Daniel Brahier - Photo courtesy of bgsu.edu

Daniel Brahier

After being a BGSU professor for 31 years, Daniel Brahier is bringing his career to a close as he is retiring this upcoming June. Despite serving as a professor for the past 31 years, his connection to BGSU started long before this.

Brahier grew up in Perrysburg and attended BGSU in 1978 after following in his brother’s footsteps.

“My brother and I were really close,” Brahier said. “He really liked BG a lot, and I knew the reputation for them being an education school was best in the state. So I figured, this is probably the place I should be.”

He went on to double major in math education and earth science education and eventually graduated with his Bachelor of Science Education in 1981. A few years later, he came back and graduated with his Master of Education in 1988. 

Brahier’s original plan was to teach for a few years before getting a master’s in geology and moving out west to get a job as a geologist working for an oil company. 

“It was never in the cards for me to be a professor. That would’ve been the last thing on my mind,” Brahier said. “I always wanted to be a teacher because I had really inspiring teachers in school, but I didn’t see myself being a lifelong teacher.”

After working a few jobs throughout the years, his father-in-law and a friend who was teaching at BGSU both told him that he should work for his Ph.D. and teach at the university level.

He eventually went on to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Toledo in 1995.

At first, Brahier planned on moving to different parts of the country to teach. After receiving a phone call about an opening at BGSU, however, Brahier decided to stay. He began part-time teaching at BGSU in 1991 and then became full-time in 1994.

He explained how teaching makes up only 50% of his job as the other 50% is dedicated to scholarship and service. Brahier enjoys this variability within his career as teaching wears on him after a while.

“I enjoy teaching a lot,” Brahier said. “But you reach a point in your career where you get tired of grading papers and going to meetings.”

Some of his other responsibilities included being an advisor for Bowling Green Council of Teachers of Mathematics (BGCTM), Bowling Green Science Education Council (BGSEC), Catholic Falcon Community, and being a director for the ACTION program. 

He has also written and co-authored many mathematics textbooks, many of which have been best-sellers.

Brahier mentioned how he usually only stuck with a job for three or four years before trying something new. He explained how he had multiple opportunities to leave BGSU.

“The family joke was always that Dan can’t hold a job for more than three or four years,” Brahier said. “For whatever reason, once I got to BGSU, the position felt right.”

He liked what he was doing and did not want to mess with it. A main part that kept him wanting to stay at BGSU was the students.

“There’s a quality of students on our campus,” Brahier said. “It just seems to be a good, solid place where a lot of people go to college who want to learn. It seems to be the right environment.”

Along with enjoying his professional and student relationships, Brahier really appreciated the flexibility and support BGSU gave him with his work.

Brahier originally planned on retiring two years ago, but decided against it as he did not want to retire in the middle of the pandemic. After continuing, he eventually decided now was the right time.

“There are ways of being able to read the signs that God is sending you that it’s time,” Brahier said. “All of the projects that I’ve been working on all these years are actually coming to a close this summer. They’re shutting down, pandemic’s slowing down, the math says retire. There are lots of signs here that there’s just no way I need to go on.”

Brahier says that just as students were what kept him in BG, it will be what he misses most about working at BGSU. Brahier, however, serves as a Deacon at St. Thomas More University Parish and will continue to do so after his retirement.

“I will miss that interaction,” Brahier said. “That’s one of the things that is exciting about being able to continue at St. Tom’s is at least I’ll still have some connection with students here.”

He also mentioned how he will be doing a little bit on campus as he will teach one class in the fall and work a little bit with juniors and seniors doing research. 

“I feel like I’m kind of weaning myself away,” Brahier said. “I think it would be really hard if on June 30th, I just cut my tie and said I’m done, I’ll never walk on campus again, so I actually have an exit strategy here for the next couple of years.”

After his retirement, Brahier is looking forward to his part-time position in the bishop’s office, where he will embark in ministry serving the whole diocese. He is excited to stay active with this part-time job, while also having more time to spend with his family, grandchildren, recording music and writing books. 

Brahier has left an important mark on BGSU and wishes for continual improvement of the university after him.

“I would hope that as time goes on, the university would continue to change and grow,” Brahier said. “That there would continue to be the attention paid to students so that we’re more focusing on the people we serve.”

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