After 11 years at Brookdale and more than 45 years as a community college faculty member and administrator, Fred Hertrich has seen a thing or two. Beginning his career at Middlesex County College in 1969, Hertrich was one of the first professors on the front lines of the “community college movement” in New Jersey.
Since then he has watched countless students find success both in and out of the classroom, discovering and developing a passion for the study of political science. At Brookdale, where he regularly teaches POLI 101, 105 and 115 in Lincroft and Freehold, Hertrich said his greatest joy comes from watching students master difficult course material and, ultimately, riding that confidence to a prestigious four-year college or university.
“The fond memories and the experiences that stick out are those of student success,” said Hertrich. “Success as a direct result of student achievement, of climbing the intellectual and academic ladder, of coming to understand and appreciate the discipline of political science. All of that is only possible at an institution that is as academically rich as Brookdale.”
On Sept. 1, after decades of inspiring success in others, Hertrich was recognized for his own successes with Brookdale’s 18th annual Outstanding Adjunct Instructor Award. The award, presented before a large crowd of colleagues during the college’s annual Adjunct Faculty Reception in the MAN building, recognized Hertrich’s tireless dedication to his students and his service to the Brookdale community.
That dedication is not lost on Hertrich’s former pupils, many of whom continue to sing their professor’s praises long after they leave his classroom.
“Professor Hertrich is one of the best I’ve had at Brookdale,” said Kevin Przystawski, a former automotive major who transitioned into political science after taking POLI 101 with Hertrich. “He encourages group discussions on current events and really wants everyone to take something home that they’ve learned.
“His passion for the topics and incredible lectures really make you think twice about government,” Przystawski added. “And at the end of every class he tells everyone ‘the communication doesn’t stop here.’ You can always email him with any questions, comments or just to talk. I find this to be incredible.”
According to Hertrich, that sense of personal connection is part of the reason he chose to teach at Brookdale, where faculty are encouraged to innovate and inspire in the classroom.
“Brookdale is a very special place to be,” he said. “The respect for faculty and the opportunity to creatively, ‘innovatively’ and comprehensively teach is consistently obvious, and promoted. These commitments emanate right from the very top of the organization, and, in dozens of ways, are the very heart and soul of Brookdale Community College. It is difficult to imagine that there is a better place to be as a member of a community college faculty than at Brookdale.”
Hertrich said he is both proud and extremely humbled to be named an Outstanding Adjunct Instructor, calling the award one of the finest he has received in nearly five decades of teaching. He is also characteristically selfless about the honor, taking time to recognize his fellow Brookdale adjuncts for their own hard work.
“There are so very many whose talents are on display and whose teaching expertise is evident, class after class, discipline after discipline,” Hertrich said. “There are so many who fundamentally incorporate the long-ago words of Lee Iacocca, namely: ‘In a completely rational world, the best of us would be teachers. And the rest of us would have to settle for something else.”
To learn more about Brookdale’s Political Science programs, click here.