Center for Excellence Honoree: Bruce SaulnierBruce Saulnier, professor of information systems management in the School of Business, never forgot what it is like to be a student. And he brings that perspective with him to class every day.
"He not only made class an educational experience, he made it fun and interesting," said Karla Natale '99.
Natale, the University's director for special events, was one of Saulnier's students. "He injected his sense of humor and easy-going nature, making all of his students feel welcome and not at all intimidated by the subject," she said.
Natale nominated Saulnier for the Center for Excellence in Teaching Award that he will receive on Oct. 15. She said he was always available to answer questions and provide further information on a subject.
During a recent QU 101 class, Saulnier demonstrated his compassion for students and his passion for education. As he begins every class, Saulnier turned on lively music to greet the two dozen freshmen who smiled and appeared genuinely happy to be there.
When Saulnier turned off the music, conversations ended and the students focused on their professor; a captivating discussion concerning Jean-Jacques Rousseau's social contract ensued. The students explored how the subject remains relevant to their lives more than two centuries after it was written.
"You take it as it comes," Saulnier said. "Your job is to make everyone else's journey as enjoyable as possible."
He said he was blessed and happy to have the opportunity to be at Quinnipiac University. "This community is just marvelous," the professor said with a smile. "It's absolutely a blast to work here."
He said he does not tell his students anything he does not believe. "I am one of them and if I can help them find their path, it is tremendous," he said. "I hope it resonates with them that learning can be fun, that I honestly care about them and that their goal should not be to use, but to help, other people."
Natale said Saulnier treats everyone with respect. "His genuine love for his students made the subject matter come alive," she said. "Bruce is a professor that stands out because of his passion for his work, his students and his colleagues."
Saulnier wants his students to think, to reflect and to grow as thinking human beings, said Bruce White, professor and chair of information systems management in the School of Business and a previous Center for Excellence honoree.
"Bruce is what it means to be an educator," White said. "When asked what he teaches, his answer is, 'I teach students' - and that is true. He deeply cares about students, the subject matter will come if you teach and are interested in students."
White said his colleague's passion for teaching is not a show. "Bruce is the real deal," he said. "He has gone through the fire to become who is he is."
Saulnier encourages his students not to wait, but rather to aspire to be the best they could be now. "Just go for it, this is not a dress rehearsal," he said he advises his classes. "It's very satisfying to know you did something useful with the time you have been granted on this earth - to be able to walk around knowing you didn't waste your time."
Saulnier said he is blessed to share a strong marriage with his wife of 36 years, Janice; to have a wonderful 29-year-old son, Kyle, who recently earned his master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music and married a spectacular woman, Brooke; and have a great daughter, Melanie, who earned her bachelor's degree in gerontology from Quinnipiac three years ago.
"With education and hard work, it's amazing what you can accomplish," Saulnier said. "Show up, work hard and be nice to others and watch the magic happen."