Dr. Michael Pasquier: I am...Collaborative.
Michael Pasquier, a native of Louisiana, received his BA at LSU, graduating summa cum laude in 2002 with majors in history and religious studies. He received his PhD in American religious history at Florida State University in 2007. He was a visiting scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008-2009. He has been a member of the religious studies faculty at LSU since 2008. He has served as section head for religious studies at LSU since 2013.
Michael Pasquier, PhD, wears multiple hats on LSU’s campus. One as associate professor of Religious Studies and History, and another as director of LSU's new Center for Collaborative Knowledge. In these two roles, Pasquier keeps the value of collaboration alive in his own unique way in the classroom as well as in the real world.
“To be collaborative is to recognize that we can’t do everything by ourselves, that we need to work with people unlike ourselves to solve problems, that we must be open to learning from others, and that we find ways to share experiences with other people,” says Pasquier. This emphasis on the social interaction involved in his work can be traced back to the mission statement of the Center for Collaborative Knowledge: “The CCK seeks to empower LSU’s students, teachers, and researchers to become leaders in the cultivation and dissemination of knowledge at home and around the world.”
Pasquier’s number one job as director of the CCK is to support the interdisciplinary work being done on campus. One of Dr. Pasquier's interdisciplinary projects is called “Coastal Voices.” “Coastal Voices” is an ongoing humanities initiative committed to understanding the cultural consequences of environmental changes to Louisiana’s endangered landscape. The team spearheading this project is comprised of students and faculty who are collaborating together to educate and empathize with people who have been affected by natural disasters in Louisiana. “It’s about telling stories and listening to the stories of people who call the coast home,” explains Pasquier.
Pasquier brings this passion and hands-on approach into his classroom as well. He often creates opportunities to mold his students into active learners including collaborative research projects and group discussions. “For example, in one of my courses, teams of students conducted oral histories of families affected by the flood of 2016, which required a considerable amount of cooperation in the process of recording, editing, and disseminating the information that they obtained from those they interviewed,” explains Pasquier. Experiences like these leave a lasting impression on students, giving them a glimpse into how personal and meaningful an engaging education can be.
“The ‘Coastal Voices’ initiative has allowed me to support the educational and professional goals of LSU students. ‘Coastal Voices’ would not exist without the involvement of undergraduate and graduate students,” explains Pasquier.
He hopes that the knowledge and skills gained while working on “Coastal Voices” will translate into aspects of their lives in the future. Pasquier aims to keep collaboration about people in ways that are “productive, enlightening, or just downright fun.”
To learn more about the “Coastal Voices” initiative, visit this multimedia website
and podcast series developed by Pasquier and his students. https://coastalvoices.lsu.edu/
Visit the CCK's website to learn more about other ongoing projects. https://cck.lsu.edu/