Bruce Bennett was hired as a full-time English faculty member in September 1981 and retired in May 2010, after 29 years of dedicated and accomplished service. Upon retirement, he was granted Emeritus status.
Bruce worked with patience, compassion, intelligence, and humor to inspire students to read closely, write precisely and think critically, setting a standard for excellence while helping students succeed. Bruce challenged his students to think more deeply about what they were reading, whether it was an essay, a poem or a story. He raised the bar high and then helped his students to get over that bar, no matter what level the class.
Whether it was critical thinking or literature, Bruce always used class discussions to speak directly to his students’ own experience, finding ways to connect ideas from the reading to their lives. He was adept at leading class discussions that engaged the minds of students, bringing the seminar method from his own education into his Ohlone classroom.
Bruce participated in innovative teaching projects at Ohlone and other colleges, including creating a study skills development program for nursing students as a part of a Robert Woods Johnson grant, lecturing a year at UC Berkeley as a Josephine Miles Fellow, and teaching in the first years of Ohlone’s Puente Program.
Bruce successfully taught a range of courses, including developmental reading and writing, transfer-level composition, and literature courses, including poetry, modern fiction, psychology and literature, and women’s literature. He was a valuable member of the English department, participating in developing the AA Degree in English, revising curriculum for British Survey, and creating one of the first developmental reading courses at Ohlone.
Bruce was an inspiration and mentor to faculty in the English Department, as well as a trusted and valued colleague college-wide.