Name: Rugena Bivins
Title: Manager – Deputy in Charge, Eastern Division
Court: Tennessee Western Bankruptcy Court
MSU Program: Judicial Administration Non‐Credit Certificate
Graduation Date: August 2016, Recognized at the 2016 Joint NCBC/FCCA Conference in Washington, D.C.
How has your participation in the MSU program impacted your career?
This program has inspired me to continue to find a way to be an active participant in the progression of change in the courts. I have been with the courts for 30 years - 28 years at the time of graduation from the program. I found the courses to be refreshing and enlightening. I believe it is important to take the initiative to continue to improve the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform a job. For some, it may seem unusual to care after being in a position for many years; but I think that continuing to learn is a way to remain a vibrant participant in work place improvements and changes.
What other benefits has the program brought into your life?
Participating in the program is a way to remain aware of the methods used by other courts to address situations, changes, etc. This is a great benefit to any leader and/or court employee.
What was the time commitment for your program? How did you integrate that into your lifestyle?
The time commitment is no different than the time required for other education related courses. I did have to plan around other responsibilities at home, to ensure I completed assignments as required. Choosing a time in the evening and on specific days of the week worked best for me, since I took majority of the courses online.
What format (or formats) did you use to complete your program? What did you like best about each one?
I reviewed the course outline based upon the upcoming NCBC Conferences. I took courses online which would not be offered at the NCBC Conferences. The required courses were interesting. The information provided through the online reading and recorded sources assisted me in working independently or with a group.
My two favorite courses were Education, Training & Development and Human Resources Management. In my position as Deputy in Charge, these courses were found to be very pertinent to the work I do. All of the courses were work related, but these two courses peaked my interested the most.
What tips or ideas can you share about finding a work/life balance that is conducive to achieving success in this program?
The online courses are a great way to find the balance needed to accommodate your personal and work lives.
Are there any last thoughts or maybe a piece of advice you'd like to share with us?
There is no specific time in your career to be a participant in the program.
Do you have any ideas for getting the word out about the MSU JA Program?
I think encouraging Court Unit Executives to show their support for the program would be helpful.