First-Generation College Student to Professor—How This Can be Possible for You

Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The word remarkable may come to mind when thinking of Dr. Rick Saucier’s education and career path. Due in part to his hard work and eagerness to learn, Saucier was able to go from a small-town first-generation college student to a distinguished professor here at Thomas College.

Originally from Aroostook County, Saucier earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Maine Presque Isle. Transitioning directly into the workforce he began the first ten years of his career in retail management. Later deciding to pursue his MBA from the University of Maine, Saucier self-funded his graduate work as a continuing education student.

“At the same time, I decided I wanted to leave retail management and to seek a career in teaching higher education,” said Saucier.

After holding a teaching position at Eastern Maine Technical College, receiving his Doctorate in Business Administration, and taking a job at St. John’s University in Minnesota for 11 years, Saucier and his wife found their way back to Maine. In 2012, he applied for an opening at Thomas College—a place where he says he has been happily teaching ever since.

Primarily teaching marketing classes as well as the capstone business course, Saucier also serves as an academic advisor—a position where he gets to interact and share his passion for learning with students outside of the classroom setting.

“I enjoy the small college environment, excellent students, and the great colleagues I work with,” he said.

Above all, Saucier serves as an example of success derived from hard work and dedication. From a first-generation college student to a college professor with a distinguished career, Saucier has a message to potential and current students:

“In the end, your level of success is ultimately up to you. At Thomas, you’ll find a number of supports in place to help you with college life. But in the end, if you want to succeed, having a positive attitude and strong work ethic will take you a long way,” he said. And of course, “no substitute exists for working hard!”

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