Central MA College Standout: Assumption’s Michael Carpentier
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
A conversation with Michael Carpentier
SW: Describe the career and/or future you envision for yourself.
MC: I would love to have a career in education. My dream would be to teach high school history and coach soccer. My ultimate goal is to receive my PhD and work in Education Administration. I would like to eventually get involved in education politics, run an educational foundation, or work in higher education.
SW: What made you choose Assumption College?
MC: Assumption College is somewhat of a family school for me. My parents met here when they both attended, and I had an uncle and a cousin graduate from AC as well. I am happy to say though that my parents did not push me into applying or attending college at Assumption, I made the decision all on my own. I had originally wished to attend Providence College, where an older brother of mine went, but walking around the Assumption campus I instantly felt at home. The sense of community here is contagious and with such a generous alumni network and community of donors to the school, Assumption has become a very affordable choice for many students in comparison to many other prestigious colleges in the area.
The Catholic identity of the school immediately appealed to me as well, having attended a catholic parochial school from kindergarten through eighth grade, and being very involved with my home parish in Gardner, I felt an immediate closeness with the values and mission of the school. Another thing I love about Assumption is the small class sizes and the vast amounts of one-on-one time students get with their professors. I have been extremely satisfied with the educational and extracurricular opportunities that have been afforded to me during my time at Assumption and I am very grateful to the faculty and administration of the school for making Assumption what it is today.
SW: What do you consider your most memorable course or professor?
MC: During my time at Assumption I have had some fantastic professors and some courses that really expanded my view of the world. Courses such as Introduction to Philosophy and Diversity in the Workforce really challenged my personal beliefs and inspired me to look at how my life can have an impact in the world. My history seminar was by far the most difficult class I took at Assumption due to the sheer volume of work that went into it, but I found it extremely rewarding. The best academic experience that happened while at Assumption, however, took the form of an internship with the Provost and Vice President of the College, Dr. Francis Lazarus. I learned so much from Dr. Lazarus about education administration and educational research and he has proven to be a fantastic mentor for a budding educator like myself.
SW: What leadership roles have you taken on campus?
MC: As soon as I came to campus I knew I wanted to get involved in Student Government. I was the Student Council President in high school and the Vice President of National Honors Society, so I looked for similar roles to take up in college. I immediately decided to run for Student Government and served two years as a Class Senator. I then served my junior and senior year as the Vice President for Academic Affairs of the student body. This role requires that I meet with students, faculty, and administration to discuss the academic policies of the school and report back to the entire student body. I also became involved in the summer orientation program for first year students, serving one year as an Orientation Leader and another as a Parent Executive.
SW: How have you been involved in the community?
MC: During high school I was very involved in my local parish. I taught CCD classes, lectured at mass, and even sang in the church choir. Coming to Assumption I began taking courses that had community service requirements, so as to stay involved in the community. I spent time working for Habitat for Humanity and assisting students who recently moved to the area from Africa get assimilated to life in America through the local ACE program. In one class we took biographical information of the local homeless to for a project to better understand the causes and implication of homelessness for the local community.
SW: What are you passionate about?
MC: I am very passionate about helping people get an education. I strongly believe that education and hard work are the keys to success and it pains me to see so many students giving lackluster efforts in school or dropping out entirely. Getting involved in education I want to be able to make a difference in the lives of my students and motivate them to become excited about learning.
SW: What is one thing you have learned about yourself since becoming a college student?
MC: I have learned that I need to have some organized form of stress relief daily. Life can get so busy with all the responsibilities one has but you need to make sure that you take care of yourself in order to effectively take care of others.
SW: Where do you go and what do you do when you leave campus?
MC: Being from the area I know a lot of great places in and around the city. Grabbing dinner at one of the great restaurants on Shrewsbury Street and then dessert at Sweet is always a great option, but if I'm feeling adventurous I love to go hike or ski nearby Mt. Wachusett.
SW: What is your favorite quote?
MC: I live my life by several key phrases. The first is from the movie It’s a Wonderful Life: “All you can take with you is that which you have given away.” My second favorite quote is found in the Gospel of Luke: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded (12:48).”
SW: What is your favorite book or movie?
MC: My favorite book is James Swanson’s Manhunt, which describes in detail the planning for and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by James Wilkes Booth and the twelve-day search for him. The book expertly depicts the events from multiple perspectives which give the reader the feeling that they are actually present at the events. As for my favorite movie I would have to say it is a tie between the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Obviously, I am a huge fan of both George Lucas and Harrison Ford, but growing up my father and my brothers instilled a love of Star Wars in me and it seemed like it was always on. Indiana Jones, on the other hand, sparked my interest in the study of the past. My friends always joke with me that they can picture my history classroom being just like his. Dr. Jones and I share an interest in the ancient world and a fear of snakes. Plus his dad is played by Sean Connery, so what’s not to love?
SW: What or who has had the greatest influence on you to date? Why?
MC: My family has had the greatest impact on me. My older brothers have served as fantastic role models, my younger brother is my inspiration to be a good person, and my parents have given me all the love and support I could have ever asked for. They all motivate me to always do my best while maintaining a strong set of values and a sense of integrity.
SW: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?
MC: Most people would be able to identify my love of sports (especially soccer) and history, but many people would be surprised to learn that from elementary school through high school I was very involved in theater. I began taking part in my parochial school’s yearly musical in third grade. That is where I first honed my presentation skills in front of a live audience. During high school I went on take part in productions at my local community theater and even took private voice lessons with a former Broadway actress for a time. Coming into college, my involvement in theater stopped. However, the lessons and skills that I learned from my time on the stage have been invaluable. Both public speaking and performance experience enhance my presentation skills and my presence in front of a classroom. People might also be surprised to learn that I am an avid scuba diver.
SW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MC: In five years I would love to be teaching history and coaching soccer at a local high school. Hopefully I will have finished my master’s degree by that point or be in the process of the completing it. I have known from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher, so finally having years of work come to fruition will be very special for me. By that time I hope to be married and looking into starting a family.
Central MA College Standout is a weekly feature that profiles college and university students in Central MA. Join us every Tuesday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of today’s local college student. If you have suggestions for a profile, email [email protected].
Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.
Related Slideshow: New England Colleges With the Best Undergraduate Teaching
U.S. News & World Report released a survey conducted in 2013 of college administrators on the best schools for undergraduate teaching. Several New England made their lists for best National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, and Regional Universities. See which schools made the lists in the slides below:
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