Spartans of UD: Ben Bartels

Nov 1, 2017 | University Relations staff

Spartans of UD is a new feature that highlights what makes University of Dubuque special – the people who live, work, and study on campus. Ben Bartels, assistant professor of criminal justice, served UD for two years as an adjunct before joining the faculty full time in 2010.

Spartans of UD - Ben Bartels
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

1. How would you describe your teaching style?

“I try to be energetic and engaging. Ultimately, I want my students to feel as though the course they’re taking has been impactful and worthwhile.”

2. You mentor students outside of the classroom with roles on campus that include coach of the mediation and moot court teams as well as the pre-law advisor. Why did you decide to extend your involvement at UD beyond the classroom?

“I feel invested in our students’ futures. In order to best position them for success beyond college, I couldn’t limit myself to just being their teacher.”

3. Under your guidance, the UD Mediation Team has developed a reputation as being one of the top teams nationally. What is the secret, so to speak, to the team’s success? Also, how do you prepare for tournaments such as the 2017 International Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament that will be held Nov. 9-11 at Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia?

“We work extremely hard for all of our pre-law competitions including moot court. I have found that preparation is the best predictor of success. Of course, I’ve had some wonderful support from alumni who have gone on to become attorneys. At this point, success has become the expectation.”

4. What advice do you frequently give students as the pre-law advisor?

“Don’t go to law school because it sounds good. Law school is very challenging and very expensive. The decision to attend isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Look to take classes and find experiences that will improve your writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills. Finally, as a member of our pre-law program, you’re expected to be courageous and be an advocate for justice.”

5. In 2014, you were recognized with the John Knox Coit Prize and inducted into the UD Faculty Hall of Fame. What was it like to receive that honor?

“In one word: humbled. I work with some dedicated and talented colleagues. I was honored to be recognized by them.”