Dr. Bruce: professor, researcher and musician

By on April 1, 2004

Dr. Alan Bruce is a man of intrigue, wonder and mystery. He has been involved in music since before he could drive and wanted to teach students since he was even younger. The Sociology and Criminal Studies professor is ready to complete his third year at Quinnipiac.

Bruce came to this university because he “wanted to live in this part of the country [Connecticut,] I loved this beautiful campus and the biggest of which because I had met Sociology faculty members at a conference. They were nice people to work with and enthusiastic about what they did,” said Bruce.

He said Quinnipiac was just starting its Criminal Justice program, which appealed to Bruce. Before coming to Quinnipiac, Bruce had started up a Criminal Justice program at Keuka College in upstate New York; he remained there for three years and was the director of the program. However, Bruce, had a yearning to move to Connecticut.

“I enjoy Quinnipiac very much,” said Bruce, “I enjoy the students, my colleagues and the general atmosphere around campus,” he said.

Although Bruce primarily teaches Criminal Justice courses, he also instructs sociology courses.

He expected to work with colleagues who were supportive in starting the Criminal Justice program and conducting research. He said that his expectations have been lived up to.

Bruce has done a great deal of research. He has co-authored a book-chapter on the history of capital punishment among many others. If he could research anything, he would evaluate crime prevention programs for juveniles because of the extremely harsh government policy present has resulted in a massive increase in prison populations in the past decade. Most people, according to Bruce, forget that most people will be released into the community.

In the next 10-20 years, massive numbers of people will be released from prison without proven resources to prepare for life, Bruce said. In President Bush’s last State of the Union address, Bush said he would integrate $300 million to reintegrate them into society. There must be must be more strategy and more money dedicated to the program, Bruce said.

It is Bruce’s dream to be a full-time musician on a bass guitarist, the instrument with which he has been playing for the past 23 years. He is currently playing part time with two bands in Connecticut.

Bruce would like to devote more time to his love of music. He would like to go onto record original music as well.

Bruce enjoys playing the Blues, Classic Rock as well as Motown style music. His favorite band is Little Feat, a southern blues rock-style music. He said the quality of that music “is out of this world.”

Bruce has always had a love for music. Ever since he was a young child, music was all throughout his life. Both of his brothers played the guitar and his mother sang and played the piano throughout his adolescence. Bruce’s first experience with music came when he picked up a euphonium, a small tuba-like instrument, at age six.

Bruce’s fondest musical memory is the first time he played a “gig.” He recalls that he and his family had recently moved to a new home. Unknown to the Bruce family, one of their new neighbors included a family who fronted a country western band.

When Bruce was 16, a knock was heard at Bruce’s door. It was the neighbor who fronted the country and western band. The neighbor asked if he would play his bass guitar in a “gig” that evening. Bruce said “yes” and played marking his first public performance.

Born and raised until 24 in Scotland, Bruce spent his first 14 years in Banff, Scotland, a northeast town in Europe. When he was 14, he moved to the nearby town of Whitehills where his family still resides today.

He left Scotland, on what was planned to be a temporary basis, to “explore and experience the world.” He came to the U.S. to earn his Masters Degree at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Originally, he had planned to earn his Masters degree then go back to Scotland but once he studied Sociology and Criminology, he wanted to earn his PhD.

The biggest thing Bruce misses about Scotland his whole family is there, with the exception of his wife, Theresa. He said he misses his nieces and nephews and his 102-year-old Grandmother – Flora Emslie.

Professor Bruceis living out his two dreams and ambitions in life at Quinnipiac. He is playing part time in a band as well at teaching.

After just three years at Quinnipiac, Professor Bruce is standing out among many students as a professor to have and an instructor in who’s class to enroll.


About Jamie DeLoma