Interim Provost Frank Sargent, Ed.D., J.D. took a path less traditional than some in higher education administration. Sargent was a first-generation college student and now is going through the college application process with his own son. He understands the importance of an exceptional education and what that can mean for one’s future. Sargent attributes so much of what he’s learned and how he got to where he is today to the experiences he had serving his country in the Marine Corps and Army as an officer and aviator.
Sargent remembers awaiting his cousin’s arrival home from Vietnam, who was serving in the Marine Corps, when he was a young boy in late 1960s/early 1970s. His father was a blue-collar worker and his mother was a housewife. He worked a paper route and at the grocery store in order to pay for college. He always knew that after graduation he would go into the Marine Corps like his cousin; serve his country for a couple of years and then return to civilian life.
After enlisting in the early 1980s, Sargent attended a local air show where he saw a marine pilot standing next to an F-4. “I just thought it was the coolest thing, but I also thought being a pilot was unattainable; kind of like being an astronaut at the time,” he said. “It certainly wasn’t on my radar. I simply wanted to serve my country and I never considered doing it as a pilot. I am very grateful and appreciative for choosing that path.”
The experience as an instructor led him to Bridgewater State University where he was appointed director of the Aviation Science program, but not before pursuing a law degree at Suffolk University Law School.
Sargent spent several years in Bridgewater’s Aviation Science department before holding leadership positions as assistant and associate dean for the School of Business. Sargent then completed his Doctorate in Education from JWU and in 2010 assumed the position as dean of the Alan Shawn Feinstein Graduate School before his current appointment to interim provost. “I love what I am doing today,” said Sargent. “I get to help make this world a better place by helping students obtain their education. I am able to interact with students and help them make decisions with their lives. Over the many years I have had a lot of life experiences, and working for Johnson & Wales University allows me to share those experiences with our students.”
He lives in Massachusetts with his wife Lori and his two children Josh and Lindsey.