Gatepost Interview: Benjamin Brucato, Sociology & Criminology Professor
By Haley Hadge
What is your role at FSU and what does your job entail?
I am an assistant professor in the department of sociology and criminology and I am a professor of criminal logical theory.
What is your professional and educational background?
I have been a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for a couple years, and I just came here from Rhode Island College where I was an assistant professor in the department of sociology and I mainly taught in the criminal justice program. My education is interdisciplinary. I have a Master’s in sociology and a doctorate in science and technology studies from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. When I was in my doctoral program, I was mostly focused on surveillance studies. The research that came out of my work there focused on the visibility of police violence in contemporary American society. More recently, I’ve been studying the history of policing, even the kind of the deep history going back into the colonial era of the United States.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Well, when it comes to teaching, I really like it when I find engaged students who are committed to their learning, and I really enjoy working with students who maybe haven’t had the best preparation for college, or never really thought of themselves as learners. And when they’ve reached that point of developing an identity as a learner, and developing their intellectual capacities, I really like to guide students who really haven’t developed that so much, or haven’t had the opportunity to, or never saw themselves as interested in developing that. So, that’s why I’ve really enjoyed teaching at schools like Rhode Island College and Framingham State – having an opportunity to reach students who maybe were neglected by educators, or perhaps opted by their own accord to deprioritize education. So, I really like it when I can help students to turn on that part of their mind and to develop a passion for learning.
Do you have any hobbies that you would like to share with the community?
Well, I’ve been a performing musician since I was a teenager, so I am involved in a couple of different bands. And they’re fairly new, so we haven’t been recording or performing yet, but we probably will be shortly. I play in a punk band and in a black metal band.
What might students be surprised to learn about you?
I think it’s probably what I just said. I have several albums out from various bands that I’ve played in and in solo projects that I’ve been involved in. So, I think it’s surprising just because those intellectual, aesthetic, and creative aspects of my life really never overlap in any way very meaningfully. Maybe it’s just because of the subject matter that I teach and research that has really nothing to do with my creative work. So, I think in both spheres of my life, people are surprised to learn about the other one because they really don’t overlap in many meaningful ways.
What piece of advice do you have for students?
I guess if I were to direct it specifically to Framingham State students, it would be to recognize how difficult it is to manage their schedules – as it is with their many commitments to work, family, and other things that are outside of school – and to find ways of prioritizing: setting aside time in their weekly schedules that is devoted to their learning so the time that they devote to their schoolwork is not falling into the gaps, wherever the gaps happen to fall in their schedule of other things, to make sure that they’re sacred blocks of time that other things can’t interfere with.