A short description about your current occupation/grad school:
I spend my days on a beautiful campus sharing what I've learned throughout my life with young people who want to be men and women for others. I am privileged to be able to discuss the role that African Americans have played in shaping and improving the nation. In short, I have the thrill of being able to continue my education every day.
A short description of your career path:
I was so blessed to have wonderful mentors at GU. Several professors took me under their wings. One professor in particular, though, changed my entire world. This professor brought humor to a field that I had previously believed was deathly boring. I walked up to him after one class and told him that I wanted to do what he did and that I wanted him to be my advisor. He agreed to be my advisor and told me that I would have to go to graduate school. Each week I turned in a paper I wrote on a book he suggested I read, and he showed me ways to communicate more effectively. To be truthful, I didn't have a good clue as to what graduate school was, but my advisor and other professors made sure that I completed the application processes. I ended up going to graduate school at WSU (M.A.) and the University of Missouri-Columbia (Ph.D.). I was so happy and proud when I found out that I got into graduate school. My advisor even called me in my dorm room to congratulate me. I credit the late Professor Tim Sarbaugh with providing me the inspiration to endure graduate school and to enter the professoriate.
What has been most valuable to you from your Gonzaga education?
I learned two things. The first is that education is essentially about people, not facts and figures (although facts and figures are important). By taking the time to absorb what I learned about people in my theology, philosophy, literature, sociology, psychology, political science, and history courses, I was able to better understand the events that shaped life for me. Secondly, I learned from a professor that a correct answer is worth a "C," but that a correct answer with details and analysis is worth an "A." I've tried to apply that to my life in every way. It's not enough to just do what is right, but one must do what's right while recognizing why it is right. Furthermore, one must try to do what's right with passion and attend to the details that most will overlook. People appreciate the details.
Is there anything else about your Gonzaga experience you would like to share?
Although, I don't keep in touch as I should, I would like all the readers to know that the friends and mentors I had at GU made me into the person I am today.
Current location: Saint Louis University
Year of Gonzaga graduation: 1996
Current occupation/grad school: Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies
Dr. Stefan Bradley recently published Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s.