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Pictured is public administration alumnus Jeff Gooch, Desktop Administrator and Volunteer Fire Captain for Cranberry Township. | Photo by Gracey Evans

Meet Jeff Gooch

Job titles: Desktop Administrator and Volunteer Fire Captain
Employers: Cranberry Township and Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Department
Degree earned: Bachelor of Science in Public Administration (Fully online format) with a concentration in fire service administration
Graduated: Spring 2016
Hometown: Louisville, Ky.
High school: Seneca Valley Senior High School
Now living in: Cranberry Township, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Firefighting
LinkedIn: Jeff Gooch

Update: Jeff is now fire risk reduction coordinator for Cranberry Township, Pa.

What drew you to our public administration program?

I was looking for a flexible degree program that could work around my busy schedule and would allow me to combine both my professional certifications in firefighting and my prior college credit to minimize the length of time I would need to be enrolled in a program. Point Park provided the best option for me by allowing me to transfer in as a junior.

The public administration program being offered fully online, along with course work specifically in fire service administration, were key factors in helping me make the decision to attend Point Park.

Tell us about the various work you do for Cranberry Township.

I started working for Cranberry Township in 2010 as desktop administrator in the technology and communications department. In this role, I am primarily responsible for supporting the information technology needs of the various public safety departments within the Township, as well as many other IT projects.

I also currently serve as a volunteer captain with the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company, where I have been a member since 2001. I enjoy being a firefighter and being able to bring my experience in information technology as a benefit to the fire company.

"Since attending Point Park, we have seen Jeff continue to develop as a leader and strategic thinker. He has been a huge asset to all areas of public safety (police, fire, EMS) as well as to the IT department. We look forward to seeing what Jeff will accomplish in the future."


-- Adam Osterrieder, Director of Technology and Communications, Cranberry Township

"Many of my professors were leaders in public safety and brought a wealth of knowledge to the virtual classroom."


-- Jeff Gooch

Describe the teaching style of Point Park's public administration professors.

All my courses at Point Park were fully online. I enjoyed this, but it required strong commitment and self-motivation! Some of my favorite classes were those taught by Dr. Skertich, who used video-based lectures to supplement the course work. I found this to be extremely helpful. Many of my professors were leaders in the public safety field and brought a wealth of knowledge to the virtual classroom.

What do you think makes Point Park unique?

I liked the fact that even though I did not have to come down to campus often, Point Park was nearby and I could connect with other students and faculty easily. There were familiar names and "faces" in many of my classes, and I also got to know some of the professors personally as well. The students in the classes shared many of the same goals and ambitions as me.

What are your career goals?

My goal is to effectively combine my knowledge and experience in technology and emergency services as I continue to work in the public sector. Right now, I am mainly focused on technology in the public safety field and I hope to continue to grow in that capacity.

Do you have a favorite quote?

"I'm a constant learner. You need to be a constant student because things change and you have to change and grow. And I emphasize the word grow." — Zig Ziglar

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

In November 2016, I was selected to receive the Emerging Leader Scholarship to attend the International Association of Fire Chiefs "Symposium in the Sun" in Clearwater Beach, Fla. One candidate who has shown to be both a problem solver and leader of change within their community, is selected from a nationwide pool to attend this symposium.

Photo by Gracey Evans, sophomore photojournalism major


More About: fire service administration, public administration, transfer, online programs, Seneca Valley High School, Rowland School of Business, alumni