This edition of Who Makes Millersville Special features Blaze Cambruzzi, adjunct professor.
Q: When you aren’t working as an adjunct professor at MU, what is your full-time job?
A: I am the chief operating officer at ROCK Commercial Real Estate, a multifaceted service firm offering brokerage, management and consulting services to businesses throughout Central Pa.
Q: What turned you on to teaching in the first place?
A: I currently hold three degrees, two from Millersville and one from American University, so it goes without saying that I feel at home on a campus. So either I pursue teaching or enroll for another degree, the latter is less popular with my wife. While that is 100 percent accurate, I also really enjoy teaching… it offers me another way to look at the world, i.e., when world events happen I ask myself, “How can I explain that so someone can learn from it?”
Q: When did you start teaching at MU?
A: I started teaching BUAD 355, Business and Society during the Spring 2013 semester.
Q: What is your educational background?
A: At Millersville I earned my undergrad in business as well as my MBA, in addition I earned a master’s degree in finance and real estate from the Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C.
Q: What was your first job, and how old were you?
A: My first real job was working in my family’s business, Cambruzzi Real Estate, as a sales agent. I was 19 and working for my father, who was committed to teaching me a lifetime of real estate knowledge as quickly as possible.
Q: Do you still follow MU wrestling?
A: Wrestling was what originally brought me to Millersville. Since that time I have not only participated as an athlete but also as an assistant coach. Wrestling, and especially MU wrestling, has played a huge role in my life. Every year I attend one or two matches to support the team and always donate what I can to support the program and its future.
Q: What is your favorite part of Millersville/its campus?
A: I love Millersville’s campus. It is so beautiful and full of character. However, my favorite part of Millersville is by far the students. One of the first things I noticed when I came to visit Millersville while still in high school was how so many students wore MU clothing. There is an interesting spirit that returns to this campus year after year that you just do not see at most universities. Most importantly, some of my very best memories were made on this campus. I met my wife Nichole while we were both students at Millersville (actually we met at the Village). I proposed to Nichole while sitting in the gazebo at the MU pond.
Q: What are some of your hobbies/things you do in your spare time?
A: I grew up in Western Pa. on a small farm, so I love anything agricultural. Admittedly, I am a huge geek, so I love reading, documentaries, etc.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job(s)?
A: I work with great people in an industry that I truly love.
Q: What is something you are passionate about?
A: Family, faith, and maybe it sounds strange, but learning. I love learning and education.
Q: What is a moment from your life that will stick with you forever?
A: Sept. 11, 2001. I was in the SMC checking my email before class and watched the events unfold on the television in the lobby. Even though I was 23 at the time, I have come to reflect on that day as the end of my childhood.
Q: Do you believe being a younger professor has an impact on your students/teaching style (positive or negative)?
A: I try to mirror a few professors I had during my education that taught in a manner I connected with. I am not sure if that has anything to do with it, but hopefully the impact is positive.
Q: What is a little known fact about you?
A: I showed beef cattle and horses in 4H for 10 years.
Q: Do you have any “guilty pleasures”?
A: “Duck Dynasty.” Does that count?
Q: What is your favorite part about teaching?
A: Good test scores and class participation. It makes me feel like I am doing a good job.
Q: Because it was inevitably going to be asked, where did the name “Blaze” come from? Is it your birth name?
A: It is my birth name. Long story short, my father wanted to give me a unique name and was considering Rope… yes Rope. My mother went in search of something unique but reasonable and thanks to Father Miller she learned of Saint Blaise. She liked the name but opted for a different spelling, so that for the rest of my life people could make jokes every time there is a news headline such as “Blaze Destroys Historic Building.”
Q: If you could only watch one movie, read one book and listen to one album for the rest of your life, what movie, book and album would you choose?
A: Movie: “Tombstone” or “Austin Powers.” It’s a toss up.
Book: “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson or “I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” by Bill Bryson.
Album: “Kenny Chesney Greatest Hits.”