapland's Anti-Aircraft Regiment

  • Rovaniemi, Finland: Mandatory Military Service
  • Military Policeman of the Year 1999
  • Corporal ranking, squad leader.

UNCW Student-Athlete Advisory Council

  • Team Representative 1996 - 1999

Language Skills

English, Finnish, German, Swedish, Latin

Athletic Career


UNCW Women's Soccer, assistant coach January 2008 -->

Youth soccer coach (Boys U17), 2004-2007, OLS, Oulu, Finland

Player Career:

Finnish National Men's Division I Soccer 1999 - 2003, OLS, Tervarit, AC Oulu; Oulu, Finland

UNC Wilmington

  • Men's Varsity Soccer, NCAA Division I, four-year letterman in 1995 - 1999,
  • Team Captain 1998 - 1999

Kastelli Sports High School

  • Men's Varsity Soccer, four-year letterman in 1991 - 1995
  • Team Captain 1994 - 1995
  • Three-time National Champion

Dr. Mika Elovaara, Lecturer and Assistant Director of Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS), began teaching in the GLS program in fall 2007. A four-year letterman and former team captain of the Seahawk soccer team, Dr. Elovaara received his BA from UNCW in 1999, and his MA and PhD from the University of Oulu, Finland. His dissertation, Suicidal Alcoholics, Metrosexual Family Men and Other Heroes? - Representations of Modern Athletic Hero examines the characteristics of modern athletic heroes and the concept of heroism in contemporary mediated culture. Dr. Elovaara's dissertation aroused vast media attention in his native country, Finland, and the evaluation committee was unanimous in granting Dr. Elovaara an outstanding grade for his dissertation work. In 2006, Dr. Elovaara was the Recipient of the substantial Emil Aaltonen Foundation's (Tampere, Finland) Young Researcher's Grant. He has also published ESL textbooks and worked as a translator for a number of years.

Last Update: November 17, 2011