Joseph Mercier, 2014
- STEM Community Scholars Coordinator
- DSC employee since August 2012
Degrees and schools where awarded: Bachelor of Arts in Education, New England College; Master’s in School Counseling expected spring 2016, Capella University. Moved to Florida in 2000 to work with at-risk and adjudicated students. While doing this I enrolled at the University of Central Florida, completing the General Knowledge Test and the Florida Teaching Certification Examination, subject area health.
Career/Professional honors: The Stem Community Scholars program won the Victory Flag Fall 2013 for its work promoting STEM education and conducting the first STEM Expo. I also am a member of Chi Sigma Iota (CSI), an international honor society that values academic and professional excellence in counseling.
Outside interests: Bicycling and canoeing. I have canoed several rivers in Florida, including the Suwanee, Ocklawaha, Withlacoochee, Peace River, St. Mary’s River and across the Everglades. I love to go swimming in the springs when I can. Most of all I love spending time with my wife of 9 years, Joanna Mercier, and my children, Zachary, 8, and Samuel, 7.
What did you do prior to joining Daytona State College? After graduating from high school, I entered the navy two days before Operation Desert Shield and was deployed during Operation Desert Storm. After I was discharged and in college I joined AmeriCorps and created an after-school program for elementary students. I also worked one season as a park ranger for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, managing all aspects of the largest state park in Vermont. In Florida, I worked for Outward Bound, a program that helps build confidence and self-esteem in at-risk adolescents as they learn the skills of wilderness living, such as canoeing, camp craft, first aid and navigation. Students learn that, in order for the expedition to proceed, cooperation among participants is needed; group decision-making and problem-solving skills are learned and responsible behaviors are fostered.
What professional projects are you working on right now? I am well into the planning of our second Student Success Week scheduled Aug. 18 – 22. I am also active with the Professional Council and have volunteered for many fundraisers and community events. I’ve also been a YMCA soccer coach for two seasons.
What has been the most rewarding thing about your Daytona State College experience? I have found that all the staff is very helpful and interested in each other’s success. I have felt like I am part of a family while working here.
What is one goal you still hope to achieve in your career? I want to finish my master’s degree and continue with DSC after the grant I am working with runs out next June.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Youcan do anything you want, but it may not be in the timeline you want it, so never quit.
One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I love winter and rock climbing/ice climbing. I would love to go to the North or South poles someday.
Last book read:The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
If they could bottle your personality what would the label read? Easy to talk to.
Who are the four people in the history of the world you most admire? My dad, Paul Mercier; Kurt Haun, a Jewish educator imprisoned in Germany then exiled due to his beliefs (Commonly referred to as the father of experiential education.); Martin Luther King, Jr. for his beliefs in peace and equality; and Franklin D. Roosevelt for his leadership and ability to overcome adversity.
The Daytona State of Mind to me means moving forward with your life after someone told you that you could not.