Michael Arthur graduated from Ball State University in 2004 with a degree in Meteorology. In the following interview, he discusses how keeping an open mind led him to discover his passions and a rewarding career through his time at Ball State.

What experiences or critical lessons from your time at Ball State proved helpful in getting where you are now?

My time at Ball State was about learning how to evolve as a student and find a field of study I was passionate about. I started out wanting to be a high school or junior high teacher. When I found meteorology, I found I wanted to do that and keep evolving and improving myself.

What advice do you have for students at Ball State who may wish to follow in your footsteps?

Take advantage of any workshops or conferences in your field of study. Build a network of contacts at graduation.

If you could re-live one day from your Ball State experience, what would it be?

I remembered the Bed Race during Homecoming week in October 2001. Dave Letterman reps were on campus, and it added to the fun we had that year.

Can you remember a class or an experience that changed your life?

In May of 2002, I was part of field observation of severe and local storms. We went to the great plains for thirty days, monitored the land’s geography, and experienced the storm structure in the Midwest. Understanding how warm air comes up from Mexico and cold air from Canada in the northern plains and seeing how the geography on the ground creates the storms more quickly in the Midwest was the best experience I had.

What instructor made the most significant impact on you, and why?

Dr. David Arnold was the professor who oversaw that field observation. His passion for meteorology fed me. He was straightforward and did not exaggerate, and we could always relate to it. He was also my advisor and very helpful.

How did Ball State contribute to your success in life?

It provided many great opportunities to meet students in my field and led me to the job where I am now with the US Census Bureau through a colleague’s suggestion.

Why have you continued to maintain a relationship with your alma mater?

I am third generation Ball State. My grandparents and parents both attended, and I have family in Muncie. It’s part of my family, and social media is a great way to keep involved with what’s on campus.

What are your passions outside of work?

Spending time with my family, I have two young kids, and I’m an avid sports fan, cheering for the Indiana Pacers or Indianapolis Colts. I still do storm observation from the front porch these days.

“Spotlight On:” is a story series produced by the Ball State University Foundation in which we discuss current events, University news, and the importance of philanthropy. To read past stories, click here.