A colleague in his MLIS program said...
If you want a user-centered practitioner who is active in the IA/UX community and can also read and write code, choose Michael.
Were there any particular activities or tasks where Michael excelled?
I can think of no more persistent user-centered researcher. Understanding the core issues for users has been paramount for Michael throughout his coursework.
What characteristic(s) about Michael set him apart?
Tenacious, able to produce quality work under constrained deadlines, a wicked sense of humor (unusual in many coders)
What skills does Michael possess that were valuable in your work?
An openness to hearing other perspectives, and being willing to try out those other points of view for "fit"