Candidate Presentation for California State University, Bakersfield

My Résumé
Web Links
U.S. and Puerto Rico
Contact Me


My professional background appears to meet the job description for this teaching position in political science. Many years of university-level teaching in this field in Puerto Rico combined with practical experience as a Foreign Service Officer, student, and worker in various overseas sites provide me with knowledge and insights particularly pertinent to courses such as international relations and comparative government. American government is a given. I have taught it many times over the years, mainly from a comparative standpoint. I anticipate developing it into a specialty, using the bountiful materials now available from textbook publishers and other Internet sources. The next logical step would be to adapt these to multimedia and/or distance learning contexts. I have been doing this for well over a decade, in Spanish, at my present university in Puerto Rico with the introductory course in political science.
Although I have spent almost my entire adult years outside the continental United States, my ties to Bakersfield have remained strong. Both my wife and I are graduates of Bakersfield College. (I was even Student Body President in 1957-58!) Over the past 25 years, we have returned to the city to be with family and friends at least once or twice annually, most often staying the entire summer. I have generally used these longer stays to work on writing projects (e.g., textbook) or other academically related work. Once I taught American Government at BC during the summer. On other occasions I taught in the High Intensity Language Training (HILT) program sponsored by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools. My wife began her teaching career with Bakersfield City Schools. Over the past 22 years she has been teaching on a military base in San Juan. We have long talked about returning home, and we believe this is a good time to do so.
Many years of teaching have yet to squelch my enthusiasm for the craft. Indeed, my experiences over the past decade or so with multimedia and now distance learning make it even more compelling. At present, my entire teaching load is devoted to on-line courses. I have also done much to encourage my faculty colleagues to begin using the computer to enhance their teaching and academically related activities. Recently, I have conducted workshops on the use of Blackboard as a course management platform, both for on-line teaching and as a complement to the traditional classroom setting. Last summer, I proposed to BC Department Chairman Stephen Smith to offer an introductory course in political science entirely in Spanish via the Internet. using my basic text in political science entitled Perspectivas Políticas. Indeed, with my linguistic background, I would be more than willing to teach a Spanish course at BC, if time and circumstances permit. Although not formally credentialed for this field, there is little doubt in my mind that a combination of academic credits, experience, and proof of attainment would easily qualify me.
Finally, despite my rather extensive history of publications, this aspect of my academic life has received very little institutional support. Inter American University of Puerto Rico is a large (42,000 students), private, multi-campus institution that serves primarily lower-income graduates of the island's public school system. Over 90 percent of its students qualify for Pell Grants. The normal teaching load for a full-time professor is 15 credit hours per semester. Similar to the mission of a community college, teaching is given first priority. Research and writing done by a faculty member is a product of individual effort. I have done all kinds, from scholarly research and essays to textbooks and teaching materials. For the past decade or so, however, a fascination with the computer as a teaching tool has increasingly moved me in the direction of developing educational materials that support my endeavors in the use of the multimedia (for large groups) and distance learning teaching formats.
I welcome the opportunity to return Bakersfield College as a member of its teaching staff. My only ambition is to share my knowledge and zeal for my academic work with students and other members of the BC community. I invite you to visit other pages here to examine my curriculum vitae and links to sites on the Web that evidence my use of this medium for professional and academic purposes. And, if you are at all interested in the U.S.-Puerto Rico relationship, take a look at an essay I wrote for publication on this topic for the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Ethnic Conflict.


Dr. Lynn-Darrell Bender