For County College of Morris (CCM) Associate Political Science Professor Jack Bernardo, Ph.D., his first published text book is an extension of the last two decades of his professional life.
“The book is basically a course in American government that I’ve been developing for the last 18 years,” said Bernardo of Madison. “Some of it actually goes back to my doctoral research, though, from 30 years ago.”
Bernardo’s book, Fundamentals of the U.S. Federal Republic, was created not only to be an introductory overview to the world of political science, but to fit into an ever-changing world in which students are being asked to learn and retain more information at a faster rate.
“I was trying to specifically make a compact overview,” Bernardo said. “We have to teach so much now in introductory courses. The same material I teach in 15 weeks I was taught in 30 weeks 40 years ago. And there’s a lot more material from the last 40 years.”
The text was also created to help newcomers to the subject understand it, while offering more in-depth study for those who wish to pursue it.
“This book was designed to focus on the basics, but it also provides lots of references and explanation for those students who do want to follow it, and I particularly used footnotes,” said Bernardo, who put those footnotes at the bottom of each page to make it easier to follow a topic.
Not only can students and those interested in political science benefit from the content of the text, but the money generated by its sales will help further educational opportunities. Bernardo is donating all of the royalties the book generates to the CCM Foundation Scholarship Fund.
It isn’t surprising that Bernardo decided to donate to scholarship. He gives much of the credit for his own education to financial aid.
“I came very close to losing out my opportunity for education because of technicalities regarding my scholarship at the end of my second year (at Syracuse University), and I was fortunately able to switch over to an ROTC scholarship and that’s what saved me,” Bernardo said. “Those dollars gave me the wherewithal to pursue an education that I would never have had the opportunity to pursue otherwise. I would never have been able to get the education that I got.”
Bernardo’s text, which was printed in August, to date has served CCM students in American Government (POL 111) during the fall semester and the current spring semester. It is available at the CCM bookstore, as well as from the website of Kendall Hunt, the book’s publisher.
Bernardo has been an associate professor of political science at CCM since the fall of 2006. He previously served as an adjunct professor and director of institutional grants at the college. Bernardo has taught as an adjunct at Fairleigh Dickinson University, William Patterson University and Middlesex County College. He taught full-time at Richard Stockton State College from 1979-81 before beginning a 24-year public service career.
At CCM, Bernardo teaches American Government, State and Local Government, Comparative Government, International Politics, and Public Administration. He has been a member of the American Society for Public Administration since 1975 and a member of the Academy of Political Science since 1976.