Dr. Firmin was a distinguished professor of psychology at Cedarville University, teaching there for over 22 years and serving as department chair, journal editor, and conference director. He published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, and also was deeply committed to mentoring and equipping students both for graduate studies and the thoughtful integration of faith and psychology. He was dedicated to seeing his students “go beyond” him. He was recognized for his teaching and known for his commitment to being an interesting communicator. He was also licensed as a forensic psychologist, maintaining an active clinical practice, which he enjoyed doing alongside his wife as they ran the business together.
Dr. Firmin, Mike, as he liked to be called, epitomized the adventurous spirit of a true educator. We at UNLV mostly knew him from our work together on the co-sponsored EQRC/CARE Conferences. Throughout the planning, sequencing, and in the actual set-up and running of the conference, Michael took the lead, happily sharing his expertise with any and all who approached him. He also was incredibly caring about the participants in the conference and above all he wanted a positive experience for all who were involved. From the Cedarville students and his family who assisted him, to the UNLV folks assisting, to the myriad professionals who attended the conference, he made certain that we were accommodated. As to the participants, whether professors as seasoned full, or experienced associates, or newly minted assistants, or students in varying stages of degree attainment, Mike worked toward making this the best experience for them to engage in scholarly work together. My favorite memory of Mike was seeing the smile fill his face as we stood in the ballroom during a poster session. The room was jammed with posters and resounding with the notable hum of learning, as presenters gave forth of their research while attendees nodded in appreciation, asked questions, and shared in the buzz of educational discourse. “This,” he said to me while motioning all around the room, “is why we do this!” Indeed, Dr. Firmin was a powerhouse and a leader in educational scholarship. We will miss his indomitable spirit, his enthusiasm, and his shared wisdom.