Staff spotlight: Nick Gauthier

Posted by Courtney Clancy on Aug 9, 2017 4:38:34 PM

Academic advisor Nick Gauthier.jpg


He is often a newcomer's first point of contact with the Gwen Frostic School of Art as they tour the facilities and register for their first semester of classes. He's also a key resource for graduating seniors as they check off their degree requirements and transition into the "real world." From start to finsh, academic advisor Nick Gauthier is invaluable in a Frostic School of Art student's journey. 

Learn more about Nick -  including the best part of his job and his love of theatre - in his responses below.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, Nick.

I came to WMU as a fresman in 1998 and never left. I earned undergraduate and master's degrees in Creative Writing. During graduate school I taught freshman composition and realized how much I enjoyed working with students (but maybe not so much grading papers). This revelation led me to academic advising which is a position I have held for nearly ten years, first in the College of Arts and Sciences and now in the Frostic School of Art. My wife, Bethany, is a fellow WMU alum and works as a marketing specialist at Miller Auditorium. We have two children, Madeleine (9) and Oliver (6) who will be in 5th and 1st grade at MLK Westwood Elementary in the fall. Madeleine loves that her dad works in an art school and on occasion may be found elbow deep in clay in the ceramics studio.


Talk a little bit about your role with the Frostic School of Art.

My primary responsibility is to make sure students understand what classes and administrative processes they need to go through to earn a degree. I also serve as a liaison to the students on behalf of the faculty and administration in the Frostic School of Art. Students get frequent "Hi Everyone!" e-mails from me letting them know about gallery openings, opportunities to enter work in contests, field trips, and other ways for them to network and get involved in the art world outside of the classroom.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

My average day is a combination of individual meetings with students and replying to questions via e-mail. I also give tours to prospective students and their families. Taking a young artist who may have had limited facilities to work with in high school through the amazing studio spaces in the Richmond Center and South Kohrman is a blast. Even on days when I don't have a tour scheduled I try to walk through the building at least once to see what my students' wild imaginations have been bringing to life.


Nick Gauthier and his children, Madeleine and Oliver


What are you working on during the summer months?

The big summer project for advisors is helping new students get registered for classes during orientation. Once that winds down at the end of June I spend time catching up on paperwork and looking ahead at course scheduling for future semesters. I also finish reaching out to current students who may have procrastinated a bit on signing up for fall classes.


What's your favorite thing about your job?

My students! The best part of my day is when I have a few spare minutes to wander through the studios and see what they are up to. There is always something new to see and they are always great about sharing their work and processes with me. Watching students grow and achieving their goals is incredibly rewarding.


Share something interesting about yourself?

I was involved in musical theater in high school. I originally intended to apply to the program at Western as a freshman but choked and didn't show up for my audition when I learned about the dance component!

Now for some random questions...

What was your favorite vacation?

When my mom used to take me to Toronto to see amazing theater! The highlight was when we saw the world premiere run of Ragtime starring WMU alum Marin Mazzie!

What's your favorite place to grab a bite to eat in Kalamazoo?

Old Goat Tavern. Gotta love the $5 lunch special but I usually splurge and upgrade my burger to the Spicy Goat and throw in a side of fried pickles. My arteries really hate me.


 What do you do in your freetime?
I probably spend a little more time on my Xbox than is a good example to set for my children. Jigsaw puzzles and Star Wars Lego sets are slightly more creative diversions I enjoy.

Topics: Frostic School of Art, Staff Spotlight

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