Mike Arsenault, associate dean of the College of Communication and Design, chose to become a professor because he likes to help people.
During his tenure, Arsenault has always done work to help people and the community. Arsenault took a one-year hiatus from academics to pursue a lifetime dream of being a firefighter.
His first job, as a 15-year-old teenager, was to create designs for a grocery store. Before he knew it, more people started collaborating with him, so he trained the new employees. That was his first stepping stone toward teaching. And since then, he knew he wanted to become a teacher.
“I don’t know why I like to help people so much. I think there’s something inside me that makes me want to help,” he said. “Maybe I don’t like to see them struggle, especially if it is in an area that I happen to be knowledgeable in. I enjoy making people better.”
Arsenault left the school environment to become a firefighter for one year. “I think it was my time away from teaching and education that made me realize that this is where I should be, and where I am supposed to be,” said Arsenault. “I’ve always loved creating and painting, so here is where I get to do it, together with teaching students how to do it.”
Arsenault confesses his lifetime ambition to be a firefighter would have been more appealing if he pursued the profession earlier.
“If I had to redo everything again, I would have been a firefighter at the age of 20 and then started teaching later.”
Arsenault proudly states that he will not change his job in the future and be at Lynn until he retires.
“If you would want to become a teacher, make sure you like people. If you don’t like helping people, it is the wrong place for you,” he said. “My job is to make people better, and that is what I loved to do when I was a firefighter, too.”