In the last of our new faculty spotlight series, we introduce three new professors in several different academic areas: Dr. Rodger Bradley, who teaches in the Division of Social Science; Dr. Neil Cushman of the Seminary; and Brandon Ironside, a faculty member in the School of Fine Arts and Communication.
Dr. Roger Bradley
Dr. Roger Bradley teaches two economics courses: Foundations of Economics and Economics for the Professional.
Bradley’s undergraduate major at BJU was social studies education, but he also took economics courses along with his major focus on history.
As a graduate student at the University, Bradley studied education and earned a master of education in teaching history.
His interest in economics began to bloom during his graduate studies, when he noticed connections between events in history and the role economics played in those events.
“Just about every chance I got, I would write research papers on connections between economics and this or that,” Bradley said.
His plan was to get a Ph.D. in history at the University of South Carolina, but because of financial issues, he decided against going.
One day Bradley was flipping through pages of an issue of The Collegian and saw an ad posted by the economics department at Clemson University, which had just started a Ph.D. program.
Bradley applied and was accepted into the program.
He completed his Ph.D. in 1995 and has been teaching economics for 18 years.
For Bradley, teaching is not just a job.
“I get to talk about things that interest me,” Bradley said. “I get to share things with people who interest me. I get to read things that interest me; and I get paid for it. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Bradley and his wife, Alice, have five children. His family’s favorite game is a board game called Ticket to Ride.
Dr. Neal Cushman
Dr. Neal Cushman is the new professor in the School of Religion and the Seminary. He also serves as the director of special projects for both the Seminary and the School of Religion. He oversees projects that need special attention.
As an undergraduate student at BJU, Cushman felt called to ministerial work but was also very interested in teaching.
Cushman was ordained in 1983 and served as pastor of churches in Nova Scotia, Michigan and Wisconsin.
“I really enjoyed the ministry,” Cushman said. “But it seems like, in some ways, I always came back to teaching in some fashion.”
Cushman taught Bible and missions at Northland International University for 22 years and led the missions department. Cushman considers teaching his greatest gift.
Cushman said he likes discussing topics that are relevant to both him and his students.
Aside from teaching, Cushman enjoys woodworking and working with his hands.
“At one time I owned and ran a construction company,” Cushman said. “I’ve built a lot of houses, apartments and condominiums.”
Cushman and his wife, Pam, have three children. They enjoy vacationing in Florida.
Brandon Ironside joined the faculty in August as an assistant professor in the Division of Music. He teaches violin and viola and coaches chamber music ensembles.
Ironside became interested in music at an early age through the influence of his parents. He started violin lessons when he was 6 and continued to pursue music through his childhood and teen years. His dad played saxophone for many years, and his mom plays piano and violin.
Ironside received his undergraduate in violin performance at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He went on to get his master’s in violin at Arizona State University in Phoenix, where he met his wife, Kristen.
Currently, Ironside is a doctoral candidate in musical arts at the University of North Carolina.
He received confirmation of his job at BJU right before the new school year and had to react quickly to the news.
“The doors just kinda got kicked open,” Ironside said. “That’s it, and you’re shoved through!”
The experience of teaching music at BJU has so far been very encouraging for Ironside. His students have a very positive attitude toward learning music.
Ironside also enjoys teaching students who are not pursuing music as their career. He said he likes those students who, while they are studying a different major, still want to learn music.
Outside of teaching, Ironside enjoys working out and shooting. “I am an avid supporter of the second amendment,” Ironside said. “I’m not much of a hunter, but I would really like to become one.”