PTC Homeland Security expert to run Brenau Univ. in Fairburn

Tue, 07/28/2009 - 3:14pm
By: Ben Nelms

Retired U.S. Army Col. Andrew J. Jurchenko, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, anti-terrorism expert and criminal justice educator, has been hired as director of Brenau University’s new campus in Fairburn.

A Peachtree City resident since 1993, Jurchenko said he expects the four-year university to draw students from Fayette and Coweta counties.

Jurchenko describes Brenau’s new Fairburn location as “Your hometown, small town, four-year university right next door to Fayette and Coweta.”

Brenau will open its doors to students next month. The university is leasing a two-story 18,400 square-foot classroom at the Fairburn college campus on U.S. Highway 29.

“Andy is going to be a great addition to Brenau,” said Brenau Communications Vice President David Morrison.

A highlight of Jurchenko’s three decades of military experience included dealing with security issues affecting the White House during three presidential administrations.

Most recently he was chair of the Human Services Department as well as a criminal justice instructor at Griffin Technical College. He also was an instructor at the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.

A graduate of John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, with an undergraduate degree in English and journalism, Jurchenko holds master’s degrees in management and human resources management from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo.

“Andy Jurchenko’s world view and outstanding personal and profession experiences will be an amazing asset for Brenau University,” said David Barnett, associate vice president for regional studies at the Gainesville-based university. “Having him in both an administrative role and available to teach classes as an adjunct faculty member should give our newest campus a good, running start.”

Although at Brenau Jurchenko will initially be teaching undergraduate business management courses on the Fairburn campus, the self-described “bomb technician who still has all his fingers” is a subject matter expert in homeland security issues and anti-terrorism, particularly in matters where those issues intersect with constitutional law issues, such as search and seizure, use of deadly force and interrogation techniques.

Jurchenko is currently licensed as an instructor with Georgia’s Peace Officers Standards and Training organization and an Atlanta area representative to the FBI’s local Joint Terrorism Taskforce.

Jurchenko is an executive board member for the American College of Forensic Examiners International’s unit that certifies Homeland Security professionals and he is a member of the director of Homeland Security’s advisory board. 

“I’ve led an interesting life, but I’m not quite ready to quit just yet,” said Jurchenko. “I am looking forward to the challenges of helping to start a new campus for Brenau in this fast-growing area.”

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Jurchenko retired from the Army after more than 30 years of active duty. His military experience included service as an officer in both the infantry and the military police in the 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions and with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. His decorations include the Legion of Merit and three “valor” medals, including the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

Jurchenko and his wife, Nancy, moved to Peachtree City in 1993. Nancy worked at the Peachtree City Library and has since retired. Jurchenko said last week that having been stationed in the South during his military service directly led to moving here.

Similar to Georgia Military College situated in another 18,400 square-foot classroom building at the Fairburn campus, Brenau has signed a seven-year lease on its building. Morrison commented on Fairburn’s unique approach in constructing its own college campus and bring in an assortment of colleges and universities.

“I haven’t seen anything like this before. I think the city was extremely visionary and I think it’s an amazing investment for the city,” said Morrison.

In addition to its main campus in Gainesville, Brenau also operates campuses in Augusta, Norcross and Kings Bay. Brenau in 2009 was ranked as one of the top 10-best higher education values in the Southeast by U.S. News & World Report. It marked the university’s third consecutive year in that position for the magazine’s “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook.

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