Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcoming Assistant Professor Bob Brzenchek to our Criminal Justice program

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Bob Brzenchek joins Peirce's Criminal
Justice department as an Assistant Professor
Peirce College's Legal Studies department has just expanded in an important way. Former law enforcement official, intelligence specialist, and defense contractor Robert (Bob) Brzenchek is joining our team as an Assistant Professor for the Criminal Justice Studies program.

Not only does Bob have a highly impressive resume of hands-on experience, he also holds a master's degree in Strategic Intelligence with a concentration in Terrorism Studies from American Public University System, and a bachelor's degree from George Mason University. He is currently working toward his Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration & Homeland Security Leadership with Northcentral University, and previously headed up to the Criminal Justice Department at Virginia College.

It's this marriage of academic prowess and boots-on-the-ground experience that makes Bob a great addition to our Legal Studies department. You'll be seeing his presence on campus, where he'll be teaching classes, and also here on the blog as an author. To get the ball rolling, we asked him to answer a few questions so you can get to know him better.

Q: Bob, you have an extraordinary background of criminal justice experience in many different fields. What inspired you to get into education?

A: When I was a cop in Washington D.C., I sat in on one of the classes that my colleague taught at Georgetown University and thought it was great. Then after getting out of the police force in D.C., I applied to an institution called ECPI based out of Norfolk that helped enlisted naval personnel transition back into civilian life. But overall, I truly have a passion for educating our next class of criminal justice professionals.

Q: There are many parallels between your life experiences and those of our students. You're currently working and going to school, and have a military background. What makes you excited about working with Peirce students?

A: I think that it's an opportunity. I'm originally from Pennsylvania, and I think there's a lot we can do to serve students in Philadelphia as well as produce quality job candidates in this region. I've even reached out to colleagues in New York and Washington D.C. who can help us really prepare these criminal justice students and make an impact in this area.

Q: What classes are you teaching?

A: Right now I teach Criminology and Introduction to Criminal Justice. Introduction to Criminal Justice is a very hands-on approach to starting students off on the right foot. I like getting in and starting on the ground floor, so to speak, with students at the beginning of their degree programs.

Q: What are your goals for the Criminal Justice program at Peirce?

A: My vision is to give our students the hands-on experience and diverse educational backgrounds they need so they can hit the ground running with the skills employers are looking for. I've spoken with a lot of hiring agencies and they are looking for students who've done observations with mobile crime labs, the Philadelphia Police Department, and other agencies. And they also want employees who've surpassed a varied curriculum.

Q: Why are you excited to be at Peirce?

A: Everyone -- the staff, faculty, and students -- has been tremendous here. The staff and faculty have been open to my vision of the program. They value what I say, and we've created a great dialog and communication. On top of that, everyone has been very welcoming to me. I also think the College's standards are great. I like the fact that there are small classes so I can work with students one-on-one. I like the location and the history. The fact that this institution was started in 1865 and it was here to service Civil War veterans so they could transition back into civilian life, very similar to our veterans currently from Iraq and Afghanistan, is fantastic. We have been doing this for 148 years, and it shows.

Q: Do you have anything you'd like to say to Criminal Justice students?

A: Well I would like to basically put out there that what you see is what you get. I'm no nonsense and you have to hold yourself to a higher standard in the criminal justice industry. I hold myself to that standard and I do the same with our criminal justice students. You don't get in the profession for money. You get in it for the love of making an impact on society. Criminal justice professionals -- whether in the courts, law enforcement, or corrections -- are the difference between social disorder and peace. So I expect students to take their education seriously. You have to lead by example, and if you don't lead by example, you're not in the right profession.

Keep your eyes on the blog for more updates from Bob on our Criminal Justice program. Welcome to the College, Bob!