Zachary Dusseau joined the United States Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division to find adventure and explore life. What he gained was so much more.
“My time as an infantryman deployed in Iraq taught me honor, leadership and hard work,” he said.
Dusseau now brings those traits into the classroom, taking the lead on class projects and setting an example for the group. He hopes to use his unique life experiences to guide other students on their way to success.
“During a project management course with [Lecturer] Patrick Keyes, I really found my knack for guiding other students and my ability to manage a diverse team,” he said. “Leading from the front and finding how to best utilize the skills of different team members is important in every project.”
Dusseau doesn’t just lead in group projects. He also has been known to work behind the scenes on campus to ensure that matters important especially to those serving in the armed forces and veterans are handled with care. For instance, he once noticed that the American flag and UM-Dearborn flag were not flying at half-staff following a presidential order to lower flags. He quickly and respectfully worked to rectify the situation.
“He called our building services and helped them fix it to display the flags properly,” said Assistant Professor Junghyun Lee. “He told me about it and it struck me that he pays attention to what's going on around him in the school—as a good paratrooper would—and that he is consistent in his commitment to honoring our country.”
In recent efforts, Dusseau—who says he’s a lifelong businessman, from counting his coin jar as a kid to managing an investment property while in school—has begun to advise fellow veterans on how to apply for financial aid that they previously didn’t know existed for them.
“I believe every day you need to find little victories to make the world better than you found it.”