Alumni Profile - Dr. Robert Boyden '84
Each November, our nation asks that we pause and reflect on the service military veterans have provided to protect and defend the United States of America. One veteran in particular has achieved considerable professional success after a three year tour with the United States Marine Corp. After leaving the Corp, Robert Boyden ’84 has worked within various levels of law enforcement on his path from getting his GED to his Ph.D. His story is inspiring, and on behalf of the alumni office, we thank Dr. Boyden and the over 467 veteran students currently on campus for their service to this country.
What year did you graduate from Delaware County Community College and with what degree?
For me, this question deserves a little more response than the expected simplistic answer. In 1973, I dropped out of high school. I then attended a GED prep course at the old Community College of Delaware County campus in Concordville, which consisted of one brick and mortar building and several trailers. After the prep course, I took the state GED test and passed, then worked for a little while and was going nowhere so I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1974. After my discharge from the Corps in 1977, I again was not sure what I wanted to do, but had serious thoughts about law enforcement.
In 1979, a friend who was a police officer convinced me to attend the Delaware County Municipal Police Academy, which was a 12-week curriculum held at its current location on the Media campus. I graduated from the police academy in April of 1980 and was hired by a Delaware County police department. The College gave me a taste of higher education, and showed that I could succeed in the academic world. I then enrolled in the College’s Administration of Justice program and graduated with honors in 1984 with my associate degree.
Did you pursue further academic goals?
After receiving my associate degree, I transferred the applicable credits to West Chester University (WCU) and enrolled in their criminal justice program. Being a police officer, I was required to work varying shifts and had to juggle my time to attend WCU full time. In December 1985, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.
In 1986, I then enrolled in St. Joseph's University, seeking a Master’s of Science degree in Public Safety Administration. Two years later, I graduated while maintaining a 3.41 Grade Point Average, just missing academic honors.
After retiring from the police force in 2001, I started working full time on a small consulting business in accident and crime scene consulting. However, as part of my “bucket list”, I had always wanted to get my Ph.D., which led to my enrollment in Walden University's program in 2005 seeking a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration with a specialization in Public Safety Leadership with emphasis on Disaster Mitigation. After four and a half years of the most difficult endeavor of my life, my quantitative dissertation on police stress was defended and approved. In November 2010, my doctorate degree was conferred at graduation in Miami, FL. I not only attained my lifetime goal of receiving a Ph.D. but did so while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. Other than graduating from Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, it was the proudest day of my life.
Where are you now?
I currently teach part time, while in the processes of changing my business to Public Safety Concepts Group. LLC. The focus will be on public safety consulting, disaster mitigation and homeland security issues. I have contacts that liaise with me from the FDNY, Philadelphia Police Department, as well as retired FBI agents. I also write articles for many professional periodicals including Law and Order magazine, American Cop magazine, while also being appointed to the editorial advisory Board for the peer-reviewed journal, Inside Homeland Security. Lastly, I was recently appointed to the American College of Forensic Examiners International, Executive Advisory Board for the American Board of Registered Investigators. An in 2010, I was named as People to Watch in 2011 by the American Board of Certification in Homeland Security.
What is next for you professionally?
I will continue to write for various magazines while trying to finish two books currently in draft form. The first book is about my career as a police officer and the trials and tribulations that I experienced entitled, The Musings of a Dead Horse. Delaware County residents will find the book interesting and revealing, since it is based on my experiences serving the local criminal justice system. The second book I am currently working on is a textbook on police stress experienced in small town departments, which will exploit the findings of my doctoral dissertation and related issues. I will continue to work on my consulting business and hope to find a full time teaching job at a local university. I also have applied to University of Pennsylvania to do post-graduate work (yes, I am a glutton for punishment).
What advice would you give to current students and Alumni to capitalize on the education they received from the College?
First, let me preface this response by saying that Delaware County Community College offers a great and invaluable opportunity to exploit one‘s capabilities, and maximize your given talents. Never let anyone tell you, "You cannot do it or achieve it"; and even more importantly, don't ever let yourself think that you "cannot do it or achieve it." I went from GED to Ph.D. and had many obstacles thrown into my path, some self-inflicted and some placed there by external influences. In the end they were overcome by my determination to prove many of those doubters wrong, including myself. Achieve your goals and realize your dreams through the College. As far as advice for alumni, be proud to say you attended Delaware County Community College and spread the word.