Q: Tell me about your background.
David: My background is very diverse. I am a member of the State Bar of Georgia, have practiced law, and clerked for a Federal District Court Judge. For nine years I was a Federal Agent for the US Department of Labor in the Office of Labor Racketeering. I was assigned to Florida and worked mainly the Ports. You can imagine this was a very interesting job! Just after 9/11, I moved to California and worked for the Office of Labor Racketeering's Los Angeles Office where I was focused on the investigation of identity theft rings. A few years later, I made a career change, and earned my real estate broker’s license. I worked in commercial real estate development and acquisition for several years during the boom. About ten years ago I began teaching on the side and loved it.
Q: Brandman is known for instructors who bring real world knowledge into the classroom. You have a very exciting and eclectic background. Does this help?
David: Oh yes! I have an arsenal of experience to draw from. Throughout my career, I’ve met all kinds of crazy characters and have been exposed to many different perspectives. The key to both criminal justice and legal studies is to broaden your point of view, and understand that others may have a very different point of view. That’s best done through experience. I love to tell colorful stories from my past to illustrate that, but try to limit them to ones that are relevant to the issue at hand. The students seem to enjoy it and sometimes they just say, “tell us a story!”
Q: What do you enjoy most about teaching?
David: I love to present new sides of an issue and see that light go on when a student discovers there is more than one side to every issue. They might not agree with it, but getting them to question ideas they hadn’t previously considered is a big win for me as a teacher. I love the feedback and facilitating discussions that evolve over time. For example, in a Correctional Systems class we had an intense discussion about capital punishment. Long after class was over, a student came to my office to talk about it because the topic was still fresh on her mind.
Q: What’s happening in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies at Brandman?
David: Criminal Justice (CJ) was completely overhauled this past year when we added new concentrations such as Homeland Security, Corrections, Victim Advocacy, Private Security Systems and Leadership. These were chosen for their relevance in the field today and to better prepare students for employment. The program is really growing. We have about 200 students and I’m the only full-time faculty member in CJ, but we have many excellent adjuncts who are well respected in the field. This fall, we will begin a program review for Legal Studies, and have just hired our first full time faculty member. My vision is to fully develop Legal Studies similar to what we did with Criminal Justice, and incorporate a paralegal program.