rudy jean bartYou began your career at Broward College 15 years ago as a professor of History, and you now serve as associate dean of the Criminal Justice program. How did you make the leap? 

My journey began as an adjunct professor with one class and ten students.  All I wanted was a foot in the door, and I appreciated the opportunity Dr. Winston Thompson gave me.  Since the beginning of my tenure at this great institution, my thought has been to approach each day with excellence and passion, and a deep love for students.  It is that thinking that has guided me to where I am today.

Why is this an exciting time for Broward College students to study Criminal Justice? 

It is an exciting time because we are doing new things!  We have experienced great growth in our crime scene program, and through our IPS Colloquium, our students are now regularly exposed to guest speakers that offer great insight regarding career opportunities in the field of criminal justice.  Our students are taught by wonderful faculty that have vast experience in their respective professions.  It is evident that our faculty have a profound care for our students.

What keeps you energized and motivated in your role as Associate Dean, and why have you made community service a priority outside of work? 

The idea of building a legacy motivates me.  The prospect of being a part of helping people grow and accomplish remarkable things excites me.  As far as serving my community is concerned, it is important because we all need others when it comes to our development.  I wholeheartedly believe in being intentional about adding value to the life of others.  I want people to feel as though my presence served as a benefit.

You are passionate about your involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters. How do you apply your passion for mentorship to your work at Broward College? 

The mentorship that exists for me at Broward College is rooted in mutuality.  I mentor, but I am also mentored.  I am eager to learn from others and that has served as a source of growth for me.  When people see that you are willing to listen and learn from them, it opens the door for them to also listen and learn when you are used as a vessel for an important message.

February is Black History Month. Is there a leader from the African American community who has had a powerful impact on your life and/or career?  

I love the likes of A.G. Gaston, Philip Payton, and Alain Locke.  I know you said one, but those three come to mind because they are not well known, and yet played such huge roles in their communities.  The fact that A.G. Gaston was a millionaire during the era of the Jim Crow South and played a pivotal role in the city of Birmingham, or the role Philip Payton played in African Americans accessing property in Harlem, or the way Alain Locke helped engineer the Harlem Renaissance, serves as an inspiration to me.  I do not need all the credit.  I just want to help build up and empower my community.  That is what these gentlemen represent to me.  They are builders

What is the most important advice you can give young people on how to decide where to attend college and what to study? 

Come to Broward College!  The value here is immense considering all that you will learn at such a low cost.  As far as what to study, think about where your skill, talent, and passion intersect, and then see which program fits the best.