Michels received her BFA in Ceramics from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, and her MA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she is continuing to study toward an MFA. She has experience teaching adult ceramics classes through the UW-Madison Mini Course Program, and at Madison's Art and Activities Center. Michels has been Visiting Artist at Holmen Elementary School, and Teacher's Assistant in ceramics at UW-Eau Claire and at a weekend ceramic workshop for talented children, Milwaukee. At Elvejehm Art Museum, she was Preparator's Assistant.
Her honors and awards include: the Albert Murray Award, 1996; Outstanding Senior of the Year Award, 1993; Nominated Art Student's Association President, 1991, '92, and '93; the Edward Fish Award for Outstanding Art Student, 1993; the Gerald Newton Award, 1993; and Fifth Place Ceramics Piece in Nota Art Magazine, UW-Eau Claire, 1992.
Her selected exhibitions include: Stacked, Master's of Art show, 7th Floor Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin, 1996; University Neon and Glass Show, UW-Madison stock pavilion, 1996; Graduate 3-D Show, 7th Floor Gallery, Madison, 1996; Photography Group Show, 7th Floor Gallery, Madison, 1995; Watercolor Group Show, Maudes on E. Johnson St., Madison, 1995; Shared Visions - A Show of Three, Artistry Studio-Gallery, Milwaukee, 1995; Chequamegan Fine Arts Exhibit, 1994 and '95; "DDD", UW-Madison, 1995; and Arts West, Regional juried art exhibition, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1991-'95.