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In Hot Pursuit
– Posted Fall 2023
Do you remember what career you dreamed of having when you were a child? The answer often is one that offers action, fame, or the chance to help people. Sometimes a childhood interest can be a powerful tool in shaping your future pursuits when you’re at a career crossroads. Learn how Cameron Bern (Multimedia Communications, Class of 2020) discovered his true calling in our Multimedia Communications program, and what once was a childhood dream is now within his grasp.
Cameron has been busy pursuing his passion, a unique education and training, and observational experience that has led him back home.
If the Bern name sounds familiar, but you don’t know Cameron, you may know his brother, Matthew Bern (Engineering, Class of 2018), or his sister, Julia Bern (Construction Technology, Class of 2023).
“I wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps and pursue a vocational education,” said Cameron. “I liked the rotating schedule, a week of academics, and then a week in shop. I explored Electrical, Construction Technology, Engineering Technology, Drafting & Engineering Technology, Health Services, and HVAC. But I liked Multimedia Communications, which was my first choice. I was interested in movie production and thought I wanted to be a director.”
“In shop, I learned excellent communications skills, time management skills, and how to multitask, valuable assets I use daily,” said Cameron. “I was good at web design, a skill I still use to help run a website for a non-profit organization.”
John Lennon wisely observed that “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” It’s an astute perspective. And one that 2020 graduates, impacted by the pandemic, understand all too well. “You can set all the goals you want for the future, but life can be unpredictable,” said Cameron. “Navigating high school during a pandemic certainly gave me a deeper appreciation for the present and the ability to be flexible.”
Halfway through high school, Cameron realized that being a director differed from what he had envisioned for his career. Rather, looking back at his childhood interests, it became evident that the role he wanted all along was that of a police officer or a detective, as he’d seen portrayed on TV and in movies and encountered in the school community.
“Officer Carl Ambrosino, now retired, was the school resource officer (SRO) while I was a student at Miscoe Hill Middle School and BVT. Thinking back now, having observed his interactions within the school and the positive relationships that Upton police officers have within the greater community certainly influenced my decision to pursue a career in criminal justice and ultimately an internship with the Upton Police Department,” said Cameron. “The internship was not a college requirement, but it has validated why I want to work in a community-based police department in a suburban town like Upton one day.”
“The Police Program at Fitchburg State University (FSU) is a one-of-a-kind model where, in 5 years, I will obtain a dual-degree (bachelor and master) in Criminal Justice and complete my Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee certification to become a full-time Massachusetts municipal police officer,” said Cameron. “Upon completing this program, I will be fully certified to serve as a municipal police officer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
“Being a police officer requires a lot of communication with the public,” said Cameron. “I used to describe myself as shy, but having public speaking experience through Multimedia Communications courses has made it much easier for me to build upon that skill set at FSU and to be confident when speaking to an audience and with individuals in the community.”
“I didn’t have any family members who were police officers, but I was always interested in the detective work involved in solving a crime — following up on leads, interviewing witnesses, victims, and suspects, and building a case against those who commit crimes in our community,” said Cameron. “For example, in the hours after the Boston Marathon bombing, the immediate need for investigative work, poring over photographs and video footage to identify two persons of interest. I realized that being of service and making a difference in the community I serve is important to me.”
Over the summer, Cameron split his time between the FSU Police Department directing traffic and interning with the Upton PD, where he learned more about the department’s staff, mission, activities, programs, and services.
“At the end of the school year, I stopped by BVT with Officer Poxon. We checked out the school’s surveillance cameras, walked around campus, visited Multimedia Communication, said hello to my shop instructors, and spoke with some students.”
“I’ve had a very positive experience learning more about how the Upton Police Department functions and building relationships with the officers,” said Cameron. “The fact that this internship opportunity led me back to Upton and BVT is really special.”
“It has been an honor to observe Chief Bradley and his department while interning alongside Lieutenant Benjamin, Sergeants Mansfield and Rankins, Detective Bergstrom, SRO Poxon, and O’Connor, and Patrol Officers Eugster, Borozcky, Valdivieso, Nalon, Deiana, Stanley, and Connors.”
“Many police departments devote time to training officers to use communication skills and conversations to de-escalate and diffuse situations,” said Cameron. “I’ve had a few opportunities to safely observe how officers can use their active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, and negotiation skills as an effective way to approach everyday interactions in the community with peaceful outcomes.”
In a relatively short time, Cameron learned first-hand how dedicated the UPD is to providing quality and professional policing to the community. Through proactive community-based policing programs, strive to reduce crime and enhance the quality of life for all residents while delivering police services in partnership with the community they serve.
Cameron attended a coffee with a cop event at the new Upton Community Center. This event helps facilitate communication between police offers and the people they serve through coffee and conversation. He shared that Detective Bergstrom and Officer Deiana participated in the Upton Library’s “Read around the Town” series, reading books to children, followed by a tour of the police facility.
When we share our stories, our experiences can inspire others. No matter where you are in your journey, as you pursue your goals, let Cameron’s story remind you that no matter where your career path leads, we know where we belong. So stay focused, go after your dreams, and keep moving toward your goals — in hot pursuit!
Your unique story and experiences, like the one below, are powerful gifts that deserve to be shared. Consider how your expertise might help our students thrive:
• Share your non-traditional career
• Give a tour of your business and
discuss the cool and innovative
things you’re doing.
• Work with our co-op students.
Let us know how you’d like to give back
to your alma mater by connecting with:
Depot Street Tavern Hands Over Their Kitchen to Our Student Chefs
A big “Thank you,” goes out to Adam Hicks (Culinary Arts, Class of 2001), and his entire team at Depot Street Tavern in Milford for their guidance and hospitality. In June they allowed eighteen juniors from our Culinary Arts program and four instructors to take over their restaurant to prepare and serve over 75 meals as part of a fundraiser event. As you know, these real-world experiences are invaluable to our students.
The fundraiser supported the culinary arts senior class trip, a three-day “foodie tour” of a different region of Cape Cod. Our students plan to tour farms, wineries, and food factories like a hot sauce maker and a coffee roaster. Of course eating at a few restaurants from clam shacks to fine dining resorts is on the list. Almost all of the funds to pay for this trip (including meals and lodging) is raised by our students at events like this one, as well as our Gingerbread House Decorating Workshop and by running the BVT concession stand.
BVT alumni who work or have worked at Depot Street Tavern or Maddi’s Tap House:
• Adam Hicks – Proprietor
• Buddy Bartlett – Sous Chef
• Kim Haslam – Sous Chef
• Amanda Kiesman – Bartender
• Alex Burgess – Line Cook
• Zach Crosby – Line Cook
• Lindsey Simmons – Line Cook
• Kellen Kearnan – Line Cook
• David Lozeau – Line Cook
• Max Pfeiffer – Line Cook
Adam had a few things to share about the event over Twitter. “The effort, time, and professionalism the @bvths Junior Culinary Arts class showed towards this project was amazing!!!! The student takeover of @depot_st_tavern_ went all but flawless, and truly exceeded all my expectations as a business owner. I know I speak for my staff when I say, we were truly amazed!! Congrats and well done!!! Oh and this is now an annual event!!”
(#depotsttavern and bvths @depot_st_tavern_)